Over-the-top content (OTT) refers to delivery of audio, video, and other media over the Internet without a multiple system operatorbeing involved in the control or distribution of the content. The provider may be aware of the contents of the Internet Protocol packets but is not responsible for, nor able to control, the viewing abilities, copyrights, and/or other redistribution of the content. This is in contrast to purchase or rental of video or audio content from an Internet service provider (ISP), such as pay television video on demand or an IPTV video service, like AT&T U-Verse. OTT in particular refers to content that arrives from a third party, such as DramaFever, Crackle, Hulu, myTV, NetD, Netflix, NowTV, RPI TV, WhereverTV, or WWE Network, and is delivered to an end user device, leaving the ISP responsible only for transporting IP packets.
An online video distributor (OVD) is defined as "any entity that offers video content by means of the Internet or other Internet Protocol (IP)-based transmission path provided by a person or entity other than the OVD."
Over-the-top messaging refers to a similar idea, where a third party provides instant messaging services as an alternative to text messaging services provided by a mobile network operator.
Consumers can access OTT content through internet-connected devices such as desktop and laptop computers, gaming consoles(such as the PlayStation 4, WiiU, and Xbox One), set-top boxes (such as the Roku), smartphones (including Android phones, iPhones, and Windows phones), smart TVs (such as Google TV), and tablets. Consumers can access apps in most app stores.