Helping Foxtel to develop its OTT community with Foxtel Go
Foxtel is the leading Pay TV service provider in Australia, with over 2.7 million subscription customers. Over the past year Foxtel has been developing and delivering an elaborate OTT strategy making mobile platforms a priority. With the ultimate goal of providing Foxtel subscribers with a wide range of OTT services, in conjunction with Foxtel Play, Foxtel Go would enhance their service access and provide them with the ability to watch Foxtel on their tablets and smart phones.
Foxtel required a service that would deliver both live streaming and Video on Demand, or VoD, playback to the iPad. The service would be available to all Foxtel IQ subscribers as a way to take their pay TV with them in the form of an app entitled Foxtel Go. The app, which was also to be developed by Switch Media, was made available for download via Apple’s App Store.
At launch Foxtel required 30 live channels and 500 hours of VoD. Since its launch around 100 hours of new video content is added each week. Content continues to be provided by Foxtel, while the encoding is performed by Switch Media.
Switch Media’s Role
Switch Media’s role in delivering the service was to provide Foxtel with its IP head-end. This included transcoding, encryption, storage, metadata management, user authentication, user device management, as well as the build of the iPad app itself.
Switch Media’s cloud based video content management system, the Switch Media Manager, was chosen as the engine room for the management of the service’s video assets and live streams. The Switch Media Manager provides the workflow engine for the continued operation of the Foxtel Go service, as well as the tagging, trimming, encoding and storing of video assets delivered by Foxtel.
To cater for varying bandwidth capacity amongst subscribers, the service uses Adaptive Bit Rate streaming. In order to achieve this, Switch Media transcodes into 12 different bit rate formats, for use on iOS and other platforms. The application continually monitors the user’s bandwidth, streaming video at the optimal, most suitable bit rate at any point in time.
Project Outcomes & ROI
Foxtel GO launch has proven highly successful for Foxtel, with over 160,000 apps downloaded in the first month.
The project is continually evolving, with Switch Media continuing the development of the app to deliver improvements and added functionality. In addition, new versions of the Foxtel Go app compatible with other entertainment devices are also in the pipeline.
Today GO is providing Foxtel customers with an enjoyable user-friendly way of taking their subscription TV with them.
- Provide a complete service to support the delivery of up to 30 live channels and an expanding VoD library at launch
- Design user friendly search capabilities, EPG delivery, channel review and catch up viewing capabilities
- Deliver a workflow solution to support ingest, transcoding and storage of live and pre-recorded video assets
- Create a user friendly iOS app made available to subscribers from the App Store
- Operating a service platform that is robust and extendable to support increased channel capacity and load variations
“We are delighted with the level of innovation, professionalism and dedication that Switch Media has demonstrated in the development and support of Foxtel Go.”