The Guide to Analytics for OTT Streaming Services
Aspects such as broadband connection, video quality, content search or navigation, ratings and usage patterns make the big data of TV or business intelligence an intricate art form. This becomes more complex when you consider that TV is streamed on several devices, from browser, mobile and tablet to Connected TVs and Chromecast.
ANALYTICS FOR STREAMING ON CONNECTED TVs
Different devices support different technologies. Just looking at Smart TVs for example, the matrix of support for video streaming formats, and the DRMs you can combine it with, is very complex (check out this guide). What’s more, each of the formats supported natively by each smart TV device are tracked with different analytics SDKs and providers. These have an impact not only on how data is aggregated, but also complicate aspects of monetisation with adverts and tracking of user experience due to the OS capabilities.
Although Connected TV has seen major growth globally, broadcasters are delaying its presence due to the lack of good analytics and its integrations, which provide the foundation for advertising reporting and revenue.
TOO MANY STREAMING ANALYTICS TOOLS?
Big data mining and analytics have no agreed standards within the TV streaming industry. The input for analytics are often overlapping, but with very little technical similarities from source to consumption.
There is a huge variety of choice regarding the technology that collects data for video quality, internet connectivity, user behaviour and consumption patterns. Collecting this data is one thing, but collating the information and making sense of it is a whole other ballgame.
To broadly categorise the analytics sources, the most important items to track are the video, the experience and the ratings.
Video quality majorly impacts user experience. This category of analytics includes video tracking, Quality of Experience (QoE) and Quality of Service (QoS), which focus on tracking problems in the delivery chain of the video stream, and measurement of its eventual quality.
The value chain for video delivery extends from content original formats, transcoding choices, streaming protocols, origin servers, content delivery networks (CDN), internet service providers (ISP), network operators, home routers, devices, players and encryption, to mention the basics.
This is a “very” simplified flow of where a video stream originates and ends. Each of the sections require its own expertise and technical adaptations where one can foresee many different risks for failures or service impacts.
Analytics providers for QoE (which measures the delight or annoyment of a service) and QoS (which measures the overall performance of the service), have in recent years succeeded in supporting the collection of data around this value chain. However, they still have a long way to go, where such data is exploited to its fullest potential.
Companies which provide QoE and QoS monitoring, including Agama and Bridgetech, give OTT TV service providers the ability to monitor and collect data in real time.
Collecting user data from video streaming services is complex as there are many non-video aspects to it. This includes how users find, navigate and consume content, and how they experience the flow of accessibility. Search and discovery, hence become key business intelligence that results in effective monetisation or service improvements.
Understanding user behaviour in terms of churn, satisfaction, subscriber numbers, consumption patterns and advertisement tracking, are all examples of analysing the experience.
Examples of such analytics providers including Nice People at Work (NPAW), ad-servers, Comscore, Google Analytics, Tableau, and more. Such providers are normally experts at aggregating and visualising data to help make sense of it all.
TV ratings are key for audience measurement across different services, and have been (and still are) the most important data source for advertisers on where to invest their advertisement budgets. In Norway, Kantar Media is responsible for this while Nielsen is the main actor in the US. For OTT, these companies will require you to integrate streaming statistics and sometimes ads impressions to bespoke APIs on top of your internal trackings.
Below is a simplified snapshot of different analytics tools and providers for the evolving world of TV. This matrix is just an example of some key providers which come to mind, but is hardly comprehensive – it’s just a starting point for tracking video, experience and ratings.
The multitude of sources of where and how data can be collected are questions of technology. The use of such analytics spreads across product, business or technology, impacting strategic decisions. The plethora of data and its potential is only limited by privacy and investment issues.
BLOGS & PRESS
The Norigin Spatial Navigation library eases the effort needed to develop navigation logic on websites & apps, controlled by your keyboard (browsers) or remote controls (Smart TV or Connected TV)
If you plan to develop or build apps on Samsung Tizen SmartTVs you will need to know how one installs the development IDE from Samsung; Tizen Studio. And believe me, it is not a piece of cake to get it working!
In this article, we will develop a simple streaming app on AndroidTV using React Native, and see how we can manage focus navigation. We will also go into detail about some limitations that the standard navigation has, and some ways to mitigate them.
Norigin Media has open sourced part of its TV App Framework for developers building TV Apps on Smart TVs or web-browsers. The Norigin Spatial Navigation library can be used to implement Key-Navigation or Remote-Control navigation on react based web applications.
Riivi, the OTT streaming service provider in Latin America, has chosen Norigin Media for quality assured Smart TV applications.
The Nordic TV Week, scheduled between 3-7 May 2021, will feature live presentations of popular Nordic TV streaming services from a technology and UI/UX design perspective.