thePlatform Adds Subscriptions to TV Everywhere

thePlatform Inc. has added a new wrinkle to its media publishing platform that will let MSOs weave subscription components to their TV Everywhere offerings.

Today's TV Everywhere products are largely relegated to a swath of on-demand movies and TV shows that all digital subscribers can get access via IP-connected PCs, tablets and smartphones. Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)-owned thePlatform is introducing new metadata management pieces to its mpx system that will let MSOs, for example, build new subscription-based TV Everywhere services that can be offered to premium customers for free or sold outright for an additional fee. Comcast's new Streampix service, which some view as a Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) competitor in the making, is the sort of thing that thePlatform's latest upgrades could unleash for other MSOs. (See Comcast Goes OTT to Target Netflix, Hulu Plus .)

Marty Roberts, thePlatform's SVP of sales and marketing worldwide, says the new tools and its upgraded metadata and subscriber policy system could, for example, enable MSOs to build fully-fledged subscription-based packages or short-term video promotions around kids fare, sports programming or videos tailored for history buffs that can be piped to broadband-connected devices.

He says two cable operators are testing thePlatform's new capabilities and expects them to turn into commercial launches in a matter of months. Outside of Comcast, thePlatform also counts Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), Cox Communications Inc. , Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY), Rogers Communications Inc. (Toronto: RCI) and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) among its MSO customers.

Why this matters
A more advanced use of metadata and subscription policies should help pave the way for TV Everywhere to move beyond a basic package of content that all authenticated customers of a given MSO can access.

In addition to helping MSOs build more granular TV Everywhere packages based on specific genres and themes, this new set of tools will also let cable operators create new subscription packages that generate new, recurring revenue streams.

For more
Read more about TV Everywhere.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

joanengebretson 12/5/2012 | 5:40:02 PM
re: thePlatform Adds Subscriptions to TV Everywhere

I'm wondering how good metadata actually is.

When my DVR fills up with several episodes of the same series, it's sometimes difficult to tell from the descriptions which ones I've seen & which ones I haven't (especially if it's something like Storage Wars or American Pickers). Seems like the same sorts of issues could complicate how well search & personalization functions work, too.


craigleddy 12/5/2012 | 5:39:53 PM
re: thePlatform Adds Subscriptions to TV Everywhere

There are a lot of issues developing with metadata, especially as content moves around the Web. As copies get made and passed around, there can be inconsistenices in the metadata that can interfere with your ability to search and discover it, or even to view the content at all.

So if there are minor changes in a show title or program information, your DVR or search engine freaks out and grabs multiple copies, and the description may be so messed up that you don't know what you've got. Worse, on the Web you may not know if you have the correct version or some pirated version with corrupted metadata.       

Tribune Media Services put out a white paper about the need for consistent metadata that can accessed here, or cut & paste this:



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