How-to Develop Original OTT Content That Suit Advertisers

How-to Develop Original OTT Content That Suit Advertisers
OTT demands original content - Screenshot

Azuan Muda

The OTT Premium Video Wave Consumer Study, Asia Pacific 2021 report stated that Over-The-Top or OTT is one of the most-watched video platforms across Asia Pacific with more than 60% compared to other forms of content delivery due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Surely, this trend is bound to benefit OTT in terms of increasing viewership. Likewise, the trend presents a rather lucrative market for advertisers to tap into. 

The best way is to generate returns by developing a content strategy that perfectly fits with advertisers’ target audience. As such, content production and marketing teams should work hand-in-hand to ensure those content perfectly fit the monetization model. On the other hand, by participating in the pre-production phase, any potential conflicts could be avoided. 

Take the case of the popular Korean TV series “Vincenzo” that aired on TvN and Netflix. The producers had to remove the controversial scene featuring a Chinese product due to protests by locals over Chinese sponsorship. 

OTT such as Tencent’s WeTV and Baidu’s iQiyi that primarily adopt the Advertising Video-On-Demand or AVOD revenue model have more flexibility to monetize original content compared to Subscription VOD based OTT. The rule of thumb is with AVOD, audiences don’t mind watching pre-roll or mid-roll advertisements during the shows. Unlike SVOD, audiences pay subscriptions mostly to avoid seeing ads. 

It is worth noting that revenue for SVOD based shows like Netflix or Disney+ do not increase with viewership. These platforms generate revenue off of the monthly fees the subscribers pay regardless of how much viewership they have, which might not be attractive to advertisers. 

In essence, when it comes to developing content strategies, bear in mind the common objectives for both OTT and advertisers. In this case, OTT should take a lead because developing content tailored to advertisers could be limiting and conflicting. For example, in Korean dramas, you might only see only one beauty brand used by the lead actor.

Nevertheless, there are several strategies to consider though, including:

  • branded content – very popular among advertisers especially in product placements and brand integrations. Increasingly, Korean and Chinese dramas are incorporating this strategy with beauty, foods and beverages brands. 
  • content sponsorship – partnering with advertising agencies, OTT offers deeper audience engagement for brands under the agency. The strategy is particularly effective for localized content that is highly targeted and engaging campaigns.
  • brand integrations – it is becoming common to see Chinese dramas integrate with mobile gaming and other digital brands. For example, in

“You Are My Glory” starring Di Lieba and Yang Yang, is the plot of how two old classmates who hadn’t seen each other for many years became acquainted because they started playing mobile games. 

While OTT could certainly be repurposed for advertisers, the type and quality of content are equally important in meeting advertisers’ objectives. After all, the key differentiator in driving viewership and revenues is original and exclusive content.

Azuan Muda is co-founding and bootstrapping several media and technology startups on a local and international scale.

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