Live or online video streaming services has become immensely popular over the past few years. This attracts good number of users towards the video streaming service where they can watch all their favorite video content over their streaming devices. People are gradually moving from traditional TV or satellite to watching video-on-demand and their other favorite movies and shows on IPTV or OTT streaming platforms. The number of viewers of traditional broadcasting TV channels have reduced from 76% to 56% in the last six years as per certain survey. People have conveniently moved to IPTV and OTT platform at highest number for watching their favorite content.

Millennial have moved from the traditional TV set up to watching their preferred shows and films on the internet streaming services as a user does not need to pay for the cable and satellite subscription. In the today’s digital era, broadcasters needs to reform their business models and need to switch to online video delivery that can accelerate their business. In the following blog, we shall highlight and discuss the two primary internet-based delivery models OTT and IPTV. We shall see the important differences between IPTV and OTT media services.

OTT Definition and Meaning

Both IPTV and OTT are common video or media streaming service and both deliver video content over the internet to the end-user. Both the streaming platforms of OTT and IPTV are used in different conditions. OTT stands for over-the-top where the content is directly delivered over the internet with no subscription or pay to the satellite TV providers. The users can get an easy access to their favorite content on different streaming devices such as gaming consoles, Roku or Amazon sticks, smart TVs, laptops, mobile devices with a much secured internet connection. The viewers on OTT platforms can subscribe to the various subscription plans that is being provided to them. Viewers can easily watch content by installing application or employing pre-installed ones.

There are videos-on-demand that can be watched on gaining a subscription plan and that plan can either be on a monthly or annual basis. OTT platforms with subscription video on demand (SVOD) can only charge fees to watchers and also earn good amount of profit or revenue by inserting the ad. in between the content. They follow the Advertising-Based Video On Demand (AVOD) model. There is another plan where the user or consumer pays for only one part of the content and can only watch limited content of the same show. For instance, the user has a plan but not premium plan one which requires a paid subscription that only allows you to watch 4 episodes of the show and for watching the further episodes you need a premium subscription plan. All these subscription plans are available on Roku, Hulu and many more.

IPTV Definition and Meaning

IPTV stands for Internet Protocol Television that is a model used for the distribution of the television programs over the web instead of cables, satellite dishes or antennas. The IPTV can stream all type of video content directly over the internet and it is definitely different from OTT platform which we also know as a video streaming platform. IPTV is a streaming service that offers television programming and other forms of video content by using Transmission Control Protocol or Internet Protocol. An IPTV service can be distributed by a service provider over a dedicated network. Just like OTT, IPTV is delivered only with a help of secured internet connection and no traditional cable or satellite devices are required to stream content. The IPTV content is delivered over an isolated ecosystem where the set-top boxes connected to a router in order to operate.

IPTV content delivery shares some important elements of the OTT platforms that it allows the users to access the video on demand (VOD) content on a subscription plan basis. This means that the users can access their favorite shows and and also watch live events just like any traditional television sets. Setting up an IPTV service is much more expensive, complicated and time consuming in comparison to the OTT. IPTV service providers provides the customers with suitable hardware because the service highly relies upon the closed and controlled network to deliver the content.

IPTV or OTT – Which is Better? 

Even though the OTT and IPTV have common features in terms of it’s video streaming service but it also has many differences. These two services have have much more in common than differences. Mostly the publishers and advertisers should the know the important differences in OTT and IPTV. The IPTV content on the dedicated servers allows the users to request video-on-demand and other favorite shows at will. When a watcher chooses to watch a particular content that is converted into a digital format that is being delivered to their playback gadget through an internet protocol. Before the content reaches the files are first compressed and optimized for the purpose of streaming. The user’s TV must be able to read the signals received over the IP. Some IPTV service can only run on the IPTV set-top box and they require some external assistance. For getting an access to OTT unlike IPTV requires an internet connection and a compatible hardware device. Many smart TV models have pre-installed OTT apps and users can download the one which is preferred. Many game console have OTT apps that can run efficiently.

  1. Monetization Models
    IPTV services are monetized through subscription video on-demand (SVOD) in most of the cases. While in OTT people can opt for free options that can use the hybrid monetization model and they mix free plans with advertisement based monetization models where they need to pay per-view models for videos and special features.
  2. Availability
    The consumers can easily install OTT applications that is connected to compatible devices that are permanently connected to a secured internet connection. The users can enjoy watching content from any location and at any time of the day. IPTV only works on the devices that are within a household and it only operates on a closed network requiring an additional hardware.
  3. Network Type
    In case of OTT, the content is distributed through the public internet. IPTV offers content via LAN or WAN. OTT service is delivered online and depends upon the playback and IPTV delivers content and not much of internet connection is used.
  4. Service Reach
    When a user is signing up for the over-the-top services it is very easy to register for the account and log-in process is simple. OTT services caters to a wide range of audience belonging to the different walks of society. While the IPTV services are localized and only plays content that are provided by an IPTV provider. OTT content is easily accessible to anyone and is free of cost and need to watch full-length ads to watch your favorite content. Even if a viewer decides to pay for over-the-top services the charges are not much and has extra added features that does not cost more than 10 dollars per month on an average. While an IPTV service is not easily accessible by everyone as it is expensive due to it’s operational costs because of it’s infrastructure.
  5. Quality of Content
    IPTV service costs more than the OTT services as it runs through the public internet. An IPTV service operates more on a closed ecosystem that offers added benefits and perks. If required to make any choices in relation to content with higher audio and video quality then IPTV is a better option. OTT services are limited in terms of it’s speed, quality of videos and agility.


You can choose OTT service if you have a fixed and limited budget as OTT provides varied content in less price. The subscription plans are not much expensive and requires minimum installation process. You can easily create an account on any OTT platform and has minimum log-in process but quality of streaming or video content can be low due to poor internet connection. If you opt for IPTV service it shall provide you with high quality video with minimum interruptions. It also does not require any special installations but you might have to spend a little more than OTT service.