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OPINION: Benefits of multiscreen Cloud DVR

Jean-Pierre Henot, CTO, Envivio explains how operators and providers can be more competitive, offer better services and regain control of their multiscreen revenue streams

Over the last few years, one of the major shifts in the video industry has been the adoption of additional consumer TV viewing devices in the market, from connected TVs to smartphones to tablets. Users increasingly are consuming content at any time they want, and they expect a great anytime, anywhere video experience

This shift is great for consumers but represents a business challenge for network operators and content providers in that they struggle to offer the service the user wants at reasonable costs and with increased revenue.

Envivio believes there is a business opportunity here. The competitive difference is the Cloud DVR approach: it is a network-centric, scalable, affordable, and device agnostic solution, which launches new services with added value for both users and providers.

Why Cloud DVR? Widespread adoption of multiscreen services and efforts to reduce set-top box costs have made Cloud DVR one of the most prominent approaches to seamlessly provide anytime viewing features across devices. These features include time-shifting, the ability to restart live TV and even network personal video recorder.

In Envivio’s opinion, the economics of cloud infrastructure are pretty straightforward:

• On one hand, operators get increased revenues from subscriptions to Cloud DVR services, or from bundled premium packages.

• On the other hand, operators have to spend money on infrastructure, particularly
in storage.

An all-software Cloud DVR solution provides two key benefits to the operator:

• Thanks to an advanced set of technologies and leveraging off the shelf servers, the storage bill can be drastically reduced.

• It provides additional revenues through ad insertion.

When a cloud solution is based on all-software storage technologies, designed to scale to Petabytes, optimised software for packaging and transcoding minimises infrastructure costs. It also integrates all the functions and workflows for dynamic and targeted ad insertion: each user gets their own personal ad while playing back their favourite content. This provides additional service monetisation for the operator.

Such revenue opportunities are keys to satisfying and retaining customers with new features while operating a platform that sustains itself financially. It has the added benefit of collecting data that allows for more efficient content recommendation engines (and better sell-through rates).

In short, it improves operators’ competitiveness with accelerated time-to-market for advanced video delivery experience to their customers, and increased revenue from ad insertion. That’s the kind of technological win-win operators can expect to see Envivio demonstrate in Amsterdam.