MediaKind Bows Online TV Software for Pay-TV Set-Top Devices

MediaKind, a media technology and services company, Dec. 16 announced the launch of Mediaroom Play, software that enables pay-TV operators to deploy set-top boxes with online TV powered by Android TV rapidly.

Mediaroom Play enables pay-TV operators, facing ongoing consumer shifts away from linear television to over-the-top video platforms, to offer an alternative through the adoption of Android TV and its pool of more than 1,000 streaming content providers. Mediaroom Play significantly increases an operator’s aggregation value with access to more than 7,000 applications and video games available on the Google Play Store. The integration also opens up new monetization routes with revenue share opportunities on the Google Play Store and through Google Ads.

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“With this new investment, we are enabling existing and new Mediaroom customers to rapidly launch modern video services that meet today’s consumers’ needs, while also encompassing the vast array of converged experiences offered by Android TV,” chief product officer Raul Aldrey said in a statement. “This pre-integrated solution enables our customers to evolve from being video-only service providers to multi-service providers, tapping into abundant consumer experience offerings.”

In September, MediaKind launched a technology partnership program giving content providers, service providers and operators access to cloud-based software. In 2019, Google Cloud partnered with MediaKind, enabling the company to access Google’s portfolio of solutions and services and tap into an advanced combination of end-to-end TV analytics and machine learning capabilities.

 

Report: Live Sports-Themed SVOD a Golden Opportunity

Live sports remains a primary staple of pay-TV due to existing long-term distribution agreements between sports leagues, college sports and broadcasters.

Although a handful of rights-holders, such as Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League and FIBA (soccer), have been operating proprietary SVOD services for years, over-the-top video distribution of live sports remains a nascent market. Most sports rights holders distribute highlight clips and other short-form content on third-party platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Germany’s pro soccer Bundesliga is reportedly eyeing launch of a SVOD platform in the Middle East and North Africa where the league has no pay-TV presence. Boxing-themed DAZN, dubbed the “Netflix of sport,” just launched global access in 200 countries with a £1.99 monthly option.

Regardless, live-sports streaming is a market SVOD behemoth Netflix thus far has no interest in entering. Rivals Disney, via ESPN+, Amazon Prime Video, through its NFL Thursday Night Football streams, and YouTube TV with MLB, offer streaming access but with limited content selection.

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The reason: Money. Global sports media rights revenue hit $51 billion in 2019, and is projected to reach $56.1 billion by 2022, according to the Sport Business Global Media Report 2019.

New data from MediaKind suggests the next five years could see live sports increasingly migrate away from the current pay-TV distribution model to a hybrid option including streaming video.

The report contends sports rights holders have four options for consumers: free access; free access featuring content as part of, or an alternative to, pay-TV (i.e. ESPN+ and Amazon Prime Video); free companion services — those provided as a free adjunct to pay-TV; and subscription-based access (i.e. MLB.tv, NBA League Pass and NBC Sports Gold).

“With a handful of exceptions, most sports D2C services are still dealing with a low number of simultaneous live streams, but this is set to change,” read the report. “D2C services will become more central to fans’ media consumption as more rights-holders carve out content from traditional linear broadcast agreements or use them to light up dark markets. More fans will consume live video streams simultaneously, and rights-holders need to be prepared.”

MediaKind Bows Technology Partnership Program

MediaKind Sept. 12 announced its launching a technology partnership program giving content providers, service providers and operators access to cloud-based software.

Dubbed MediaKind Universe Alliance, the platform enables industry collaboration for seamless delivery with a goal of advancing all aspects of video delivery, with special effort and focus on industrializing OTT video to broadcast-quality and scale.

With its growing group of partners, the alliance offers application-specific, end to end solutions that directly address the challenges of content providers, service providers, and operators.

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By harnessing the complementary technology and resources of the MediaKind Universe Alliance partner program, customers can tap into a wealth of expertise, fast-to-deploy solutions and managed services to gain a highly edge in an increasingly fragmented media landscape, according to chief business officer Raul Aldrey.

“The aim of the program is to build lasting connections with our technical partners and continue to launch new, innovative real-world solutions for our customers,” Aldrey said in a statement. By investing time and resources in these long-term and mutually beneficial relationships, we can continue to push the boundaries across the entire media chain.”

The program is guided by principles of open standards and welcomes partners who, through mature technology and proven delivery capabilities, demonstrate the ability to contribute to the advancement of quality and scale of next-gen video delivery and experience, especially within the streaming video ecosystem.

Recent partnerships with Evergent to provide a self-service experience for subscribers using their flexible revenue and customer lifecycle management solution to accelerate time-to-market for direct-to-consumer service offerings from content publishers and pay TV operators who want to incorporate streaming pay TV.

Announced at NAB Show 2019, Google Cloud partnered with MediaKind customers to access its portfolio of solutions and services and tap into an advanced combination of end-to-end TV analytics and machine learning capabilities.

MediaKind also partnered with Microsoft Azure for customer deployments of the cloud-based Mediaroom and MediaFirst TV platforms as a Service.

With Telestream, the collaboration resulted in the inclusion of its ClearVR 360-degree video technology within MediaKind’s new Cygnus 360 Events packaged solution.

MediaKind Adds Netflix to TV Platform in Brazil

MediaKind, in collaboration with Telefonica Brazil, is integrating the Netflix streaming service into its Mediaroom platform’s interactive menu to serve for more than 350,000 Vivo Fibra subscribers.

The software update delivers a direct Netflix feed through the Vivo Fibra interactive portal and removes the need for a dedicated set-top-box and gives Vivo Fibra subscribers seamless access to Netflix content across all their devices, according to a MediaKind press release.

“Today’s consumers expect to receive the content of their choice on their own terms, across multiple platforms, at any time — and we can see this through the burgeoning popularity of OTT services throughout Latin America,” said Clayton Cruz, SVP, Latin America sales for MediaKind, in a statement. “The growth of these new internet-based services means that modern middleware platforms must evolve to include OTT-style capabilities. By integrating the Netflix app into our Mediaroom TV platform via a simple software update, we are enabling VIVO to respond in kind, by providing flexible, cost effective means for them to enhance their IPTV service and deliver access to the best possible multiscreen experiences for their subscribers.”