OTT App Localization: Expanding Internationally

Over-the-top (OTT) streaming services are on the rise in the United States and internationally. The global expansion of the OTT streaming service providers proves that the need for OTT app development is also expanding.

To incorporate a positive global user experience – also known as global UX – into your OTT app build, you need a basic understanding of the specific culture you are building for.

What is Global UX?

Global UX is the use of localization principles within the platform to meet specific cultural norms. The best way to create a positive user experience is to ensure that the end-user does not realize the app was developed outside of the country in which they live.

How to Incorporate Global UX into Your OTT App Build

You will begin by incorporating a uniform design unique to the brand you are developing the app. While constructing your app, you will need to create an effective UX appropriate for every nationality, age, gender, and technology available to that region. 

The 5 Fundamentals to Consider in Cultural UX  

UX/UI (user interface) designers understand that the cultural UX is changing, and the trends have evolved. In the last nine years, more than 10 million subscribers have cut-the-cord with their cable or satellite provider worldwide, and the number of OTT streaming service subscriptions has increased exponentially. 

If you are developing apps for a global market, take into account some of these fundamentals within your build:

1. Color Coding

Different cultures view color differently. To create a positive UX, you must know what colors evoke specific emotional responses within that region. A good example would be the color red. In America, red symbolizes passion, while in India, red represents purity.  

2. Graphics and Imagery

Specific imagery will create a negative experience if not used correctly. An example would be the elephant, which in the Hindu religion is considered sacred. The use of certain graphics should be done so with extreme care for cultural and religious inferences.

3. Navigation and Directional Linguistics

The direction of language differs in some cultures. Several Asian languages read vertically instead of horizontally. Some read from right to left and not left to right as they do in most other languages.

4. Forms and Formatting

When developing your OTT app, ensure that all forms are appropriately designed based on the character limitations of the desired fields. For example, in some countries, names can be particularly long compared to others. If an original OTT was designed in the US and then brought to India, the length of the name field may need to be addressed to compensate for what may be much longer names and thus, a more pleas

5. Holidays and Cultural Celebrations

Religious consideration is not your only concern in your OTT streaming app build. Holiday celebrations are different between cultures, so ensure that you are familiar with how societies observe particular holidays year-round so you can use them to provide personalized recommendations within the app.

The Global App Market for OTT is Expanding

There is more to understanding global UX than knowing expansion trends or design requirements. Developing an app entails being familiar with these five crucial elements to app development. But to effectively understand all of the cultural diversity among the potential end-users, you may need to hire a cultural expert with vast knowledge from that area of the world.  Whether you are a novice or a seasoned developer, sometimes you want to partner with a team of global UX experts to help streamline your OTT app build

Daniel Lofaso is the VP of Marketing for 43Twenty, a strategic advisory and marketing firm that accelerates growth for companies in technology, media, and entertainment.

Daniel Lofaso
Daniel Lofaso is the VP of Marketing for 43Twenty, a strategic advisory and marketing firm that accelerates growth for companies in technology, media, and entertainment. Lofaso covers streaming topics that are on the bleeding edge of the OTT industry.