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Launching a TV Service? Here’s Some Advice from Successful TV Operators

Woman holding TV remote pressing power button

If you’re launching a TV service, you have a lot of choices to make. Which means you probably have a lot of questions. Should you build your own platform? If you have a third party build your platform, won’t you lose control of the software? How do you choose the right set-top-box? 

Fortunately, we’ve asked over 100 successful TV operators for their best advice when it comes to launching a new service.

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Here’s what a few of them had to say:

Don’t Build and Code Your Own Platform

Sure, you can achieve cool stuff if you’re in control of your own solution. You can create your own beautiful UI that looks amazing in a browser, but the problems usually start after launch. Consider the endless amounts of devices you will need to support: set-top-boxes, mobile devices, Androids, iOS, etc. Android alone has 11 versions and 20,000 different device variations. Each has a different processing power, screen sizes, and other features and elements that make it very difficult to develop a seamless, unified experience across devices.

It is not necessary to code your platform yourself. It seems that operators are afraid that if they use a third party, they won’t have control of their software or product.

While there are some examples in the market (though few and far between) of operators who have been successful building their own platforms, it takes a lot of manpower and hours. Underestimating the time, expense, and team members it takes to build a platform from the ground up can have catastrophic consequences. As an operator, you shouldn’t be focused on building stuff. Your customers are changing rapidly, and you need to spend your resources meeting them where they’re at. Focusing on building a platform will mean that you are behind – trying to catch up to your customer’s needs – rather than ahead of the curve anticipating them.

As an operator, your best bet is to use proven solutions that you know will work – and one that can get up and running quickly.

Invest in Analytics

Understanding where your customers are, how they behave, and how to satisfy them is a fast-changing game. There is no doubt that one of the things that has made Netflix wildly successful is their ability to A/B test and turn analytics into action. At any given moment, the platform has hundreds of variations running to figure out what works for their customers – and what doesn’t.

Have an idea? Test it with a small group and measure the impact on your customer base. Understanding your subscribers and their devices is the first vital step in enhancing and growing you business. Without that insight, you’re driving blind in many cases. Analytics and activity dashboards can help you monitor loads on your system and decide how often you should update.

Choose the Right Set-Top-Box

Set-top-boxes can be a big cap-ex. However, this is not somewhere you want to cut corners in order to save a few dollars. Making the wrong decision could mean that you end up with technology that’s out of date within a few years, or (even worse) that you invest in low quality set-top-boxes that break quickly.  When deciding on your set-top-boxes, it’s important to consider:

  • The platform
  • Upgradeability
  • Security features

To strike the right balance, operators should choose a cost-efficient, yet future-proof set-top-box. After all, this is the single guarantee that subscribers stay with your service and have your remote in their hand.

Partner with Experts

Choosing the right vendors and partners for your workflow is invaluable. When it comes to content security, Verimatrix is preintegrated with a wide range of set-top-box, middleware, chipset, and headend vendors to help operators launch their TV service smoothly and quickly. Talk to an expert today to learn more about how Verimatrix can secure your entire workkflow with easy-to-use solutions.