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NAB reflections – Negotiating the Complexity of OTT

 April 2016

I spent the last week at NAB in Las Vegas and although I have +15 years in the TV-tech industry even I am a bit overwhelmed by the mixed messages, choice and complexity facing anyone entering into to the OTT market.

You only had to wander around the show floor to see the scale of this complexity, with different providers all promising to be the solution to all OTT problems. New OTT video service providers are increasingly trying to match the experience offered by established brands such as Netflix, Sky in the UK or perhaps Comcast in the US. In order to do that, they are looking for technical partners to help get the service launched on time and on budget. Of course, it is very rarely the case that any one technology provider can truly be a one-stop-shop, which is why we are seeing more and more partnerships cropping up, helping solution providers actually deliver end-to-end offerings.

At NAB, there was certainly no shortage of partnership announcements. We of course added to that, announcing a joint solution with Brightcove at NAB, OTT Flow. Many of the other joint solutions being launched at NAB were aimed at Tier 1 and 2 operators. What set OTT Flow apart was its mission to enable those smaller providers, without big budgets and resources, to launch competitive services.

Another big area at this year’s NAB was around the user experience (UX). I find it surprising how many companies still underestimate the importance of the user experience (UX). With more than 3M apps in the Apple and Google Appstore combined, it is more critical than ever to ensure your application stands out, and continues to do so, with updates to the feature and UX over time.

These days, functionality, reliability and usability are table stakes for apps. None of these are going to make an app stand out when there are millions of similar services out there. A global average user has about 25 apps installed on their phone/tablet and only uses about 5 apps daily.  When it comes to video services, many consumers have competing services at their fingertips due to the service fragmentation and explosion of OTT content options. So in order to win, a video application and service needs to deliver customer delight and relevance through continuous UX excellence.

Every year, NAB seems bigger and noisier than the last. That perfectly reflects the industry as a whole, with more and more OTT video services launching at an astounding rate across the globe. Just as many companies are struggling to be heard above the NAB noise, so too are many new entrant media and service providers struggling to be noticed by consumers, against those big brand names consumers are familiar with. Add to that the challenge for smaller media companies of keeping up with service- and UX differentiation in order to secure continuous customer delight.

OTT Flow not only gives these customers a cost effective upgrade path for UX and features but a head-start by enabling them to customise and configure their UX in real-time in an unprecedented way. This is primarily due to Accedo Appgrid™ – the application management solution already used by leading companies such as NBCU, Airtel, Sky.

So in case you missed us in that NAB noise, OTT Flow is still on the road. This week we are at TV Connect in London and at the end of the month, we will be heading to BroadcastAsia in Singapore. If you’d like to find out more, please get in touch and we’d be delighted to get you into the OTT Flow.

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