Accedo’s CEO, Michael Lantz, recently joined the IPTV Magazine podcast to discuss TV and video app development. The episode covered everything from what constitutes the basics of a TV application, through to why they are important and how they are distributed to end-users.
Here is a summary of the conversation, covering our top picks of things you might not yet know about the topic.
Video apps enable you to create a direct relationship with users
This may sound obvious, but enabling direct to consumer relationships is one of the fundamental reasons that providers want to launch their own applications. Using an app means that you can directly access user information; something which isn’t possible if choosing to distribute your content through a third party. With better data, it is easier to understand your consumers’ behavior and adapt your service to suit their wants and needs. It also means that you can target different consumer groups with the right promotions at the right time to help drive visibility of certain content. We are just starting to scratch the surface of the opportunities here, including targeted advertising or partnering with other video providers to cross-sell content and services to relevant user segments.
Developing TV apps can be extremely complex
Developing applications is by no means a simple task. There are a lot of different aspects to be considered and one of these is the environments in which your app will be available. The time and effort needed for development will vary greatly between different devices as will the way end-users interact with the service. Each device will need to go through thorough testing to ensure that the app is working as it should be. It is also extremely important that you can easily and seamlessly access data about your content, to make sure that the right version is sent to the right region or right device at the right time. The way in which your app is distributed to end consumers can also vary greatly – from app stores (which can be challenging to get into) to direct distribution via the internet. All of these factors, and many more, need to be considered before launch.
You don’t need to add all your features from the outset
All too often, video service providers fall into the trap of trying to fit in as many features as they can in a bid to outshine their competitors. This can obviously be a good thing, but the more functionality you include, the longer it will take to launch. For some video providers, it is better to get the service to market fast, bearing in mind that a standard application can be launched in a matter of weeks. Features and extended functionalities can then be added slowly over time, enabling you to constantly evolve and improve your service.
The effort doesn’t stop at launch
One of the most common mistakes we see with launching a video application is the assumption that it is a one-time effort. In actual fact, most of the work should happen after launch with continual management and optimization of the service. This naturally includes the addition of new content but perhaps more importantly, also to continually review and evolve the user experience. There is also the aspect of promoting the latest additions to your content catalog – perhaps through a preview video where featured content is displayed when users launch the app.
Video apps are not just for broadcasters
Everyone knows that broadcasters and pay-TV operators are increasingly delivering content via apps. Over recent years, however, we are also beginning to see other types of companies launch their own TV applications in a bid to further enhance engagement with their customers. The global pandemic has certainly accelerated this trend in some areas, such as fitness, where many industry players have started to launch their own OTT apps in order to enable exercise classes to continue in a digital environment. The opportunities are endless and we are excited to see what other verticals will turn to OTT apps in the future.
In the IPTV Magazine podcast, Michael Lantz delves into more detail on all of the above as well as discussing a range of other topics – including how to get your apps pre-installed on devices and the varied standards that need to be adhered to. You can listen to the full recording below.
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