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We couldn’t help but smile last week as the tweets flew after the OTT debut of “Bheemla Nayak” in India. Turns out viewers overwhelmingly loved the quality of the experience that was delivered by our friends at aha. We’re not surprised, but we’re very grateful.

When our Firstlight Media team collaborated with aha to build and launch their cloud-native platform last year, Bheemla Nayak was the type of movie we had in the back of our mind. We knew that the platform needed to be easy for thousands and thousands of new subscribers to sign up in a short period of time and at the same time be robust enough to handle hundreds of thousands of concurrent viewers. And we knew that it needed to support the 4K and Dolby Surround technologies that would enable aha to bring rich cinematic experiences into viewers’ homes.

Our platform for aha needed to be ready for even the biggest  challenges an OTT provider could face. In the case of aha’s Bheemla Nayak debut that meant not only delivering a much-anticipated direct-to-consumer premiere, but doing so while Disney+ Hotstar – an Indian OTT giant – simultaneously was streaming the film, enabling virtually side-by-side comparisons of streaming quality.

How did aha fare? We’ll let viewers speak for themselves:

  • Twood VIP tweeted: “Sound Quality…Dolby 5.1. Got the theatrical experience!”
  • Gopal Karneedi: “#Bheema Nayak Excellent Audio & Video Quality.”
  • Anand Kalyan 3: “Thank You aha For Giving Best Sound Effect For Bheemla Nayak.”

Suneelkumar Kuditala informally polled viewers as to which experience – aha or Hotstar – was the best. More than 62% of viewers selected aha. And OTTPlay’s Srivathsan Nadadhur wrote: “If reach is Disney+ Hotstar’s main strength, aha has certainly put the spotlight on ensuring a cutting edge audio visual experience to users. The efforts in enhancing the impact of the film through the Dolby 5.1 sound and 4K HD quality have paid off big time.”

From where we sit, what’s most impressive about this response is that in the big-screen TV era, good quality is expected. When it’s absent, viewers historically have been quick to find alternative content. But rarely do OTT providers get rave reviews for going above and beyond, so clearly aha – and our Firstlight Media team – are doing something very right.

One more thing: We’ve talked before about how the extensibility, the agility, the scalability and the high performance of our 100% cloud-based platform gives growing services such as aha the tools they need to compete against giants like Netflix and the Disney family of services. In an avalanche of tweets, let’s let PradeepReddy tell you how we did: “What a Sound. Please watch only on AHA.”

 

By Prakash Gunasekaran