Working For Customer Delight? Know The Importance Of Streaming Media & OTT Testing
People love content! Nah, that’s not entirely true anymore. People love video content!
If you consider yourself an online video entrepreneur, you must be knowing the importance of streaming media and OTT testing.
If you’re here now, it means you are well-aware of the quickly growing seriousness revolving around the testing of streaming media and OTT.
This post is the most comprehensive source of information about the relevance of OTT testing before launching your platform in the market. Give your OTT platform a head-start going into 2022 with it.
What Is Streaming Media & OTT Testing?
There is one principle upon which testing of video streaming platforms depends: Identifying defects before the customers do.
The video streaming platform you develop gets judged by its user experience and streaming consistency.
The process generates an extensive array of test cases to verify the platform’s performance.
- Precision verification of the design specification and comparing it against the actual pp features.
- Generation of a test plan that includes cases to address every feature.
- Distribution of tests over a wide range of OS/platform combinations to check its functionality.
- Reporting of test results.
- Working defect regression.
Why Is OTT Testing Important?
The customer, in the world of video applications, chooses when and what to watch. They also expect a few things from the platform’s functioning and performance, adding more to it.
Let us have a look at the facts on what viewers expect.
- 67% of viewers consider video quality as the most important factor when watching a live stream.
- Online videos having a start-up time greater than two seconds have significantly higher abandonment rates, with each additional second prompting another 6% of viewers to quit watching it.
We, without any doubt, can say that these facts must have given you a precise estimation of why you must test your Netflix clone.
There are two factors that OTT platform testing aims at improving.
- Seamless delivery
Delivering consistent content without interruptions to create a positive customer experience is extremely crucial.
- Playback quality
The audience rapidly loses interest if the content isn’t easily accessible on request.
There are countless things you could test, and the entire spectrum boils down to things:
- Testing the user interface (UI) or the elements responsible for interaction between the viewers and the OTT platform.
- Testing the user experience (UX).
How To Conduct OTT Platform Testing?
Creating an OTT platform can be overwhelming without expert assistance. Moreover, its success depends on the intuitive user interface and positive user experience.
You’ll need to run a series of usability tests to identify your consumers’ specific wants and goals to get the feedback you need to develop a truly customer-centric platform interface and experience. Remote usability testing is one way to accomplish this.
Remote usability testing is a type of remote research that involves using a platform to record test participants’ screen (and voice, depending on the software you use) while they engage with your product or service in their natural environment—at home, or at work.
Primary Focus Areas While Devising OTT Testing Strategy
- UI/UX Testing
It is essential for OTT providers to ensure the delivery of a similar experience across all devices. To fulfill the requirement, the UI/UX must be compatible with devices. If left untested, it could lead to customer dissatisfaction and loss of revenue.
- OTT Plan/Subscription Tests
Is the OTT subscription supporting log-in on multiple devices or just one device at a time?
Does the subscription support only HD, UHD, Or SD channels?
These questions need to be answered while the OTT testing is in process.
- Stream Testing
Content delivery must be robust and uninterrupted. Only then can the platform ensure that the content is streaming in an expected way.
Cross-browser/cross-platform/cross-device tests must be performed to ensure that the viewers are getting a consistent experience.
OTT platforms having payment options involve sensitive data like bank account details, personal content watching preferences, and other confidential data. Therefore, securing user data becomes of prime importance.
- User Experience
It’s essential to consider some basic features like navigation, personalization. Moreover, the UX design improves the usability, ease of use, and satisfaction level that viewers are experiencing while interacting with the OTT platform.
- Network Testing
Service behavior must be simulated in conditions like low bandwidth, high bandwidth, loss of network, and more.
- Performance Testing
Performing load testing becomes mandatory to check the performance of the platform under millions of stream requests across the globe. Especially when the OTT platform is developed using react native framework. Netflix clone in reacts, Redux, and Firebase have a highly complex frontend structure as it is designed for all the devices.
Test Through The Media Value Chain
In a world where customization is everything, the audience wants the video content to be tailored to their taste, too. The media value chain of OTT platforms goes through different testing stages. Have a look at them one by one.
- Ingest Media Validation
The media value chain starts with content ingestion, and it is ingested from multiple sources. It depends on the video service provider’s business model. The sources provide content via microservices, web storage, or FTP files. This module must be capable enough to ingest and manage the content continuously.
- New Source Integration
The new source that is integrated into the OTT platform needs to be validated for format and specifications.
- Transcoding Validation
The ingested media is transcoded into multiple formats and resolutions. The module behind the process is the Just-In-Time (JIT) automated module. This ensures the setting of correct attributes for the content.
- Ancillary Validation
It is equally important to validate ancillaries like thumbnails, banner images, etc.
- Content Delivery Rules Validation
In most cases, OTT services deliver content based on predefined content delivery rules. The rules depend on business policies, subscription levels, geographical policies, device compatibility, and UX optimizations.
- API Contract Validation
APIs provided by different sources drive all OTT services and are integrated with content providers’ APIs, search APIs, MRSS feeds, and other sources.
Factors like routine load, security, and performance testing determine the platforms’ scalability and reveal their ability to manage different high-stress situations.
- Resilience Testing
OTT services should manage load conditions and handle a sudden rise in the number of viewers.
- Bandwidth Testing
OTT platforms must provide a fantastic viewer experience that is similar across all the devices. There must be a cross-device consistency to maintain the level of performance.
What Should Be The General Test Strategy?
Testing on various platforms like Web, MWeb, Apps, Connected devices becomes highly imperative, and the team responsible must take complete charge. Moreover, the team needs to set up L1/L2 support and acquire proper tools licensing.
Multiple issues can emerge during the launch or during releases. As a consequence, viewers come across bad experiences and leave negative reviews.
- Install/upgrade/force upgrade test
- App Store submission tests
- Beta testing/internal testing of the apps
- Crashes/freezes testing
- Frame rate testing
- Video player related issues testing
- L1, L2, L3 support
- Duplicate/fake apps
- Improper/proper content download
- UI/UX issues testing
- TV guide testing
- Cross compatibility issues between platforms
- Backward compatibility issues
- App permission issues
- Stability tests
- Cross-browser CBT testing
- Cross-platform compatibility test
- Multi regions testing
What Is Third-Party Integrations Testing?
Test integrations like Google Analytics, Ads, Crashlytics, Conviva, QGraph, Chambord, Alexa, Siri, and Google Home Integrations should be thoroughly tested after implementation.
AD Integration Testing
Improper AD placement, too many ADs, and ADs in SVOD and TVOD in addition to AVOD can give a poor user experience.
Payment Gateway Testing
Testing the payment gateway integrations using test and real cards, testing the auto-recurring plans, payment failures, etc., makes the payment process smooth.
SMS Gateway Testing
Plan the SMS Gateway testing if the web/app permits logging in using SMS.
Notifications testing must include that only the intended users should get the notifications and should get the correct notifications.
Conduct formal testing of apps on Android/iOS, Roku channels, etc. Also, conduct Smoke, Sanity, Regression, and UI tests.
Benefits Of Automation Testing
You can enjoy the following benefits from Automation testing.
- Maximisation Of Test Coverage
QA engineers can distribute tests across a range of operating systems and platforms to ensure that the databases, web services, and user interface meet your business requirements.
- Speed Up Cross-browser & Device Testing
With the right OTT testing tools, automation workflows can be created for every browser and device for efficient defect reporting.
- Improve Scalability
Automation testing lets you scale end-to-end testing without human interference.
- Quick Market Launch
Automation testing can maximize your ROI by removing the barriers hampering the development cycle.
Put Your Platform To The Test.
Conventional service providers like broadcasters, cable service providers, and studios are surrounded by worries to make their platform hit the success mark. Entrepreneurs planning to get the Netflix clone developed need to stay extra cautious so that they do not tamper with the platform’s efficiency. This is when OTT testing comes into action.
To gain a competitive edge over others, conventional video service providers are creating and launching their OTT services and moving their foundation to the Cloud. They are also aiming to address every issue straightforwardly.
You cannot afford to miss out on any features while the OTT platform development process is in progress.
The platform’s success depends on the positive user experience, which you must deliver only after the platform has gone through Quality Assurance testing.
I am an experienced author, writer, and content strategist with 7+ years of experience in crafting content that adds value to user search and engages the visitors. I am passionate about core tech writing covering clone apps like uber, discord, and other Netflix Clone, SaaS application development, web app development, mobile app development, etc.