Last modified: 15 March, 2022

Over-the-top (OTT)

Over-the-top (OTT) is a term used to describe both a type of content and the devices used to deliver content directly to users via the open internet. OTT delivery differs from IPTV delivery – both use the internet, but IPTV services use a privately managed content delivery network and OTT services use the open internet, the same as used for email and web browsing.

OTT devices, which connect the viewing device to the internet, include smart TVs, smartphones, games consoles, and streaming devices such as Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, or Firestick.

OTT devices pull content from the internet at the request of the viewer, delivering it via specific apps in one single stream as VOD (video on demand), SVOD (subscription-based video on demand), or live content. Services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime are classed as OTT content providers – with a subscription, users can stream SVOD content via apps on their OTT device.