This has been quite a year. In the prelude to 2020 we were cracking jokes about 2020 vision and the future of OTT. Little did we know this would be the year that would see everyone working from home in their track suit bottoms and becoming experts in waving at their laptops, starting meetings with “Can you hear me?” or “I think you’re on mute”. That said, although a global pandemic didn’t quite make our predictions list, it has nonetheless accelerated the adoption for OTT services. With production all but halted for the past year, the value of video content has never been greater, widely becoming the COVID comfort blanket for the nation.
This year has been challenging for everyone and team Simplestream quickly adapted to the new way of working. During lock down, we focused on our award winning App Platform, building out some great new features, so as we approach Christmas, here are some of the product development highlights that we are pleased to share with you.
Our live events module was rolled out just as the pandemic hit, offering a Pay Per View solution, together with the ability to quickly generate metadata driven highlights, enabling our sports and entertainment clients to provide a multi-platform home for both their live and VOD content to a loyal fan base.
The “add to watchlist feature” now gives the ability to let users add movies and series to create their own custom channel feed for easy navigation - ideal to help users to prioritise their box set binging habits.
Fiddly logins with a virtual keyboard and wasting time trying to type in your email and password on a TV remote are now a thing of the past. Device Flow allows for multi-platform sign-in by using a simple code on another device to login to playback content. Perfect for big screen apps and hassle free viewing.
Building on the theme of Device Flow, social login for Google, Facebook & Apple allows users to set up their account with ease, supporting AVOD and SVOD business models.
The auto-play feature is now available so that the next episode can be scheduled to start as the credits roll on the current programme being shown. Perfect to keep the end user engaged and can be optionally switched off if preferred.
Are You Still Watching
This feature helps our customers to keep their streaming costs down - with a time based prompt for users that may have been watching too many shows back-to-back, or simply perhaps that they left their TV on, it means content isn’t accidentally being streamed without any eyeballs watching. It also helps consumers to reduce their unnecessary data usage, so it’s a win-win all around.
An excellent feature to help combat the spread of account sharing by limiting the number of devices attached to an individual account. This was our recent December monthly feature so you can read more about it in detail here.
Concurrent Stream Limits
On the back of our new device management functionality, we have also included a new feature allowing our customers to limit the number of concurrent streams that can be configured on a per user basis.
Great for seeing into the future, or finding one of your favourite scenes in an episode, or even to skip through the scary bits in a horror movie. Thumbnail scrubbing allows users to scan through on demand video just by navigating over the timeline.
Our powerful analytics system also saw an improvement this year as we included the functionality for tracking series & episode information giving greater insight as to what is being watched in real time on a per-device basis, that can help shape a content acquisition and marketing strategy.
Our new referrals system allows our customers to track referrals from different sources for partnership programs & to monitor the success of each campaign. An ideal way to efficiently increase subscriber growth.
Simplestream in the New Year
Putting 2020 behind us, we are optimistically looking forward to what 2021 will bring. We are expanding our team so that we can work closer with our fantastic customers and continue to build upon our relationships with our strategic partners, both in the UK and overseas.
We are already working on several authenticated apps for operators in territories such as Africa and closer to home, we continue to build out our turnkey multi-platform solutions for DTT channels here in the UK – we also have some exciting announcements to make in the New Year around live events, so watch this space.
In the meantime, we wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday season and the very best of luck for 2021.