Our broadcast consulting team has launched OTT networks for CBS Sports, Flywheel and a major US brokerage firm. While every project is different – with its own unique challenges – our approach to OTT network launches remains consistent.
Initial Broadcast Consulting
We begin each engagement by listening to the goals and objectives of our clients. Our initial kick-off meeting will clearly define the key success metrics and expectations of our OTT network. It’s important that we understand the direction of your platform or content so we can build a strategy around meeting those goals. From there, we begin to map out a content strategy, develop show formats and organize the right technology in order to get your project off the ground.
Defining Your OTT Distribution
Once we’ve clearly developed the goals and objectives of your new network, we’ll talk distribution. We’ll map out the desired platforms you’d like your network to appear on – whether that’s your own URL, distribution on popular platforms like Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire, or a combination of both. Our consulting team will also present CDN options for the technical backbone and hosting of your OTT network. And finally, we’ll discuss your transmissions plan – how are you getting your signal to your CDN?
During the budgeting phase, we’ll look at two very important aspects of your network: 1. The total projected cost to build, launch and operate your new OTT, and 2. The long-term revenue strategy and ad-sale opportunities. We’ll start by mapping out the cost of the technical equipment needed to support your operation. If you’re building within the confines of an existing building (rather than starting from scratch), we’ll asses what sort of facility upgrades might be needed. This could include things like HVAC, power and data. Once the hard costs have been calculated, we’ll look at what technical labor will be needed to operate your OTT network annually. Depending on your needs, this may include both technical and creative personnel.
The second part of the budgeting puzzle is equally important: how are you going to monetize the network? Our broadcast consulting team will look at the big picture and long-term strategy of the network and present potential ad-sale, sponsorship and content licensing opportunities that may be available.
This is the fun part (at least for us) – the physical construction of your OTT network. Once the final equipment list has been signed off on, our system integration team will begin to design, engineer and diagram the technical layout of your facility. This includes everything from CAD drawings, cable lists, rack diagrams, control room layouts and more. Once all technical equipment has been procured, our engineering team will get to work on the installation.
Much of the focus thus far has been on technology and strategy. But a key component to a successful OTT network is viewership. Our creative services team can help you with show format development and content creation that will drive viewership and engagement. Beyond the show formats themselves, we can assist with the design and development of graphics packages for the network as a whole, and for each individual show on your network. Our creative team can also help with pre-launch promotions, like sizzle reels and teasers.
For OTT network launches, many of the organizations we work with do not have enough full-time staff the support the ongoing operation from both a technical and creative perspective. This is where our production staffing services come in handy. We can provide recruitment-based production staffing services, in which we’ll help you recruit the right technical team for your OTT network, or outsourced production staffing, in which BMG provides all needed personnel on an ongoing basis. Our staffing team can also help train and coach on-air talent.
With your facility built and your production personnel in place, it’s time to take off the training wheels. We recommend several weeks of rehearsals prior to the full launch and worldwide distribution of your network. This gives your team time to get familiar with all of the technical equipment, iron out any programming kinks, and refine things like set elements and graphics.
Our broadcast consulting team loves the challenge of an OTT network launch. If you’re looking for support, contact us today – we’d welcome the opportunity to work together.