If you are working in the media and entertainment industry, you already know that DVDs have a fast-ticking life clock. Maybe this is the same gut feeling that you had when DVDs started to uproot the once-strong VHS market. Indeed, the VHS took a long time to taper off, but there was no going back once DVDs starting flying off the shelves. The same shift is occurring again, with an even greater impact: VOD is changing the broadcast landscape and is turning the DVDs of today into the frisbees of tomorrow.
For those among you who still have a DVD player that works, first, please take a moment to pat yourself on the back. Seriously, that is no small feat. But since yours is still functional, you may argue that DVDs are happily co-existing with VOD. Well, of course you can still buy a DVD for $14.99 at your local Walmart or BestBuy. But given the superior picture quality of VOD apps, low cost subscriptions and the increased convenience of streaming from the comfort of your couch, I think it’s only a matter of time before they are driven to extinction.
Many of you are perhaps sold on the ‘why’ of VOD but it is likely that you are stuck on the ‘how.’ How do you prepare for the challenges of the future while concentrating on your present? If your mobile app is part of the video ecosystem and you want to fully capture the opportunities VOD can offer, you must consider the following:
- Shifting to the cloud;
- Using intelligent predictive engines
Shifting to the Cloud
As a media professional, you need to find a cost-effective video hosting platform for storing, protecting and distributing your content. And migrating to the cloud is the most sensible solution. Because it converts your upfront capital expenditure (CAPEX) to an operating expense (OPEX), there is no hassle of maintaining your own on-premise infrastructure.
All of your video processing such as transcoding, encoding, storage, or multi-platform distribution can be done in the cloud and you’ll have to pay a periodic subscription. What you get is streamlined media delivery, flexibility to support new platforms and lower fixed costs. The money saved can be pumped into developing new content and finding new delivery mechanisms.
And if you want to better manage your burst capability, then moving to the cloud is again an ideal solution. “The whole concept of cloud compute is that you can turn up high-volume computing capacity on demand — with elastic capacity to burst to the cloud — and be billed only for that time,” says Greggory Heil, CEO and founder of Encoding.com. “When burst demand is there, that overflow can spill over to the cloud to manage workflows and productivity. And when demand hits a lull, customers don’t have the frustration of paying for costly capital equipment that’s just sitting idle.”
Using Intelligent Predictive Engines
One of the biggest problems with the existing VOD apps is that though there is a ton of content out there, somehow users are unable to find it because of an inefficient method of discovery.
Imagine your customer coming home after a hard day at work, wanting to unwind by watching a movie on your app but unsure of what exactly to watch. As they browse through your directory, they feel like they’ve already watched all of the good movies in your catalogue. They try to browse through some suggestions and recommendations but call it a day after not being able to find something they’re interested in. What happens then? They log off your app! You’ve lost a user.
What you need to do is revisit the tools that you use to screen your users’ interests and modify them. And if you combine that with better algorithms, you are going to have a kickass app and your user is going to have a helluva good time. This could have a significant impact on keeping users logged onto your app. Using better predictive engines is the way forward.
Make Your Video Streaming App Scalable
The world is mobile; your content goes wherever your user does. There was a time when you’d take the subway to work and see a lot of people toting their iPods. Music was the only way to pass their time on long and boring commutes. But now the same subway ride offers a different sight: you see people consuming news on mobile apps, streaming live matches, or watching premium content with little to no interruption.
With so many people now streaming videos on apps, the question is, can your app handle that kind of load? Are there millions of people streaming content on your app and is each one enjoying a seamless experience? If not, there lies your opportunity.
Going forward, media and entertainment professionals can find success with VOD if they use cloud based video hosting platforms, enhance their predictive engines and continue to develop better content scalability.
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