Owned-and-operated: insights for a successful strategy

By Kelly Messori on December 04, 2023

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Wondering why so many video publishers have been implementing owned-and-operated (O&O) environments? By creating your own video app, you get full control of its content and cut out the middleman when distributing content to viewers. When done well, it's a strategy with serious potential for building engaged, sticky audiences. 

So, what’s needed to make these platforms successful? 

In the latest installment of our OTT360 webinar series, Backlight’s Joshua Yanus, StreamTV Insider’s Bevin Fletcher, and Outside TV’s Scott Burgess sat down to talk owned-and-operated strategy, tech, and best practice. 

Watch the full 30-minute webinar on demand here, or read key insights from Joshua, Scott, and Bevin’s discussion below. 

What is the owned-and-operated model? 

There is no single O&O strategy, but it generally involves content producers having their own app on mobile, on OTT, on smart TV, and on the web. Rather than piggybacking on a third-party network or platform, you launch your own hub where viewers come directly to consume your content. 

You’ll typically keep producing videos for social media, third-party platforms, and your FAST channels. But the O&O environment is where you’re ultimately aiming to drive traffic. 

Why are O&O platforms getting popular now? 

In the webinar, Bevin points out nearly 40,000 distinct channels across streaming, FAST, and aggregators today, not to mention linear TV, social, and video platforms. Attracting and retaining audiences within this universe of content is incredibly challenging and competitive. And this is where an O&O comes in. Once viewers see they’ll get more value by signing up to your app, they become far more valuable to your brand.  

Because you own the channel, you can:

  • Create different models for access (SVOD, TVOD, AVOD). That allows you to draw different kinds of viewers in and develop your funnel. 
  • Advertise more impactfully, with ads targeted at specific user profiles. 
  • Cross-sell and upsell subscriptions or access to specific streams or content types. 
  • Program content more effectively since you have more fine-grained data on your audiences, what content they watch, and when. 

Making your O&O strategy a success

During the webinar, Scott, Bevin, and Justin discussed various techniques and strategies that content creators can use to make their O&O a success. These include:

  • The importance of consistency. A consistent look and feel across all your O&O apps gives audiences confidence in the product and avoids confusion. Your app on a Samsung TV needs to have the same feel as your app on an iPhone, which should also feel similar to your website when viewed on a laptop. 
  • Content availability. Once you've invested in getting viewers onto your O&O, it's vital to ensure they have fresh content that keeps them coming back, with promotions and internal marketing to keep viewers engaged. 
  • Personalization is vital. It's equally important to customize the kinds of content different viewers see. For example, the O&O platform for a sports channel should show tennis content to tennis fans and golf content to golf fans. Recommendation engines are vital here.
  • Your tech stack needs to be flexible. Flexible tech is super important for an O&O strategy. You need to quickly and easily move content to different levels of the waterfall based on how your audience engages with it, specific campaigns, and your wider strategy. 

During the webinar, Scott, Josh, and Bevin discuss O&O strategies in detail, explain how O&O fits in with the growth of FAST channels, and also explore the kinds of technologies that publishers can use to build their owned-and-operated environment. 

For more detailed insights into how to launch an O&O - and how to make your O&O strategy a success – watch the full on-demand webinar today

Connect your video with viewers, everywhere.