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Reinventing Streaming to empower industry: unveiling our New Platform at IBC 2022

Revealing a Future That Connects Content Owners to Consumers Like Never Before

What’s not to look forward to - not only is the broadcast industry’s premier European show back in force post-pandemic at IBC 2022 in September, but we’ll be unveiling our new streaming platform there.

Leading up to the event we are going to run a short series of four blogs on our new platform. We explore what the new platform can deliver, why total flexibility in operating a SaaS streaming is a game-changer for content owners looking to drive exceptional business results through a direct relationship with consumers.

What’s being revealed – and why?

Our new streaming solution enables businesses and brands across a multitude of industries (not just film and TV) to take unprecedented control of streaming services as tool for reaching audiences and consumers - more easily, flexibly, and cost-effectively than they ever previously could.

The new platform is built on four “pillars of flexibility” – Design, Metadata, Markets, and Coalescence - and over the course of the four posts we’ll explore each (ably supported by our recent podcast) in advance of the unveiling of the platform at the show.

In this, the first of those is flexibility in ‘design’.

Design; the first pillar of streaming’s future

For content owners – from the smallest sports club’s live-streaming fixtures to established brands looking to connect to streaming audiences - the prospect of creating a streaming service (in the mould of Netflix or BBC’s iPlayer) is not only technically daunting, but can be financially unviable.

At the same time, in a market whose content and audiences are evolving rapidly, it is not enough for content owners to subscribe to a one-size-fits-all, as-a-service online streaming tool if they have to wait (and pay) for every design change they need made.

A significant aspect of streaming’s mandate is to provide entertainment to the big screen, i.e. TV broadcast like services on TV devices, be they smart TVs, streaming boxes like Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Roku, Netgem etc., or through pay TV boxes like Sky or Virgin Media. The challenge with this is that these devices are not like computers where traditional tools used to build websites can be used. These devices adhere to their own, often very unique, development environments in which to launch a ‘TV’ app.

What we are showing at IBC 2022 addresses these issues head-on.

It brings much of the flexibility of web design tools to Streaming, most powerfully it allows these advanced designs to be published across the whole portfolio of devices, from a browser, mobile and tablets, to smart TVs, streaming boxes and TV operator services – that is game changing.

It enables content owners to easily and repeatedly restructure and reconfigure what the viewer sees and experiences, and how – but this goes far beyond just the control of logos, colours, themes, and banners.

It includes the ability to flex the design in order to test and change how content is displayed, ordered, and found by the viewer, in response to ongoing audience interaction.

It offers easily user-configurable features like carousels, swimlanes and grids, and control over when, where, and how many of them appear, plus updatable event menus and collections to improve discovery and support A/B testing.

But design flexibility can become a burdensome undertaking if permission is required from each individual design manufacturer to change anything (as it often is), so our new platform is also data driven meaning there is no need to put these device apps back through manufacturer approval. This enables changes to be rolled out seamlessly to all devices – web, mobile, and TV – in a “publish once, change at will” solution, which also enables the accompanying branding to be easily refreshed if required.

You can see all this on our stand at the show. But it’s worth taking a moment to explore some of the deeper drivers behind the ever-increasing importance of design in streaming, and why we’ve done what we’ve done with our new platform solution.

Why is design so key to our new streaming platform?

What’s driving the importance of design flexibility is a strong and growing consumer tendency to gravitate towards streaming content that speaks to interests, pastimes, and hobbies, rather than delivering mere entertainment.

Inevitably, this makes for much more diverse content - from cookery to karting, supercars to skeet shooting, modern art to mariachi music, and just about everything in between – but it also makes for multiple differentiations within that content.

Your Manchester City streaming audience, for example, might be adult males in Moss Side or female children in Mayo, and your cookery channel audience could be vegan, gluten-intolerant, card-carrying carnivore, or any of the above.

What this multiplicity means is that the way the streaming content is made searchable and discoverable by those audiences must be highly nuanced compared to, say, a Disney or Netflix environment. Actor, director, or series may no longer makes sense; it’s far more likely to be by chef, club or car brand, manager or medical theme.

The flexible design built into our new platform enables content owners to structure, display, and deliver content in ways that appeal to these audience-driven discovery priorities, personalising the consumer experience, and building loyalty.

For example, a hotel content streaming service could use our platform to create separate markets for a hotel chain or an individual hotel, or even a subset of rooms in a hotel.  Premium rooms could get free-to-guest movies whilst other rooms could get pay-per-view, each with their own unique design.

A Hollywood studio could have their own B2C streaming service (one market) whilst also offering the same (or indeed selective) content to consumers through a syndicated partner, e.g. a car manufacturer, for in-car entertainment.

Again, we can show exactly how this works at IBC 2022 – so come along with some target markets in mind.

Metadata: our next IBC 2022 post

So, design flexibility is indeed key to streaming success for content owners. However, what must sit beneath it is smart, granular metadata - and we’ll be covering this off in the second post in this pre-show series next week.

Watch this space, and come back soon.

To meet us at IBC 2022, just come along to stand 5.C44 at the RAI Amsterdam, 9 – 12 September, or if you’d like to schedule a meeting with us contact us here.

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