Building and operating a streaming media platform is tough. Competition is fierce and the Over-The-Top landscape is shrinking due to aggregation and consolidation. Ever-evolving technical components must be strung together to deliver quality content and accurately measure performance. OTT product development is a complex journey.

Over the last decade our industry collectively discovered and established a number of best practices. This has made the journey of OTT development and operations easier and less risky for our successors. However, understanding the architecture from only your own purview is not enough. The secret is understanding the overall coordinated effort: the business coordinates the end-to-end delivery, UX, operations, and partnerships needed for a holistic platform to operate successfully. And, of course, understanding how this provides the audience with an attractive and frictionless entertainment experience.

Each role represented in the end-to-end OTT solution has a different function and rate of evolution. Whether you are a UI designer or partner manager, you need to understand how your function supports the bigger picture. Simultaneously, you have to keep an eye on the constant change in the demands of your specific discipline. We often focus on our own part, keeping up with industry standards and user demand. But the opportunity to learn more about the trials and tribulations of our workflow partners, so we can better connect our initiatives and optimize outcomes. For example, imagine a forum where the product, marketing, and business teams sync regularly to share the evolving pressures and new advances in their field, providing ongoing education of the OTT practice for the whole group. This establishes clarity and empathy among the team, and strengthens the organization as it deals with industry changes and demands.

The bigger picture of OTT product development…

To explore the different functions of streaming media, I have been connecting with key players to better understand how they plug into the big picture and how we can learn from their challenges and wins. In this episode we explore the growth of streaming media in Latin America. I sat down with Lin Cherry, a Digital Media Consultant and former General Counsel at HBO Latin America. Also I talked with Jeremy Howell, who oversees East Coast Operations for Rightsline, a rights management platform. And, last but not least, I spoke with Humberto Tinoco, a Media Services Black Belt for Microsoft in Latin America.

We discussed the hurdles they faced in launching and operating OTT platforms at scale in LATAM. While the panelists’ insight reflected the breadth and diversity of their experience, they all encountered many of the same challenges: Latin American audiences and the content they prefer; differences in the languages spoken throughout the regions; privacy and security practices and regulations; and content rights.

Navigating these challenges, the panelists said, came down to adopting a different—and more flexible—approach to development and operations than in other markets throughout the world. As Tinoco explained, providers have to “focus on, ‘where do we deliver the highest value?’, and let our partners and customers build the things that they want.”

Howell agreed. Localizing OTT experiences for specific markets, he said, is crucial to the success of these platforms in Latin America, but doing so remains a significant hurdle in the industry.

For more insights from our OTT product development discussion, see the video here.

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