Tata Poised for OTT Explosion
Tata Communications is making a major OTT push, launching a new distribution system to fuel what is likely to be an explosion in global video content and announcing a new customer win with Irish TV.
The over-the-top delivery systems is a new module on the Tata Media Ecosystem, the cloud-based managed service for post-production of video content launched last year. It fuels the broader strategy of making OTT video easier to distribute across Tata's global network infrastructure so that more content providers can sell their services on a pay-as-you-go basis, says Brian Morris, VP-GM of Global Media & Entertainment Services (GMES) at Tata Communications Ltd. (See Tata Communications Launches Media Ecosystem and Net Insight Lands Tata as First Live OTT Customer.)
Irish TV is an international TV channel targeting content at the 40-million plus Irish residents in North America and delivering that content on an OTT platform that doesn't require major investment in hardware and software up front. Tata provides end-to-end managed services of the video channel, which reaches end users via any of a number of OTT systems, including iOS , Android, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, Apple TV and smart TVs.
"This really accelerates time to market for anybody who owns content and wants to acquire it, process it and re-distribute it," Morris says. "The actual business model is based on usage so you pay as you use it. Instead of buying hardware and provisioning services -- that's how we used to make our living -- we give content providers access to a world-class network and global reach, using a cloud-based managed service."
For Tata, this is a way to generate major new revenue for its global network infrastructure that includes 220,000 miles of fiber optic cable globally and more than a million square feet of data centers distributed globally as well. The Tata Media Ecosystem is distributed to those locations, so it can offer a diversified cloud-based environment to content providers.
"That's our competitive advantage," Morris says. "We can offer storage, management, transcoding, transrating, [adaptive bit rate] encoding, broadcast quality encoding and playout, all in the cloud, with [application programming interfaces] that let folks bring in their own scheduling and payment tools."
That approach lets customers choose their business model -- whether it's subscription or advertising based or pay-per-view -- and gives them flexibility as well in how content is delivered, he says.
Irish TV can now not only deliver content developed in Ireland but also collect it from communities globally where Irish culture exists, including those in the UK and the US.
The OTT realm represents a substantial growth area for Tata, Morris says, largely because of its global reach. As the number of special interest channels proliferates and content increasingly goes global, the ability to manage it end-to-end from post-production to distribution becomes one of Tata's key competitive strengths.
— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading