Vivo Netflix upgrade courtesy of MediaKind, better late than never

Evidence of MediaKind reenergizing a longstanding Mediaroom customer other than Deutsche Telekom has finally come to light – as the new face of Ericsson Media Solutions announced a project involving the integration of Netflix into Telefónica’s Vivo Fibra service in Brazil.

In recent years it has looked like Telefónica regretted the scale of its commitment to Mediaroom, given Microsoft’s exit just a year later, and since then the platform has gradually been waning as the telco migrates to new hybrid or OTT platforms. This has opened the door for Wyplay’s Frog middleware to stake a claim at Telefónica, while other open technology platforms like Android TV and Comcast’s RDK have found favor elsewhere as the preferred middleware platforms for pay TV systems. In many cases, operators are realizing that closed platforms do not deliver the cost-saving and innovation capabilities of community-driven projects.

MediaKind appears to have turned the tables, however, by bringing the Netflix app to more than 350,000 Vivo pay TV subscribers. Delivering Netflix to subscribers might sound like an old trend now, as most major pay TV operators have long realized the benefits of partnering with Netflix, although admittedly there remains some pockets of resistance. Yet this isn’t your run of the mill set top integration, instead Telefónica is delivering a direct Netflix feed through the Vivo Fibra interactive portal across all devices, removing the need for any dedicated hardware.

Vivo Fibra is Telefónica’s Brazilian FTTH internet arm through which it offers the IPTV service Vivo Fibra TV, so simply put, Vivo video subscribers will receive a simple application software update to the Mediaroom TV platform through which Netflix can be streamed directly.

“The integration will see MediaKind complement current system architectures, together enabling Vivo to rapidly deliver new features that will transform the user experience, open up opportunities for monetization, improve operational efficiencies and attract new subscribers,” states MediaKind.

We are working on getting some form of elaboration from MediaKind regarding these “current system architectures”, although all our queries have fallen on deaf ears since Faultline Online Reporter made an honest stab at projecting the market outcome between MediaKind and fierce rival Synamedia, in which we favored the latter. But what strikes us as interesting is the mention by MediaKind’s SVP of Latin America Sales, Clayton Cruz, citing the growth of internet-based services, meaning modern middleware platforms must evolve to include OTT-style capabilities. For over a year now, we have associated Telefónica and middleware with one name only – Wyplay. In January last year, Telefónica finally rolled out the French firm’s Frog middleware for its new IPTV system in Latin America, taking an open source architecture aggregating broadcast TV with recording functionality, multiscreen, push VoD, interactive applications and more. Edit: MediaKind told us Wyplay has no involvement in the Vivo project.

Questions remain however about MediaKind’s role in Telefónica’s OTT video service Vivo Play, which launched some six years ago now, and at the very least the CMS remains although Ericsson was ousted by AWS Elemental for encoding both broadcast and OTT content – live and VoD.

Still MediaKind claims to be the world’s number one IPTV platform by market share – but for how long?