Interview: Optimising experiences, adding value to offers

Interviewed by Rapid TV News, Antonio Rodríguez, VP Business Development at Mirada explains how the company has reacted to ensuring operators retain value and evolve customer offerings.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic we are undoubtedly in unprecedented times. How do you think it impacted the pay-TV industry?

I think there are two clear phases when talking about the impact that Covid-19 pandemic had on our sector. During the first couple of months, we saw a huge rise in content consumption of all kinds. Of course, that wasn’t a surprise – with most people stuck at home during almost global lockdown, TV and video content was the main entertainment and information option. Of course, it hasn’t been bed of roses for the content providers. The problem is that the pandemic had a huge impact on the economy and, as the months passed by, many households had to cut back on their non-essential expenses, so even though content consumption is still definitely on the rise, some operators have to take urgent measures to retain those subscribers. To stabilise and improve their churn rates, it’s essential to properly demonstrate just how much added value they can offer to end consumers.

We play a crucial role in supporting our clients in their goal to differentiate themselves and add value to a traditional TV offering.

How will this new reality affect the development of Mirada’s products and services?

As key technology providers, we play a crucial role in supporting our clients in their goal to differentiate themselves and add value to a traditional TV offering, and we do that by optimising user experience. This used to mean an intuitive and attractive interface, but now there’s much more to that. The dynamic growth of SVOD and AVOD platforms, boosted by the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic, is undeniable. But their abundance is fragmenting the offer to an extent that can only lead to the ultimate frustration of the consumers.

Enabling pay-TV operators to aggregate premium content providers to their services is the first step. The second one, which is one of our core values, is to push the integration further so that operators can position themselves as experience aggregators, unifying content under one gateway, which reduces the necessity of endlessly swapping from one app to another. In addition, with just the right mix of artisanal content curation and algorithms based on machine learning, content discovery features can help viewers to choose something to watch without being overwhelmed by an infinite catalogues of multiple content sources available.

As to our ability to continuously improve our product, releasing features and deploying our solution for our customers, we were in a really privileged situation. First of all, Mirada’s employees have had the possibility to work remotely for some years now, so the only thing we had to do once the pandemic broke out was to apply it to all staff at the same time. In addition, the flexibility of our products and solutions for on-premises or cloud-based deployments allowed us to not only keep working full steam, but also to successfully launch our product for several customers during the pandemic. This flexibility in conjunction with the advanced architecture of our back-office products based on cutting-edge cloud technologies, helped us to continue providing the same level of excellence that our customers expect from us regarding product evolution, platform scalability and support and maintenance services in these days where mobility is so restricted.

Taking into account the current scenario, what is your main product focus?

We are seeing that the Android TV demand is still growing as operators confirm their role as content aggregators. Our Android TV custom launcher has been launched this week for a Spanish pay-TV brand, Zapi, it’s already deployed for one of the major telcos in Latin America and we’re looking forward to deploying it for other operators very soon. These customers benefit from the same strong brand image they have on their Linux traditional boxes, which we still support, and their users enjoy a flexible and dynamic UX with access to third-party apps from the Play Store and a full integration of premium content providers.

With Iris smaller-sized operators can provide advanced, competitive service to their users.

Since before the pandemic we’ve been seeing many smaller telco companies and content owners deciding to launch their own video service. With the surge of consumption due to Covid-19, it still looks like an attractive option for many. Do you plan to help those companies with your products?

We’ve recently launched our Iris solution in a new SaaS format called Swift Mode, which we believe ticks all the boxes on the main objectives our customers look for when launching a new service. Those include the whole proven Iris ecosystem together with our partners components already pre-integrated in an end-to-end proposition. This pre-integration allows us to offer better time-to-market and the possibility to minimise the initial investment in a pay-as-you-grow model. One thing that differentiates us from our competitors is that it is not a subproduct, a “lite” version of our core Iris platform – we’re talking about a full solution with all technological advancements we deploy for top-tier operators globally. With Iris smaller-sized operators can provide advanced, competitive service to their users. Of course, they also have access to our Iris product roadmap, ensuring future evolution of their platform.

Click here to contact Antonio Rodríguez.

Click here to read the interview on Rapid TV News website.