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Whether it’s having all the right moves in a hockey game, cycling when the wind always seems to be at your back, or captivating a roomful of guests, it’s easy to tell when you’ve got game. Your backhand is just a split second faster than the goalie’s glove, the mileposts glide by effortlessly, and the timing of every punchline is spot-on.

That’s the way it’s felt for all of us at Firstlight Media since the start of the year. After months of laying groundwork with customers, collaborating with partners and communicating our story to the industry at large, we’ve been making building and deploying on our platform with its Gen5 architecture look easy. In the course of just a couple of weeks we’ve:

 

  • Reaffirmed the long-term value we’ve delivered for the content industry by renewing our agreement with our largest customer for the next several years;
  • Cemented the new partner alliances that are helping us to expand significantly the functionality and the features of our architecture; and
  • Announced that our platform innovation enabled our newest customer to go to market in weeks – not months – on a platform that’s powering a new kind of OTT service, transforming the ability of entertainment providers to compete for audience share.

Let’s start with that last one. Struum is a superaggregator founded by Disney and Discovery alumni – including our own Chief Business Officer and co-founder, Paul Pastor – and backed by Michael Eisner’s Tornante Company. They’ve recognized that enabling discovery across many networks  can counter the algorithms disadvantage faced by the hundreds of services in the shadows of Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime. We built Struum a scalable, flexible, extensible end-to-end platform that will be an alternate “front door” for several dozen networks at the start, many more later. We had the platform up and running in just a few weeks. Look for a launch this Spring.

While our launch with Struum made major headlines, what’s just as important is the news that’s followed. Microsoft Azure and Google, are critical partners for our cloud-native, cloud-agnostic strategy. And in the same way that ThinkAnalytics is turbocharging our personalization capabilities, we’re teaming with NPAW (Nice People At Work), SSIMWAVE and Evergent to help customers reduce content delivery and bitrate costs, optimize consumer satisfaction and increase monetization.

Ultimately, what’s driving our success is our ability to help the industry clear the massive hurdles it faces at it grows up. As OTT has gone mainstream and subscriber growth has increased, the limited, inflexible platforms that were sufficient in the last few years are becoming obsolete. Our inbound customer pipeline is filling because providers need agile, cloud-based architectures that can cut time-to-market and effort for new platforms and features by 50%+, reduce maintenance by a factor of four, and free tech teams to create new features that win subscribers and generate revenue instead of just keeping the lights on.

 

Somehow, we’ve found time this month to talk about all of this on a couple of TV of Tomorrow panels next week. “Why Your OTT Technology Is Painting You into a Corner, and What to Do about It” and “How the Advent of Gen V Platforms Will Help OTT Spell ROI” will tackle the technology and business aspects of Gen5 architectures. You can register for both here.

It’s been a busy few weeks, to be sure. Like those moments we want to bottle in our personal lives, we’ve wanted to savor our accomplishments, but there’s no time for that. We have an industry to transform.

 

André Christensen