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Streaming Media East '15: Get Personal to Stand Out from the OTT Crowd

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If the audience took one thing away from the “Business Strategies to Break Out of the OTT Crowd” session at Streaming Media East, Avni Rambhia, industry principal of digital media at Frost & Sullivan, hopes it is the importance of these four words: analytics, discoverability, recommendation, personalization. Those are the things that, ultimately, will help successful OTT players stand out from the rest.

Mukul Krishna, senior global director of digital media at Frost & Sullivan echoed those sentiments. “Why do people shop on Amazon more than any other site? Because it knows you,” he says. The same goes for platforms like Netflix. The libraries of many OTT video platforms are nearly identical to Netflix—and sometimes they are even better—but the user experience and discoverability keeps customers paying.

As the pair’s slide put it, “One discoverable title on the front page is worth 50,000 titles in a library.” Beyond the importance of discoverability, Rambhia and Krishna reinforced what many people know—but aren’t always successful at implementing: “Content, and ads, are most attractive to customers when relevant and when universally accessible.”

But there was another key takeaway. If you really want to stand out among the competition, Rambhia says, “You’re going to have to reinvent yourself. Find the hard problem and fix it.” Products of all kinds really resonate with customers when they address a common pain point and solve that problem elegantly, not just with buzzwords.

Rambhia pointed to Ooyala as an example of a company that has done this well. The company went from an OVP that happened to have analytics to an analytics company that also provides an OVP. On the technology side of the equation, Krishna also suggested that the market is moving toward more holistic solutions that address as many customer needs as possible. Among those issues that vendors are trying to address all in one solution are content management, content protection, content transformation, and content monetization.

Krishna brought it all back around to the importance of those first four words, however. “Analytics on its own is nice,” he says. “It’s really powerful when you marry it to metadata.” Once you have combined those two things, you have a good handle on providing the kinds of personalization that will help your product stand out.

View the video below and download the presentation


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