nScreenMedia OTT multiscreen media analysis

Video app development drags on business

Minding the Store

Online video service providers need a new approach to their apps. They need to treat the app as video store, but traditional video app development is holding them back.

Change the new norm for online video

Online video service operator (OVSO) would like to be able to create a set of apps for its service and then scale back the development to a maintenance activity. However, as discussed in the new free white paper from nScreenMedia Minding the Store – Why a Merchandising Mindset is Critical Video Service Success, that approach doesn’t reflect the reality of the market. Change is the new norm, and originates from 3 primary areas:

  • Consumer screen usage behavior is changing
  • Video monetization approaches are changing
  • Video formats continue to evolve.

To cope with this OVSOs must constantly revise business goals, and the video merchandising strategies used to achieve them. They must also track longer term changes in technology. The video app is where these two critical needs come together.

Video app development never “done”

Lionsgate’s Avi Bitton has first-hand experience of this. He doesn’t view the company’s Comic-Con HQ app as a standalone product, to him it is part of a living, breathing process:

“It’s not about building a product, it’s about building repeatable processes. It’s about experimenting and building and improving the product.”

Unfortunately, the traditional approaches to video app creation are getting in the way of OVSOs. Using them they can’t simultaneously meeting their goals and track technical changes. Features that must change in response to business needs require app changes, but deploying these changes can be slow and cumbersome.

Minding the video store

To be successful, OVSOs need a more flexible app environment that separates the merchandising features of the video business from the video app functionality. Doing this allows an OVSO to transform the user experience into a video “store.”

Brendan Hole BT

Brendan Hole, BT

Brendan Hole, BT TV & Content Architect, drove the redesign of the new BT Vision interface. A key goal of the redesign was to get as much flexibility in the interface as possible, to allow BT the ability to implement the merchandising goals of the business. He says that:

 “Everything displayed in the interface is data driven. Everything you see is personalized.”

In the new interface, the presence and position of data elements like carousels and hero bar are controlled by data. For example, the number of carousels on the home page of the app and the list of items in each is determined when the user brings up that display.

This ability to configure the interface from data is critical. No slow app code changes are required in this approach. The OVSO can truly manage the apps as their video store, changing the approach as often as needed.

This approach can profoundly simplify the creation and maintenance of the apps. Removing the need for frequent UI changes allows the underlying apps to be managed in the cloud and deployed easily across all platforms.

To learn more about this topic and the video market environment driving the change to a merchandising mindset you need to download the new free white paper from nScreenMedia, Minding the Store – Why a Merchandising Mindset is Critical Video Service Success.

Why it matters

The traditional way of developing video apps is preventing service operators from achieving the business goals.

Service operators need to treat the app as a video store, and to be able to implement new merchandising strategies without any app changes.

This requires a new approach to the app platform, which separates the merchandising functionality from the app development environment.


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