Accedo behind full OTT UX revamp at Tata Sky

A busy six months have flown by for Swedish app store developer Accedo, having finalized the integration of Digiflare into the Accedo brand and product line, while tweaking its product portfolio to adapt to emerging threats from cloud titans, and this week landing another significant operator deal in Asia Pacific with India’s Tata Sky.

Accedo’s roots are in building gaming app stores for smart TVs, but the company’s renewed roadmap is clear – mobile is at the heart of multiscreen.

It was fitting that Accedo was perusing the floors of Mobile World Congress last month, preparing for its full debut in Barcelona next year on the back of “outstanding growth” on the telco front, as described by Accedo’s VP of New Business Thomas Decieux, speaking to Faultline Online Reporter at MWC.

Boasting around 23% DTH market share in India with over 15 million active subscribers, Tata Sky selected Accedo to create a unified live and VoD experience for its Tata Sky Mobile TV Everywhere service, across web, Android and iOS. Add this deal to the one at Asian OTT service SportsFix back in November, claiming every telco in Malaysia as a launch partner, it’s clear Accedo is making a name for itself in the mobile-first video ecosystem that has engulfed much of Asia Pacific.

However, the fact Tata Sky insisted on cutting down a more detailed press release to one comprising just four sentences is perhaps a signal of how fierce competition is in OTT video across the region – to the extent Accedo could not even detail which of its products Tata Sky is using. An identical lack of detail was observed with the SportsFix announcement, holding back any technical information such as whether the Accedo XDK has been deployed, if it designed the UI, or if any back-end components have been supplied by Accedo.

Accedo’s Regional Director in Asia, Abhishek Sood, was on hand to explain how the Tata Sky project was entirely on the UX design end, completely revamping Tata Sky’s OTT service from scratch, including new branding and logos.

Taking almost a full year, Accedo switched out the legacy design from a local Indian firm, while Dutch content security specialist Irdeto handled the back-end process, according to Sood. Tata Sky’s existing vendor relationships with the likes of Elemental have been carried over to the latest project, although Sood could not speak for the fates of Kaltura and Net Insight which have both supplied OTT video software for Tata in the past.

A pure design win at Tata Sky means the Accedo One platform will have to wait for its moment to shine, the cloud-based offering for building video experiences which launched at IBC 2017, hosted on AWS and “a couple more” cloud providers. Sood hopes Accedo will expand its deal with Tata Sky to provide back-end capabilities in the future, as the company enhances its simple workflow and testing technologies, although its core strength remains in the front-end.

The Tata Sky Mobile app has been downloaded somewhere between 10 million and 15 million times, although many of these will be inactive legacy installations, according to Sood. The live and VoD TV Everywhere service is available free to pay TV subscribers, after initially launching in 2013 for $0.96 a month. The catalog includes seven-day catch up TV – spanning sports, news and over 5,000 entertainment titles.

Behavior patterns were analyzed by conducting workshops, focus groups and diary study exercises to understand preferences in Indian viewing, using third party analytics tools, prior to building the new iOS and Android apps for Tata Sky. Gathering customer insights is high on the priority list for Accedo right now, as a way of adapting to the growing threat from cloud giants, by better understanding the customer and consumer experience, which has apparently been gaining traction at Accedo customers.

Despite making mobile waves, Accedo is apparently not forgetting about the big screen, by maintaining a big focus on Android TV.