Q&A Multiscreen video – the way ahead

Ron Downey, chief executive and co-founder of Massive, the multi-award winning global software company, discusses the future of video merchandising.

You talk about powering the world’s best multiscreen video services, what does this mean in practice for TV companies?

Massive has created a one-of-a-kind video merchandising and user interface (UI) platform that allows tier-1 broadcasters, telcos and studios to develop and manage multi-device over-the-top (OTT) video offerings efficiently.

How does your video merchandising software work and what benefits does it offer?

Massive AXIS offers one easy-to-use online environment to merchandise or control a video catalogue, adapt UIs and optimise customer experiences. When you make a change, it’s applied across any device you specify or all at once. Traditionally, if you wanted to deliver video on apps across many devices, you had to license individual management solutions per device. Making changes to the UI or the way in which the content was presented took weeks, a lot of human input and significant investment.

How, why and when did the idea for Massive AXIS and video merchandising come about?

In 2010, after more than ten years of creating pioneering video entertainment web services, we anticipated that our premium customer base was going to need a platform which gave them full control. We put our R&D and product teams to work immediately and now have the leading user experience (UX) product-as-a-service in our industry. We’ve defined a new software category with Massive AXIS and we’re offering something that is changing the lives of the teams who use it to manage their video services.

What is unique about Massive?

Our technical capability is unequalled and we’ve delivered high-profile TV-focused UI solutions for longer than anyone else. Our clients include the BBC, Lionsgate, Sony Pictures Television, Channel 5 and many more globally. Massive has always created tools that offer unparalleled user experiences for our clients’ internal product managers and content schedulers, as well as for the end-users. The better the internal user tools are, the better the end-user experience will be. A little known fact is that our UX team has won more than 100 awards and is also the world leader in inflight entertainment system design. We’re proud to call Emirates, Qantas, Virgin Atlantic and Singapore Airlines customers. Designing experiences for passengers of the finest airlines is a huge responsibility and being a major influencer across the future of living-room, mobile and transport multiscreen video is something we take very seriously.

Are there other benefits you bring to your customers?

Clients such as Sony Pictures Television are able to leverage our solution to deploy multiple brands on the same platform. The economies of scale achieved present incredible value. ANIMAX, AXN and Sony Movie Channel are all from Sony, but are unique services launched and operating in different countries with different languages.

What mistakes do TV companies typically make when launching video services?

They build unique and inflexible apps on a host of manufacturers’ devices, and can’t evolve tactically and iteratively over four or five years, much less by the hour.

This is a complex and fast-moving sector, what should companies bear in mind if they want to stay ahead and not back the wrong technology horse?

Flexibility. If companies don’t have the complete ability to change what movie or TV show appears first in a category row or the power to change layout and navigation, all in real time, alongside targeting specific audience segments, they’re doomed. Also, working with a software company that has a proven history of servicing the largest global organisations is critical.

Where do you see Massive and the sector as a whole going from here?

Video consumption is growing exponentially and Massive will continue to set new standards in what’s possible in the area of UX and UI. Soon we’ll be making a major announcement about a new version of our software that will revolutionise the way service providers approach OTT app platform development and management.

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