York, United Kingdom — September 6, 2018 — At IBC 2018, on stand 5.C80, Piksel Group, a global provider of advanced video technology solutions and services, will be discussing various strategies for broadcasters and content owners struggling to compete with Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Hulu and other born-online SVOD platforms.
A particularly hot topic at this year’s IBC, the continuing battle for viewers between traditional broadcasters and the streaming giants rages on. Given the undeniable shift in viewing habits, broadcasters realise that time is not on their side as they struggle to keep viewers from drifting away. Organizations may have a version 1 platform and are struggling to keep pace, or they may have outsourced a platform that is not meeting their needs. In this age of instant online gratification, the ability to search, browse, and view content online is no longer a ‘nice to have’. DVRs were a great way to record shows to watch later, but mistakes happen, DVRs get filled to capacity, air time gets pushed, and content gets truncated and lost. For many viewers, it feels like a safer bet to pay a small fee to the big streaming players, knowing the content will almost certainly be available, with few interruptions, accessible on any device.
For broadcasters, this can seem like a losing battle. Content rights coupled with access to high-quality, exclusive or original content does not come cheap. Niche content featuring sports, e-gaming, and unique scripted and non-scripted shows are increasingly going direct-to-consumer with browser and app-based streaming platforms, further diluting content across all platforms and building a wave of competition to traditional pay TV and free-to-air broadcast boutiques.
Social media provides another home for content, with Facebook Watch and Snapchat Discover among the notable initiatives. And while the market for DVDs and Blu-ray discs is still strong, instantly streaming the movie or show you want to watch in HD or even 4K quality can only further erode physical media sales in the long term. Meanwhile, viewership and ad revenues continue to drop as consumers choose these alternative sources of entertainment.
Building a Platform
The task of building an SVOD platform from scratch can be equally daunting for broadcasters and content owners. Luckily, it’s not necessary to re-invent the wheel when creating a branded portal where viewers can easily search and discover shows they want to watch. The transition of OTT services into cloud-native microservice architectures now provides broadcasters the ability to leverage powerful platforms for deploying competitive online destinations that provide a simplified and richer experience for viewers.
Such platforms, being cloud-native, can automatically scale. This means the cost of entry with a fledgling service can be optimal whilst providing the ability to seamlessly scale as the consumer service grows. A service approach provides the means to use and pay for the precise services that you need. So, whilst one broadcaster may wish to retain their on-premise transcoding capability another may switch to a cloud service from the outset. The means to customise and put a broadcaster’s unique mark on a consumer offering is vital. This can be achieved by taking a ‘headless’ service-based approach. In this model, the heavy lifting is provided through the cloud-native services whilst the lightweight visual applications provided to consumers can be designed and tailored to meet the needs of an organization’s brand and unique service offerings.
A recent example is to be found in Piksel’s work with RTL Netherlands to develop a new digital destination that brings together all of its most popular linear and on-demand viewing in one place.
Kristan Bullett, Joint Managing Director at Piksel commented: “We are delighted to have been selected by RTL Netherlands to help deliver on its bold new platform strategy. The Piksel Palette was built from the ground up for companies like RTL Netherlands who understand the need for agility within an increasingly competitive media environment: Our SaaS microservices-based products are designed to easily interoperate not only with each other but within a wider media ecosystem. They deliver a powerful foundation that offers a quick to market start, fully managed operation, and future flexibility at its core.”
Giovanni Piccirilli, CTO at RTL Netherlands added: “RTL is committed to transforming its fans’ experience through a high performance next-generation digital platform. For this we have defined a highly scalable, future-proof and modular architecture in which Piksel’s technology naturally fits. We are looking forward to partnering with Piksel to deliver RTL’s content with the very best viewing experience for all our customers.”