S06E05: Game of Streams (Focus on your unique selling point)
Our Media Solution Specialist, Magnus Svensson, is sharing his reflections on the online streaming industry in this post. This is part of a monthly series so make sure to follow us here if you do not want to miss an episode.
The tech vendor side of the streaming industry has faced competition for some time and there are no doubts that the competition between the streaming services heats up. Many are the services that competes for the viewer’s time. Content might still be king, but it is just not enough to deliver shows, movies, and series for a monthly subscription any longer. In most cases, you need to attract the viewers’ attention in more ways than video.
To be able to differentiate yourself from your competition you need to focus on your unique selling point. And to delivery your service in the most cost-efficient way as possible. Very few of the global, and local streaming services, make profit. As Chris Marangi, a media investor and portfolio manager at Gamco Investors said, “Act one was the land grab phase, now we’re in the middle act.”.
Quality is not really a unique selling point anymore; this is something that the viewers expect. Or to start with, the viewers expect a fault free delivery of a high-quality viewing experience. Once this is in place you could add your content to the equation and start to differentiate from the competition.
Leave the basics to someone else
At the end of the day, it is about economy of scale and put your money and effort where it makes the most difference. Unless your service requires extremely high or specific quality streams, the transcoding and packaging of the content might not be the piece where you should put your energy and organizations effort. Maybe you could leave this to a vendor or service that could take care of this?
If your unique selling point is your content and you are not the size of Netflix or the other large global (and local) services, maybe you should leave the complete tech stack and content delivery to a managed service. To build your own tech stack and delivery pipeline you require a tech department to handle the integration and day to day business even if you source components for each step of the chain.
As in all parts of your business you need to judge the need to build vs. buy and how big parts you should outsource to vendors and service providers. And the same goes for the tech vendors.
Can you afford not to use help and experience?
I do not know how many times I see organizations and companies running with their bikes on their backs. They are too stressed to stop and put the bike down, an action that would help them move quicker from that point on.
With a little bit of help or taking your time to stop and put the bike down, you could save a lot of efforts and money. And this could be the difference between success and failure. Reflect on your current offerings. Do you have the competitive edge to attract the viewers? Do you have a cost-efficient organization and deliver of your service?
Instead of building your own encoding pipeline, maybe you should ensure that you have a smooth onboarding process. Instead of having a team building apps for all possible streaming devices, you should see how you could add ensure that your viewers spend more time in your service by providing companion services and content.
By all this I do not mean that all streaming services and distribution companies should outsource all their current tech stack to other companies. What I mean is that sometimes you need to stop, reflect, put your bike down and move quicker forward to success.
To watch out for the coming months…
When this is published Streaming Tech Sweden 2022 will be just around the corner (held June 2nd in Stockholm). The conference has over the years established itself as one of the leading technical conferences in Europe for video streaming technology. There are a lot of choices for conferences and events these days, but Streaming Tech Sweden is unique when it comes to independence from sponsors and with a pure focus on technology and education.
Magnus Svensson is a Media Solution Specialist and partner at Eyevinn Technology. Eyevinn Technology is the leading independent consulting company specializing in video technology and media distribution.