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Android TV: What is its Relevance for Operators?

Carl Francis

Head of Operator Solutions

August 26, 2022


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When it launched in 2014, Android TV was the first completely standardized operating system platform for the Pay TV sector. It provided operators with the means to adapt and launch services on numerous devices including set-top boxes. Fast forward to 2022 and Android TV has proved to be hugely popular among consumers and operators alike. According to a recent report, the global Android TV market is projected to grow from $57,430 million in 2021, to $69,690 million in 2028. 

At the same time, the pay TV landscape has changed radically over the last decade with consumers increasingly turning to video on demand offerings for entertainment. These market sea-changes have left operators looking for ways to adapt their services in order to remain relevant in an increasingly competitive market. In this blog, we’ll do a quick tour of the Android TV Operator Tier program and look at how operators can leverage it to stay competitive over time.

Android TV Operator Tier Program: What is it?

The Android TV Operator Tier replaced the Google Launcher in 2016 and allows operators to get approval to distribute their own custom set-top boxes based on the Android TV platform. The program enables operators to deliver a branded experience to end users, at the same time as being able to prioritize their own content over that from third party providers. This ability to aggregate content from different OTT providers is a huge bonus to both operators and end users. 

To be eligible for the Operator Tier Program, operators need to be in a position to meet just four requirements.

  • The device must be distributed only as part of a TV service subscription.
  • The service must be branded with an operator or service name.
  • The service must offer paid linear channels.
  • The operator must own or operate the physical infrastructure used to deliver the service.

These requirements allow the program to be adopted by most operators, regardless of size. Additionally, Google may offer some flexibility regarding these requirements on a case by case basis.

How to Take Advantage of the Operator Tier Program

As an operator entering into the Google Operator Tier program, your branded STB becomes an aggregation entertainment hub offering prioritized access to your own content alongside over 7,000 apps and games available in Google Play Store. You will also be able to customize your UX to match mobile, web and other platforms with Chromecast built-in, meaning that users can cast music, films, videos, and even games from mobile devices and computers to their TV - all within the sphere of using your branded operator product.

In addition to enabling a fully customized and branded interface, the Google Operator Tier Program also helps to streamline the certification element of launching a launcher experience. This generally leads to a significantly shorter and simpler product deployment and launch cycle.

Is Android TV the Right Choice?

Android TV has well and truly cemented its place in the modern TV landscape. It has become an increasingly interesting option for operators and could certainly be the right choice, depending on a company's priorities. 

Easily described, certified Android TV devices are suited for projects where you are planning to provide, or you already are providing, OTT or a hybrid service with IPTV or DVB in a highly competitive market. Its ease of use and popularity among consumers makes it a good choice for pay TV operators looking for a highly adaptive solution that allows them to create a perfectly branded environment. 

Accedo developed the Accedo Android TV Launcher in response to the Android TV Operator Tier program. The specialist solution is designed using a highly-modular application architecture, with maximum efficiency in mind. The Accedo Android TV launcher makes use of reusable components that greatly reduce the time spent on development and testing, while still retaining the ability for configuration and customization. This balance between bespoke development and productized platform allows operators to launch a customized, high-quality, service in a relatively short time frame. 

 Accedo is well placed to help operators make the most out of the Android TV Operator Tier program. Get in touch for more detailed information about the program and find out how Accedo can help you leverage it.

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