Guest Blog: How OTT Hides Television’s Revolution
Terminology of OTT suggests separate worlds of television that are clearly intertwined
3/08/2016 03:00:00 PM
The first use I can find of “over the top” is a 2005 article in which Diane Mermigas quotes an investment banking firm report identifying companies such as Apple, Skype and Vonage as having “built strong business models based on Internet protocol technology, ‘riding over the top’ of networks built and managed by cable and telecom service providers.” Since then, OTT has joined an array of acronyms central to the vernacular of the industry. Conferences and reports on the state of OTT abound and seem to multiply by the week.
OTT is a curiously vague acronym. If you’ve ever tried to explain it to someone outside the business, the typical response is “over the top of what?” But beyond the limits of its imprecision, continuing to rely on OTT to describe the development of broadband distribution of video has obscured what has actually happened to the television industries: Broadband has emerged as a technology for distributing television content.