The over-the-top (OTT) market has taken off in recent years, opening up a plethora of opportunities for stakeholders. Tata Elxsi is one such company that helps multiple-system operators (MSOs), internet service providers and media companies to launch OTT video streaming services across various platforms. In an interview with tele.net, Sarvanraja K. Nadar, practice head, OTT, Tata Elxsi, talks about India’s evolving OTT landscape, key trends, impact of 5G, and the company’s future plans…
How has the OTT landscape evolved in India? What are some of the key trends dominating the segment?
The rapid migration of viewing on streaming platforms, which accelerated in 2020 and 2021, has seen new data-based business models emerge. OTT platforms in India spent Rs 37 billion on original content in 2021. Netflix was the largest investor, spending around Rs 14.79 billion, followed by Amazon Prime Video with a spend of around Rs 10.35 billion.
India’s video streaming industry is fragmented, with more than 40 operators. Innovations such as voice tags, augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR), 360-degree viewing and blockchain technology are also being explored extensively. Direct-to-home will continue to retain its dominance, but it will be supplemented/ supported by OTT.
What are the differentiating features of the TEPlay solution offered by the company? Are there any new products/services in the pipeline?
Tata Elxsi offers products and services in the OTT space. We support our clients in key segments such as research, design, product development and technology.
TEPlay is a pre-integrated, highly scalable and secure end-to-end OTT video delivery platform. It has been designed to deliver great video experiences, with seamless and dynamic scaling performance, leveraging a next-gen server-less micro-services-based architecture. It consists of OTT backend components combined with world-class user interface (UI)/user experience design and application development.
What makes TEPlay different is its insights into content performance and usage patterns to define content strategy and data-driven hyperpersonalisation for faster content delivery. Another key feature is OTT app integration. With pre-integrated OTT apps available in the market, operators can bundle it in their own subscription and be competitive in the market by offering content discovery at a single place.
We have built an innovative content monetisation solution based on blockchain. Subscribers can gift content access to friends and family and even get rewarded monetarily for their referrals. Another solution in the pipeline is shoppable TV. It offers viewers a fully interactive purchase experience.
What will be the impact of 5G networks on content delivery? How do you plan to leverage the technology in the OTT space?
5G offers a host of advantages for OTT platforms. It promises to revolutionise this space with faster content delivery, lower latency, and an enhanced user experience, thereby unlocking new opportunities. It will also be able to support and enable the use of emerging technologies such as AR and VR, providing an immersive and improved user experience.
Tata Elxsi is geared up and equipped to tap the 5G phenomenon by offering a better user experience, faster response times in the application and a richer UI. With 5G, we also aim to leverage the myriad opportunities, application-wise, which we can roll out for our users, such as the group watch-party feature, an immersive sports experience – with multi-camera angles and richer personalisation.
What are your future plans and strategies for the Indian market?
Currently, we are working with leading MSOs on open source platforms, namely, Android TV and reference design kit (RDK). For a leading MSO in Andhra Pradesh, we are the system integrator for an innovative RDK-based solution, which is Asia’s first 4K RDK IPTV set-top box (STB). We have also been pioneers in the Android TV space, helping Airtel launch India’s first hybrid Android TV STB. Tata Elxsi’s Android TV solution suite includes a custom operator-tier launcher, an over-the-air (OTA) and intelligent customer experience (iCX). Another platform launched by us is QoEtient. QoEtient is a platform for OTT service providers to improve the delivery of quality of experience (QoE). It supports a multitude of OTT devices such as smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, streaming devices, gaming consoles, STBs and bluetooth remote controls. Tata Elxsi’s AIVA is also set to transform the future. AIVA is an intelligent video analytics platform for content curation and metatagging of objects, events and actions. Using AIVA, broadcasters can achieve up to 50 per cent reduction in the time taken to generate sports streaming/ match highlights. Over and above, we offer adtech solutions for monetisation for broadcasters and operators. Through these intuitive solutions and accelerators, we are helping the media and broadcast sector stay ahead of the curve.