How to Launch a Streaming TV Network (Guest Blog)

What it takes to win in an increasingly crowded OTT marketplace

streaming tv ott LEK_OTT4_photo_1

Contributed By LEKOver-the-top (OTT) TV platforms are springing up everywhere at a frenetic rate. The first three posts in our series on OTT TV covered the economics of OTT TV, the exploding ecosystem and the emerging power of niches.

In this post, we apply our observations and industry knowledge to offer dos and don’ts for launching OTT TV platforms.

We have identified four overarching criteria that contribute to an OTT TV platform’s chances of success:

LEK_OTT4_img_0Every OTT TV failure has missed at least one of these criteria. Although Redbox Instant had deep affinity bases (i.e., Redbox and Verizon customers), it did not have original content, and it experienced technical issues.

In contrast, Netflix meets all four criteria:

  • It had a huge installed base of customers ordering mail-delivered DVDs before it added its digital service
  • It added original content to its programming
  • It used its platform to promote and cross-sell content (Netflix started off as a film product, but TV now accounts for most viewing on the platform)
  • Its technology works

Although these four criteria are important, they do not guarantee success. Below is a list, based on failures and successes across the industry, of tips for anyone looking to launch an OTT TV network.


Pricing is a particularly critical component, given that existing services have set the bar for what consumers expect to pay for content. In addition to all the dos we have mentioned, we have identified the following don’ts:

LEK_OTT4_img_2Each launch is unique, so these dos and don’ts do not necessarily apply to all OTT TV platforms.

Tune in next week for a further discussion of how to make OTT TV work with an omnichannel approach and OTT TV networks.

This is Part 4 in a series on over-the-top (OTT) trends by Dan Schechter, Gil Moran and Francesco Di Ianni from L.E.K. Consulting’s Media & Entertainment consulting practice.