Published May 6th, 2020
By Ramon Duivenvoorden, Chief Commercial Officer at 24i
The key to producing consumer products cost-effectively is mass-customization. We’ve certainly come a long way since you could have a Ford in any colour as long as it’s black, but a modern car manufacturer will not give you a huge number of product variables – yes, you can choose a colour other than black, and you’ll be able to buy a sports pack, or upgrade the in-car entertainment system, but the car OEM will probably decide whether the model you want has a spoiler!
In many ways, software development has followed a similar path – the developer has decided what the solution set should be for a given problem, built a product around that solution set and allowed some level of customization around that.
Over time, additional features are required that go beyond the level of customization allowed in the original product specification. Pretty quickly under this development paradigm, the client has a system that’s no longer based on a solid code-base, so it cannot benefit from roadmap upgrades, shared innovation and maintenance. At the same time, they also have a system that lacks the benefits of custom development such as full control over code and feature set.
This is how media entertainment apps have traditionally been developed, and we think it’s broken. Fortunately, there’s another way.
Over the last 2 or 3 years, we’ve striven to base 24i product development on what we call Customer Centric principles.
As you might guess the overarching philosophy is to put the customer first, but in reality, what does this actually mean?
We’ve boiled this down to a number of principles that we adhere to in how we think about s/w development and build products, as follows:
So, how does this work in practice? As an example, one of our clients wanted to move from a profit to a non-profit model. The consumers using their app could move from a subscription model to a ‘single charitable donation for life’ model. There are complex rules that have to be adhered to when you’re accepting charitable donations – if this customer had been with a traditional developer, the switch would have needed a lot of new code, too much time and money, and potentially compromise the architectural integrity of the application. This is assuming they did not select an out-of-the-box vendor that would simply decline the request for the new flows.
Because our app was built on micro-services, with a minimum of dependency between the services, we were able to replace the components that needed to change and make the switch in weeks. More importantly, we enabled this change without a branch in the client’s code, so that moving forward they continue to gain from future 24i product roadmap developments.
I believe that sooner or later virtually every client has specific needs that are critical for their business. Yet, at the same time, most requirements are common between all streaming media businesses. Our Customer Centric approach based upon micro-services means that we can deliver scale, innovation and stability on these common needs, while offering the freedom to break free for that custom 5% that enables our customers to set themselves apart from the competition or fulfill unique business needs.
We know that customer-centric development based upon micro-services is the way to go – but it’s not necessarily obvious to potential customers how great an advantage this is, until they need to make a key pivot in business model, or another customized change is the one that breaks this particular camel’s back. Which is why I’m writing this blog!
If you would like to know more about our approach to Customer Centric development, please get in touch – and look out for upcoming blogs from 24i CTO Pavel Jacko who will discuss the technical principles in more depth.
Contact us today to find out 24i can help you scale and extend your OTT streaming services
It is no surprise that video streaming services are experiencing exceptional growth while lockdowns around the world keep people at home where they want to be entertained. Netflix added 16 million new accounts in the first three months of the year and niche video services such as BroadwayHD, Topic and Pure Flix, have also seen a significant increase in streams and subscriptions.
In the first of our own video series In
Conversation… , Martijn van Horssen, CEO and co-founder of 24i shares insights on
why some media companies are doing better than others during the Corona crisis,
- The 'Watch Party' effect and other smart marketing tactics
- The AVOD challenge and SVOD opportunity
- Scaling services for peak demand and growth and
- How 24i is support customers and employees during this testing time.
Hosted by Craig Kierce and produced from home, we hope you enjoy watching this honest and open interview and we look forward to bringing you the next episode of In Conversation soon.
Jan 25, 2018
Feb 21, 2018
Mar 13, 2019
Parks Associates research has found that OTT video services have transitioned back into the home's living room, with a majority (52%) of U.S. broadband households now watching online video on a TV that is connected to the internet.
Its report, 360 View: Digital Media and Connected Consumers, also found that watching TV or films at home is the most popular leisure activity among US broadband households, with 55% selecting this among their top two favourite leisure activities.
"While the total number of hours consuming videos has declined, consumers are watching more internet video on the largest screen available," said Billy Nayden, research analyst, Parks Associates. "The number of hours consumers report watching video on a TV increased for the first time since 2014, with connected devices enabling internet video services on TV and shifting consumers away from PC and mobile viewing. As OTT competition becomes a battle for the living room, the challenge for device makers and content producers is finding the correct product mix to maximise both profit and utility."
The report also found that subscriptions are the dominant business model for OTT services. As more services emerge, many stakeholders fear an impending subscription overload in US households.
"As consumers' taste for OTT experimentation wanes, they will start to resist the push to add another monthly subscription to their households," Nayden said. "Many providers are starting to lead with freemium and ad-based models, in anticipation of this pushback."
Parks Associates also found that 19% of consumers subscribe to either Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video and another OTT service, compared to 13% in 2017; and overall, consumers watched 25.7 hours of video per week in 2018, down from 29.5 hours per week in 2016.
Source: Rapid TV News & Parks Associate