What are Over the top (OTT) services?

In the last half a decade we have seen a general shift in content consumption from the traditional TV and Radio to On-Demand and streaming services. In broadcasting, OTT stands for Over-the-Top. While this may not mean much from the name itself, the idea behind it is more relatable.

OTT is basically anything that does not deliver content through the traditional method such as set-top boxes. The term is often used synonymously with Video-on-demand services that offer access to film and television content (including existing series acquired from other producers, as well as original content produced specifically for the service.

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What are some of Over the top (OTT) Services?

As mentioned, OTT services deliver content directly to the consumers over the internet. This effectively cuts out folks like digital boxes providers who traditionally act as controllers and distributors of content.

Popular services that are doing well in this front include Netflix and Hulu. Locally, the likes of ViuSasa and Showmax could be considered OTT services.


It is worth noting that some OTT services such as iTunes require that the video be downloaded first and then played. Other OTT players such as Apple TV, Amazon Unbox or Netflix offer movie downloads that start playing before the download completes (streaming).

Over-The-Top Television remains the most popular OTT content. This signal is received over the internet or through a cell phone network, as opposed to receiving the television signal from a terrestrial broadcast or satellite. Access is controlled by the video distributor, through either an app or a separate OTT dongle or box, connected to a phone, PC or television set.

To access OTT services, you might want to invest in a decent Unlimited data plan for your home as you will be getting all your content from the web. Also, while most people use on-demand platform for video streaming, that is not the only content capable of being streamed. Live TV is fast becoming a staple. Music streaming platforms like Spotify and internet radio services like TuneIn and Streema are also OTT services. Safe to say that Over the Top services and streaming really is the future of media.