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Benefiting from Innovation

We have recently upgraded a Tier 1 client service to our new streaming platform.  Besides bringing some significant benefits for the client, it shows how the once complex network of system integrated supplier solutions in TV distribution can be comprehensively simplified.

What a difference a year makes

Just over a year ago we wrote about migrating our client's service from an old streaming supplier, on a number of TV devices and all within a month.

With a significant number of users all over the world, the migration of a Tier 1 operator's service needs to be done right. Even with the barriers of device manufacturer approvals and integration with metadata ingest systems, we were ready on time.

The result: A very happy client.

Impressive though it was, it is actually a world away from where we are today.

There are many benefits from the new platform, though the most important thing to note is that this is a comprehensive Tier 1 operator streaming service supported by one supplier, a carrier grade solution that defies the misplaced belief that only a complex integration of vertical supplier solutions will enable a differentiated consumer experience.

It not only puts paid to most, if not all, arguments for building a vertically integrated solution; it also enables innovation.

Removing complexity; the benefits of a coherent solution

Differentiation is often cited as the overriding reason for building a systems integrated service. If, however, you want to manage a streaming service across an extensive portfolio of devices, including smart TVs, streaming boxes (such as Fire TV, Roku etc.) and TV operator Set Top Boxes (STBs), then you are always going to be constrained by the limitations of the resources (processing power, memory etc. ) and development environments (different device Software Development Kits – SDKs) available across such a assortment of devices.  

Of course, if you can build a set of tools which provide all the design flexibility across the full suite of embedded devices, you can provide all the differentiation needed. And that’s what we do.

Differentiation is not just in the UI, it’s also in the UX, in how you can define the menu, categorise the content, provide relevant and compelling ways for consumers to discover the content you are offering, and constantly refine that to increase consumer adoption, usage and loyalty. This comes down to flexibility in defining metadata associated with the service. By allowing our clients to define their own metadata and associate it with products, collections and the way the service is presented, we furthermore enable UX differentiation.

Not content with that, we also know that different sets of consumers need to be addressed differently (kids vs adults, US vs UK, loyal consumers vs occasional visitors, day-time viewers vs night owls etc.).  Our new platform allows our clients to create any number of market segments and -  when combined with the data-driven design capability and metadata definition tools - it uniquely allows for fully differentiated UI/UX experiences for each market segment, and all of this across the diverse portfolio of millions the service sits on globally.

And that brings us to Speed to market. Our one-month migration of a Tier 1 operator streaming service was impressive at the time. However creating a streaming service on our new platform today - once the content and metadata is available - is in practical terms only limited by the amount of time you have to create and curate the service. That means you could get a service offering all the differentiation articulated above in a matter of hours or days.

Although there is still the small matter of getting manufacturer approval, our common codebase apps also have the potential to make this an automatic part of the commissioning workflow (should the device manufacturers allow it). That’s also why we are tying in with some of the world’s leading post-production content management systems and metadata providers, to further extend that complete digital workflow across the industry. That is also part of our vision.

In summary

The idea that only a complex, multi-million dollar, systems integrated collection of vertical industry suppliers can provide the differentiation, scale and robust QoS needed by Tier 1 operators is, I contend, misplaced. By building the design tools, client-defined metadata and market segmentation into our service, and applying it through data-driven apps using common code for each device type, we can provide a Tier 1 quality service, with incredible differentiation, at an unprecedented speed to market, and thus with unparalleled economics. By building on highly robust and scalable cloud services we can also scale rapidly and globally.

All this begs the question on just how much you might get from building your own streaming infrastructure. Even a desire to own the IP (intellectual property) is surely a misnomer because these days most systems integrated solutions are simply a collection of licensed web services anyway. There might be a layer of control; a content management system (CMS) layer of logic that could offer retained IP, but if companies like Easel TV’s whole raison d’être is to build the perfect streaming dashboard, why reinvent the wheel in such a fast-moving competitive landscape.

In an industry needing to swiftly adapt to a changing landscape forced on it by the streaming revolution, it makes sense to have an agile streaming facility to call on. An outsourced partner can offer a powerful combination of ease, speed, quality and economy that are needed in a rapidly changing, results-driven industry, allowing for the introduction of innovative revenue streams and the ability to gain market share.

For more information on how Easel TV is streaming ahead and can help your business expand its revenue streams, please get in touch by emailing