Chinese Digital Marketing

OTT Media Explained – Is It Taking Over Traditional Media?

ott media

What Is OTT (Over The Top) Media?

OTT Media aka Over The Top Media has surfaced in the market as a product of the internet with evolving devices that allow consumers to access active content from anywhere at any time. Internet consumption all over the world has increased tremendously since its inception and we have certainly come a long way since waiting for our favourite shows to air at a certain time to watching our shows as and when we wish to today.

An over the top media service is any content provider that offers streaming media in the form of video, audio, messaging and even voice calling services. One of the earliest and most popular example of this service is Netflix that has 155 million subscribers globally.

OTT Media was a solution to quick content access that arose with high-speed internet services which meant, users wouldn’t have to wait to watch their favourite shows or movie anymore. All that is needed is quick internet and a reliable device to avail this form of media. The real question that arises next is, does it crossover traditional media?

Does OTT Media Cross Paths With Traditional Media?

When news started surfacing on the internet, the world began to think that was going to be the end of newspapers. Before we knew it, the two media channels co-existed and complemented each other within the integrated media system. Local newspapers adapted to the internet and got online to reach out to the newer generation of readers that now had internet access, without shutting down its paper variant.

OTT media has a similar story to tell but with a very different background. Traditional TV networks like Star, Sony, HBO soon realised the staggering rate at which the streaming subscription model was growing because of Netflix and decided to adapt to this model by launching their own streaming services. In this way, they retained their current userbase that prefers the traditional mode of consumption while catering to the newer generation of subscribers.

What Are The Advantages Of OTT Media?

ott media


Original Content – OTT media caters to the taste of millennials and gen x with smart, original content that is exclusively available to these subscribers.

Multiple Device Streaming – The best part about OTT media is that it is mobile and accessible from a broad range of devices. Any user can access the same content from a mobile, laptop and even the T.V. screen.

OTT In China

ott media

Source: Chandler Nguyen

China has the highest number of OTT subscribers in the world and is forecasted to match Television digits in 2022. According to data from Tencent, IQiyi had 86M paid subscribers that grew to 100M by 2019, while Tencent Video grew to 89M paid subscribers by 2019. OTT platforms in China are moving towards spending more on content creation instead of traditional TV programming spends in China. Other OTT media platforms in China include WeChat (1M users), Weibo (480M users) and Youku Tudou (500M users) that are extensively utilised by brands to reach out to their audience on these platforms.

The 1 minute Study Perth TVC that was centred around the ambitious Chinese student who wasn’t afraid to explore the world garnered 5 million impressions across multiple Chinese platforms like IQIYI, Youku Tudou, Baidu, WeChat and Weibo. The TVC was curated specifically within a stipulated time frame of 1 minute with visuals that captivated the viewer’s attention. The engagement that the TVC received is proof that the future is OTT and not T.V. anymore.

Study Perth TVC


What Is In It For The Marketers Of The West?

The marketers in the west have a lot to learn from Chinese subscription models right from their habituated consumption patterns to interaction with the content that the user is streaming. OTT media like podcasts, videos, shows and music are consumed on a part by part basis by the Chinese

The current subscription model that Netflix follows is subscription in bulk that a user will soon question over the years. The Chinese subscription model, on the other hand, will last the user a lifetime because of its ‘pay per piece’ system. In the long run, users are bound to experience ‘subscription fatigue’ with the onslaught of streaming services that have been springing up which is where the Chinese subscription model could be a probable solution.


The Media landscape has changed immensely all over the world and continues to evolve with newer mediums scratching the surface and testing the waters. It is important for marketers to keep a tab on the way consumers access this content and target them accordingly.

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