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The Android TV Arms Race

The Android TV Arms Race

The Android TV Arms Race
Miklós Lang
Product Manager
INSIGHTS BLOG /
 June 2020

For many years, launching operator-led user interfaces on pay-TV set-top-boxes was highly complex and challenging. The Android TV Operator Tier changed all of that, so it is not surprising that it has “taken much of the world by storm in recent years”. These are words from a recent webinar hosted by Rethink Research. Our CEO, Michael Lantz, was one of a panel of experts, discussing the Android TV arms race and how pay-TV operators can better navigate the new challenge that comes with the contrasting partner ecosystems built around Android TV.  

At Accedo, we have been involved with launching many services for pay-TV operators across the globe with our Android TV launcher solution. As Michael highlighted in the webinar, we are a global company with a local presence, meaning that our customers will have access to a regional team while reaping the benefits of our global knowledge and experience. From an Android TV perspective, this is particularly important as pay-TV providers in different markets often have their own set of unique challenges (as discussed in a previous blog post by our Head of Sales & Marketing EMEA and Latam, Alex Wilkinson).

One of the biggest advantages of Android TV, as highlighted by Google’s Mark Seidenfeld, is that it is easy to implement with a fully-featured Operating System. It is essentially a ‘ready to go’ solution, but can equally be customized to suit specific branding or customer preferences. From Accedo’s perspective, we have found that the customization element is one of the most significant advancements brought by the Android TV Operator Tier. It used to be challenging for pay-TV operators to compete with the plethora of uniquely branded OTT user experiences. The launch of Operator Tier opened up an opportunity to build equally engaging solutions.

The Android TV Operator Tier presents ample opportunities for pay-TV operators.

Seidenfeld also pointed to the fact that Android TV is easy and cheap to maintain. An already large, and constantly growing, group of Android TV specialists means that pay-tv operators have plenty of options for receiving the support they need to build, launch, and grow their services. Ultimately, Android TV provides the features needed to attract and retain subscribers whilst being quick and easy to tailor to both brand and subscriber preferences.

During the webinar, Vewd’s Sascha Prüter brought up the need for pay-TV operators to become aggregators, bringing content from multiple sources into one convenient location. This is something Accedo has been advocating for quite some time. In a blog post dating March 2018, we discussed how the aggregation of linear and OTT VOD content is a great move for pay-tv subscriber satisfaction, which in turn will reduce churn and grow ARPU – good news for any video provider.

One thing that was clear from the webinar is that there is a lot of expertise out there to help with Android TV deployments. This is great news for operators but at the same time, choosing the right partner for each section of the OTT workflow can be a daunting and overwhelming task. That is the impetus behind Accedo One Marketplace which brings together multiple vendors and makes it easy for our customers to navigate that ecosystem and find the right combination of tools and technology. As Michael pointed out in the webinar: “We believe in openness and ease of integration as well as supporting the mess that can happen with multiple vendors. If we can ensure that it can be handled in an open and scalable way, then we can create value for ourselves and our customers, as well as for the end-users.”

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