New Video Experience Platform Accelerates Convergence of Pay-TV and OTT Services

Published July 22nd, 2020

Flexible SaaS Platform Combines Consumer Focus with Operational Excellence

Amsterdam, The Netherlands – 22 July 2020 – 24i, the industry-leading, global video experience company, today announced the launch of its Video Experience Platform (VEP), a smart and cost-effective SaaS platform that, for the first time, productizes all the services required for the convergence of Pay-TV, IPTV, and OTT streaming. 

VEP has been designed to accelerate time-to-market while delivering the essential flexibility and functionality required for the creation of next-generation video services. 

Redefining the modern video experience

“The launch of the 24i Video Experience Platform challenges traditional industry delivery models by maximizing flexibility and functionality to provide service providers with, for the first time, the freedom to choose their own path to delivering next-generation video experiences,” said Martijn Van Horssen, Joint-CEO 24i. 

Combining significant industry experience, consumer insight, and modern microservices-led architecture, 24i has created a powerful, modular, and flexible SaaS platform that focuses on the consumer, prioritizes operational efficiency, and provides cost-effective, agile technologies to ensure flexibility, scalability, and continuous innovation. 

“The development of this exciting new platform has been informed by the deployments we’ve handled recently for customers such as BroadwayHD, Slovak Telecom, T-Mobile Czech Republic, Topic, and Youfone. Every customer is different, but they all need flexibility and a laser focus on the consumer. By launching services through VEP for all these customers with very different aims and goals demonstrates that this new platform is incredibly flexible and powerful. We look forward to our new platform continuing to help TV and video service providers to stay audience relevant by taking advantage of new business opportunities at every stage of their video evolution,” added Van Horssen.

VEP combines 24i’s Smart Apps framework, the 24i Smart Video engine, 24i Backstage, and a Smart Ecosystem of technologies and partners, to power the redefinition of the modern video experience. 

The 24i Smart Apps framework supports every media company’s unique video business strategy and technology architecture with custom or white label applications, UX, and UI development. The framework simplifies the syndication and delivery of live and on-demand TV and video content to mobiles, web, Smart TV, TV, STBs, and game consoles. 

24i Smart Video is a feature-rich platform that gives video providers the operational flexibility for end-to-end multiscreen video delivery. Smart Video simplifies the syndication and delivery of live and on-demand TV apps across mobile, web, smart TV, game consoles, and Set-Top-Boxes (including support for HbbTV and ATSC 3.0. The scalable cloud-based model is designed to leverage existing infrastructure and/or 3rd party technologies and provides options for on- or off-premise deployment of relevant workloads, such as service creation and video processing. The platform takes in and converts raw live or on-demand libraries to the required delivery formats for all types of devices, including encoding and transcoding of linear content to multiple bitrates and resolutions. 

24i Backstage is an award-winning, real-time UX and integration manager that allows media companies to define and manage their application experiences by connecting back-end systems via a cloud-based management console. Backstage enables media companies to configure apps, define and schedule content availability or promotion, curate content, orchestrate and enrich metadata, and seamlessly integrate with ecosystem technologies. 

Additionally, 24i has also announced the launch of the Smart Ecosystem, which ties together the online video value chain through a seamless combination of in-house products and premium partner integrations. This open ecosystem delivers TV and video service providers with the most effective video experience solutions based upon their unique business needs and growth strategies. Modular and flexible, the 24i Smart Ecosystem is designed to scale and expand platform architectures without the complexities and risks typically associated with a multi-vendor strategy. 

The 24i Video Experience Platform makes its debut!

This week we are celebrating the launch of our all-new Video Experience Platform. In the latest episode of the ‘In Conversation With…’ video series, Pim Verbij, VP Product at 24i, explains the ins and outs of the new platform.

A short introduction: What is the Video Experience Platform?

The Video Experience Platform in short, is the latest evolution in the 10+ years 24i has spent innovating the video experience. Over the past years, 24i has developed and released applications on many devices, including, but not limited to: web; mobile; SmartTV, consoles and Set Top Boxes. The Video Experience platform is the logical successor to all that experience amassed over the years.

Being able to deliver apps at a quick pace (fast time to market/revenue), while still being highly configurable and scalable, lies at the heart of what the Video Experience Platform offers. It is a combination of technology, a way of thinking and a way of working, all in order to accelerate how we develop and publish video applications to market. But what exactly does that mean? Let’s break it down.

The Three Musketeers

When you read the subtitle above, you might begin to wonder what I mean with this. Why the Three Musketeers? That’s exactly what the Video Experience Platform is: a combination of three products, that combined, make the ultimate video experience.

Going top to bottom, you obviously need a website and apps, that will be used by your users. That’s where the Smart Apps product comes in. Comprised of a single code base for all types of devices, and heavily relying on microservices and ready-to-use components; we leverage the Smart Apps product to quickly setup and create applications.

So now you have your app. But what does the app look like, how do you position and display content in such a way that it attracts users and keeps them on your platform? That’s where the second musketeer comes into play: Backstage. Simply put: Backstage is a CMS and integration manager that allows you to configure almost every aspect of your application. You can adjust the branding, determine the content shown, and even leverage partner-integrations in order to get the most out of your application.

Finally, you obviously need to make sure that there is actual video content making their way to your apps. That’s the third musketeer: Smart Video. Whether you need Video on Demand, Live Video, Catchup and many more; Smart Video is there to handle any type of content.

Which brings us to the D’Artagnan of this story: the actual video content. The series and movies that your customers have grown to love and adore. The goal of the Video Experience Platform is in that sense also very simple. We don’t want you to worry about setting up apps, branding, or delivery of that video content. That’s what we do for you. Allowing you to fully focus on making sure that your users are getting the content they deserve.

But why is it better than what we did before?

The Video Experience Platform is not done, and it never will be. Like technology in general, we are continually evolving and adapting to the changes in the market. This allows our customers to continiously leverage the latest and greatest features offered by the platform.

People usually say that change isn’t always easy. That is however a key thought behind this platform. We want to change, we want to evolve and adapt. And that’s where the key architecture behind the platform comes into play. Everything is setup to be interchangeable, through the use of microservices.

As an example, the platform comes with recommendations built-in. We take user data, make some calculations and recommended content comes rolling out. There are however companies specialised in only that: recommendations. Our microservices architecture allows us to quickly switch between various recommendation engines. The input will still be used data, and the output will still be recommended content. In between is however a different microservice, that calculates the recommendations in a different way, leveraging the partner implementation. By switching between these microservices, the entire platform still continues to work as expected, but you are now using a completely different recommendation engine. Simple as that.

End-user first, but with maximum configurability

24i has always been at the forefront of the field. Over the past decade we have created many applications, where the focus has always been on delivering the best app-experience for the end-users. That remains unchanged. The Video Experience Platform only aims to accelerate that behaviour.

The experience from the past decade has shown us what is exactly needed from things like the backend, that we know are working well in the front-end apps. By having complete control over the entire video chain (from content ingestion to front-end application), we are able to deliver a seemless experience across all platforms. Each aspect of the Video Experience Platform is developed in such a way, that end users get the best experience.

We do however still want to offer maximum configurability. Apps should look exactly how you want them to look, and should present content in such a way that we know is working for your end-users. That’s why the platform caters to both aspects of the field. We make sure that end-users get the content in the best way possible, meanwhile enabling you to configure the apps in every way you see fit.

In conclusion

Short time to market, offering the entire video chain in a single package, end-user focused and with maximum configurability options; the Video Experience Platform aims to make things easy for you. We don’t want you to have to worry about getting your apps live on time, or having to resubmit applications only to change a little image. That’s what the platform handles for you. And it’s all ready for use. Right now.

If the video, or this accompanying blog, has interested you in the platform and are you keen to learn more? Feel free to get in contact so we can have a chat about the possibilities available to you or download the 24i Video Experience Platform brochure for more details.

This blog is also published on Medium by Matthijs Langendijk