Make the developers choice easy

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 don’t want to miss an episode.

S05E05: Game of Streams (Make the developers choice easy)

The landing page is the only part of a service that all customers will experience.

With the increased amount of streaming services customer acquisition is becoming more important than ever. Great content and an engaging experience are vital, but maybe more important is the initial customer journey. It must be extremely easy to register and start to explore the service. The landing page is the only part of a service that all customers will experience.

This statement is equally true for the tech vendors and platforms that those streaming services use. None of the streaming service providers build their own tech stack completely, all rely more or less on sourced products from different vendors. And the vendor-space in the streaming industry is very crowded, there are more vendors than economically feasible. We have started to see consolidation and we will for sure see more consolidation and vendors that disappear.

A vendor needs to create an offering that meets the market demands when it comes to features, functionality, and scalability. With the maturity of the technology and the increased standardization most of the established vendors deliver similar functionality and with cloud technology they all scale equally good.

The developer is the customer

The customers of today are usually the developers that browse the internet for services that would solve their needs. It could be a transcoding service, an authentication service, an analytics service and whatever you need to build a modern streaming service. Developers search for APIs that would solve one piece of the flow and the easier it is to use, the more likely it will be the choice.

Open and public API documentation, a very simple sign-up process and a usage-based pricing makes it easy for a customer to explore your product and get started. Same as discussed earlier, the initial part is the only part of a service that all customers will experience.

Make it easy for the buyers, in other words the developers, to look good!

With this kind of product offerings, and the way the market evolves, the sales staff needs to be technically skilled to describe the value of the product. The sales-cycle becomes much shorter and is no longer handled by the traditional RFx process. High-level product presentations are replaced by hands-on demos how to use the products and the interfaces, followed by a trail period where the customer can explore the product in their own environment. In the simplest form the sales process is self-service using a sign-up process on the web.

Make your customers successful

Huge upfront fees, long contract length and volume commitments remains from the hardware days. Cloud technologies has changed these needs and if a vendor still have a lot of costs associated with onboarding of new customers, this must be address with automation instead of pushing these costs forward to the customer. Longer contracts and commitments should be an optional offering to get lower fees, not mandatory to get started.

Upsell possibilities should instead come from professional services that help the customers to grow. Use of market experience to ensure that the customers utilize the products in the best way will create the flywheel of growth that will benefit both parties.

Make it easy for the buyers, in other words the developers, to look good!

To watch out for the coming months…

As stated earlier, the consolidation of the industry has just started, and we will see more deals announced very soon. ViacomCBS could be involved in the next mega-merger with Comcast and NBCUniversal the likely other part. It has been speculated for years when Apple will make the big move, and the new WarnerMedia Discovery package could be what they have been waiting for. But prior to that, we will see many merges and acquisitions both between services and between vendors.

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.

Follow me on Twitter (@svensson00) and LinkedIn for regular updates and news.

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