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Evolution of Platforms

Evolution of Platforms

Evolution of platforms refers to the changing standards and expectations for broadcasting and media distribution.

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Amy Tomlinson Gayle
Amy Tomlinson Gayle edited on 7 Jul, 2021
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Netflix's push for original content, mirrored by competitor Amazon Prime and later Disney Plus, came not only from a desire to build the catalog of the streaming service and to offer exclusive shows and services, but also to compete with major media conglomerates that were beginning to build their own streaming services and would begin to pull content away from the aggregating platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime, in favor of their own services. This saw Netflix spend $12 billion to build a library of exclusive and original content, taking Netflix from platform technology to media producer. And, arguablyArguably, the success of services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime legitimizes the streaming service model, creating a proliferation of services and the continued push for new content.

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OTT devices offer a way forward that can combine traditional broadcasting services and a place where users can find multiple streaming platforms in their applications. And, with the wider adoption of OTT devices and the inclusion of these devices in Smart TVs, they offer a place where broadcasters can offer live events, such as sporting events. And OTT can offer VOD services or pay-per-view services. In this way, a user, through an OTT, has a single place where they can find apps for streaming services such as Netflix or Disney Plus, but also a place to access more specific or thematic streaming services such as Crunchyroll, Shudder, Dekkoo, or oQQur.

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As these platforms are often aggregators of streaming services and related content, the user experience (UX) of the OTT platforms is arguably of greater importance for the adoption of users. This is especially true as most OTT platforms all offer the same main streaming services, and may only differentiate in more user specific scenarios. The trend in UX is towards an aesthetically-pleasing platform, although based on personal taste this is more often called "pleasing to the eye", as well the platform needs to be easy to navigate, with the platform that is easy to navigate garnering greater consumers. And, as part of UX, the ability for OTT platforms to connect to different devices and offer greater compatibility also offers a greater competitive advantage.

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Apple TV devices are the oldest series of OTT streaming devices, originally launching as iTV in 2007, and changing the name to Apple TV later, due to copyright concerns with British television channel ITV. These devices offer applications for different content streaming platforms, including Apple TV Plus, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix. As well, the devices have been developed to offer 1080p HD content and 4K ultra-HD streaming content, with support for HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos standards. And theThe purchase of additional remotes offers support for voice commands.

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And, asAs other OTT devices began to offer support for live news and sports streaming, the Apple TV devices have also offered them for users in the United States. The Apple TV devices offer a user interface designed with the intention of providing ease of use, and mirroring design language and user interface choices among other Apple devices such as the iPad and iPhone to provide a consistent experience across devices. And, through Apple's integration of the company's HomeKit application, the Apple TV devices can be connected to other connected devices in a space.

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Roku is a family of streaming media OTT devices originally launched in 2008 as a DVP devicedevices. These devices are intended to offer users a simple way to access streaming video and audio content on television, similar to the devices offered by Google, Apple, and Amazon. The deviceRoku offers users watching content through different content providers and their applications. As well, Roku licenses their technology out, and it has been built into soundbars, such as those offered by Onn, and included in televisions made by manufacturers such as TCL, RCA, Toshiba, and Hisense. These devices allow users to access paid-content options, such as Netflix, and offer free content from available sources. For example, Roku offers the Roku Channel, which is a collection of free-to-watch and ad-supported shows and movies, which can also be enhanced with optional paid subscription services, such as Starz, Epix, and Showtime. And, users can access free live TV streaming channels, including providers such as ABC News Live, NowThis, and Reuters.

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Fire TV is an OTT device offered by Amazon. The device allows users to access streaming content applications, including Amazon's Prime Video service, and offers video-on-demand services. Many Fire TV devices offer voice support and Amazon's AI assistant, Alexa. Through Fire TV, users are also able to stream live TV from various networks and use a Fire TV device to watch and record live TV with Fire TV Recast and an HD antenna. Similar to other OTT services, the Fire TV services work over WiFi, and more expensive models offer ethernet connectivity for more stable connections, with content able to be streamed in 1080p HD and, with more expensive models, in 4K ultra-HD.

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, Fire TV saw an increase of around 115 percent in the use of the OTT device for streaming fitness classes of around 115 percent year-over-year, and,. evenEven with an expected reduction in users post-COVID-19 pandemic, Fire TV and parent company Amazon expect these and similar services to continue to grow. Part of these developments have also included a Fire TV news application, offering local news from over 80eighty cities. And, withWith the early success of this application, Amazon and Fire TV is expected to include new coverage from national news outlets and local news outlets for more locations.

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As with other Amazon services, Fire TV has been included in televisions sold through Amazon, and through other retailers, and where; the built-in Fire TV offers similar services to generic Smart TV. And, withWith the expansion of 5G, Fire TV and Amazon are developing the capability to offer their service in vehicles. The first vehicles to launch the service built-in are the Jeep and Jeep Wagonners. The early-focusearly focus is on rear-seat entertainment, with the possibility that as cars become autonomous, the entertainment could end up in a vehicle's infotainment system.

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Reelgood is a content aggregator application. SimilarIt is similar to the OTT devices and the services they offer, except Reelgood does not offer an OTT device, and rather can instead be installed as an application on the OTT devices. The content available through Reelgood includes every major streaming option in the United States, and offers; the content incan be accessed through the single application without having to go through individual applications. For example, rather than having to watch Netflix content through the Netflix application, a user can enter the Reelgood application, where they can browse Netflix content, as well as Disney Plus Content, orand HBO Max content, without leaving or entering new applications.

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