The video delivery landscape is more complex than ever before and competition amongst service providers is rising. Navigating the constantly evolving market is often a huge obstacle for media companies. Video streaming businesses have to determine which combination of tools works best for their needs over time and assemble the final video delivery puzzle by themselves. It is unlikely that a single company can deliver a high-quality solution across the entire value chain.
At the same time, today’s video providers need to constantly adapt their services to suit rapidly evolving consumer preferences. According to a recent survey conducted by Accedo, over one-fourth of global OTT providers list market competition as their primary business challenge. The same number says that their companies could do a better job providing a differentiated user experience. Many video service providers find it challenging to piece together (and easily swap out) different technology vendors. This need for bringing together a complex ecosystem has opened up significant opportunities for service and technology companies to team up; helping customers by creating solutions that make sense of the fragmentation and that enable agile experimentation.
Appetite for Solutions
Instead of a one-size-fits-all mindset, industries (including Media & Entertainment and Sport) are looking for the advice of trusted technology vendors to glue, build, and grow tailored video solutions. At the same time, many companies share the same business and operational challenges, which means that market learnings should be leveraged at a global level to foster industry innovation.
When different service and technology vendors collaborate to bring together pieces of the ecosystem, they essentially transform a good case study into a scalable solution on which a video service provider can start experimenting with their own unique strategy. And, as is always the case with experimentation, companies need to thoroughly measure its impact in order to decide on continuous investment. Therefore, every solution needs to clearly identify the business KPIs affected, and have a data strategy in place to ensure learnings and adaptation during the experiment.
Finally, and perhaps even more importantly, a successful solution needs to evolve over time. The challenges faced by the sport video ecosystem today will not be the same as the ones we will see tomorrow. Continuous investment in long-term R&D is necessary on behalf of the providers to ensure that their offerings are ready to serve early adopters.
One Plus One Equals Three
One way of making sense of the fragmentation and ensuring less operational headaches is to look into technical solutions. Those are usually looking at pre-integrations between partners as a way to ensure a relevant joint story and enable reusability. Beyond the operational efficiency brought by a pre-integration, it is critical (yet often proven difficult) for customers to keep experimenting and innovating at business level. Solutions can create even more value if having a clear business focus; by assembling services and products to address a specific market challenge. For example, how can a sports organization maximize the value of its archive, or how can a media company experiment efficiently on a new business model? Components of those solutions will be operational but the solution will deliver on a business KPI, which in turn ensures its relevance.
Onboard All Stakeholders
At a first glance, the multi-partner business solution formula seems straightforward. However, it is crucial that all stakeholders remain agile in their product and business strategy and recognize the value created for the overall ecosystem. The challenge of these types of solutions often lies in convincing stakeholders (including content owners, brands, and technology vendors) of their relevance and capacity to scale. Commitment from all players enables an environment of experimentation where the solution’s definition evolves and adapts based on the feedback and constraints identified.
If done successfully, multi-partner solutions enable clients to efficiently launch new services to market while providing the opportunity to evolve and innovate over time. Accedo has built and deployed solutions for more than 50+ organizations, including OTT FLOW (in partnership with Brightcove) and the Accedo Data-Driven Video Solution, powered by Jump TV. The success of these solutions has proven two things. First, it can be hugely beneficial to remove the friction of figuring out all technology aspects of a solution. And second, only deep partner commitment to customers success will make this solution relevant over time in the light of an ever-evolving market.