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Unlocking streaming experimentation with flexible technology foundations

In the fast-evolving streaming landscape, flexibility isn't just an advantage; it's a necessity, writes Thomas Box, director of solutions engineering, media and entertainment, Edgio

The global streaming market is evolving rapidly, fuelled by unprecedented fragmentation and increased competition. To attract and grow a wide audience, streaming platforms must be flexible in the way they deliver content, experimenting with multiple viewing models like SVoD, AVoD, and FAST, while providing varying cost points and service tiers. On top of this, there’s a constant pressure to report positive revenue growth with limited staffing and resources amid macro-economic challenges.

Media companies are searching for quick and efficient ways to run their existing streaming services or bring new services to market. They need to engage new viewers with profitable distribution models that fit their evolving business needs. In an environment where experimentation is paramount to securing real business outcomes, organisations need flexible technology foundations to fuel success.

Flexibility at the core of new technology models

Media companies are juggling the delivery of multiple business models while managing costs against internal operational pressures, placing the focus of technology investment strategies on flexibility and operational efficiency. A flexible business strategy requires equally adaptable technology. According to Caretta Research, almost two-thirds of media companies prioritise customisability and integrations when making technology sourcing decisions. Opting for technology providers that present a modular, flexible approach combined with pre-integrated, best-in-breed partner solutions allows media companies to create bespoke ecosystems to align with their content distribution strategies while achieving the highest levels of quality, revenue generation, and security. Meanwhile, a significant 79 per cent of organisations employ a combination of multiple vendors or a mix of vendor and in-house tech to tie together increasingly complex workflows. This level of integration isn’t always easy; existing streaming services are looking for technology partners that can seamlessly integrate into their ecosystem to simplify and reduce operational expenditure.  

Managed service providers understand the challenges faced by major streaming companies today.  Content owners and broadcasters want assurances that they are sourcing best-in-breed solutions across a full streaming technology stack while maximising returns on valuable in-house developed tech.  As a result, we’re seeing an increasing number of leading media organisations pivot toward managed service providers to help them assemble and manage their custom ecosystems. This involves seamless integration with existing business systems, legacy infrastructure, and favoured third-party solutions. Ultimately this helps customers: deliver high quality, tailored viewer experiences while accelerating time-to-market and minimising operational complexity. 

Driving agility with pre-integrated partnerships

Creating and managing a streaming workflow to deliver content across diverse distribution channels including linear, live event, on-demand, and FAST, is incredibly complex, and it takes time and money. Business leaders don’t want to spend time and resources focusing on highly intricate technology integrations; they want to think about their core business differentiators: creativity, content, audience strategy, and revenue generation. It’s in this context that a pre-integrated partnership ecosystem can help streaming companies tackle complexity while supporting profitability. A partner ecosystem that brings together best-in-breed solutions from leading tech providers enables content owners, rights holders and broadcasters to tackle many of the intricacies of constructing a full streaming ecosystem, from production, security and metadata through to delivery, user experience and monetisation. With one managed service provider at the core to lead on all operational and support requirements, this type of approach de-risks and streamlines operations, while saving customers time, costs, and resources, enabling teams to focus their energies on creative tasks.

In the fast-evolving streaming landscape, flexibility isn’t just an advantage; it’s a necessity. Flexible technology foundations empower media companies to bring services to market swiftly and cost efficiently, allowing brands to innovate with new business models while focusing on audience growth and content strategy.