Tuesday, April 20, 2021, 11:55 AM ET|Posted by Will Richmond
Evergent has unveiled its Customer Care and Billing (CCB) 3.0 platform, to help content and service providers gain more agility in their video monetization. Evergent was founded in 2007 but has largely flown below the radar. It now serves over 700 million accounts in 175 countries across a customer base including AT&T, FOX, Sony Entertainment Television and Etisalat. CCB 3.0 allows customers to more easily create and manage product configurations, promotions and packaging in order to drive new revenue.
Platforms like CCB 3.0 are critical because, as we all know, the world is experiencing an unprecedented boom in direct-to-consumer video offerings. Every company that is launching a DTC streaming service needs robust infrastructure to handle customer acquisition, management and retention. Having historically operated wholesale models through pay-TV distributors, DTC models are a new world for content providers especially.
To make things even more complicated, we are entering a period where managing blended, or hybrid business models, is going to be essential for success. While the market leader Netflix has maintained a straightforward SVOD model, many other SVOD services also offer customers an ad-supported tier (e.g. Hulu, Paramount+, discovery+, soon HBO Max). Peacock goes a step further, offering a free tier, in addition to its two SVOD tiers, one ad-supported and one ad-free.
Blended business models aren’t limited to SVOD/AVOD. They also include Premium Video on Demand (PVOD) such as what Disney+ pioneered with Mulan last year. We’re also seeing companies like NBCUniversal, Amazon and TikTok pursue e-commerce/content models, where viewers can buy certain products within the video experience. Yet another hybrid approach includes gamification and betting with video, which companies like Sinclair/Bally’s and fuboTV are pursuing.
In a briefing, Evergent’s CEO and founder Vijay Sajja rightly asserts that the upcoming blended business models will require all streaming providers to have significant operational agility in order to compete effectively. Following the pandemic-driven boom in streaming, Vijay sees 2021 as an “inflection point, with many companies coming to understand how strategic streaming is and why they need industrial-grade infrastructure.” Vijay notes that Evergent has focused on high reliability from its early days as initial customers included a number of telcos that required carrier level performance.
CCB 3.0 gives customers a number of enhanced management tools for monetization and greater personalization capabilities, all critical to capitalizing on blended streaming models that are emerging. Vijay observes that customers want to flexibly experiment, get to market fast and operate efficiently. As streaming video becomes more competitive, Evergent’s platform is going to provide much-needed infrastructure.