Today’s video providers need to constantly adapt their services to suit rapidly evolving consumer preferences. At the same time, the video delivery landscape is more complex than ever before and competition amongst providers is mounting. 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.
Whatever type of content and experience a video provider is looking to deliver, they will need to integrate with multiple vendors, as well as a plethora of platforms, components, and tools, in order to set their business up for success. OTT companies also have to stay flexible enough to grow and evolve their service to suit ever-changing consumer needs and market dynamics. Not only do they have to find the right set of vendors to launch their service to market, but they also need the ability to change or add to these integrations in order to ensure that their services remain competitive over time.
In this increasingly complex OTT market, how can video service providers best navigate this fragmented ecosystem in various phases of platform evolution? We brought together panelists from Amazon Web Services (AWS), HTM Solutions, and Accedo to discuss this (as well as a range of other questions). These are some of the points that were talked about in the session.
1. The cloud brings global reach and scalability
This scalability is achieved as operators have the tools available in order to expand rapidly and at a moment’s notice. Without leveraging the cloud, OTT providers will struggle in scaling up (or scaling down) their solutions to suit the ever-changing needs of their audience. Having the flexibility to add new elements to your solution will go a long way in diversifying the user experience.
2. Flexibility of the cloud reduces risk
The flexibility provided by cloud services de-risks vendor lock-in. This versatility allows even small companies to carry out custom performance runs to gather intel on new solutions. Industry leaders will know how important performance testing is, as it is seldom a company gets its strategy right the first time around. With a plethora of services on offer which allows you to innovate quickly, even smaller companies can take the time to test and see what works for them. This element of research allows video businesses to adapt easily to market dynamics.
3. Niche and local content as a differentiator
Niche and local content is a good way to differentiate smaller video services from the market giants. By appealing to local markets, your content can offer users a more personalized and tailored experience. This leads to increased engagement and is more likely to have users stay as the content is relevant to them. There is a huge undiscovered potential in refining the user experience and giving a local flavor instead of copying the UX of the market leaders.
4. Data lakes are driving UX enhancements
Thanks to data lakes, user experience is constantly changing and will continue to evolve tremendously. Cloud-based services have the ability to gather data and centralize them into a data lake, which can be consolidated at a regular basis. Subsequently, OTT providers can build sophisticated algorithms from the data to gauge whether customers are engaging with content. Dependent on engagement, a provider may then wish to push/pull various types of content in order to address various scenarios.
5. Constant evolution is key
The launch of a video service is a cycle process that requires constant business and technology iterations. Technology evolves, and companies must evolve with it or risk to be left behind. It’s important that OTT providers do not miss the latest trends, or they could end up playing a very costly game of catch-up.
6. Content is King, but UX is key
Content remains king, but the importance of UX is growing to become a key success factor. It doesn’t matter how good the content is – if consumers cannot easily and seamlessly navigate and discover it, they will simply turn to other competing services.
If you missed our discussion with AWS and HTM Solutions, and wish to learn more about the above topics, you can watch the webinar recording here.