Comcast Technology Solutions rolls out D2C platform for content providers

Comcast Center headquarters in Philadelphia. Image: Comcast
Comcast Technology Solutions is expanding its direct-to-consumer solution to help content providers build, launch, and manage over-the-top services.

Comcast Technology Solutions has expanded its direct-to-consumer (D2C) solution, enabling content providers to build, launch, and manage over-the-top (OTT) services.

As a turnkey service, D2C can support various monetization models, all of which include simplified pricing.

These new capabilities follow the recent formation of Comcast Technology Solutions.

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Customers will be able to access complete video processing, management, distribution to multiple content delivery networks (CDN), and playout capabilities, as well as an out-of-the-box suite of monetization options spanning subscription management, promotion, storefront enablement, and billing.

Traditionally, content providers needed to purchase multiple parts from different vendors. This includes the front-end app design and user interface piece, the workflow to manage the video content, commerce capabilities, and CDN.

Barry Tishgart, VP of Comcast Technology Solutions, told FierceOnlineVideo the company’s service offers customers a common platform that includes multiple functions.

“In the past, there were companies that were good at each individual piece and customers would contract with and buy some of these pieces and attempt to put them together,” Tishgart said. “What we’re offering here is something a lot more comprehensive with a single set of capabilities that brings it all together under one roof.”  

Tishgart added that “ultimately for the customer it’s one price and service contract where we’re able to execute that contract and it makes it a little bit easier to have multiple apps and services out there.”

Reining in partners

Accedo and You.i TV—two of Comcast Technology Solutions’ initial user experience (UX) partners—will provide out-of-the-box integration into the solution’s cornerstone UX layer.

In addition to providing repeatable pre-integrated templates, the company can also deliver highly customized interfaces to enable an agile UX experience tailored to a specific brand, business model, or feature set.

Tishgart said that by establishing partnerships with other UX providers, it can provide consistency for customers that have existing vendor partners.  

“A lot of people have existing relationships or preferences,” Tishgart said. “The key is not the app design, but the challenge is in the back end of that and in making sure all the different APIs make the right calls, especially if you have an established workflow.”

Tishgart added that Comcast Technology Solutions has worked with “different app vendors to standardize all the API calls so it’s much more of a seamless capability.”

Comcast Technology Solutions will announce other global partners in the coming months.

Flexible options

Another key element of the new D2C service is that it offers customers deployment options. Built with a UX integration layer, the D2C solution allows UX providers to develop pre-integrated multiplatform application templates.

The service can accommodate the content provider’s specific business model. Specifically, the D2C platform allows providers to add a live service as a complement to a VOD library or run previews.

“We’re trying to make it an easy end-to-end commerce environment and trying to add all the video processing capabilities, transcoding and the back-end services a customer would need,” Tishgart said. “We’re looking at managed services to help get the capabilities launched and supported long term and then to transition them to operate services in-house using some of our managed services.”

Customers also have the option to have Comcast Technology Solutions manage everything or just a piece of the content delivery process.

“If you think about the large broadcasters, they have engineers on staff and may be one that want to customize a bit more and manage it themselves versus new entrants or ancillary video content that sports leagues don’t have that expertise,” Tishgart said. “For the ones in the broadcast space, we can bring that broadcast capability to the digital environment.”