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Considerations when Scaling your OTT Offering

Markus Hejdenberg

Head of Product Sales & Marketing

February 7, 2022


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Despite a turbulent couple of years, the video industry keeps evolving at a tremendous pace. New entrants continuously penetrate the market and there seems to be a never seizing increase in consumer interest for new services and content. These rapidly changing dynamics mean that video providers need to constantly evolve their services as the needs of both their users and their internal organizations' change. A steady focus on optimization has gone from a “nice-to-have” to an absolute necessity if wanting to stay relevant in the minds of customers.

The video ecosystem is increasingly complex and amidst its rapid evolution, the infrastructure needed to deliver an engaging offering keeps changing. Just as it is important to build a service that sets you apart from competitors, it is crucial to ensure that you can continue to grow it in the future. To do this, you will need to constantly evaluate and optimize your feature set and by extension also add or swap out integrated third-party vendors.

Owning the migration process

This process of integrating different tools from different vendors can be incredibly complex and, in some cases, it may even require migrating to a whole new platform. This is often a daunting prospect as any potential impact on the end-user experience would likely lead to a drop in user figures (and hence, a severe loss in revenues).

This is made all the more complicated when there are several interlacing parts that all need to be handled as part of the process. For example, identity and subscriber management, including payment processing, need to be seamlessly handled in order to ensure that the right subscribers continue to access the right content. Similarly, applications and content curation need to be carefully migrated, as do the metadata and video management, ensuring content discovery remains simple for viewers.

Adding or replacing all these different tools can be a costly and time consuming project as it means creating and re-creating integrations between each of the third-party components. That was the impetus behind Accedo One Marketplace, which makes it possible for video service providers to switch out one vendor for another without impacting the end-users or the applications.

Making better decisions

As your service scales, it is important that you can get actionable insights on what is, and isn’t, working. How do changes to the user experience impact consumer engagement? How are the content recommendations working, and are they resulting in increased viewership? In order to make decisions on when and how to optimize your service, you will need to understand how users interact with different parts of your offering.

Most analytics tools offer an overview of different metrics, giving you topline information about current performance. However, many are still lacking the ability to provide actual recommendations on optimizations based on the insights collected. As well as having access to information about your service’s performance, you will need systems that are responsive, allowing you to make adjustments quickly and simply based on real-world data. And, once you have actualized a particular optimization - such as adding a new feature or swapping out a third-party provider - you need to be able to measure whether this update actually led to an increase in consumer satisfaction and engagement. Making data-based decisions is the foundation of successfully evolving your service and the first step in ensuring continued success in the long run.

Ensuring quality and stability

It goes without saying that, in order to be successful in an increasingly competitive market, any video service needs to ensure the highest possible quality and stability. Even a brief drop in quality levels will likely have a negative effect on churn and subsequently, lead to a loss of revenue. It is important to ensure you have a reliable and scalable infrastructure in place as well as a diligent validation process for any kind of new third-party integration.  

An often-overlooked, but hugely beneficial, consequence of improving quality and stability is a decrease in cost for customer support. We recently worked on a project where we helped a customer replace a large in-house development team with the Accedo One Saas platform. Despite the complexities of this migration, we were able to ensure a service of the highest possible quality and stability which ultimately led to happier and more engaged end users. In fact, we were able to lower the client’s customer support calls by 75%, ultimately leading to a 1 million USD saving per year.

Optimizing the user experience

Every video service provider knows that content continues to play a crucial part in attracting new users. However, it is the user experience that keeps customers returning and makes them engage with the service and its catalog over time. Despite this, many providers fail to make this a key consideration when evaluating potential new vendors and their capabilities. Most procurement processes still focus on tech-driven requirements with less emphasis on the overarching business case and end-user experience.

Taking your service to the next level is about more than just adding new features and functionalities. It’s about understanding how your customers interact with your platform, their path to content discovery, and, just as importantly, frustrations that could make them churn. Knowing how your users behave, you can make decisions on whether to add or swap out particular third-party integrations to create a more seamless experience that entices them to come back for more. Content might still be king but without a seamless and optimized user experience, it is likely to lose its kingdom to more savvy competitors.

Scaling your service over time

When evaluating and integrating new third-party toolsets, it is important to consider whether they will be able to grow with you as your service continues to evolve. If you don’t have a scalable infrastructure in place, the popularity of your service could also be its downfall. Cloud-based infrastructures and easy integration points are key for ensuring scalability over time.

At Accedo, we have performed many migration projects on behalf of our customers. These range from services with 50 000 subscribers to those with user figures over a million. We are well aware that these kinds of projects need both careful planning and close connections with partners to make the transition as frictionless as possible for the end-user. Our thinking behind the Accedo One Marketplace is to help video providers be nimble in both their business and technology choices. Your service can easily scale as needs and market conditions change while ensuring the end-user experience remains unaffected as you add new vendors or toolsets.

This is the first in a series of blog posts where we will discuss important considerations for continuously growing and evolving your service. To find out more about how Accedo One can be leveraged to help you scale your offering, book a demo with one of our platform experts.

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