Finish telecommunications and ICT service company Elisa developed a pan-European adventure sports service called EpicTV, which they planned to launch on multiple connected devices. As an operator, Elisa made the strategic decision to harness the power of OTT as they carefully considered both who they needed to deliver content to, and how this audience were now consuming content. Operators have started to ask themselves which end users they can serve, beyond their domestic audience. In this instance, Elisa was hoping to target "niche" extreme sports content towards a potential audience of 200 million enthusiasts across Europe. The targeted end users consist of international tech-savvy extreme sports fans who appreciate cutting edge technology and in all likelihood will own a range of connected devices.
Elisa chose Tvinci’s award-winning OTT platform to offer users premium content as part of a personalized, consistent viewing experience across iPad, Android tablets, PC and Samsung connected TV. The service offers a single subscription that caters for all devices, enabling a seamless experience in transitioning between them and the ability to start watching a video on one device and continue on another. EpicTV's OTT solution was deployed under a very tight timeframe, and was enabled using Tvinci's customizable applications for PC/Mac and tablets (built using the Tvinci SDK) and Accedo's app for Samsung CTV, managed through the Tvinci platform. EpicTV can seamlessly add devices to the service, and centrally manage them through Tvinci's OTT platform. EpicTV is expected to roll out on additional tablets, smartphones and connected TV brands within the next six months.
EpicTV utilizes one of the Tvinci MediaStore's main features: the personal zone. All user related actions are logged in MediaStore and exposed via API for utilization on multiple devices. Among the data accumulated for each user and domain is the users viewing history, personal recommendations, purchases, favorites, subscriptions, initiated recordings and personal details. This information is made available for the end user, pending a sign-in to the service, in a designated area within the EpicTV applications and web portal. The Personal zone can be accessed from all devices, yet the PC personal zone includes, in addition, extensive self-care/management of the domain. In this Selfcare environment users can also manage their own accounts– to register, activate and deactivate specific devices according to pre-defined permissions. For example, a user that purchased a new iPad can associate with its own subscription, if he or she complies with EpicTV's regulations on the number of devices per user (which are also easily configurable). The Selfcare is intended to become an important tool for end users, making them less dependent on customer service centers.
To cater for EpicTV's special needs in its user-recruiting phase, Tvinci enabled a freemium model, accompanied by a unique payment authentication method. End users are required to register to EpicTV service from day one by pairing their Facebook account (only if they have more than 50 FB friends, to avoid most fake accounts) or credit card details with their EpicTV account. They will then benefit from a free one month subscription, with the following months chargeable at the fee set by EpicTV. Tvinci developed a mechanism that ensures that the credit card is valid, and that a reoccurring payment will automatically begin on the 32nd day if the user approves it.
Since EpicTV is all about the best of adventure sports premium content, DRM becomes an important part of the equation that needs to be solved, and to this end Tvinci's multi-DRM approach has been crucial to the success of EpicTV. In order to be on any device, an OTT platform must support multiple DRMs, simultaneously. Tvinci's EpicTV deployment includes the deployment of Microsoft Playready PC, connected TV and iPad, including the implementation of Discretix player add-on to enable Playready over HLS on iOS devices. In parallel, EpicTV's Samsung tabs app runs using Widevine (this is Tvinci's first deployment of Widevine DRM). This usage of the two market leading DRMs in parallel is unmatched in the market space.
The EpicTV service, launched in the summer of 2012 in 15 European countries, costs EUR 6.90 per month, and offers a vast library of skiing, snowboarding, surfing climbing, mountain biking and base jumping video content.
In addition to extensive VOD catalogue, EpicTV now provides live programming with leading adventure sports personalities to discuss what’s new in the world of extreme and adventure sports, and point to the hottest videos.
EpicTV is not a static service. It continues to evolve in a rapid pace with more devices coming up, new exciting capabilities such as the offline mode viewing for tablet users, unique competitions, rewarding mechanisms – and more. These are achieved via a unique SCRUM development team- a dedicated team of developers, whose sole job is to develop new capabilities for the service. Meaning, new features are added to Epic TV every 2 weeks, ensuring the Epic TV remains ahead of the curve.