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Broadcasters and Pay TV providers; avoid these pitfalls when building a OTT Platform. Please.

by Ted Chamberlin  |  September 22, 2017  |  Submit a Comment

It seems that everyday a new OTT streaming platform is slated to hit the market.  Disney, Starz, Scripps, ESPN, and many more to come. Gartner sees the trend of cord shaving accelerating in the near term and cord cutting increasing among specific demographics- primarily 18-24 and 25-34 year old.

Workflow slide

I see the urgency of  subscription based video on demand services but you only have one time to make a first impression. In my conversations with broadcasters, pay tv, satellite and content providers I consistently see these areas as potential pitfalls:

  • Limited platform support- The release cycles for new streaming platforms are generally predictable but whenever a they are released, older platforms respond by price reductions.  This rarely allows providers to take a breathe in their OTT end point support. While IOS/Apple TV  and Android/Android TV sell the most units, support for additional platforms including Roku and Amazon Firestick are necessary in early phases of OTT development . Roku’s impending IPO has forced other service providers including gaming console providers to accelerate development plans and reduce pricing for existing platforms.
  • Weak meta data-and media asset management Gartner believes as OTT platforms scale, managing metadata and media assets will become increasing challenging without a workflow and searchable repository. The ability to identify, classify and re-purpose metadata  and digital assets post ingest, will increase revenue and efficiency.
  • Where is the machine learning and artificial intelligence strategy?- Two separate disciplines, but both should be uses to optimize both front and back end operations. ML can be effective in automation of task and developing streamlined workflows. We have seen the most interesting applications of Artificial intelligence in content for image identification and classification. Google’s ML and AI APIs as well as Amazon Rekognition and IBM Watson are gaining traction in the media and entertainment space.
  • Minimal integrations- Coming out of the gate with a core group of integrations is fine, but plan for deeper partner integration to build complete workflow support. Areas to include are DRM, content monetization, media monitoring and analytics, video processing, multi-platform UIs, viewer sentiment capture and high speed file transfer( not an exhaustive list).
  • No support for live broadcasts- This is where we see most content and broadcast providers have the most struggles. The ability to leverage and monetize live content requires deep expertise around dynamic ad insertion with STCE triggers, live clipping, live to VOD and social media syndication. These competencies should be moved up in one’s road map.
  • Lack of cloud infrastructure- I see many broadcaster’s workflows exists almost entirely on premise with little to no infrastructure as a service usage. Gartner sees these platforms increasingly being move to hybrid model where spikes in capacity can be handle by cloud compute and storage. Now is the time to stop hugging your servers.

If you are a Gartner client I would to talk to about your transition to the cloud.


Tags: ai  android  cdn  ios  ml  ott  

Ted Chamberlin
Research VP
18 years at Gartner
23 years IT Industry

Ted Chamberlin is a research Vice President at Gartner, where he is part of the Cloud and Communications group in TSP. His research focuses on the emerging cloud and hosting communications services like IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, colocation, application hosting, streaming and video content platforms, streaming and IoT and software-defined networking. Mr. Chamberlin has experience working with all size organizations from larger multinationals to early stage startups. Read Full Bio

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