by Ajey Anand
Mar 1, 2021

Can Good Content be Spoiled by Bad User Experience?

Content has always been king – but what about the technology that delivers it? Can even the best of content be ‘spoiled’ by low quality video delivery or negative user experiences?
Bad UX impacts the provider more than the consumer

Global players such as Netflix continue to dominate, while Broadcasters launch their own D2C services and niche OTT players such as CrunchyRoll or Hayu are popping up around every corner.

Viewers are in the driving seat, as they decide whether to subscribe or ditch your streaming service at the click of a button. It’s no longer enough to rely on good content, we need to create experiences.


Streaming services are commodities

TV streaming services can be compared to any other consumable commodity. Let’s take tea. The four important stages of the value chain are Production, Processing, Retailing and Consumption.

Comparing tea with TV; the harvesting and production of tea leaves can be likened to content production or video processing. The packaging and marketing of tea bags is similar to the promotion of TV Apps on App Stores. The end result is a tasty warm cup of tea or an entertaining cinematic experience.


However, if any part of this value chain deteriorates – the value of the product can be reduced immensely.

The tea might be delicious, but things can still go horribly wrong with bad quality of packaging, distribution, marketing or pricing. Worse still, the tea can get stale in the process, rendering it worthless. The same goes for streamable TV content.

Service providers need to take the entire value chain into account if they want to retain their user base.

Is bad streaming technology ruining good content?

Many of you would agree that Netflix have written the ‘handbook’ that defines ambitions for all streaming services, both from a video engineering and UI/UX perspective.

Consumers today have come to expect the same experience from all the streaming services they choose to subscribe to.

So many technology choices…

Taking video formatting as an example – just over a decade ago, real time streaming protocols (RTSP) were the only choice. Today, multiple streaming technologies such as HLS and DASH have become standard.

More choice, in theory is better – and should therefore make it easier for every streaming service to have impeccable quality. However, your chosen streaming protocol needs to be supported on a range of devices, and be compatible with your DRM, player, player features and so on. The choice of technology needs to be scalable but also cost-effective.

The technology for good streaming clearly exists, but the skills of implementing it are lacking. We have written an article here explaining the technology choices that need to be made here.

What are the stakes?

As with any commodity, the streaming TV market is undeniably crowded, and consumers are either loyal followers or can easily replace brands with the press of a button. Irritate a consumer, and risk losing them forever.

Investing in value across the entire value chain from content production to video quality and user experience will result in better reputation, positive reviews and ultimately generate larger consumer pools. The value chain is as good as every bit of its management.

Should the content producers have more say in how the content is distributed? Should distributors spend more attention to quality and expertise to build scale? Do you think streaming service providers are prioritising technology as much as they should?

Let us know what you think!

Check out this Guide to Smart TV Streaming Protocols, DRM & more!

Struggling with tech choices for Smart TV app development? Check out this blog.


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