The rise of over-the-top (OTT) streaming video services is one of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As new companies like Disney+, HBO Max, and Peacock enter the market and existing players like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Starz compete for viewers’ attention, the competition among streaming services continues to heat up. A market worth $121.6 billion in 2019 is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 29.4% to $1,039 billion by 2027.
What is OTT Platform Testing, and Why is it important?
OTT Testing refers to testing OTT applications along with the associated network elements. There can be no compromising on quality regarding media streaming and OTT software. The most prosperous businesses incorporate ott automation testing into their QA procedures for the following reasons:
- Ensure quality across various platforms: There’s a reasonable probability it can stream on-demand media if it has a screen. Customers demand content to be available on their preferred device, whether a console, desktop, mobile, or tablet. A solid OTT test automation strategy ensures streaming quality across platforms with each release.
- Ensure quality video playback: Viewers lose interest quickly when content can’t be played right away. Your team must maintain this pleasant user experience through regular OTT testing because high playback performance correlates to continued audience engagement.
- Adaptability to bandwidth availability: Ideal but rarely feasible is having access to a robust Wi-Fi signal. Consumers anticipate a consistent video streaming experience even in today’s digital environment, even when high-quality internet bandwidth is not accessible. Your team can verify that streamable content compensates for OTT test automation’s bandwidth problems.
- Ability to recover from downed networks: The worst streaming experience has nothing to stream. For your customers to continue receiving a top-notch user experience, your team must have a plan for promptly recovering when the network is down. With the help of OTT automation testing, your QA testers can make sure that your recovery plan is solid and check for any potential flaws that, if overlooked, could cause network problems.
Challenges of OTT Testing
While OTT platform testing, there are numerous factors to take into account. In addition to the browser, device, and hardware, the testers must consider many other parameters, including the network, buffering, and latency. Here are some of the typical difficulties that testers go into when evaluating OTT applications.
- Network problems: Testing the performance of an application at various network speeds presents a difficulty to the testing team.
- Cross-device difficulties: Different devices bring in additional issues, ranging from little smartphones to 4K televisions. As a result, not all devices may be available for testing applications on all devices.
- App performance problems: include hangs, crashes, ANR, endless loading, and many others.
- Issues with user interaction: When testing, testers must consider how users will interact with the application. Users might not be tech-savvy, so they might not be kind while reviewing your app if they see any network speed problems or stalling. Therefore, it is necessary to test these scenarios.
- Cross-browser issues: Let’s say you have a browser-based application and must ensure that browser compatibility has been extensively tested. This could not be easy if the testers’ devices don’t support all the browsers.
How to conduct OTT testing?
The three most essential components of the OTT platform are speed, dependability, and experience quality. A flawless user experience free of delays or technical issues is the primary goal of efficient ott application testing. You must take into account all infrastructure, network, and application elements to conduct a comprehensive OTT quality test, which includes:
Many devices, both hand-held and non-hand-held, are flooding the market. For consistent UX across all devices, OTT service providers must take specific steps. The UI/UX design should be adaptable to support a wide range of devices to deliver a consistent experience across numerous devices.
The demand for content localization has significantly expanded as the OTT market expands globally since it increases viewership. Users now have higher expectations of websites because they want their online experiences to be tailored to their particular locations. Here, localization testing is crucial. To give users of the site a highly personalized experience, it tests for cultural relevance, linguistic accuracy, proper currency formatting, and bespoke symbols across many areas.
A system called adaptive streaming is made to offer video to users in the most quality and practical manner feasible. It aids in altering the video quality and compression level to correspond with the bandwidth capacity. If the service uses an adaptive bit rate, content delivery should be as reliable as is expected.
A cross-browser, cross-platform, and cross-device test assures a consistent user experience on various gadgets, including portable mobiles, Smart TVs, and the like. This testing procedure makes sure that users always have a flawless experience across a variety of devices.
Consumer data security is crucial even if the OTT platform records every account, payment detail, and content that customers see. The security OTT testing validates that the content security frameworks are effectively maintained across the platform. Conditional access systems (CAS), digital rights management (DRM), and other proprietary security frameworks are a few of the available ones. For OTT platforms to effectively deliver content in the modern cloud era, adequate security measures must be used. Sensitive information, such as bank account information, personal information, viewing preferences for customized content, and more, are kept secure.
It’s crucial to consider some fundamental elements like navigation and customization. Additionally, the UX design enhances viewers’ interactions with the OTT platform’s usefulness, simplicity, and level of satisfaction.
Every day, every minute, there are more people streaming media content. On one platform, millions of users are streaming content simultaneously. You may manage the high-demand scenarios by including load testing in your test automation plan. Additionally, it guarantees that your application operates at its best even under heavy loads.
OTT service providers must deliver the service in low network areas, unusual network situations, and places with insufficient transmission capacity. Network conditions can generate real-time conditions for determining a product’s viability. It is necessary to mimic the behavior of the service under many circumstances, including lossy networks, high and low bandwidth, and others.
It is among the essential steps in the OTT platform testing process. It enables the platform to handle the mountain of numerous stream requests from all around the world. Your platform should offer impeccable quality and experience every time, especially concerning content performance. Performance testing ensures that, despite stream requests and bandwidth challenges, your platform maintains the server’s stability, dependability, and responsiveness.
Testing requirements will continue to change as OTT services do. Broadcasters and service providers continue to invest in creating more and better content. Still, without a dependable, high-performance infrastructure that guarantees the quality of the material to draw in and keep viewers, they cannot monetize that content.