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Cutting the Cord: Brands in the Age of OTT

Posted By: Heather Prather on November 24, 2015

Simian OTT

When it comes to broadcast television, cord cutting and cord shaving are fast becoming the norm. Viewers are canceling subscriptions to cable and satellite services at breakneck speed in the interest of cutting cost and let’s be honest as a form of rebellion against the monopoly over our viewing habits that these companies hold.

Make no mistake, cord cutters and cord nevers still want to watch the same TV as the rest of us, but they simply seek out new options for where, when and how it’s delivered to them.

Yep, times they are a changin’… and FAST.

With the rise of OTT, comes massive opportunity for brands and content creators to not only grow and extend the reach to their audience, but best of all, monetize their content.  Ca-Ching!

What is OTT?

Quite simply (on the surface at least), OTT (over-the-top) is video content that is delivered via the Internet, be web, mobile, apps or set-top boxes like ROKU and Apple TV. Linear TV is not dead by any stretch, but it’s no secret that a major percentage of the population is now opting to stream media so they can watch what they want, when they want.

How widespread is the trend toward OTT?

Stats show that upwards of 21 percent of U.S. broadband-enabled homes have set-top boxes and as reported by Forrester Research, "By 2025, approximately 50% of all TV viewers under the age of 32 will not pay for TV in the same manner we do today."

What does all of this mean for my brand?

With this inevitable shift in viewing habits, today’s brands must quickly rethink and shift their offerings in order to connect with their audience in the most personalized and creative way possible.

OTT Key Benefits:

  • Monetization opportunities: Subscription (SVOD), ad-supported (AVOD), and transaction (TVOD) channels
  • Heightened creativity: Have fun creating engaging content experiences
  • Versatility: Develop content for your channel as well as for other channels
  • Enhanced flexibility:  Endless content type and length offerings
  • Enhance Relationships: Intimate and direct connection with audiences
  • Stay Connected: Content is available anytime, anywhere, on any device

Case in Point: How big brands are getting big results with OTT

Red Bull

Red Bull

Launched in 2010, Red Bull TV is the go-to fix for adrenaline junkies the world over.

A true media powerhouse that produces tons of compelling content centered primarily around extreme sports. Branded events and athletes like the Red Bull Flugtag, Travis Pastrana's skydive without a parachute, and Red Bull Stratos have made them a force to be reckoned with. The main thrust behind their successful marketing strategy is that they truly understand their fan base and are able to deliver concisely targeted programs, films, and videos on an array of sports.

Where: From the web to connected TVs, gaming consoles, set-top boxes, mobile devices, the options for “getting your wings” from Red Bull TV, are endless.



GoPro users are always finding innovative ways to use their cameras to capture life’s greatest moments (and then some…), so it’s a total no-brainer for GoPro to include user-generated content in their OTT offering. Shooters can submit photos and videos to be featured alongside GoPro’s original content.

Where: Access  the GoPro Channel via web, connected TVs, gaming consoles, set-top boxes, and mobile devices.



The brainchild of Quiznos and Windowseat Entertainment Toasty.TV offers licensed content from NewCred along with branded content like parodies of popular movies, TV shows and pop-culture snippets along with contests and generated content (UGC) that enables fans to post pictures and videos on Toasty.TV.

By creating fun, engaging stories that resonate with their younger fan base via multiple platforms, Quiznos is able to connect with their audience in a more effective/meaningful way.

Where: Toasty.TV is available via both web and mobile web.



Verizon Go90 is a streaming video service specifically targeted at Millennials. Verizon has partnered with networks to provide to prime time programming in addition to live music, sports and the best of the web, not to mention an original series that’s exclusive to Go90, which is a main draw to the service.

And it’s social too. Users can follow friends, celebrities and companies and cut and share video with their followers. Users can collect their favorite videos and join crews centered around specific types of content.

Where: Go90 is available on Apple and Android mobile.

Beauty Brands and ICON Network

ICON Network

Created by Endemol Beyond and “Beauty Bestie” Michelle Phan, the ICON Network partners with some of the world’s top brands to create lifestyle videos for the likes of MAC, Urban Decay and many others.

Michelle Phan and the rest of the social influencers at the ICON Network have accumulated large followings, so by simply partnering with them, brands can reach their demographics without having to develop their own channel and content.

Where: The ICON Network is available on the web, set-top boxes, and mobile devices.

Callaway Golf

Callaway Golf

The go-to for all things golf, Callaway Golf offers content, instructions, tips, product news and podcasts, plus their variety show, Callaway Live, where they talk about golf, life and everything in between. Callaway Live  cans also be streamed via the Livestream ROKU and mobile app.

Armed with strategy from KIMBA, Callaway partnered with Dude Perfect, the YouTube sports entertainment group, to feature trick shots and epic videos on YouTube.

Where: Callaway Golf is available via their website and the Livestream app.

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