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Bringing flexibility to the complex video value chain

Peggy Dau meets SVP of sales and marketing at Setplex Marc Mulgrum to find out how it is helping content owners, ISPs and OTT/IPTV companies with simple, powerful, scalable end-to-end streaming

Founded upon the recognition that ex-pat communities around the world wanted content from their homelands, Setplex has grown into a global enterprise enabling video delivery for content owners, ISPs and OTT/IPTV companies around the world. TVALB, streaming content from Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and Macedonia to 90 per cent of the Albanians living in the US and Canada, was one of Setplex’s first customers in 2006. 

Continuous growth is the result of a leadership team that embraces the evolving technology requirements that will help their customers manage, store, distribute and monetise delivery of film, television and sports content to consumers. The team at Setplex, which includes over 100 in-house developers, is steeped in video delivery expertise and persistently applies their knowledge to the existing and emerging needs of their customers. 

Flexibility is the name of the game according to SVP of sales and marketing Mark Mulgrum: “Whether it is how our platforms are deployed on-premise, in the cloud or combination thereof, or in the business models our customers need to pursue – AVoD, TVoD, PPV, free trial, – we know that our platform must provide the flexibility to deliver any or all options.”

Setplex’s Nora middleware platform, enabling TV, VoD, catch-up, DVR and interactive service, can be deployed on-premise, in the cloud or hybrid. The platform’s cloud-native design and microservices provide the flexibility for customers to scale or spin up new capabilities when needed. Setplex recognises the varying needs of its customers when it comes to deployment models. Some customer environments run on private networks, with no access to the public internet, thus requiring an on-premise deployment. Others require data to stay within the private network, but want to give consumers access to OTT apps – thus deploying a hybrid model. 

Marc Mulgrum

As Setplex achieved initial growth through deployments with Tier 2 and Tier 3 providers such as VivoPlay in Venezuela, TV ISLA in Colombia and others around the globe, they recognised and addressed requirements for diverse business models. The technology enables delivery of both linear and on-demand content with a platform that supports a variety of billing models including transactional, subscription and ad-based. 

Nora reflects an API-first architecture, simplifying integration with third party systems and applications for functionality such as CDN, DRM, SSAI or analytics. Setplex has built its own recommendation engine, recognising both the relevance and complexity of subscriber retention. The backend dashboard enables customers to view and analyse data in one space.

A key function of an end-to-end platform is the front-end user interface. Setplex’s app development team creates apps for multiple device operating systems as well as browser-based platforms. Users have the ability to brand and customise their user interface to meet their goals. As expectations for super aggregation grow, alignment between back-end technology and front-end representation of available services is necessary to simplify the user experience. The UI must give the provider flexibility to introduce or trial new services while ensuring that consumers have visibility of all available services and the business model for accessing them. 

Understanding local market conditions is a key differentiator for Setplex. From leveraging 5G networks to integrating with a wide range of payment gateways, or developing front-end interfaces that reflect expectations for local languages, menus and apps, the Nora platform provides the necessary flexibility, scalability and stability required by customers as diverse as Sat.TV or It is their fundamental commitment to continuous evolution that allows Setplex to achieve growth in both developing nations and at Tier 1 providers. 

Mulgrum reinforces Setplex’s market capabilities stating, “We are financially stable and customer-centric. Our vision is to always be forward thinking and leverage our inherent industry knowledge to make decisions to build technology ourselves or to partner in providing solutions with the scale and flexibility that help our customers succeed.”