The answer here has changed over time as products have evolved in sophistication, technology and in catering to customer expectations.
In 2013, for example, Holly Knill, the then Head of Sky Go in the UK, told VOD Professional that:
“Two years ago people came to IBC [the International Broadcasting Convention hosted annually in Amsterdam] armed with a big toolbox - they knew they needed to build a whole range of things. This year, it feels like they’ve come only with a screwdriver – they know, very specifically, what they want to do.”
For Matt Westrup, SVP Technology & Operations at A+E Networks EMEA, at the outset of the broadcaster’s project to launch a new D2C for their Crime + Investigation brand in 2021,
“We needed, amongst other things, a player, an OVP (online video platform), a CDN (or multiple CDNs), analytics, a payment gateway and, of course, the user interface…”
Here’s a list of the most common technology (front and backend) requirements, that we've seen in various RFIs / RFPs over the past couple of years. It’s fairly comprehensive and may serve as a foundation for your own thinking.
Note: for each option, and especially when evaluating end-to-end or white-label solutions, we usually ask whether the capability/feature comes a) straight out of the box, b) from a pre-integrated vendor partner, c) or from a NON-pre-integrated vendor partner.
This then allows us – and you - to create weighting models to help compare solutions.
Metadata enhancement (manual / automated)
QA / QC
Security / Watermarking
Storage & Servers
Automated / scheduled carousels
Auto-play next episode
Content recommendation (collaborative-based filtering)
Content recommendation (content-based filtering)
Content recommendation (hybrid incl. human curation)
Content recommendation (incl. social networks)
Customisable layout (rails, hero banners, featured content etc.)
Download to device
Sync across devices (SSO)
AVOD (Ad Management & DAI)
PPV (one-off payment)
PVOD / TVOD (variable rental)
Sub-brands based on primary product
Basic CRM (contacts database)
Advanced CRM (includes CRM reqmts above and lets us communicate directly with customers)
Customer Service - via email
Customer Service - via live chat
Customer Service - via telephone
Intermediate CRM (allows us to identify cohorts by customer type, country, subs status etc.)
Channels (B2B2C e.g. Amazon Fire Channel)
Games Consoles (PS4, 5, Xbox 3, 4)
Smart TV (Samsung, Sony, LG)
Smartphones (iOS, Android)
STB (Amazon Fire stick, Chromecast, Roku, NOW TV)
Tablets (iOS, Android, Amazon Fire)
This blog marks the second blog post of a five-part series. Keep an eye out for future posts covering the ins and outs of planning and constructing D2C services!