Streaming Intelligence Solutions
How Does SmartSight Address Your Streaming Business Challenges?
The SmartSight platform and associated streaming intelligence tools and techniques are designed to enable and enhance streaming service offerings supported by a wide variety of business models or contexts. Each example solution context below illustrates elements of the value that SmartSight brings to optimizing the consumer experience and business return for online video streaming services, through constant measurement, analysis and automated optimization of content, advertising, and delivery.
Subscription Video on Demand services have been the mainstay of the streaming video revolution, and yet, with razor-thin margins, intensifying competition for consumer attention, the pressure on management of delivery costs, and the continuing challenges of subscriber acquisition and churn, you need to drive for an ever improving quality of service experience in order to ensure continued customer loyalty.
The SmartSight solution offers the tools and support that you need to enhance your competitive stance, including:
- Comprehensive real-time analysis of last mile video delivery performance - as the consumer sees it.
- Objective measurement of video quality across content genres, diverse networks, and consumption device types.
- Rapid identification, and rapid resolution of delivery issues by content, by network, by CDN, and by device & player.
- Cost analysis and optimization on a session-by-session basis to achieve the highest levels of satisfaction at the lowest cost.
The sophisticated approach to measurement and reporting means these tools are not just reactive in nature, but enable proactive improvement in key measures of Quality of Experience.
Who doesn’t love a free video service? Advertising supported video on demand is, of course, wildly popular, but always requires precision engineering and business optimization for you to balance the demands of a fickle audience base and the commercial reality of ad monetization.
You need the most comprehensive visibility of how both content and advertising streams are being consumed by service viewers—and the route to achieving this visibility is the robust, scalable data platform at the heart of the SmartSight solution. Key factors to consider include:
- Last-mile visibility into consumption of, and interaction with, ad-supported video services across all consumer device types.
- The integration of key measures of service quality, as interpreted by the consumer, across both content and advertisement video stream delivery.
- Tracking and analysis of ad frequency and ad insertion utilization to help maximize the revenue potential of service bandwidth.
While SmartSight QoE provides overall visibility into stream quality and delivery effectiveness, SmartSight Ads offers the specialist viewpoint of tools to drive ad optimization to help drive your business forward.
Free Ad Supported TV is the current darling model for the video services industry—and, with good reason, since it has the potential to marry the consumer simplicity of more traditional broadcast formats with the razor-sharp focus of personalized ad targeting. The linear channel format can offer advertisers the opportunity to place ads at a particular time of day when the makeup of channel viewers can be predicted with some accuracy—just like with traditional broadcast TV—to improve relevancy and maximize streaming ROI. With a set of linear channels and on-demand line-ups, operators of FAST services require more continuous optimization of:
- Multi-stream linear content delivery, where related segments of content may be distributed across multiple FAST channel offerings.
- Full utilization of ad insertion opportunities across streams and device types.
- Optimization of stream startup/channel zapping performance.
SmartSight tools offer a proven ability to bridge the gap between analytics and optimization of on-demand streaming services and the FAST world of pseudo-linear stream delivery.
Live Low-latency Services
The potential for live streaming services to further displace the incumbent pay-tv base is brought into stark relief by the advances being made in reducing live stream delivery latency. Low Latency Distribution (LLD) is a banner term for two distinct components in OTT streaming. The first is the new container standard CMAF (Common Media Application Format), and the second is a trio of protocols that package this container format into video streams. These consist of Low Latency HLS (LL-HLS), Low Latency DASH (LL-DASH), and the High Efficiency Stream Protocol (HESP). Deployment of LLD for content owners, rights holders, and streaming services is something that can help differentiation, improve the user experience, reduce churn, and potentially increase subscription/advertising revenue.
But, like any aspect of improved streaming effectiveness, latency management requires continuous monitoring and incremental adjustment, enabled by a stream of critical real-time data. It is critical to understand the achieved latency at the viewer interface across all served device types and network topologies. Gathering this data stream directly from client player implementations is a critical strength of the SmartSight solution and direct latency measurement has become a new must-have as a part of your critical dashboard parameters.
Complementary streaming services offered by current MVPDs and broadcasters are seen as a vital tool to maintain long-term subscriber loyalty and offer a more complete, multi-screen service offering that satisfies the consumer taste for one-stop shopping and discovery. At the same time, as an MVPD streaming operator, the quality bar for streaming is set high by the parallel broadcast service content. So, there is little room for complacency as you optimize both the content management and delivery profile to meet high expectations of STB consumers across a very broad spectrum of device and network types.
From a measurement standpoint, you will also need to understand exactly how customers are using and enjoying these offerings across device types and delivery networks in an aggregated fashion. The advantage of video player-centric data acquisition at the point of consumption is that all available source data can be merged into a single data plane and analyzed in a coherent manner no matter what the delivery network may be. The critical information you need for delivery management can include:
- QoE across managed and unmanaged delivery networks.
- The impact of different encoding and delivery strategies.
- Composite brand experience is meeting your customers' expectations.
SmartSight QBR ensures that the playback experience delights through automatic perceptive viewing optimization, even though they don’t control the delivery network. SmartSight QoE continuously monitors quality of experience to ensure that the delivery of the brand experience is as your customers expect.
There continue to be many opportunities for integrators to help accelerate revenue and engagement for content owners by providing robust, end-to-end cloud-based video content management and distribution infrastructure for streaming video services. Such services help to eliminate the heavy lift involved in assembling and optimizing a complete workflow, while providing broad delivery options for web, mobile, OTT & Connected TV, and social media. Because video is the most engaging, engrossing, and enduring medium of our time, more options become available to more people, in more places, than ever before.
Data and analysis remains a vital fuel for these services and their clients businesses, and it’s attractive for established streaming intelligence services to be readily available. But there are special expectations of a measurement and analysis solution to be effectively integrated within a branded end-to-end video delivery platform. Special considerations include:
- The option for white label branding of interface components and reporting.
- Very comprehensive multi-tenancy user account regimes, with specific security firewalls between data resources for clients.
- Feature flag options for product feature tiering between client accounts.
- Full API level configuration of the platform for setup and operation.
- Flexible business models and usage metering approaches that can be incorporated in client proposals.
MediaMelon has a highly effective and flexible approach to position its SmartSight streaming intelligence solutions in a powerful, white-labeled configuration to Online Video Publisher (OVP) partners of all types and sizes. The white-label approach offers the same rich analytics and anomaly detection as the standard product to video publishers using a custom integration within the OVP delivery platform - and substantially enhances the broad value proposition of the OVP service as a result.