OTT Services

Over-the-top (OTT) service providers are companies such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, YouTube TV, WhatsApp, WeChat and Skype that deliver video, audio, and other media content over the internet, bypassing traditional cable or broadcast television providers. These services allow consumers to access on-demand video and audio content, such as movies, TV shows, and music, on various devices, including smartphones, tablets, computers, and smart TVs. They have disrupted traditional cable and broadcast television providers by offering greater convenience and more personalized and customizable options for consumers.

Streaming services are OTT video services that offer on-demand access to movies, TV shows, and other video content. They typically charge a monthly subscription fee and offer a library of content that users can access at any time.

OTT service providers obtain audience information through internet protocols (TCP/IP). When users connect with the media server, details such as IP address and device information, location, browser details and so on are saved and maintained in the server’s log. These playback session details provide for a rich source of data to track audiences and understand viewer behaviour and engagement.

IP address-based information has the drawbacks discussed in the Section Server Logs — Drawbacks of Chapter Web Analytics, Volume III. For greater accuracy, OTT services use tracking codes and/or require their customers to log-in when they connect with their service.

Tracking Codes are embedded in the video player and allow the service to track when a user starts watching a video, when they pause or stop watching, and how much of the video they watch.

OTT services use content recognition technologies to identify the specific show or movie a user is watching. This allows the service provider to track the popularity of specific content and make recommendations based on viewing habits.

To access content, users are typically required users to create accounts and log-in to access their content. This allows the service provider to track individual viewing behaviour and engagement over time with far greater accuracy than server logs.

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