SBS Online delivers the best of world news, current affairs, sport, film, food and a full range of SBS television and radio programming to an audience of 900,000 people per month.
Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), one of Australia’s two free to air public broadcasters, sought a best-of-both-worlds scenario: take their online content to multiple platforms with high quality video, while also simplifying the end-to-end process of publishing and managing their existing and ever-growing library of content. thePlatform’s mpx helped make it happen. SBS OnDemand was the end result.
Prior to using mpx, SBS relied on an internally developed video publishing tool. While the tool initially served its primary goal of getting a vast range of long form content, and short form clips online, their expanding volume of content and their desire to improve the viewer experience made a more advanced solution necessary.
SBS wanted to increase video consumption and grow their audience by delivering content in higher quality to the web, a greater number of platforms. Achieving that required a more sophisticated player and a new process for managing their content, so that their internal resources could successfully manage their video library with fewer steps.
A crucial requirement was that the user-experience be intuitive and compelling, enabling their viewers to quickly navigate and access a wide range of video content. Additionally, the solution had to offer unique recommendations to their audience and incorporate viral sharing so they could forward video clips to people via email and social networks, while providing monetization opportunities.
Implementation took approximately three months, from onboarding to Beta release. Owing to this rapid launch was mpx’s flexible file migration process. SBS simply wrote a script against mpx’s API to transfer all of their existing media’s metadata automatically, removing the length process of moving each file individually to the new system. The player was built with thePlatform’s PDK and utilizes a number of plugins provided by partners in thePlatform ecosystem.
SBS used thePlatform’s Feeds Service to publish to the broadband player: the player subscribes to a feed, a set of media from SBS’ account in thePlatform’s system. The feeds from thePlatform contain all the necessary information to populate the multi-platform application experience, including thumbnails, title, description, timestamp, and most importantly, a single-stream URL that could be shared virally to the friends of end users via Facebook, Twitter, and email, or could be embedded in a web page.
SBS was the first network in Australia to deliver content to the Microsoft XBOX Kinect enabled platform. It also delivers to the web, YouTube, multiple iphone/android apps, the Sony Bravia connected TV platform, and has other connected TV and console platforms in the works.
The solution gives SBS a new outlet for revenue streams with pre-built integrations with DoubleClick and other VAST enabled providers.
The Player Dev Kit gives SBS’ viewers thorough information on available content and makes video easy to find and filter.
Users of SBS OnDemand can:
Viewers can share “Send To A Friend” videos directly on Facebook and Twitter.
In order to serve its diverse audience, the player supports the use of closed captions in up to five languages for select videos.
The Player Dev Kit integrates with TheFilter, an online discovery solution that personalizes the viewer experience by offering unique content recommendations that reflect an individual’s tastes and moods through unique algorithms.
Using thePlatform’s analytics partners, Google Analytics, Omniture and Nielsen Video Services, SBS can track viewing duration, video visibility, audio volume, and much more. This capability, combined with granular audience demographics, syndicated reporting and advertising effectiveness, provides a comprehensive measurement of the entire online viewing experience.
thePlatform has enabled SBS to be able to deliver a consistent video experience across is network of websites, tailoring the video experience and to each website based on the site’s content focus.
SBS is in the process of developing native iOS/Android applications, as well as targeting further Connected TV and OTT platforms.
“thePlatform’s mpx and PDK solution has allowed SBS to launch a market leading, multi-platform catchup TV and on-demand video service that has significantly reduced the effort and time to market for deployments to new and emerging platforms. Users are watching video for longer, developers are happier, we have greater commercial opportunities and the editorial teams have more control than ever before.”
– Matt Costain, Technical Director, Online