Change of Media Landscape and OTT

Streaming platforms have advanced significantly in the digital age, and media delivery has been gaining momentum for many years. With so many service providers competing to create a smooth user experience, high-quality goods and stream stability are more important than ever.

The AI-based recommendation engine for content is becoming better all the time. Online media streaming is replacing conventional pay-TV for an increasing number of users because of the service’s ability to give personalized content recommendations based on their viewing habits.

We’ve already entered the OTT era, and we’re not leaving. There is little doubt that the streaming media sector, which now has 62 percent of the adult population signed up for a streaming service, will continue to expand at a dizzying pace.

OTT service providers must guarantee that their applications are compatible with several platforms and well tested before releasing to deliver a smooth experience, excellent usability, and a successful forum.

What is a Content Recommendation Engine?

Content Recommendation Engine The market was worth USD 2.18 billion in 2020 and is anticipated to reach USD 33.25 billion by 2028, expanding at a CAGR of 40.58 percent from 2021 to 2028. A content recommendation engine is a platform and algorithm determining which material to suggest to particular consumers. Typically, this involves displaying blog posts or merchandise to website visitors depending on user profiles.

Companies generally deploy a content recommendation engine to deliver a tailored experience for their online consumers. This technology can generate dynamic website content for visitors and provide product recommendations for online consumers. Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Netflix are among the most popular websites that suggest content to their customers.

What is Streaming and OTT Software?

The continuous delivery of video or audio data from a server to a client is known as Streaming. Streaming occurs when Internet-connected gadgets are used to watch television or listen to podcasts. During Streaming, the media file being played on the client device is stored remotely and transferred over the Internet at intervals of a few seconds.

Over-the-top is the abbreviation for OTT. This is due to “over-the-top,” a handy word that describes the new technique of delivering film and TV material over the Internet without the need for conventional broadcast, cable, or satellite pay-TV providers. This allows us to stream across several devices anytime we want. Simply put, we are referring to those who pay an internet service provider, such as Xfinity, for internet access to watch Netflix without paying for cable TV.

However, OTT encompasses more than Netflix and Hulu. Like cable TV channels, several OTT providers provide live Streaming with specific content. You can get ESPN through an online streaming service, but what about the fishing station you used to watch on cable? There is a relevant OTT channel.

The theory and success of OTT are that it can provide everything that cable and broadcast could, plus the ability to consume content anywhere, at any time. OTT platforms influence people’s behavior in other verticals, such as religion and fitness, in addition to movies, television, and the stuff they used to consume via cable.

OTT is not just becoming a more significant part of consumers’ media diets; it is also becoming an increasingly important component of consumers’ everyday lives. Especially during the epidemic, OTT live streaming has proved essential for preserving communities and daily routines. The live video streaming segment is anticipated to reach $149.34 billion by 2026.

  • Video content: Netflix, Apple TV, Disney plus, Amazon Prime,
  • Internet radio: Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Deezer
  • VoIP: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Google Duo

Why Should You Do a Video Streaming Test Before Moving Ahead?

As a user, you anticipate a perfect, interruption-free experience regardless of the service or platform you use. This expectation implies that the content providers face a high objective and a substantial risk of losing subscribers.

The objective is to offer as near to perfection as possible, and video stream testing is essential to achieving this objective. However, knowing what you can control during streaming testing is crucial in determining how to fix the difficulties.

Some of the most common problems we can test are as follows:

  • Too much buffering
  • Advertisements that have been pre-programmed do not play.
  • Failure to return to video after an advertisement has played
  • Positioning of the device
  • Scrubbing (Fast Forward/Rewind) does not function.
  • Closed captions aren’t shown.
  • Incorrect video streaming.
  • Metadata that is incorrectly displayed
  • Video quality is poor: Some testing may be done to guarantee that the material meets its maximum distribution capabilities, but because of the user’s subjectivity, obtaining and assessing video quality can be difficult, if not impossible.
  • Audio quality is poor: Audio quality is subject to the same subjectivity as visual quality.

In addition to the top ten typical failures, several components that need testing are often missed. 

The following should be studied and addressed as part of a comprehensive video streaming test strategy: 

  • Ad counters
  • Video player controls
  • Slow connection testing
  • Incorrect meta-data
  • Closed Captions

Benefits of OTT Testing

Companies providing a video streaming service must have a thorough QA testing plan to assure the quality of the user experience due to consumers’ high expectations. This might be a demanding requirement for testers, mainly when testing manually without proper testing tools.

Test automation is the most cost-effective strategy for doing all QA testing on your OTT platform. With the proper OTT testing approach, your team can take advantage of these automated testing advantages throughout the development cycle.

Maximize your test coverage: Test automation enables QA engineers to distribute tests across various operating systems and platform combinations quicker and more precisely. Your team can guarantee that your databases, online services, and user interface will practically comply with business needs and customer expectations.

Accelerate testing across browsers and platforms: Testing manually for each browser and device type might burden internal resources. With the right OTT media testing platform, automated processes can be developed for each browser and device type and conducted concurrently with comprehensive fault reporting.

Adaptability to Bandwidth Availability

It is essential to have access to high-bandwidth connections, although this is not always feasible. In today’s hyper-connected society, people anticipate a media streaming experience that is uninterrupted. With high-quality internet bandwidth, this is conceivable. Automating OTT testing can verify that streamable material can be modified to accommodate bandwidth concerns.

Resilience Against Downed Networks

A brand’s market reputation may be made or broken by the quality of its streaming service. Ensure you have a strategy for recovering fast if your network goes down. Our ultimate objective is to guarantee that users have a positive experience. OTT automation testing allows QA testers to ensure that the test procedures are flawless in detecting issues. Alternatively, ignoring this might result in network problems.

Improve scalability: Automation testing allows you to grow end-to-end testing without needing additional human testers swiftly. A test automation solution enables your team to run different test cases across development cycles without diverting qualified testers from other important QA projects.

Reduce the time to market: Manual testing might accidentally result in product delays and worse quality due to the fallibility of people. Test automation helps improve your return on investment by reducing obstacles within the development cycle so that you can deploy a bug-free streaming platform on schedule.

OTT testing types

The OTT platform’s most important features are its speed, dependability, and user experience. Effective OTT testing is primarily concerned with ensuring that the user experience is uninterrupted by technical issues or delays. To do a comprehensive OTT quality test, you must evaluate the following infrastructure, network, and application components:

UI/UX Testing– Several handhelds and non-handheld gadgets on the market need User experience testing. A platform for over-the-top services must provide a smooth application experience on all devices. The QA team should examine the platform’s functioning, straightforward navigation, and layout consistency. Likewise, the user interface and experience should be highly adaptable to support a broad range of devices. Consequently, UI/UX testing verification is essential for ensuring a seamless user experience.

Performance Testing- It is one of the most critical aspects of the OTT testing procedure. It enables the platform to accept numerous stream requests from across the world. Performance testing guarantees that your platform maintains the server’s stability, dependability, and responsiveness regardless of stream requests and bandwidth difficulties. Your platform’s quality and user experience should be faultless, particularly content performance.

Load Testing: the number of consumers streaming media material grows daily, even minute-by-minute. There are millions of concurrent people streaming on a single platform. Adding load testing to the test automation method facilitates the management of situations with high demand. Additionally, it assures your application’s optimum performance, even under heavy loads.

Stream Testing: Content delivery should meet or exceed expectations if a service employs Adaptive Bit Rate. Adaptive Streaming is a system meant to offer video to each user in the most efficient and high-quality manner feasible. It facilitates adjusting the compression level and video quality to the available bandwidth.

Localization Testing: As the worldwide OTT market expands, so does the need for localized content, which helps attract more viewers. This has led to a rise in consumer expectations, as they need an online experience that adapts to their region. Localization testing is crucial. It examines the platform’s content for regional relevance, linguistic precision, proper currency formatting, and unique symbols to give users a highly personalized experience.

Interoperability Testing: Cross-Browser/Cross-Platform/Cross-Device test guarantees a consistent user experience across various devices, such as mobile phones, smart TVs, and others. This testing procedure provides a continuous, smooth user experience across multiple devices.

Although the OTT platform collects all account and payment information and user-viewed content, consumer data protection is crucial. The OTT security testing guarantees that the platform’s content security frameworks are effectively controlled. Conditional access systems (CAS), digital rights management (DRM), and other exclusive frameworks are examples of security frameworks. In the cloud era, OTT platforms must securely transmit content using the correct security procedures. It protects the security of sensitive data such as bank account information, personal information, and viewing patterns.

Network Testing: OTT service providers must test to ensure service delivery in poor network coverage regions, atypical network situations, and limited transmission capacity. The network conditions may create real-time conditions that can be used to validate the product’s feasibility. The service’s behavior must be replicated in various cases, such as high or low bandwidth and lossy networks.

OTT Subscription: There are circumstances in which OTT subscription support is logged in on several devices or a single device simultaneously or when HD channels, SD channels, or UHD channels are supported. The unanticipated mix of subscriptions might result in dissatisfied customers. Thus it is vital to keep an eye on these situations.

Challenges of OTT Testing

Streaming has become an essential component of global communication and information dissemination in the current day. Streaming media such as video, music, and multimedia account for the majority of traffic in the modern world. The content created, whether instructional or entertaining, has a substantial audience.

When evaluating a streaming application, we must take some aspects into account. In addition to browser, device, and hardware, testers must also consider network, buffering, and latency, among other things, while completing testing.

Listed below are some of the most typical obstacles encountered by testers while doing OTT application testing:

Network issues: It is a problem for the testing team to evaluate the performance of an application across networks with various data speeds.

Cross-device difficulties: Various devices, varying devices present varying challenges, and the devices range from modest smartphones to 4K televisions. Consequently, the testing may not contain all the devices necessary to test programs on all devices.

App performance problems include freezes, crashes, ANR, and endless loading.

User interface concerns: Testers must consider how users interact with the program during testing. Users may not be tech-savvy, and if they detect network speed issues or if your application stalls, they may provide unfavorable comments. Consequently, these possibilities must be tested.

Assume you have an application running on a browser that must confirm that browser compatibility has been exhaustively tested. This might be difficult if the testers lack devices that support all browsers.

Conclusion

With forthcoming technological advances in obtaining more significant bandwidth networks, such as 5G, on-demand video consumption is expected to increase in the OTT video streaming market. Considering these obstacles and user expectations, you should seek an automated testing solution for all your streaming requirements. When faults are discovered at an earlier stage, development and problem resolution costs are decreased, resulting in a quicker time-to-market and the delivery of high-quality content.

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