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Pros and Cons of Building Your Own D2C Media App

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Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Idan Maron: Building versus buying--this is a question that comes up with many media organizations when they want to create those OTT apps, or to write their consumer apps. And today, I'm going to speak about both options, and also offer some kind of alternative in between.

So when organizations or media companies are starting to talk about what type of app that they want to build, let's start with the build phase first. In order to build a media app, you need to create and connect to many different services along the way. So you have your backend services, whether it's a video player, ad server, or payment system, we have so many different pieces inside the ecosystem that we need to connect in order to create a single app that serves your audiences.

But what happens if you want to create it over multiple devices? So iOS and Android and Roku all speak in different coding languages, and you have to create and build this native app differently and over and over again every time. And let's say that you want to choose a single vendor. Let's say you chose Google. All the Google services by itself, it's already a set of different integrations, and you need to create the new route in order to power a single app.

Now, let's speak a bit about the pros and cons for building an app. Obviously, you can tailor-make it for yourself, you can have full control over the UI and the UX, and you don't need to create any communication with external teams, if you own any and all single developers. And I think the main reason that you think about when you want to build it yourself, you'll have a full control over the road map, and the owner of the source code.

But obviously, there are some cons or disadvantages when you create it. You need to have, first of all, the experience in order to do so. It's pretty expensive. And time to market to build something from scratch takes pretty long.

Now, there are two different options when you want to buy today. Either you go to an agency or a developer shop, and pretty much do the same process of building it yourself. Now you have pretty much the same advantages and disadvantages. The difference is, obviously, you need to be able to communicate with an external team, but you don't really need an experience, 'cause this agency or dev shop will bring everything in place. Now the other alternative for buying applications today. You can buy a pretty off-the-shelf template and solutions that give you pretty good advantages. It's fast time-to-market, some of them within a couple of weeks, just customization, plugging in your services, you can get up to speed. It's pretty cost-effective, and you don't really need experience.

But the disadvantages in this case are, you have pretty limited control over the UI and the UX. It's not always branded. Some of them are white labeled, but maybe you can just skin, remove logo, change colors, and so forth. But you have no control over the roadmap, because this platform is the one creating the roadmap themselves. And at the end of the day, most of those templated solutions don't provide you control over the source code.

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