Disrupting OTT testing powered by a combination of crowdsourced model and domain expertise
In this digital era, we have come substantially far in the area of Streaming platforms and gained ground over the media delivery mechanism for several years. Today, with many service providers delivering seamless user experience, high-quality products, and streaming consistency are critical.
However, developing and launching the OTT platform involves a lot of hard work, and the wide range of devices that are used to access the content has become a challenge to the OTT service providers. Also, during the pandemic, the demand for OTT applications has been increasing and a lot of users are spending more time on streaming applications.
Hence, it is important to the OTT service providers to ensure multi-platform support and thorough testing of the application before launching, which will help in providing a seamless experience, great usability, and success to the platform.
OTT testing and business need for OTT application testing?
OTT stands for “Over-The-Top” and refers to streaming media service offered directly to the digital customers via the internet bypassing the traditional telecom service providers like broadcasters, cable providers, and satellite television. Popular platforms in the OTT space include:
- Video: Netflix, iTunes, Youtube, Apple Tv
- Audio: Internet radio station, Podcast
- VOIP: Whatsapp, Google hangout, Skype
OTT platforms allow customers to choose what and when they want to watch and will give up if the content doesn’t start streaming within 2 seconds. Hence, users want access to good quality streaming and app functioning at any place, any device, any time, any location. Your product is judged by the users.
To offer an outstanding user experience, there are a few characteristics that we need to consider for OTT super apps.
- Excellent app functionality, compatibility – Any device, OS, location, network, etc.,
- Provide better user interface and usability
- Provide a diverse, broad library of content that allows users to find what they are looking for.
- Provide personalized experience by offering recommendations based on the users viewing history and interests.
- Use customer empathy to provision increasing viewership and increasing expectations.
To deliver good video streaming, quality, and user experience successfully, OTT platform testing is important. There are many things that you could test, but below are two major things which need to be considered:
- Consistent Delivery: Reliable delivery of content is essential to provide a positive user experience as the user experience and streaming consistency decides your service/product efficiency.
- Playback Quality: If the content doesn’t play quickly, users lose interest in using the platform which gives a bad user experience. Hence, it is essential to have good playback quality.
- Platform and Network compatibility: If the application does not work properly on multiple platforms and networks, users would experience bad app performance.
Let’s consider an example to make this clear. Imagine a user is trying to watch any video clip from an OTT application and the loader keeps on loading forever!
In such a situation, the risk of losing users is high. And that’s why you need to test how people interact with your product and how you deliver seamless content to users.
Challenges of OTT Testing:
In today’s world, most of the traffic is dependent upon streaming media such as video, audio, and multimedia. Content produced be it educational, entertainment has a huge audience. Streaming has become one of the important aspects of modern-day communication and distribution of information across the globe.
There are many factors which we need to consider while testing a streaming application.
Apart from browser, device, hardware, there are various factors like network, buffering, latency, etc which the testers need to keep in mind while performing testing.
Below are some of the common challenges that a tester face while testing an OTT application:
- Network issues: Testing the performance of an application over different network speeds is a challenge to the testing team to test the application in different networks with varying data speeds.
- Cross-device issues: Different devices, different devices bring in different issues and the devices include small smartphones to 4K television. Hence, the testing might not have all the devices to test applications across the devices.
- App performance issues: Hangs, crashes, ANR, infinite loading, and many more.
- User interaction issues: While testing, testers need to keep in mind how the user interacts with the application. Users might not be tech-savvy and if they observe any network performance issue and if the stalling is observed they might give negative feedback for your app. Hence, these scenarios need to be tested.
- Cross-browser issues: Assume you have an application that runs on a browser and you need to ensure that browser compatibility is thoroughly tested. This might be challenging if the testers don’t have devices that support all the browsers.
Oprimes solutions and QA practices for OTT testing
It is very tricky for any QA solution provider to give a holistic approach to OTT testing. The only best way of solving this is by combining a crowdsourced model with domain expertise for OTT testing.
Crowdsourced model to provide multi-platform coverage to assess app crashes, streaming, compatibility, etc., and domain expertise to provide QA best practices and OTT testing strategy for your OTT platform.
OTT providers need to adopt the below QA best practices to have an effective QA testing strategy for your OTT platform:
- Application functionality: Testing all the features of the application is first priority. For eg, Playback scenarios like play, pause, forward, backward. Video performance, audio, buffer, latency, stability. Other features like subscription plan, search menu options.
- Ensure quality across the multiple platforms: Content should be accessible on the user’s preferred devices like mobile, TV, laptop, etc. Hence, the quality should be maintained across all the platforms.
- Ensure video playback and streaming quality: If the video isn’t playable for a few secs then the user loses interest and there are chances of losing customers. So, to have a sustained user engagement positive experience needs to be provided through smooth streaming.
- Network adaptability: Network fluctuations need to be considered while testing OTT apps to check the impact on the users.
- Ability to recover from slow networks: To ensure quality user experience network down issues needs to be handled. Recovery plans should be maintained and the need to test for the possible defects which could cause network issues should not be ignored.
Oprimes solutions ensure test coverage for the entire OTT platform and cover all the above-mentioned OTT scenarios. The goal is to provide a seamless user experience.
It is important that streaming applications receive comprehensive testing before being released to the public. Below are the tests which are performed to provide the best streaming experience:
- Functional testing: We verify if the application has desired functionality and is user-friendly. Also, the user interface is simple and consistent across the devices.
- UI & UX testing: To deliver an amazing user experience, user experience testing is of key importance. The QA team will check for layout consistency, navigation throughout the application to provide a seamless user experience and defect-free from an end-user perspective.
- Interoperability & Compatibility testing: Multiplatform, multi-browser, multi-device testing will be performed where seamless operation is necessary for developing the user base.
- App performance testing: App launch, crashes, ANR, hangs, download, loading, installation use cases verification, and validation.
- Streaming testing: Testing if the content delivered is robust enough. Checking for metrics like stream startup time, error rate, bit rate, rebuffer time.
- Security testing: OTT application includes account-related information, payment-related information, user information, contents being viewed. Hence, data security testing is important for any OTT application. OTT providers need to ensure that their content is being steamed safely following the security measure.
- Localization testing: OTT streaming needs to adapt to specific regions or locations. The QA team validates data, time, linguistic accuracy, cultural appropriateness, customized symbols, currency formats, and more.
- Integration testing: Testing team ensures seamless streaming across the broad integrations. Here, we check for DRM content integration, third-party ingestion integrations, third-party analytics integrations, ad management integrations, etc.,
- Network testing: How the streaming is carried out in slow networks areas, high bandwidth, network latency, and other network conditions. These aspects are important that need to be considered while testing an OTT application.
- Load testing: Many users can stream content from all over the world at the same time using one streaming platform. Hence, our QA teams check if the app performs optimally even under extreme load.
- Multi-platform testing solution: Performing testing on multiple devices like mobile, desktop, laptop, TV’s, and other device models which helps to provide consistent user experience and app performance across all the devices. This can be achieved with the O-primes platform and our domain experience testers community.
- Ready-made test suites and frameworks: An existing set of test suites that consists of all common OTT test scenarios which can be customized as per the requirement. Reusable test blocks. This is created and built by O-primes OTT domain experts and is constantly updated.
Media streaming is already seeing potential growth and with the advancement of technology in achieving higher bandwidth like 5G, video streaming would grow.
When it comes to user experience, the expectations are usually high. By taking the feedback and empathizing with customers, you can deliver the best-in-class streaming platform experience which they would have expected. The success of the application depends on the user interface and positive user experience.
Considering user expectations and challenges, O-primes provides end-to-end testing of all your OTT testing needs. When the bugs are identified at an early stage, there is reduced issue resolution overhead, thus resulting in quality delivery of the application and faster time to market.
We believe in delivering the product with care and making sure your product is bug-free by seamlessly delivering content to the users.