Whether you are a seasoned OTT player or just starting out, the big question is always the underlying technology stack and how suppliers can help you to refresh or launch your service, writes Axinom Products Director Jürgen Jõgeva.

OTT is no longer news to anybody familiar with the industry. There are companies that started already 7-8 years ago and then those who are still in the very early days with their service.

Jürgen Jõgeva

Jürgen Jõgeva

For the first segment, early adopters, it is now the time of consolidation and renewal. They have accumulated experience in regards of their business model and market response and are now looking to replace some of the early solutions and technology choices with modern ones.

This enables more polished workflows, faster delivery and in many cases, at least partial if not full move to cloud for further agility and efficiency. This especially applies to bigger telcos and broadcasters that may have operations on several continents and are looking for ways to unify backend systems and reduce complexity of content and subscriber management.

Sometimes an update to the Content Management System helps to integrate several separate systems into one but depending on previous decisions the whole delivery channel from ingest and encoding up to front-end applications needs a remake to offer expected scalability and availability across the globe.

For the other group that is starting out only now, the main question is business model and target market. To launch one more OTT platform with same content offered by 20 other providers is definitely not a successful strategy.

Here we see two very different directions. First is to go really niche – find the suitable subscriber base depending on interests (surfing, kickboxing, food, God) and serve these people daily: they are willing to pay for good quality content and it is possible to target viewers globally.

Another approach is to offer a broad suite of content but ensure that it is available in local languages and contains familiar domestic faces besides Hollywood stars. This is something where you still have time to beat Netflix and other large players. Coming from smaller countries, we know the difficulty of having anything localised or from local producers easily available.

As for all industries, cloud has come to stay; the possibility to deploy exactly the resources you need and not to worry about for example hardware amortisation is definitely tempting. Especially in live streaming, where one of the huge concerns has been latency, we now see more and more services moving some of their workload to cloud.

Considering large user load differences between the most popular events and average days, cloud enables just so much more flexibility without huge capex investment. In addition, the latency issue is being solved as we speak – tackled by standards bodies, encoders and packagers, players and CDNs.

The IBC Content Everywhere area has for several years done a good job in bringing together companies from various areas to give you all the information on a silver platter. Knowledge sessions, product presentations, and OTT-focused exhibitors help to set the roadmap towards the next best version of your OTT platform.

Jürgen Jõgeva is Director at Axinom Products

IBC2018 Axinom will be exhibiting at IBC2018 on Stand 14.F17.