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Opinion: Why the drive for operational efficiency is mission critical in the streaming marketplace

Martin Sebelius, CEO at Accedo Video Solutions, explains the need to place efficiency at the front and centre of operational thinking

In an ever-so-competitive video streaming market, the pursuit of operational efficiency emerges as an absolute necessity in driving long-term success. While delivering an exceptional user experience (UX) remains paramount, the reality is that even the most captivating interfaces cannot sustain a service without a solid foundation of streamlined operations, optimised tech stacks, and efficient processes.

This is particularly true in the light of recent macroeconomic developments and a video industry that is hugely affected by tightened consumer spending habits. With users increasingly scrutinising how much they are willing to pay for their subscriptions, video service providers must confront the harsh truth: a stellar UX alone is not always sufficient to secure long-term viability for the business. After all, behind every captivating video stream lies a complex web of operational intricacies that determine the quality, reliability, and cost-effectiveness of the service as a whole.

Efficiency, in this context, extends beyond mere cost-cutting measures to also include the optimisation of resource allocation, the rationalisation of workflows, and the strategic deployment of technology to enhance both internal processes and user-facing functionalities. From content delivery networks to customer relationship management systems, every component of the tech stack must be fine-tuned to facilitate agility, scalability, and sustainability. The growing importance of operational efficiency becomes even more pronounced against the backdrop of escalating challenges facing most video service providers today. These challenges span several  issues, including escalating content acquisition costs, the proliferation of devices and platforms, and the growing complexity of content rights management. In such a complex  landscape, the ability to navigate operational intricacies swiftly and effectively can spell the difference between success and obsolescence.

Moreover, operational efficiency is crucial in that it serves as a catalyst for innovation and differentiation in an increasingly crowded marketplace. By liberating resources and empowering teams to focus on value-adding initiatives, efficient operations pave the way for experimentation, iteration, and the development of unique offerings that resonate with target audiences. In essence, operational efficiency is not merely a defensive strategy but a proactive enabler of growth and differentiation. It is about making sure that you are set up to respond to a rapidly evolving industry landscape, and that you can be agile and adaptable with regards to changes in technology, audience preferences, and market dynamics. Streamlining operations and optimising processes and resources are all necessary steps in order to quickly pivot, discover and respond to new challenges and opportunities – which naturally is essential if you want to stay competitive.

Achieving operational efficiency requires a holistic approach that transcends siloed optimisations and quick-fix solutions. It demands a fundamental reimagining of organisational structures, cultural norms, and (perhaps for video businesses in particular) technological architectures. Central to this transformation is a commitment to data-driven decision-making, where insights gathered from analytics platforms and user feedback inform every aspect of service delivery and optimisation. It is also crucial to establish proactive measures and implement the right tools for monitoring, troubleshooting, and optimisation. It is only by standardising their business critical processes and implementing rigid quality control measures that video services can achieve cost efficiencies while also ensuring that their offering continuously delivers on a premium level, maintaining the service’s credibility and reputation with users.

So is it all about implementing the right technology solutions? If a video service provider has the right operational tools in place, and has been successful in streamlining its tech stack, can it rest assured that this will have a positive impact on the service’s ability to operate efficiently?

The answer is, in most cases, no. In fact, one could say that at the heart of the quest for operational efficiency lies the convergence of human expertise and technological innovation. While new technologies, such as Generative AI, can streamline repetitive tasks and significantly enhance predictive capabilities, these solutions must be complemented by the creativity, intuition, and strategic foresight of human operators. In essence, operational efficiency is not something that can be delivered by technology alone but a partnership between human ingenuity and digital prowess. In order to make informed decisions, identify opportunities, and ultimately streamline operations in a way that aligns with both changing market dynamics and technological evolution, one will need a deep understanding of both the OTT technology ecosystem and the media industry as a whole.

In conclusion, the journey towards operational efficiency in the video service industry is not merely a quest for cost reduction but a strategic imperative for survival and growth. As the landscape continues to evolve and challenges mount, it becomes increasingly clear that a robust operational framework is essential for sustained success. However, achieving this efficiency requires more than just implementing the right technologies; it demands a holistic approach that combines human expertise with technological innovation. For media companies seeking to enhance their operational efficiency and streamline their processes, outsourcing to a vendor with a deep understanding of the OTT ecosystem and a strong network of technology partners can be a game-changer. Such a solution not only accelerates the pace of efficiency gains but also ensures that the company remains at the forefront of technological advancements and industry trends. By leveraging the expertise and resources of a trusted vendor, media organisations can navigate the complexities of the modern media landscape with confidence, resilience, and agility, ultimately securing their position as leaders in the field.