OTT & Smart TV App Development Trends to Watch Out for in 2021

Streaming movies and television shows on smart TVs have been on the rise, especially during the COVID-19 global pandemic. This presented a challenge for app developers to design apps that would keep viewers entertained and engaged. Many app developers don’t focus specifically on smart TV app development, as they launch apps for well-known streaming devices/platforms and mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

However, viewers have been streaming more OTT content from smart TVs than other avenues in the post-COVID landscape. These OTT media services directly provide content to consumers, without the need for traditional broadcast, cable, or satellite television platforms. Many consumers are now slowly moving away from traditional pay-TV providers.

Most smart TVs with built-in OTT apps offer an all-inclusive package. They claim to deliver crisp video features like 8K Ultra HD and advanced audio capabilities. The unified app-based platforms need to enable viewers to access various content from different OTT platforms easily with no more than a few clicks. Despite promising many positive benefits, most interfaces for smart TV apps leave a lot to be desired. OTT media services are starting to take advantage of the opportunity to shift to smart TVs by developing new trends.

The following are some of the best trends for smart TV app development.

1. 5G Technology

5G is one of the major rollouts that will have a significant impact on TV apps development in 2021. The technology is assured to change how apps are created and used by resellers, developers, and creators. There will be approximately 3.5 times more 5G connections in 2021 compared to 2020. This will influence the speed and drastically improve it. It’s expected that 5G will provide a 10x times decrease in latency. It will also boost traffic capacity and network efficiency.

5G is expected to be 100 times faster than 4G, depending on the app developer. The functionality of smart TV app development will be boosted by the penetration of 5G. Performance won’t be affected when smart TV app developers add new features.

2. Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics helps to collect data and use it to identify trends and forecast future events. An example of this can be found in the specific movies or shows that smart TV apps may now suggest, based on your streaming history. This feature is found in smart TV apps like Netflix & Hulu. However, predictive analytics is expected to be implemented on a mainstream level in 2021 for most, if not all, smart TV apps.

3. Customization

Customization is a popular feature in apps developed for smart TVs. While it is great to have an app with predictive abilities regarding shows or movies you may be interested in, it is even better to customize your viewing experience based specifically on what you desire. Many apps allow you to set up your own custom notifications when specific movies you are looking for, are available on the app. You can also set notifications for when new episodes of your favorite TV shows are available for streaming.

Many apps also allow individual profiles to be created for each viewer. This allows each individual within a household to have their own individualized viewing experience. 

4. Competition is rising in the OTT Hosting Industry

Authority in the OTT industry is typically held by a few large companies. However, a handful of small, yet growing OTT streaming services are beginning to make a name for themselves. All those platforms need support from online video platforms to operate at an optimal level. Currently, there are many viable OTT hosting solutions. People use them for content management, distribution, and support. They have several amazing features, including live-streaming capabilities.

5. Voice Control

The days of typing out lengthy movie or show titles via remote control will soon come to an end. Voice control is a feature being incorporated into a growing number of smart TV apps. Voice control features will also allow you to start, stop, and pause a movie or TV show. You can also sort through viewing options with commands like “Show Horror Movies” or “Show New Releases.” As voice control technology becomes more integrated into homes, smart TVs will continue to provide even more options that can be controlled simply using your voice.

Conclusion

OTT & smart TV app development is constantly improving and getting better by the day. App developers who fail to evolve or maintain the use of the latest technological advances, will not be able to remain competitive in the current marketplace. However, those who do will gain an edge in the TV app development market. This is a benefit to consumers who can watch a wider variety of high-quality content for lower prices due to the steep competition.

The continuously changing viewing habits of modern society will continue to create opportunities for businesses with the courage and foresight to lead the way into the future.

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