Modern IT Item, OTT Service
Kwon Sho-young Reporter, Lee Won-jun Cub-Reporter
Did you fall asleep watching ‘Netflix’ last night? Or did you come to school watching clips of your favorite show? In the past, people could only watch dramas, movies, and major sporting events on limited devices and at specific times. Nowadays, they can watch these things whenever and wherever via OTT services, the most popular of these being ‘Netflix’. Let's explore the impact of this service on modern people’s cultural life.
What is OTT service?
OTT stands for ‘Over the Top’, refering to a set-top box connected to a TV. In the beginning, it meant internet-based video service through a terminal such as a TV set-top box. However, it is currently used to include all internet-based video services provided by existing service providers or broadcasters as well as devices such as PCs and smartphones regardless of whether they are in a set-top box. So, to sum up, OTT service provides various media contents through the internet by a third party along with the existing telecommunications and broadcasting service providers even though it doesn’t have a set-top box.
Then why did OTT service appear? First, increasing demand from TV viewers who wanted to watch only their favorite media content at a relatively low price created the necessity for OTT services to exist. Cable TV, which requires a monthly fee, is limited and unable to provide all viewers' with the services they demand due to the limited number of channels available. By providing the internet distribution of TV programs by broadcasters, allowed viewers to watch various video services without time constraints and rapidly gained popularity. Second, an expanded variety of OTT service terminals due to the advancement in IT technology made OTT services appear. Video services that were previously limited to PCs have become provided by various terminals, such as smartphones, tablet PCs, game consoles, TVs, etc.
What is Netflix
Netflix is one of the most popular OTT services which concentrates on video streaming. Netflix offers services to over 190 countries, via 27 languages. Netflix serves a variety of programs such as documentaries, movies and Netflix originals. Recently, the number of Netflix users went beyond 149 million across the world. This figure proved that Netflix is representative of the OTT services
Interview with Netflix
CBNU Globe interviewed Netflix through e-mail. We asked questions about the contents of Netflix.
1. Netflix contents tend to target people in their 20’s and 30’s. Do you have any plan to produce content targeted at other age ranges?
Netflix is trying to offer a variety of films that satisfies the tastes of viewers of all ages, from exciting content for kids to documentaries and art films for adults. And we are constantly exploring to find more various contents to get users’ interest.
2. Do you have any reasons why you are sticking to the policy that encourages ID sharing policy that enables simultaneous logins? Even if this system diminishes your profits.
The ID-sharing system is designed to create the best environment for users to enjoy entertainment in the easiest and most comfortable way. This system allows you to switch easily from one device to another. Furthermore, it enables people to enjoy their preferred content separated from other members.
3. Is there any preference or non-preference content on Netflix?
We are trying to discover great content which entertains users free from the nationality, genre or language.
The Effect of OTT Service on Society
The introduction of OTT services has affected our cultural and social life in various ways. There are three representative effects. First, OTT services let us experience unfamiliar cultures and art. It fosters cultural toleration but it can also be a flaw. The users’ perspective can be shaped in a certain way that the contents portrays. If these services portray a criminal as a good person, some kids can recognize that person as being the way they are represented on the show or movie. In other words, idealization of the criminal can be a problem. Second, the ‘code-cutting generation’ has appeared. OTT services offer high-quality and low-price content. Lots of consumers decide to cut the TV code, instead subscribe to OTT services to more freely enjoy content provided by mobile devices not only by anchored TV.
Third, more people will download content legally. Until the 2000s, the law of copyright was often abused. To make matters worse, some countries didn’t legislate appropriate laws of copyright. Therefore, many people downloaded and spread content via illegal ways. Since the wide spread of OTT services, many people regularly pay a fee for the content they receive and hesitate to spread it illegally because of their awareness of copyright has improved.
Being able to access content that suits your taste in the media storm is great but it can also cause negative social and cultural repercussions. Let’s hope we can use OTT services wisely as the spread of such services is inevitably going to increase.