There is certainly a big focus on the video streaming industry at the moment, as current circumstances have accelerated the already upward trajectory of OTT solutions. Video services provide a welcome distraction for established audiences but more than usual, they are also attracting newcomers to the convenience of watching video on demand. As a whole, the global OTT industry is booming and is forecast to grow to approximately $159 billion in revenue by 2024.
However, as the popularity of these services increases so does competition. Consumer choice can be great for industry growth, but it can also be a challenge, causing confusion if there’s not enough variety to distinguish between services. Most video providers now understand the necessity of innovating to stand out from the crowd, but some fail to consider the importance of where they sit within the lifecycle of service maturity.
Over the years, Accedo has worked with a host of different video service providers, at various stages of platform maturity. As a result, we have identified some of the common stumbling blocks of service development. Our view has been heavily influenced by a key question, which in turn has impacted the development of our new Accedo One platform:
“How can I ensure that my technology platform evolves to keep pace with both my vision for my product and the expectations of my users?”
The issue of platform evolution often boils down to two key concerns – time and money. An inability to balance these factors can lead to one (or both) of the following challenges:
- Lack of money – development stalls before you’ve managed to get a viable product to market. No matter how innovative your creation, it’s no good if it doesn’t see the light of day.
- Lack of time – you risk releasing the product too early and offering consumers a disappointing user interface. This results in higher volumes of churn as customers generally aren’t happy to wait around for further iterations.
Accedo recently conducted a survey of global OTT service providers. The responses show that 40% of companies list budget constraints as the primary business challenge when introducing a new service to market. For these companies, the key focus of initial development should be to ensure that everyone on the team is clear on the goals for delivery. Budget is one of the most important areas when managing stakeholder expectations across the business. It’s therefore essential to have early discussions about where limited funds should be allocated; not just for launch but at every stage of platform maturity. By scheduling and budgeting for further development, your team will be able to continue innovating throughout future iterations.
With regard to the other challenge – timing – it is vital that companies really understand their customers. What are their base level expectations? What will engage them initially, and what can be developed over the long-term? Based on this knowledge, companies can start analysing and refining their priorities for the initial launch. Once a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is identified, it will be easier to move on to optimising the service against subscriber’s expectations and make the most of user data over time.
With these factors in mind, how can OTT developers tackle the challenges of project lead times and budgets? The obvious answer is that – to date – this depends on what stage their service is at. To put it simply, the focuses and challenges for video service providers will be different depending on where they are in the OTT platform lifecycle.
At Accedo, we have identified four main phases of OTT service maturity, based on our common view of what their respective characteristics are in terms of key focuses, challenges, and KPIs.
Launch – Getting Your Service to Market
Grow – Increasing the Scale of Your Business
Optimise – Taking Your Service to the Next Level
Evolve – Setting the Bar for Future Video Services
Download our whitepaper if you’d like to delve deeper into the stages above, and learn more about how to evolve your video business at different stages in the OTT platform lifecycle.