Meeting Streaming Video Viewers’ High Expectations with Smartplay by Verizon, Our 1 to 1 Session Management Platform Technology

DIG-INSIGHTS_Delivering-high-quality-of-experienceWhy should you spend time improving your over-the-top (OTT) viewers’ quality of experience (QoE)? Because it pays.

Consumers of streaming video services are unforgiving. They aren’t aware of (nor should they be) the technological feats it takes to deliver OTT video to their mobile devices or big screens. They just expect a TV-like experience, complete with a pristine video stream and crystal-clear audio every time they hit play.

Any reduction in video quality translates to a dramatic decrease in viewer satisfaction. Viewers have no problem switching off devices that don’t perform according to their expectations. Delivering a TV-like experience without fail, on the other hand, encourages longer viewing sessions and greater viewer satisfaction, which of course leads to more ad revenue!

Unfortunately, meeting your viewer expectations for always-on, TV-like experiences is easier said than done. No provider actually intends to sabotage quality of experience for viewers, but it would be wise for us all to acknowledge our viewers’ frustrations.

Providers should become hyper vigilant about every potential factor most likely to affect their streaming service’s performance. What devices are viewers using? What about bandwidth throughput? You must be able to tailor the experience to every device and every viewer, every time.  Of course, actually having a means of evaluating and managing the full delivery infrastructure, from ingest to playout, including the elusive “last mile”, would be super helpful. But none of this counts unless you can adjust your viewer’s individual experiences on the fly.

Well, providers are in for a real treat this holiday season. Verizon Digital Media Services’ end-to-end video streaming platform actually addresses these requirements. Smartplay by Verizon, our 1 to 1 session management platform technology, delivers powerful video stream management functionality, on an individual basis, managing every unique viewer’s video stream, which is essential to delivering and maintaining high QoE.

Every time a viewer presses play, our Uplynk Video Streaming service automatically creates and manages a new viewer session, intelligently creating and adapting a unique playlist comprising of live, linear and video-on-demand (VOD) video streams, as well as ads. As viewer numbers grow, Smartplay keeps pace, no matter if there are hundreds or millions of concurrent viewers. To maintain the quality and continuity of the TV program and ad delivery, Smartplay combines with real-time data to make subtle changes to the video stream sent to each viewer.  Smartplay ensures total control of the video stream being delivered to the viewer. It authenticates valid sessions and manages stream’s concurrency. All of this is combined with information about the viewer’s device and network conditions, plus programming (business) decisions with respect to content and ads. The best news of all is that all of this is done on the backend.

To extend QoE, we’ve partnered with Conviva to provide you with in-depth, client-side, quality of experience analytics. This, combined with our Slicer’s powerful encoder analytics and Edgecast Content Delivery Network service’s managed network quality of service (via our Network Operations Center, aka the NOC), means you now have 360-degree, end-to-end QoE visibility. Now, you can easily monitor and manage your video quality from ingest to playout to optimize your video’s network delivery routes for smooth playback, each and every time. Additional information, including peak concurrent plays, startup, playback and fidelity, combines with detailed analysis to provide greater insight into viewer behavior.

In summary, QoE is really important, not just for you, but for your viewers today. Perhaps, we can argue that QoE should be a higher priority compared to factors like price, breadth of content or brand loyalty. So, if your viewers aren’t enjoying a TV-like experience on every screen, it’s time to reassess your approach to OTT video streaming. Outstanding viewing experiences depend on much more than network speed; they require the seamless video workflow operations and support only available from a tightly integrated online video provider (OVP) and content delivery network (CDN). Only one solution in the market meets this criteria, and that’s the Verizon Digital Media Services platform.

Contact us to learn how Smartplay can help you deliver QoE to every viewer on every device.