In recent times, Google has begun to make serious, some might say game-changing in-roads, into the middleware market. So much so that Android TV (Operator Tier) is arguably the middleware that is on the fastest track to growth.
Updating set-top box software is something operators do infrequently and only when they need new features or security functions. With Android TV, this practice must change because Google mandates a software update policy. Is keeping Android TV updated going to be a pain for operators?
Android TV is an attractive option for operators because they can cut the time and effort of launching a set-top box from 18 months (or more), with traditional middleware, down to a fraction of that. However, the question many will be asking is how quickly can you REALLY launch your own brand of Android TV box?
Android TV is an open environment that could make operators love it, or hate it. There are many reasons for loving it. But there is only one main reason for potentially hating it… the security risk associated with it being open.
Threats are a reality in any environment.
Android TV is a hot topic in the industry. Many operators appreciate the benefits it offers. Some of these are described in my blog comparing Android TV to middleware. But a major concern remains: “how much control will I give up to Google?” Probably less than you think!
You have full control of the STB, not Google.
Yes, it’s true.
Google’s Android operating system took just a few years to go from upstart newcomer to dominating the global mobile market. Can it do the same for TV?
In my last blog, a primer on Android for STBs, I described the options available to operators: the “plug-and-play” Android TV service, and the more customizable self-build route based on AOSP. Is this combination enough to kill-off the market in proprietary middleware?
Launching a pay TV platform typically requires 2-3 years’ development to create a customized user experience based on proprietary middleware with continuous updates throughout the STB lifetime. It’s slow, expensive and requires specialist developers, but operators get the UX they choose.
Google’s AOSP and Android TV are shaking up this status quo. Android rose from zero to global dominance of mobile markets in under seven years, so it’s little wonder this disruptor is being taken seriously.
Marketers rely on analytics for evidence-based decision making. And analytic tools provide the insight needed into the customer viewing experience and drives continual improvement. But how reliable are those decisions if the insight doesn’t give the full picture?
Online video is exploding
There’s no doubt about it, the popularity of online video continues to grow. As a core offering, it’s right that pay-TV operators want to better understand the trends and operational performance affecting their business and be able to respond more effectively.
The pace of change in the media and technology landscape continues at breath taking speed. And the next 5-10 years will see much upheaval in digital content protection. The flexibility of your business model will become even more business-critical.
My earlier post on “Future-proofing your OTT Content Protection” shows how damaging an inflexible approach can be.