Here's a great example of how robust the cloud has now become: thePlatform, a leading online video publishing company, is announcing a new "Virtual TV Framework" today, that allows pay-TV operators to deliver their FULL linear and on-demand services via the cloud, to any connected/mobile device. Until now, pay-TV operators have mostly offered only VOD or a limited set of linear channels as part of their TV Everywhere initiatives. Now the new Virtual TV Framework will allow them to replicate ALL of their services for cloud-based delivery.
Why does this matter? Because cloud-delivery makes it easier for pay-TV operators to enhance their subscribers' experience with existing services and to develop new ones, while also reducing delivery costs. It's no secret that the landscape for video services has become much more competitive with the advent of innovative OTT options from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and others, so consumers are expecting more from their pay-TV operators. As well, given the high price of pay-TV service, delivering more value has become a key industry priority - this is the essential role of TV Everywhere.
As Marty Roberts, thePlatform's SVP, Sales and Marketing told me in a briefing, full cloud delivery has only become possible recently with improvements to security and reliability, along with pay-TV operators' investments in their own content delivery networks, driving down delivery costs.
thePlatform has created an open framework that capitalizes on existing pay-TV infrastructure, 3rd party partners' technology (accessed via open APIs) and the company's own mpx video management platform.
In addition to linear and VOD, the Virtual TV Framework enables the following (with partners): enhanced discovery/personalization/EPG (with TMS, Rovi and ThinkAnalytics), targeted advertising (with FreeWheel and BlackArrow), device and UI support (with Accedo), policy management/content protection (with Microsoft and Adobe), systems integration (with Alcatel-Lucent) and advanced video commerce. Pay-TV operators using the Virtual TV Framework can use any/all of these and/or tap into their own technologies using mpx's open APIs.
It's been 4+ years that the pay-TV industry has been talking about TV Everywhere and delivering services to connected and mobile devices, yet rollouts have been very much hodgepodge. Part of this is due to rights and other business side issues that still need to be resolved (see the recent Time Warner Cable-CBS retrans dispute for more on this). thePlatform is helping demonstrate that as the business side issues clear up, the technology to deliver on TV Everywhere's promise is ready to go.
(note: thePlatform is a VideoNuze sponsor)