29 Jul 2016

135

0

The Importance of a Good IPTV Middleware System

IPTV Middleware System

When offering television services to consumers, a good rule of thumb to remember is that nothing is really a guarantee. Unfortunately, you can think that you are doing everything within your power to deliver the best possible content and services to your customers...only to find out that you’ve been “one-upped” by another service or that your services are not working as planned. Of course, this kind of thing is definitely the worst-case scenario, but sadly, worst-case scenarios do happen in the IPTV world, and they happen more often than you might think.

While there is nothing you can do to guard 100% against the risk of problems and unhappy customers, you should also understand that you can GREATLY reduce your risk by being extra selective when choosing an IPTV middleware system. In this industry, you, as a business, truly are only as strong as your IPTV system, so it makes great sense that you would and should do everything within your power to choose a good one. Without a good IPTV service, you are basically left on your own to deliver content, keep customers happy, and everything else in between, which, for the record, involves a lot of tough stuff.

If you, like most businesses, are adept at handling all of the complexities of IPTV on your own, then your only option is to hire an IPTV service. And because, in a lot of ways, you (and your customers to some extent) will be very dependent on this service, it is absolutely imperative that you choose carefully. Your business reputation and, ultimately, your business success is highly dependent on the IPTV service that you choose, so this is certainly not a decision that should be made lightly in any way, shape, or form. And, just in case the importance of selecting a good service is a new or recently prioritized concept to you, the below information should really hammer that point in, and, even more importantly, it should help you to select a qualified IPTV service to meet your business needs.

Streaming Platform

First things first, one of the major things that modern day viewers are looking for is the ability to stream content. Modern viewers want to be able to watch whatever they want, whenever they want it across a wide range of streaming platforms. Call it demanding, if you will, bu it’s still the way of the present and, by the looks of it, the future as well. And, while this method of presentation is commonly sought after for live programming, it is also wise to offer streaming of pre-aired programming as well.

Because consumers care so deeply about being able to watch their content when they want to and where and how they want to, you basically cannot get away from offering this streaming option to them. Thus, make sure that the service that you choose is modern and makes it easy for you to stream content and, even more importantly, to stream it across a wide range of commonly used OTT devices.

Remember, customers have a way of figuring out what people with other services are getting compared to them, and, if you don’t keep up, they are quite likely to end up leaving you in the dust.

Installation

Persuading customers to choose your services over all of the others is only half of the battle. Though this might seem like the most difficult part of the process, you still have installation to get through.

Customers are weary of getting products and services installed in their homes. For most of them, it has involved, in the past, an uncomfortable and inconvenient “waiting game” of sorts that rarely works out in their favor.

That is where your services have a prime opportunity to step in and prove that they are different. Instead of making your customers wait for hours after your “estimated arrival time,” ensure that you have and are working with a service that is actually going to honor the quoted arrival time it gives to customers, meet with them as agreed upon, be polite and kind, and get them ready to go, already having a positive association with the company in their minds. If you can do that, then you will already be more than one step ahead of the competition.

No Congestion

Just being able to offer your customers various quality, in-demand services, such as instant video, is not enough. You also need to ensure that all of these services run as smoothly as possible. Thus, you want to make sure that you are working with a service that knows how to guard against and combat congestion.

In case you are not familiar with the term, congestion is what happens when a wide range of people are trying to access a service at one time and, as a result, it becomes congested, possibly leading to stalling, stuttering, or even unplayable content, as well as other problems.

When congestion happens, it sends the message to clients that you are overloaded and/or not equipped to deal with your current client base, which, of course, is likely to send customers elsewhere. Avoid this by ensuring that your service knows how to deal with many customers trying to access the same programming and/or platform and has a clear strategy in place to deal with those time when congestion happens.

A Seamless Payment Process

Another thing that a good IPTV platform will offer you is a way to make the payment process easier on yourself and on your customers. For example, most modern IPTV Middleware systems offer automatic billing so that payments are automatically deducted from your customers’ accounts without them having to do anything extra or go out of their way to pay their bill or remember when it’s due.

Even for customers who don’t elect this option, you still want to be able to offer easy online payments and access to all account data online. This will make your customers’ lives easier, and, by extension, will aid your business by giving it a reputation for being easy to deal with and handle. Nobody likes hassle, so the key is to find an IPTV platform that eliminates hassle in every possible way.

Attractive and Interactive

Good IPTV services understand that today’s consumers are very visual. They are used to easy to access content on their computers, their televisions, and their mobile devices as well. This means that, no matter how much content you offer, if it’s not delivered in a streamlined, visually appealing, and easy to access way, then your customers probably aren’t going to be happy.

The right IPTV provider will understand that it takes more than just a large content offering to impress modern-day clients and they will offer content through interactive, attractive apps and other features. What’s more is that they offer clients the extra content features that they love, like recommendations based on their past choices and other ways to discover new content.

Research-Driven

While you might think your only real job is to deliver content and keep your customers happy, there should be more to the service you provide than just that. Indeed, one of your main focuses, if your business is going to be as successful as possible, should be on gathering information about your customers, how they behave, what services they use and don’t use, and more. This type of information will not only help you to keep your current customers satisfied, but it will also allow you to know how to better target new customers, understand the habits of different demographics, and more.

The right service for you will make this kind of research almost effortless. It should provide you with detailed information on client behaviors and service usage in an easy to understand way. This feature from a service can ultimately be what causes your business to thrive, so this is perhaps one of the most important things to look for when you are choosing an IPTV platform.

Pay Services

Finally, never forget that one of your most powerful sources of extra revenue will likely be offering extra services, such as extra programming for a fee or extra channels that can be added on for a fee or even pay-per-view films and other programming. Make sure that the service you choose is set up to offer these types of additional viewing opportunities to customers and that it does so in a clear, easy to navigate way and also makes billing for these extra services as easy as possible.

If you are not offering additional pay services, then you are missing out on a very easy, passive way to make more money, and that is never smart.

Fast, Affordable Installation

While, so far, we’ve focused on how choosing the right IPTV platform can benefit your customers and, by extension, your business. However, sometimes you really do have to put your business first and think about your return on investment (ROI).

If you do not currently have IPTV technology, know that getting it installed and ready for distribution is a big process, one that can often be expensive. Many services are also backed up in their installations, which means you could end up waiting quite awhile for an installation and thus to launch and offer your services.

For these reasons, be selective about the company that you choose to work with. Make sure that it can install your IPTV system on-site at a minimal cost to you and that it can be done quickly. After all, in this industry, time is definitely money!

As you can see, there are many qualities you need to look for in your IPTV Middleware system, but what it all boils down to is that your system should make your life easier and cause your business to run more smoothly and more efficiently. When that happens, you’ll find that things also tend to run more smoothly and more efficiently for your customers, which equals greater customer satisfaction and brand loyalty; the right IPTV platform is really at the heart of making everyone happy and keeping your business running smoothly, so don’t choose your platform without a lot of thought and care.