How to build a successful Android TV service in APAC


by Editorial Staff

Ahead of next week’s APAC Android TV Summit, we quizzed three of our online video experts, Adam Nightingale, Alex Drosin, and Terry Kwok, about all things Android TV within the rapidly evolving Asia-Pacific region. Read on for their insights


by Editorial Staff

Ahead of next week’s APAC Android TV Summit, we quizzed three of our online video experts, Adam Nightingale, Alex Drosin, and Terry Kwok, about all things Android TV within the rapidly evolving Asia-Pacific region. Read on for their insights

APAC is officially in its golden age of over-the-top (OTT). The growth rate is astonishing, with some even going so far as to predict the online video sector will double in size over the next five years. Change is very much afoot, with Android TV firmly proving its position as one of the most in demand platforms within the region.

To prepare for the APAC Android TV Summit on 12-14 November in Bangkok, Thailand, Deltatre’s Adam Nightingale, Alex Drosin and Terry Kwok talk opportunities, risks, predictions – and how to build a successful Android TV service in the region.

Android TV today

#1. How would you describe the current state of play re Android TV services in APAC?

Alex: Advanced and ahead of the curve. Only last week NOW E, the streaming service from PCCW with a custom Android TV solution, won the OTT Service Excellence Award from Metro Daily, demonstrative of how the device can transform the way premium content is delivered to end-users. Operators in the region are recognising how valuable a ‘ready-made’ 10-foot experience that’s coupled with advanced, out-of-the-box functionality like voice control and access to 4,000 apps can be in building stronger relationships with end consumers.

Adam: Definitely. The speed to market and proven ecosystem around Android TV makes it easier for TV platform operators in some markets to make the leap to build a professional TV platform that in the past would have cost many tens of millions to build.

We are seeing a lot of traction in Asia and other markets with high but more fragmented populations, which also plays well to the core benefits of Deltatre’s product and service portfolio. Think user segmentation, adaptive user experience and so on.

#2. Is there a specific ‘type’ of fan that is most important to the present and future of APAC Android TV services?

Alex: Yes, sports fans and youth. An almost perfect storm has started to emerge in APAC. Sport is seen as a major differentiator by both pay-TV and D2C OTT operators and is best experienced on the big screen. Broadband infrastructure across the region is also improving by the day and a new generation of TV lovers has emerged, hungry for premium content at an acceptable price delivered via OTT. This has created an amazing opportunity for operators to leverage Android TV to reach a previously untapped and under fulfilled audience.

Adam: I’d argue also the family viewer which perhaps for one of the first times has an affordable STB-based TV platform in the home that strikes the right balance between cost-effectiveness and not being negatively affected by a poor UX.

#3. Is there anything about the region that makes it unique?

Alex: There has to be a strong tie between mobile-driven and connected TV-driven experiences and how the user flows between the two. It’s incredibly important for operators to effectively track, store and manage their audience data across all touchpoints to deliver a truly unified experience – and this starts with using the right experience management tools, like our AXIS platform.

Adam: 100% agreed. Deltatre brings a truly cohesive multi-platform experience, not just an Android TV dev project.

It’s also the fragmentation piece again. Look at India – a billion people, many different languages, plus huge variety within distinct regions. Singapore and the Middle East are also similar in terms of the extent of the difference.

The future of Android TV

#4. How do you expect Android TV services to evolve in the coming years?

Alex: Within the next 12 months, there will be integrated premium advertising within the UI experience. And within the next two years, deeper search integration across all content.

Terry: Google has doubled the number of operator tier partners each year since 2016, with over 90 signing up between 2018 and 2019. It unveiled its Android TV 2020 and 2021 roadmap during IBC, where they said higher resolution video apps, instream ads, and more home screen device connections are the focus. You can read more info here.

#5. What does it take to build a successful Android TV service in APAC?

Alex: A strong understanding of market needs and requirements and a solid understanding of the type of content being surfaced and how to best engage the customer. Plus, of course, personalisation. In our experience, this can be a major differentiator in a crowded marketplace. The audience expects an OTT service to understand their likes and dislikes and adapt the UX accordingly. The Deltatre Android TV solution is pre-integrated with our AXIS platform, meaning editors can quickly segment and target custom user experiences at scale to different audience groups – meaning what a sports fan sees is different from that of a rom-com lover, for example.

Adam: And proven reference apps based on an equally proven UX management and personalisation platform.

Terry: A scalable and reliable platform is needed in order to support the growing numbers and traffic patterns. Often we would hear stories about clients building a web/app platform but then discovered it was poorly designed and unable to support the growing user population and expand to other platforms.

#6. What are the biggest opportunities for Android TV in APAC?

Adam: Growth, and gaining access to growing TV markets. APAC is pinned as the fastest growing pay TV market in the world. Sure, it’s from small beginnings, but it’s better to be in now when the roots of a flourishing future TV ecosystem are just starting to dig in.

Terry: Agreed, it’s the growth. The APAC pay TV industry is predicted to expand at a rate of 3% between 2018-2023 and to exceed $66 billion in revenue by 2023. N

#7. And the biggest risks?

Adam: Poor deployments and the reputational impact of slow and delayed deliveries. If you work with Deltatre, you avoid the pain and anguish of sub-prime vendors.

Android TV and Deltatre

#8. How can Deltatre’s products help to build successful APAC Android TV services?

Adam: Fast time to market, proven, reliable, flexible to adapt to a diverse and fragmented user population.

Terry: Deltatre provides a suite of tools including AXIS and Video CMS which support our clients in various ways – from transcoding video, enhancing front-end user experience, tracking, and analytics. This ensures our clients can achieve a fast time to market, as well as a reliable and scalable solution.

#9. Why is the region so important to Deltatre?

Adam: Growth, because we love Asia, because it’s a cost-sensitive market which requires reference-based solutions rather than vast PS-heavy projects, because it’s a challenge – and we love a challenge.

What do you think? We’d love to hear your point of view over on Twitter or LinkedIn @deltatre.

Joining us at the APAC Android TV Summit, The Berkeley Hotel Pratunam, Bangkok, Thailand, on 12-14 November? Do come and say hello to the team.