There has never been a better time to launch an OTT service, writes Adam Smith, Simplestream.

During the last two years, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated a paradigm shift that was already underway. Demand for content, statistics highlight, is at an all-time high, and technology platforms have evolved – increasingly pivoting to the cloud in order to make the process smoother. The simplification of complex architectures and workflows has become essential for operators looking to strengthen existing services or to launch brand new ones. The demands of hungry audiences naturally bring a number of challenges for players in the OTT space.


Adam Smith, Simplestream

At Simplestream, we believe in providing premium services that are deployed with reduced time-to-market and greater scalability, and which ultimately can enhance opportunities for monetisation across a variety of business models. Our out-of-the-box solution for multi-device applications, App Platform, is the answer to the need to launch premium video services through a powerful, flexible framework. In fact, we have been working with an array of new clients, for example launching a whole set of OTT services for GB News – the free-to-air television news channel in the UK – and powering Channel 4’s OTT experience during the Paralympic Games held in Tokyo in August/September.

Built on the foundation of a design-first approach and the framework provided by App Platform, each project can count on a ready-made component library that contains all of the must-have features for any service. Think of capabilities for live streaming, on-demand and automated live-to-VOD workflows for the generation of catch-up content from live streams. Also, think of single or multi-channel EPG view, as well as other features such as options for content download to device, state-of-the-art video player, and in-app purchases.

Choosing the right technology is still one of the most sensitive steps when ‘going OTT’ and wanting to build a brand new service. End-to-end value propositions have so far been the most popular means to present a suite of services that satisfy the many needs of players in the market – with one big bottleneck often being the difficulty of integrating solutions with existing online video platforms (OVPs). App Platform is a best-in-class solution that can seamlessly integrate with any OVP existing in the market today, bringing clear benefits to our clients. By leveraging this OVP-agnostic approach, content owners can use services they are already trained on.

Moreover, storage costs aren’t duplicated. Migration of content is not required, and existing configurations can remain as they are. Finally – and most importantly – our clients can keep working seamlessly with existing third parties, benefiting from the utilisation of Simplestream’s Media Manager, which is our content management system, as an orchestration layer.

Unfortunately, we are not able to meet in person this year in Amsterdam. We were all hoping to get together for the 2021 edition of IBC, to restart a conversation abruptly interrupted earlier in 2020. We are asked to be patient for a little longer, and we are really looking forward to meeting clients, partners and future prospects on the floor of the trade show sometime soon. However, this doesn’t prevent Simplestream from showcasing its most recent project launches in a virtual space, together with the enhancements to our suite of products – from App Platform to Media Manager – with emphasis on live events capabilities for the sports sector and applications specifically designed for big screens, including hybrid TV solutions.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world back in 2020, Simplestream was able to considerably grow its profile across the industry landscape by successfully delivering a number of new, remarkable projects. We look forward to what’s next, eager to keep revolutionising the way the world watches TV.

  • Adam Smith is the CEO of Simplestream

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