It is ‘game on’ for VOD and live stream suppliers

The latest summer of sport is almost upon us. Jonny Crawford, EMEA International Inside Sales Manager for Micro Focus, reflects on its implications for our customers – and reveals a winning offer to help them hit their goals…

I’ve been watching sport since I was a boy and pretty much every year calls itself the ‘summer of sport’. But this year is unquestionably a big one. Football tournaments both North and South of the equator, the Rio Olympics, the tennis at Wimbledon, Test Cricket, golfing majors – it’s all out there.

But things have moved on since my youth. These days the question isn’t so much what to watch, but how to watch it.

Mobile devices, live streaming and video on demand (VOD) are on the rise and the trend is likely to increase over the next 18-24 months – mobile video traffic alone is set to grow 825% over the next five years.

This year’s summer of sport will see more ‘spikes’ than the running track in Rio. The developers supporting these streaming and VOD applications must cope with the additional traffic all this coverage represents as well as a higher demand for a seamless streaming experience, whether the medium is a handheld device on the commute to work, sitting in the park or at home in front of their 50”, 4k television.

Developers must ensure these streaming applications deliver what the customers demand, or risk losing subscription fees. Advertisers, also, expect to see their products displayed to best effect. After all, there is plenty of competition out there. But it’s not easy.

Not many people watching ITV HD during the 2010 World Cup recall Steven Gerrard’s goal for England against the USA. That’s because they didn’t see it. The lesson for broadcasters and developers is that people remember what you got wrong a lot longer than what you did well.

The proliferation of platforms – mobile devices, tablets, desktop, internet TV – are all new opportunities for us punters to watch our preferred sport. But they are also just another headache as far as developers and testers and – anyone responsible for setting up these applications and keeping the running while the pressure’s on – are concerned.

Imagine a repeat of the Gerrard Incident. Supposing Harry Kane, Gareth Bale, Robbie Keane or Will Grigg nails a stunning volley while we’re all watching the buffering symbol, a ‘video not available’ notice or an everlasting ‘timeout’ icon. Imagine the language, the feedback on social media – and the impact on the revenue streams of the business offering the VOD or streaming service.

The winning combination

It doesn’t have to be this way. Micro Focus Silk has the perfect team to ensure the summer of sport streams stay up long after the sun goes down.

Switched-on content suppliers use Silk Performer to load and performance test exciting new stuff, such as http live streaming. They get metrics to gauge stream quality that significantly improves the user experience of download times, download-to-play ratios and the live streaming experience. They know they can handle all the loads that the summer of sport will throw at them and address performance issues before a ball is kicked, thrown or hit with something. Singtel already use this platform- and browser-neutral product to underpin their VOIP packages.

So, imagine yourself as a manager. Instead of a team, you are responsible for successfully deploying a streaming application. What’s the best way to get the peak performance from your star asset?

Silk Central: A unified platform to design, plan, execute and track all your functional and performance testing practices across every device and platform.

Silk Test Mobile: Build functional test automation that runs reliably across platforms and devices.

Silk Performer: Performance and load testing automation that represents your users across the globe on their devices, platforms and networks.

So for a glitch-free summer of sport then get in touch with me and we’ll talk tactics and formations. Better make it soon, though, as there is a lot of sport for me to watch over the next few weeks!


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