It is no secret that over-the-top (OTT) platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have taken the local entertainment market by storm - almost everyone uses such a service. These service are facing a much tougher game, with viewers now having a myriad of options to pay to view on demand content on-the-go through OTT apps. This is especially so in a market like Singapore, where consumers now spend more time each week watching online video content than traditional broadcast television.
In order for OTT providers to keep up with these ever-increasing demands, they need to be able to understand the consumer, and take a proactive approach to deliver quality experiences with the integration of Content Delivery Network (CDN) infrastructure within their operations.
Consumers expect broadcast quality - across every device and every time
The concept of ‘content is king’ is long gone. With consumers today are no longer hindered by the limitation of television broadcast showtimes or content availability, they instead have become accustomed to seamless viewing experience across their devices, at the simple touch of a button. When this is not achieved, they are fast to move to providers that are able to make this possible.
According to a recent report, almost half (49.1 percent) of users are not willing to wait more than five seconds for a webpage to load before leaving it. Bearing in mind that most content providers engage with an international audience, they need to keep up with these standardised demands even when there are spikes in web traffic. Reliable network infrastructure is thus the pre-requisite for superlative content delivery. This includes accounting for dynamic challenges in quality and service transmission, even the likelihood of cyberattacks, in order to retain today’s consumers and ward off competition.
Effective delivery - why Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) are key to a quality experience
Understanding consumer needs for speed and seamlessness, the integration of CDNs presents a natural next step for OTT providers. Leveraging cloud-based technologies, CDNs are able to automatically convert videos into multiple streaming formats and reduce workflow complexities, while delivering broadcast-quality video to connected devices all over the world. This ultimately enables OTT providers to deliver on the promise of speed and quality for end-users.
This objective is achieved by maintaining the availability of the desired content across source and destination, detecting device, platform, and prevailing network conditions of an end-user, and then customising broadcast settings to offer optimal viewing experience under these constraints.
Beyond service delivery, integrating CDNs within OTT networks also facilitates dynamic service enhancements by gathering user-centric consumption information for analytics to ensure a personalised experience. This helps providers uncover and execute on insights, while simultaneously unlocking new avenues emerging within the market, and ultimately encouraging the growth of a loyal user base in a saturated and competitive market.
Singapore-based global television site, Viki, is one such example of a content provider that has started tapping into CDN technologies. Delivering primetime shows and movies in more than 200 languages to millions of viewers who average more than 1.3 billion minutes watched per month, Viki recognised the importance of providing a unique video on demand experience for fans while ensuring the speed and quality of delivery in an ever-evolving media space.
They began leveraging CDN in order to ensure global reach and scalability, to keep up with its growing business and to deliver high quality video content to millions of users.
Looking ahead involves going beyond expectations
OTT providers must first recognise the challenges of a hyper-competitive market. Following that, they face to look into developing a business strategy that goes beyond curating compelling content, into digital infrastructure like CDNs, and deliver the highest quality viewing experience for their target audience.