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The OTT market has been growing rapidly over the last few years, and the pandemic has only seemed to accelerate the growth even further. With the competition in the OTT market heating up with more new players entering the market, the need for great user experience is also increasing. And OTT testing is one of the best ways to ensure that the users have a great time once they enter the platform. Being a leading OTT Testing service provider, we are aware that just like every type of testing, OTT testing also requires its own approach, strategy, tools, etc. And that is what you are going to learn about in this OTT Testing Tutorial.
What is OTT Testing?
OTT is expanded as Over The Top and could refer to the delivery of any service such as messaging, audio, video, and so on over the web. When it comes to streaming, OTT testing can be termed as the process of determining the capability of the platform to stream video and audio content over the internet by testing the platform’s UI, functionality, performance, and security. As stated above, one of the core objectives of OTT testing is to deliver the best user experience to the user and make sure they keep using the platform for as long as possible. But before we proceed to the OTT testing tutorial part of the blog, let’s take a deeper look at why OTT testing is so important.
Why is OTT Testing Important?
According to a report by Statista, earnings in the OTT video streaming industry are projected to reach a whopping $275 Billion Dollars in 2022. The sheer large number of users is one of the main reasons OTT is so successful. But with a large user base, there are a few obvious concerns that are hard to solve.
- Devices – One can stream OTT content using so many different devices such as smartphones, smart TVs, laptops, desktops, and other OTT devices such as Apple TV, Roku, Amazon FireStick, and so on.
- Platforms – These devices have further variations in terms of the operating system and browser that is used. (Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, WebOS, TizenOS, Google TV for smartphones, computers, and smart TVs) (Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, etc in Browsers).
- Bandwidth – In addition to that, network conditions & bandwidth availability might also drastically vary from user to user.
But such conditions should never impact the video quality or viewing experience in general as it will severely affect the user experience. That is why OTT testing is the need of the hour. Now let’s learn how to perform OTT testing in our OTT testing tutorial.
OTT Testing Tutorial
Though different testing approaches are needed to test on the different types of devices on which the OTT content is consumed on, what has to be tested will be a standard. In addition to the defined standards, there will also be specific OTT testing scenarios from device to device. That is why we have created a categorized OTT testing checklist for our OTT testing tutorial. So let’s get started.
General OTT Testing Checklist
If we were to create a general testing checklist for mobile apps, it would be very hard as each mobile app would have a different purpose. But even though there are variations in how OTT platforms work, they do share the same purpose. So let’s now see the common functionality & usability aspects that should be the focus points of OTT testing.
- UI, UX & Functionality
- Streaming & Performance
- Security & Billing
- Cross-Platform Testing
UI, UX & Functionality
Having the best content is one of the best ways to provide a great user experience. But it would all go to waste if the viewing experience isn’t good or if the platform isn’t even functional. So let’s start our OTT testing tutorial from here.
- It is important to test if the content on the platform has been indexed properly which enables the content to be found when the user searches with the title, names of the technicians, genre, and so on.
- Netflix has been known for creating custom thumbnails for its content based on the viewing habits of different users. Even if the OTT platform you are testing may not have such a feature, make sure that the thumbnails help the users easily identify the content.
- Test the video recommendation algorithm by watching content like a real user.
- Check if the features like autoplay, skip the intro, etc appear at the right time and if they work properly.
- Add videos to the watchlist and test if the user is able to view them at a later time.
- Test if the users are able to resume playback of a video from where they left off and if the users are able to differentiate a video they have already seen from a fresh video they haven’t yet seen.
- If there is a trailer autoplay feature, make sure the user is able to pause the video or mute/unmute the video based on their needs.
- Check if the detailed view of a video has relevant information such as the details of the caste & crew, an option to view the trailer, the maturity rating of the film, its genre, and so on.
- Test if the users are able to share a link to individual videos with their friends with ease.
Streaming & Performance
Next up in our OTT testing tutorial, we will be focusing on what aspects have to be covered with regard to the cores of any OTT platform, streaming & performance. It is what users spend most of their time doing once they decide what to watch.
- Make sure the audio and video are in sync and that the available subtitles are easy to switch and in sync with the content as well.
- Change the language of the stream and test if it affects the playback in any way.
- A wide range of devices could be connected to the internet via WiFi, LAN, or Mobile Data. So make sure the streaming quality doesn’t suffer when using either of these technologies.
- Test by switching between these different network options and also at different bandwidths to ensure seamless streaming on all conditions.
- If the user has downloaded offline content, make sure it is possible to playback the video even without any internet connection.
- Make sure the video starts streaming as quickly as possible once the user decides to play it.
- Test the OTT platform’s stability by trying to access the content using a large number of concurrent users.
Since most OTT platforms have different tiers of memberships, it is important to test using different user roles and ensure everything is in order. Also, other account-related features should be tested as mentioned below.
- The users must be able to access the content they have paid for only and should not get anything less or more.
- Beyond their plans, make sure PPV (Pay Per View) & VoD (Video on Demand) content is accessible only to those users who have made the extra payment.
- Test if the correct number of parallel users are able to view the content based on their plan.
- If there is an option to create multiple user profiles, make sure the watchlist, viewing history, downloads, and recommendations don’t overlap.
- Since plan pricing, content rights & availability all vary across different parts of the world, make sure to perform Geolocation based OTT testing with reference to the account’s location.
- Test if the user is able to view all the information about their subscription plan, logged-in devices, billing info, and so on.
Security & Billing
Since most OTT platforms work on a subscription model, the need to store the user’s bank information is there. So testing the OTT platform’s security and payment process is an important aspect that we’ll be covering next in our OTT Testing tutorial.
- Check if it is possible to make the payment using different payment options such as debit card, credit card, internet banking, and so on.
- Test the various payment failure scenarios due to different reasons to make sure the user is made to feel secure with proper guidance and support.
- If a user opts to save their billing information, make sure it is saved properly, and that the users can delete the information if they wish to.
- Make sure that the auto-renewal feature works as expected and that the user is informed about the status.
- Check if the user is navigated to a secure channel to complete the payment process.
- Test if the user is able to download a receipt for the payment made. If the receipt is sent via email, make sure the critical information is either encrypted or masked.
- Make sure that the 2 Factor Authentication process is enabled and that it works as expected.
The need for accessibility is being understood and recognized by many across various industries. Likewise, leading OTT service providers such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are taking a step forward in ensuring even people with disabilities are able to access their content.
- Make sure every content on the OTT platform has subtitles that convey more than just dialogues as it should also describe important audio & visual references.
- Test if in-depth audio descriptions that describe the scene as they are happening are available.
- Since flashing lights could trigger seizures for a few people, ensure that such warnings are mentioned for the content that might have such triggers.
- Based on the device and platform they are using, make sure the OTT platform is usable with the help of alternative input or output devices such as screen readers.
As established already, OTT testing has to be performed on a lot of devices and platforms to ensure they can be consumed across all options. So in addition to the general tests we have already seen in our OTT testing tutorial, make sure to cover these device-specific checklists as well.
OTT Testing on Smart TVs & OTT Devices
- Unlike smartphones and computers, Smart TV users will not have easy access to keyboards for them to perform typed searches. So make sure the search functionality works well with various voice commands.
- Since Smart TV users would have to use a remote to control everything, ensure you include test scenarios that test the platform’s usability with a remote.
OTT Testing on Mobile Devices
Unlike Smart TVs and OTT Devices, the primary objective of smartphones is not viewing OTT content. So performing OTT testing by including different interruptions is the key to success.
- Check if the playback is paused when the user receives a call and if the playback resumes from where they left off once the call ends.
- Ensure the playback is not affected by notifications from other apps such as new messages, updates, and so on unless the user clicks on the notification to take them to the app.
- If there is a mini-player feature available, make sure to test it by dragging it to different places on the screen and if the controls work properly.
- Test if the video streams as expected in both portrait and landscape modes.
OTT Testing on Computers
- Test the platform by accessing it using both a browser and the web application if it is available. Ensure that the user experience is not compromised on both platforms.
- Check if the playback is impacted when switching between different tabs or windows.
We hope you now have a clear understanding of how to perform OTT testing after reading our OTT Testing tutorial. Apart from this blog, we have linked other blogs from our website that you will find useful in learning how to automate OTT testing on specific Smart TVs and OTT devices. So make sure to read those blogs as well to become an expert when it comes to OTT testing. Being a leading OTT testing company, we will be sharing more informative content as we continue to break new ground in OTT testing. So make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to not miss out on any of our latest updates.