Why AndroidTV can make the difference.
One of the highlights of IBC 2019 was Google's announcement of two new devices designed for the operators’ market. One of them, a dongle with 4K capabilities, facilitates the adoption of OTT, which is a topic that is always circulating during meetings of the operators’ top executives. As we highlighted in our announcement with TV Up Media, OTT is the future of TV, but there are some challenges operators must overcome to make it become a reality. At the AndroidTV Summit, Google promised to ease the path of transition.
With more than 140 operators in different countries already adopting Android-based devices and the promise to cut 30% costs vs. other choices, we can affirm the stakes are serious. With that, let’s analyze the primary factors that makes AndroidTV a winning card and why at Teltoo, we made it a cornerstone of our platform support.
Perhaps this is the most significant difference compared to other platforms and the primary reason for AndroidTV’s popularity. Set-top Boxes have always been the norm for operators, enabling them to connect with their subscribers: the brand, the content, the control versioning. Once Google realized it was all about the control, they enhanced its new version of AndroidTV and provided what the market demanded: user interface customization and content prioritization. Add these two to a reliable operating system, a decrease in development efforts, and access to Google’s content through Google Play store and you have a winner.
On the other hand, the big question mark that already exists when deciding to make the move for AndroidTV is how Google plan to manage control versioning. Historically, operators have always had a vast array of different set-top box devices. Since they don’t update all at once, it is reasonable to have concerns on how the transition process to newer software versions is going to work out, when adopting AndroidTV.
AndroidTV’s fast adoption is the other upper hand Google plays when approaching operators. The days in which operators needed to plan their moves ahead of time when launching a new product, may be behind us. AndroidTV is a versatile product, and it helps to get into markets very quickly at convenient costs. The fact that the out of the box version of the operating system is so reliable, and needs little baby-sitting to be market-ready, makes it stand apart from other options. Other than speed, the main benefit is the efficiency offered, in terms of efforts needed for software development. Before AndroidTV, any development task was a challenge, and Google’s ecosystem makes everything agile and straightforward.
Furthermore, if you want to integrate 3rd party solutions to add new capabilities or distinctive features, AndroidTV is a standard platform that most vendors in the industry know, so the level of development and support they can offer on top of AndroidTV is strong.
By the time Google was announcing at IBC 2019 its new devices for the operators’ market, there were rumors that Comcast had acquired Metrological, an app store provider that integrates OTT video services. Metrological already has a pre-integrated app for RDK, the software stack for video created jointly by Comcast, Liberty Global, and Time Warner, which is the answer from operators to match the innovation coming from Internet companies. RDK has already secured a strong position in North America with most operators syndicating Comcast’s solutions. With the help of Metrological, Comcast expects to expand territories and boost its reputation in Europe.
Rumors flying at IBC that Comcast bought Metrological. If true good move for Comcast and RDK. https://t.co/iJNIP9YoG0
— Colin Dixon (@nScreenMedia) September 14, 2019
The move has been perceived as a “credible option for operators against AndroidTV“ and it is a serious response to Google’s operating system, but at the same time, it proves that AndroidTV is following the right track.
At Teltoo, we have a solid experience working with Google’s and others’ video player platforms, including AndroidTV. While control versioning, roadmap transitions, and competition can represent a challenge, we believe it is compensated by its accessibility, software stability and simplicity of development, across all its platforms.
All these virtues make AndroidTV an enticing option. While they will face a ferocious competition from powerful competitors with outstanding solutions, it will keep shaping the future of TV for operators.