Project overview

A comprehensive OTT solution that ensures consistent viewing experiences for a million-wide audience across mobile, web, and smart TV. The solution supports a wide array of engaging features such as an advanced interactive EPG, uninterrupted channel surfing or “zapping”, continuous watching across devices, and smart content recommendations. A dedicated self-care web app allows managing subscription and making payments.

Client: Beeline is third-largest wireless and second-largest telecommunications operator.

Industry
Delivery Model
Scope-driven milestone-based development
Effort and Duration
Ongoing, 280 man-months so far
Technologies
React JS · Redux · Tizen SDK · WebOS SDK · Swift · Viper · PlayKit · Kaltura Android/iOS Player SDK · FairPlay · PlayReady · MPEG-DASH · HLS · Java · Groovy · Selenium · TestNG

Business challenge

The client, a major telecom, set an ambitious goal to strengthen their service offer and expand their subscriber base by implementing a combined OTT and IPTV platform. The solution would provide a mix of premium content, modern UI, and an array of user-facing features unique to the Russian online video market.

The project entailed the development of several customized apps to match the client’s user flows and backend functionality available through Kaltura’s media platform. As a long-standing Kaltura partner and proven frontend services provider, Oxagile was chosen to deliver the smart TV, mobile, and web applications.

Case highlights

  • Innovative design tailored to various screen types and sizes
  • Specialized TV packages and interactive EPGs
  • Advanced kids profiles and parental controls
  • Binge-watching in both online and offline mode
  • ‘Continue watching’ functionality
  • Powerful content search capabilities
  • Personalized video recommendations and loyalty programs
  • A rich library of free and paid live and VoD content
  • Designed to accommodate 50,000,000 subscribers
  • Over 100,000 downloads for the iOS and Android apps

Seamlessly managing a large-scale project

The project used the iterative, phase-driven RUP model to better accommodate the client’s budget constraints and potential change requests.

Handling all parts of such a large-scale, international project was always going to be a formidable task. Oxagile managed to establish a dynamic working relationship with Kaltura’s product team and Beeline stakeholders, resolving issues and updating requirements across borders and great distances without delay. This was achieved through regular international workshops, thorough documentation of all processes, and intensive knowledge sharing.

The project’s tight release schedule and multi-platform nature put an additional strain on the frontend teams. To mitigate instability risks and simplify integration with a significantly customized Kaltura backend, Oxagile held frequent meetings that helped to align strategies and requirements management between distributed frontend and backend teams.

Delivered product

The client received a set of powerful, highly interactive frontend applications integrated with a customized OTT platform. Virtually homogenous in functionality and style, the applications enable a seamless user experience for people who frequently switch between devices and like to consume content on the go as well as on a big screen.

The platform’s UI, designed by a renowned London-based studio W12 and implemented by Oxagile’s team, leverages native device capabilities to ensure an outstanding viewing experience at all times.

Key features and highlights

  • On-the-fly UI customizations across Samsung and LG smart TVs, as well as Android and iOS devices
  • Intuitive onboarding flows supporting 4 types of users
  • Catch up and time shift features for TV channels
  • Up to 5 screens can be connected to one profile
  • Several profiles per household
  • Continuous watching from screen to screen
  • Uninterrupted channel surfing (“zapping”)
  • High performance on a wide range of Samsung and LG TV devices, including lower-end ones
  • Multiple viewer engagement models: SVOD, TVOD, etc.

The interface is uncluttered and remarkably easy to navigate on any device, be it an iPhone, and Android phone, or a smart TV set. The “Continue watching” feature makes it easier than ever to pick up viewing exactly where you left off.

The client’s subscribers get access to a rich library of free and paid content, including live broadcasts, movies, and TV series.

The interactive EPG facilitates navigation through more than 200 TV channels. Specialized TV packages give viewers the ability to focus on topics most interesting to them, such as nature documentaries, cartoons, or sports, and the look of the EPG is automatically tailored to reflect these preferences. Users can access the schedule of past programs and catch up with the content they missed directly from the EPG. A mini EPG version that functions like an ‘inside player’ is displayed for added convenience in live mode.

One of the key engagement features is the Collections tab containing curated sets of shows and movies grouped by theme, lead actor, awards, and other attributes. By providing the user with an easy pathway to unexplored but relevant titles, the app encourages them to consume and purchase more content.

Designing an Elaborate System Architecture to Ensure Hassle-Free Delivery

All apps connect to Kaltura’s backend through a set of powerful APIs that enable swift and secure transfer of data between endpoints and help create a seamless experience from the user’s point of view.

Ensuring Robust Security

Oxagile’s team dealt with security challenges in different parts of the system. Content protection is realized through stream encryption and the digital rights management logic that relies on the the industry-standard DRM solutions such as Widevine and FairPlay to effectively prevent unauthorized video consumption.

Beating the Clock and Promoting Quality with In-House Testing and AQA

After passing functionality and integration testing, new features underwent rigorous AQA feasibility analysis. Oxagile’s test automation engineers used a proprietary algorithm based on historical data to determine AQA ROI to make the right decision about employing automation.

By only automating the tasks that were too complex and repetitive to test manually, the team was able to improve product quality and dramatically cut the cost of regression testing.

As a result, the team automated multiple cases of functional, regression and integration testing across devices, with AQA coverage reaching over 60% on smart TVs.

Business value

The apps for smart TVs, mobile, and web were launched in quick succession. The coverage of multiple types of devices and innovative viewing functionality make the solution the most advanced online video platform in Russia in terms of features, content, and distribution.

The iOS and Android apps alone managed to garner over 100,000 downloads each, and the solution has been short-listed for the Global Mobile Awards 2019 in the “Best Mobile Video Content Service” category.

At the next stage of the project, the client will continue to expand the platform’s reach by developing similar apps for Apple TV, as well as a full-blown web application.

Currently the client has made the new offering available to their user base of 56 million subscribers, leveraging personalization to upsell premium TV packages, reduce churn, and increase the ARPU.

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