ODTV Pioneers Multiscreen Linear and Video-on-Demand Services

Leverages SotalCloud’s TV-as-a-Service Technology Platform

The Republic of Azerbaijan is situated at the crossroads of Asia and Europe. It's a nexus of ancient historical empires, but also a new nation rapidly transforming itself. One of the fastest-emerging sectors in this growing economy is media and entertainment services, where an innovative television service called ODTV is leading the field.

ODTV is best known in the country for offering a television service using a set-top box but has recently launched OTT apps for smartphones, tablets and smart TVs to widen its reach and enable more subscribers to take advantage of the 150 linear TV channels and massive library of video-on-demand content it currently offers. These apps are enabling ODTV to discuss opportunities for bundling services with ISPs and offering a higher value service to subscribers, combining Internet, TV and phone services into a triple-play. This service offering takes on the traditional cable providers who have been slow to innovate.

“Many competitors in this region are trying to develop OTT streaming services to TV sets using technologies such as HTTP Live Streaming (HLS). We don’t see any companies optimizing their services for devices such as phone or tablets, or wireless networks, and no dynamic transcoding. This is a great opportunity that ODTV is looking to take advantage of quickly,” said Alexey Tyurkin, Head of ODTV.


Technical expertise

To build the technical infrastructure for this new OTT service, ODTV was recommended to contact SotalCloud, an innovative global provider of OTT online video platform technology for VOD and linear TV.

SotalCloud worked with ODTV to manage the technical aspects of the service, such as Content Delivery Network (CDN) media servers, asset management infrastructure and tailored APIs to deliver a comprehensive OTT service and app. The company added personal video recorder (PVR) and catch-up capability to its existing customizable platform to meet ODTV’s needs. SotalCloud has the unique ability to quickly tailor its platform, assemble the required back-end technology and – where needed – content, and help a customer to bring a service to market with minimal start-up costs.

This ‘TV-as-a-Service’ model is one of SotalCloud’s advantages – the company doesn’t just innovate in technology, it is also offering a different kind of business model with revenue-sharing and other options on the table.

SotalCloud tailored an app for ODTV that can be used on smartphones, tablets, Smart TVs and the ODTV Android-based set-top-box. SotalCloud also enabled the links to ODTV’s selected video-on-demand service, currently provided by MEGOGO, an international legal online movie theater.

SotalCloud called upon a partner organization, NoisyPeak, to provide cloud encoding to convert video formats to meet the technical specifications for all possible end devices and networks.


First mover advantage

From the first proof-of-concept to going-live with the app and service took just four months. In a market where being first with a service that appeals to subscribers can make all the difference to success, this speed was important to the ODTV launch.

Alexey Tyurkin, continued: “Working with SotalCloud sped up our development and enabled us to get to market very quickly. The responsiveness of the support team has been great as we tailored the service to meet our needs.”

ODTV currently has over 1,700 unique devices using their app and is enjoying several new installations per day. The company is continuing to develop its service and app, taking advantage of the SotalCloud ‘pay-as-you-grow’ business model option.

“For much of our target audience, this is a new way of experiencing entertainment so we have to work on educating the user base about the advantages of ODTV. But having a live service they can trial for free for 60 days, which is a unique proposition in this market means that we are generating some great interest and our story is spreading by word-of-mouth. The future is looking really positive,” concluded Alexey Tyurkin.