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Market watch: TV as a Service: Cloud TV providers price comparison

Market watch: TV as a Service: Cloud TV providers price comparison

Verizon Uplynk, Harmonic VOS, Viaccess Voyage and OTT Broadcast all provide a full package to prepare and broadcast your OTT service, either by processing the whole operations, either by externalizing some operations with other providers (Amazon AWS, Akamai, Edgecast, …)

For our price comparison, we have chosen OTT Broadcast most popular price scheme, “Assisted TV Pack”, which has similar offers at Verizon Uplynk and Harmonic VOS. Comparison include prices for volumes of 5000, 10000, 50000 and 100000 hours of distributed content. All services include:

  • Video ingest and transcoding
  • Video storing and playout
  • Global distribution
  • Startover (time-shift TV) and catchup (also known as cloud DVR) features are also included
  • As Harmonic is charging per GB rather than per hour, we provide hours equivalent for a 3 Mbps stream (which is usually the top bitrate used by these services by default). That makes 0.74 hours per GB.

Pricing sources

Harmonic VOS pricing is publicly available on their website.

Uplynk pricing is available on Archive.org

OTT Broadcast public pricing is available on website

Viaccess Voyage TVaaS doesn’t provide public pricing nor public demo, so service has not been added to our comparison

Comparison figures

5000h

10000h

 

50000

 

100000

How can we explain these differences ?

  • Harmonic is a traditional hardware company in the digital TV industry. They have to offer some software-based, cloud-based solutions without degrading their high-margin core hardware business.
  • Verizon Uplynk has started as a provider for ABC Disney, used to high prices for hardware-based solutions, and their pricing is not adapted for new entrants nor successful TV services.
  • Viaccess Voyage “TV Everywhere as a service” doesn’t provide distribution but rely on expensive providers such as Akamai or AWS (Amazon Web Services). Costly DRM licenses are also integrated in the offer, despite their limited efficiency
  • OTT Broadcast manages both video processes and distribution, and integrates automation as much as possible, for both flexibility and affordability. Effect is huge not only for base pricing but also when service becomes popular as audience grows.

How can we explain these differences ?

Which margin can you expect from your video service ? Of course, it depends on your business model, free-to-air, for-pay TV service, VOD, SVOD, sponsored or peer-2-peer payments.

Here is a study about TV viewing worth in many countries. Bottom line, there’s no way you can make a profit with some of the services above are already above the expected revenues for the technical cost (excluding HR) you will get from viewing (no matter for which volume for some of them), so initial provider choice does matter a lot for any business model.