Comcast Technology Solutions may only be a few months old, but the unit plans to advance its direct a consumer (D2C) solution that takes the guesswork out of scaling content delivery for content owners.
The group was created in October when Comcast combined its Comcast Wholesale, thePlatform and This Technology units to form a new division under Comcast Cable called Comcast Technology Solutions.
At the time it launched the division, Comcast Technology Solutions signed a deal with Time Inc., which leverages the company's platform for its People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). PEN delivers free-to-view, ad-supported streaming of original series and documentaries, for example.
The new D2C solution, which will be formally announced at a later date, will target the needs of multi-channel video providers (MVPDs) and OTT video players.
Already, the service provider has launched two D2C OTT-based programs: Seeso and Hayu. Seeso, which debuted in January, is a new streaming comedy channel Comcast is available at the www.seeso.com site and on streaming platforms, connected devices through other distribution partners.
Comcast Technology Solutions' approach will leverage the technology group’s content delivery network (CDN) and related network infrastructure.
Barry Tishgart, VP of Comcast Technology Solutions, told FierceOnlineVideo that the timing for its solutions fits in well with the emergence of online video programming that’s focused on specific subjects and interests.
“We’re seeing a lot of talk about a lot more niche OTT services coming to market with a focus on specific hobbies or age groups,” Tishgart said.
The CDN is a primary component of Comcast Technology Solution’s Video Platform. Its CDN can serve as either a content provider’s primary/stand-alone delivery platform or be tied into their multi-CDN environment.
Tishgart said the focus is to provide a model that will allow for rapid implementation for any video service provider.
“We want to make sure that our experience is well understood,” Tishgart said. “We’re going to make the model more repeatable and scalable by having the comprehensive infrastructure and complete portfolio that allows our providers and their partners to quickly scale direct to consumer offers.”
But processing and supporting the back office infrastructure for content providers is just one near-term opportunity.
Comcast Technology Solutions is also an enabler of IP-based delivery. Today, the group serves 50 of the top 100 channels in some capacity over broadcast and digital.
“Our focus on video quality is a key differentiator and our ability to bridge broadcast and IP convergence is a strong point for us,” Tishgart said. “As IP emerges as the standard for multi-platform delivery we can unify those workflows and help our customers be successful.”
Although many content owners have existing relationships with other cable and satellite video providers, the service provider plans to enable two things for these customers.
First, Comcast Technology Solutions will help customers with workflows to deliver VOD services to MVPDs or a distribution outlet like iTunes or Amazon. Looking forward, the service provider’s D2C model would also allow content owners to build a TV Everywhere service or a subscription-based service.
“There’s a range of different models,” Tishgart said. “Having multiple apps and services tend to be a little complex and costly and our focus is to make it more repeatable and scalable.”
This article was updated on Dec. 14 to reflect that the division is called Comcast Technology Solutions.