Television operators are implementing their initial "TV Everywhere" (TVE) deployments, which provide paid TV subscribers access to their favorite shows on tablets, PCs, phones and other IP-connected devices. thePlatform, the leading white-label video publishing company and pioneer in TVE services, today announced an advanced new suite of features, enabling operators to create new and highly tailored content packages and promotions. The new features enable pay TV providers to reinforce and extend the value of their current TV subscription packages across more devices.
"TV operators are seeking ways to unlock the potential of larger content libraries, extend the value of their subscriptions, and create tailored viewing experiences for their customers," said Ian Blaine, CEO and co-founder of thePlatform. "Our new TV Everywhere features provide powerful tools to make that possible. With the challenge of authentication largely behind us, and more content available than ever before, the industry can shift to creating even more customized entertainment packages. These dynamic new mpx tools enable operators to create their own criteria for grouping content and subscribers -- from history buffs to fans of a particular series -- and will create innovative marketing opportunities."
Subscription Packages and Subscriber Groups
At the core of today's announcement are two new features of thePlatform's mpx video publishing system, Subscription Packages and Subscriber Groups, which can be variously combined to create entirely new entertainment experiences for consumers. Subscription Packages are collections of content, defined by the operators, such as those that mirror their basic, extended, or premium channel TV line ups, which can be viewed on devices beyond TVs. thePlatform's new TVE features allow operators to easily and dynamically create highly customized extras or subgroups of content packages around genres, TV series, actors, holidays, and much more. These extra content packages can draw from much larger content catalogs than are currently available on linear TV or video-on-demand (VOD) catalogs, in order to be viewed on tablets, PCs, or other IP-connected devices.
Subscriber Groups enable operators to segment customers, based on a wide range of operator-defined filters, such as their paid TV subscription package, geography, acceptable content rating, device type, content viewing preferences, and more. Within thePlatform's system, subscribers can belong to multiple Subscriber Groups, and can be offered a variety of Subscription Packages to create highly tailored offerings. Both new features are now available for free to mpx customers, and are in early trials with multiple TV operators around the globe.
Metadata: Beyond Content Discovery
The key technical underpinning for today's announcement stem from thePlatform's advancements with metadata management. Metadata has historically been used to enable better content discovery, search and recommendations. Now, operators will be able to leverage metadata to set new business policies that take advantage of their vast content libraries, to create better services for their subscribers.
thePlatform's mpx system includes a central repository for metadata surrounding a video including categories, keywords, tags, asset types and more. This collection of data enables operators to easily create dynamic filters via mpx's intuitive console to create any combination of Subscription Package. Once a package is defined, specific viewing rights can be assigned with enforcement by stream encryption or a DRM such as Microsoft PlayReady or Adobe Flash Access. This same repository enabled thePlatform to improve the efficiency of its previous TVE solutions for operators. For example, thePlatform's TVE solutions previously relied on a series of manual channel mapping exercises with linear TV channels, which can now be streamlined within mpx using metadata policies.
More Choices and Tailored Experiences
Potential use cases that could be enabled by thePlatform's new TV Everywhere features include:
* Kids Programming: A family that subscribes to premium TV packages could receive an extra bundle of free online viewing for all past episodes of their kids' favorite shows, to watch on their tablets or game consoles.
* History Buff: A subscriber that loves history-oriented programming could be provided a new online bundle of documentaries, offered during specific time windows, such as significant dates in U.S. or World History.
* Holiday Promotions: Operators can create video collections of TV shows or movies with holiday themes, like Valentine's Day or Halloween, tailored for different generations, and offer them at various times throughout the year.
* Teenage/Premium Movie Channel: A teenager whose household subscribes to a premium movie channel, could receive restricted online viewing based on ratings, but could be offered an alternative set of more content choices based on personal interests, like an affinity for wizards, superheroes or vampires.
* Sports: A subscriber to premium sports programming, with an affinity toward boxing or mixed martial arts, could be provided video collections of specific athletes' bouts online.
* Movies: Subscribers to basic TV packages who regularly order pay-per-view movies on TV, could be given a free pass to view multiple premium movie channels on their home PC for two weeks, as an incentive to upgrade to a premium subscription package.
thePlatform's mpx system provides operators with the flexibility to create and combine groups and packages in highly tailored ways to add value, upsell, or promote their services across devices. mpx also serves as the critical enforcement mechanism to ensure the business policies and financial obligations between programmers and TV service providers are maintained, while managing user authentication and video playback authorization.
thePlatform publishes video and other media to PCs, mobile devices and TVs. Media companies rely on thePlatform's mpx system as their open, central hub for managing, monetizing and syndicating billions of professionally produced video views annually. thePlatform currently provides online video management services to numerous programmers, leading media companies, and five of the top TV service providers in North America, including the largest TV Everywhere deployments.
Additional details about thePlatform can be found at www.thePlatform.com.
thePlatform is the leading white-label video management and publishing company. Media companies rely on thePlatform as their open, central hub for managing, monetizing, and syndicating billions of professionally produced video views annually. The company's services provide unmatched versatility for designing and supporting video businesses on PCs, mobile, and TV. Customers include: A+E Networks, Cablevision, CBC, Comcast, Cox Communications, HIT Entertainment, Liberty Global, NBC Local Media, Outdoor Channel, PBS, PBS KIDS Sprout, Rogers, Shaw Media, Sky Television Network, Time Warner Cable, Travel Channel Media, truTV and numerous others. With more than a decade history of service, thePlatform is an independent subsidiary of Comcast, based in Seattle, Wash. For more information: www.thePlatform.com.