With enormous advancements in network technology and device hardware components, a new era of content consumption and streaming has arisen. Today there are hundreds of OTT platforms for different types of visual media consumption, and they all work so seamlessly. But have you ever imagined how all these platforms have a responsive design, excellent browser
compatibility, as well as near-real-time content loading times? It is all because these companies invest heavily in OTT testing. If you have never heard about these things, worry not.
In this article, we will discuss everything from OTT testing the importance of doing this, and the process of OTT testing.
What is OTT Testing?
OTT is the way of sending audio and video content across the internet through streaming services. There are many OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney, Hulu, etc. All these platforms perform different types of testing so that their services are never hampered, and each part of the service works as expected to deliver a seamless experience to users. OTT testing is a type of testing that is carried out on OTT platforms to ensure that the infrastructure, as well as the content and other services, work as expected and the overall platform is easy to use. In most cases, OTT testing is done with a mix of automated and manual testing processes. It is vital for companies to do this testing for various reasons, and below is a detailed section on why OTT testing is important.
Importance of OTT Testing
Quality Content Delivery The primary aim of every OTT platform is to deliver content to its users as and when required. If the platform cannot deliver content, it will soon lose its customers, which are the primary revenue sources for an OTT business. To ensure that such situations do not arise, it is necessary to test that content delivery happens as and when requested. Moreover, the content delivered to client requests should be of high quality if you are charging premium rates. OTT testing helps in understanding the type of content being delivered and whether it meets the quality standards or not.
OTT platforms do not have the same level of traffic at all times. Traffic keeps on fluctuating, and it is vital that your platform can serve all the requests it receives, no matter the traffic. To handle
such cases, OTT testing with higher traffic loads needs to be done so that teams can understand whether the performance of the platform is good or not. If the performance is terrible, the team can quickly act on it before the traffic spikes to improve the overall user experience of the platform.
Continuous Improvement in Services
Today there are hundreds of regional OTT platforms, and due to this, there are multiple options for each user to select the platform. In such scenarios, OTT platforms are continuously competing against each other to acquire customers. The best way to acquire new customers and retain your existing customers is by improving services. OTT service providers test their platforms from various angles to ensure that their services are better than other providers and they can satisfy their users and target audience.
OTT platforms have a huge infrastructure, and if the code that runs the services is not tested properly, it can result in unnecessary usage of resources. With OTT testing, companies can benchmark their performances and also optimize code runtimes which can provide significant cost savings.
Security is paramount for every mainstream OTT platform as all the content needs to be transferred in a way that it is not intercepted or stolen to make pirated copies. In such situations, OTT testing helps to find and fix possible bugs in the service that can result in leakage or proprietary content.
Having known about OTT testing and its importance, you might be tempted to do OTT testing for your apps too. So below is the process of OTT testing.
Process of OTT Testing
1. Requirement Gathering
The first step in testing any OTT platform is to understand the requirements, features, and target audience of the platform. OTT platforms have one primary feature, which is the delivery of content to end users, and this needs to be tested thoroughly. There can be many features, like adding a show/movie to a wishlist, multiple device logins from the same account, etc. All these features need to be understood by the testing teams to ensure that they plan tests correctly. At this stage, the team gathers requirements on what features need to be tested, how they behave, and what their outputs are if they run successfully.
2. Test Planning
Once the testing team understands the features and requirements, it is time to plan the tests. In this stage, the team identifies how each feature should be tested, what type of testing approach is to be followed, and finally, test cases are designed based on the requirements. Moreover, a complete test plan with deadlines for each activity is also finalized and shared with various stakeholders to decide on agreeable timelines for the delivery.
3. Compatibility and Device Testing
Once the test plan is published, the team starts testing for compatibility. OTT platforms can be accessed through various devices, and the platform needs to be compatible with each device and OS. In this stage, it is checked whether the OTT platform is accessible across all devices and platforms in the same way or if there are any access issues.
4. Functional and UI Testing
Functional and UI testing of the platform is quite important. You don’t want to deploy a broken functionality in the production environment, which makes the user experience really bad.
At this stage in the process, all the listed features for the platform are tested, and the UI is also tested across devices for responsiveness and usability.
5. Performance and Security Testing
After confirming the features and functionality, it is crucial to determine the app & performance and security. If you cannot store and transfer your data securely, it is a recipe for disaster, and your app will face serious consequences. Hence it is important to test the various security features in your app and introduce new security features as and when there is a need. Moreover, performance should be tested on how quickly the request is served and whether the users have to wait for long times under heavy traffic or not.
6. Post-Release Monitoring
Testing and monitoring is a continuous process, and most teams keep monitoring their applications after release. Post-release monitoring helps in understanding the performance in real-world scenarios, and it provides insights on how the app should be enhanced in the next iteration of the release. If you are building an OTT platform, make sure to test it in all possible ways. OTT business is competitive, and you cannot lose customers just because you trust your infrastructure and code.