Why is understanding OTT Platform Delivery Important?

User Experience

OTT service providers experience huge competition across the global markets. They all seek higher ‘stickiness’ to their service by potential users. To gain this stickiness, it is key that a great user experience is provided, which helps the viewer spend more time watching content they love.

The Problem of High Demand of Users

Of course the content is very significant, but it is also important for the user to find appealing content and to view it smoothly, in whichever device he wants to do so, with the greatest quality available. Despite content strategies, service providers need key elements in the backstage that will make sure that all that effort in getting that great content is not wasted when the OTT platform receives a high demand of users. Your OTT strategy needs to absorb that high demand and still provide the highest quality expected for a great content.

Absorbing the High Demand of Users

Absorbing a high demand of users demands elasticity, high availability and flexibility. The OTT platform should be able to provide the same response time and quality to the initial thousand users to the hundred of thousands that specific content or situation might generate at a peak time.

What is the challenge for an Operator?

Scaling

In recent years, and especially during these past months, there has been a surge in IPTV and VOD streaming services. This has been a challenge for many carrier MSO/ISP service providers and telecom operators who have to keep the same level of quality and reliance of the service, easily doubling the number of users and the amount of time those users were spending in front of the screens. 

This has stretched the capacity of existing OTT streaming platforms and surfaced new challenges in terms of the elasticity of the system architectures to accommodate new users by multiples of 2 or even more, keeping the same levels of quality and high availability.

The Current Market: Legacy Systems

Most existing top of the line OTT streaming services rely on legacy systems created over 10-15 years ago or more. These legacy systems, although relatively stable, are hard to maintain and adapt to the new technologies and architectures more cloud oriented, where elasticity, flexibility and high availability are given concepts, inherent to new technologies and programming methodologies based on microservices and Kubernetes. 

How Legacy Systems Work

In Legacy systems, the different pieces of software are glued together and it is a new paradigm to rebuild or re-adapt the entire system to a new cloud based era. 

The drawback of legacy systems is that they don’t easily absorb peaks of usage where high quality and low latencies need to be maintained.

What is the Trend of the Market?

There is a clear trend in the market to go for more sophisticated native cloud architectures, supported by microservices and Kubernetes that will guarantee the elasticity capacity and high availability of the system. Microservice architecture is intended to overcome the hurdles, failure, and breakdown of the bigger applications and thereby increase the modularity aspect and elasticity of your solution. 

Native Cloud Architectures Provide Greater User Experience

This new architecture matches well with greater user experience, by bringing in the flexibility that enhances the user experience. New features that need to be inserted in the overall workflow of the OTT service can be easily implemented with the granular ability to scale only the parts of the workflow that matters. The additional container approach by using Kubernetes, allows third-party access to the infrastructure in a way that better shares the resource among multiple use-cases.

Microservices

Microservices delivered with Kubernetes containers provide multi-tenant isolation and container resource quotas, key for those companies that want to offer the service to multiple different ISPs from one single source of content.

Are you targeting the right OTT platforms? Smartphones, Tablets, and SmartTVs

Additional aspects that need to be considered by the IPTV/VOD provider are the target audience demographics, which devices are being used to consume video by the audience, which geographical areas, and what age.

  • Are you targeting the right platforms?
  • Is the type of content are they viewing long or short?
  • Is the content more targeted to younger audiences (mobile or web) or more for the traditional audience (SmartTV)? 
  • How do you keep up with platform fragmentation, with new VOD streaming platforms entering the market, as well as keeping up with changes in Android, iOS, Samsung and LG? 
  • How do you plan to monetize based on new OTT business model objectives like AVOD or/and SVOD?

The chosen OTT platform should be flexible enough to react and adapt to all these needs. 

In-Cloud or On-Premise?

The OTT service providers find this dilemma quite often, the more controlled environment at home or the powerful unrestricted benefit of an in-cloud deployment. The answer to this question should be that either of both are available by the OTT platform. 

Migration

The OTT streaming provider can start with a low number of users in a more controlled on-premise platform and then later move to a more powerful, in-cloud system. Alternatively, the OTT service provider might be inclined to start with an in-cloud platform for a low number of users, within an OPEX model to later evolve into a less OPEX demanding on-premise platform. Still, both ways should be easy movements in terms of the technology supporting the service. 

Conclusion

The quick OTT video services adoption due to the pandemic has given a new relevance to all aspects involved in optimizing the OTT advertising service. The high availability of the platform, making sure the service is always up and running at the best quality, and handling peak demands, has become a must. 

It has also become central to OTT streaming service providers to achieve the flexibility and elasticity that such services demand, by implementing new platforms based on microservices and container architectures with powerful and intuitive middleware to support ever-changing business environments.

About Setplex

Setplex excels in providing an end-to-end IPTV/OTT solution, based on a native cloud architecture, using microservices and Kubernetes to guarantee elasticity, high availability, and flexibility.

Setplex IPTV middleware makes sure that you can test different OTT business model strategies with different audiences in a matter of days, and launch your service on any of the multiple available platforms available in the market.

Setplex makes sure that the streaming service provider focuses on maximizing the monetization of the OTT platform by covering multiple types of business models, covering every possible platform and ensuring that max capacity is always available for a resourceful successful carrier.


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