The Oprah Winfrey Network: Insights from an OTT Success Story

Chandan Luthra Jan 6th, 2022

The Oprah Winfrey Network or OWN is an American multinational basic cable channel jointly owned by Discovery Inc. and Harpo Studios. It features entertainment and lifestyle programming targeting largely African American audiences. OWN broadcasts its content on its individual OTT platform of the same name. Despite riding high on the namesake of the world’s most popular TV talk show host – Oprah Winfrey OWN was not spared its initial years of struggle. But the way it bounced back to find its voice is an interesting read which makes the story of OWN worth noting in the OTT space.

Oprah Winfrey is not just the most famous talk show host in the world but behind-the-scenes she is an astute businesswoman running endeavours that make up her media empire. As a stakeholder and chief creative decision-maker, Oprah Winfrey wanted to make OWN a streaming service destination for the kind of live-your-best-life self-help content that she assumed her audience wanted. OWN was launched in 2011 and it broadcasted a slew of wellness programs. With an initial viewership of a mere 262,000, Winfrey realized that her audience was not interested in preachy self-help content. “My mistake was that I thought I could do that every day, in 24/7 hr programming” she said in an interview.

Things started to turn around in 2012 when Winfrey brought her friend and entertainment impresario Tyler Perry to lead the shift in OWN’s programming. Thanks to his efforts in bringing scripted content to the video streaming platform, OWN did not just become the No. 1 cable network among women in 2014-15 but also the No. 1 network among all African American women. With OWN delivering in both ratings and earnings, its over-the-top video streaming service became profitable in 2013.

“I have learned that your full-on attention for any activity you choose to experience comes with a level of intensity and truth”, said Oprah on OWN’s turnaround. She further added that being in the moment, modifying her vision in service of her overall goal and establishing a trusted team were some of the other keynote factors that helped pave the way to make OWN a top billed streaming service provider.

The journey of OWN is an example of how a media house forged its OTT success story and learnt valuable lessons through the way. If you are planning to create your own digital streaming app, having a trusted team of experts to oversee the important technological details will be a major decision. Oprah Winfrey kept referring back to how grateful she was to her team for championing her vision. Building a video streaming app is a huge investment of time, money and focused commitment. So having a trusted team of outsourced experts to guide you at every step of the OTT development is not only beneficial in terms of ROI but will also relieve you from complex technical processes thereby allowing you to focus on enfolding your content plan.

Another insight that OWN’s success offers is that of creating your own content ecosystem. OWN was built on a life philosophy that wanted to offer audiences a glimpse into that way of life through its content. Similarly, the vision that your artistic and creative pursuit stems from will be unique thereby making the content that is produced a different experience altogether. Therefore, in order to streamline your vast content stock and present it effectively to the subscriber base, video content management is essential. Enveu independently offers this service to cater to your video streaming app development goals.

Another factor that makes OWN stand out is its sleek product design. It is a UI that is built smart and efficient. Any customer accessing their content is welcomed with easy navigation and attractive categorization. OWN network has been built on a high calibre system which integrates features that heavy bandwidth. One of the features includes top quality live-streaming which it does offer on some of its select shows.

In conclusion, the reason Oprah Winfrey Network today is a world class on-demand streaming service platform is also because it was built on the foundation of a robust OTT technology infrastructure. That set the stepping stone for Oprah Network and her team to produce and present content that would seamlessly engage and enthral audiences.

So if you are someone who is inspired by the story of OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) and are looking to break the mould in the OTT space, Enveu is here to provide you with the very best expertise in video streaming solutions. Contact us right away!

Chandan Luthra - Director, Product Engineering, Enveu
Chandan Luthra is a co-founder of Enveu, and heads the Engineering department at Enveu. He is an early adopter of OTT tech and has been part of many OTT platforms across the globe. He is developing & building Products and SaaS platforms for more than 13+ years

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Looking for Streaming Solutions?

  • Go-Live on 12+ platforms
  • Zero Revenue Share
  • Multiple Monetization Models
  • 50+ Integrations

get a demo today

Take control of your digital media strategy.
Contact us for a no-obligation demo of the Experience
Cloud, tailor-made for you!

    By Continuing, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy