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NPAW Touts Online Analytics with Live Sports Focus at IBC

Spanish TV analytics software firm NPAW (Nice People At Work) hopes to exploit the online live sports boom with its YOUBORA business intelligence package for broadcasters. The platform, aimed at broadcasters, OTT providers and content owners, is being highlighted at IBC 2016 in Amsterdam, with a promise to provide an end to end view based on real time data. Such data will embrace both the video experience and end user behavior, which the company argues service providers can combine to improve the overall quality of experience (QoE).

The main premise is that online sports viewing may be growing fast but users are often underwhelmed by the experience. NPAW cites a recent study by Accenture, Digital Video and the Connected Customer, which identified QoE as increasingly being the critical differentiator in the swiftly emerging and rapidly changing sports streaming market. The report also highlighted a dilemma for broadcasters, operators and content providers in that they are not in total control of the online experience because this also depends on the quality and capacity of the infrastructure of the ISPs (Internet Service Providers).

According to the Accenture study cited by NPAW, nearly 40 percent of viewers say they are ready and willing to switch their ISP in the next year to obtain better service. As the report noted, this is an issue beyond the reach of OTT and broadcast services that rely on the ISPs to deliver their product. Online viewers are complaining here about high join times, too many play failures, frequent program interruptions, and high buffer ratios, among other things. But they may be unsure whether to blame their ISP or the content distributor, with the result that they may change either or both.

Against this background NPAW contends that it is imperative for providers of online services to be able to pinpoint accurately where QoE issues arise. To do this it has molded its line of modules under the YOUBORA brand in four functional headings.

Firstly comes data granularity, with the ability to take data samples every 5 seconds during each individual video view to ensure as much information as practically possible is gathered. This then feeds the second category, multi-dimensional filtering in real time, with up to 5 levels of filters for data in real time, without any need to customize or pre-define them. These filters include CDN, ISP, device, title and country, with the ability to work backwards during any retrospective analysis. This, says NPAW, helps customers identify, diagnose, resolve and prevent delivery errors in real time. YOUBORA allows customers to identify peering, network capacity, congestion issues, player errors, in-stream errors, operative systems incompatibilities and browser issues that act as bottlenecks for delivery.

Then the third category integrates observations of quality issues with customer behavior through individual tracking of users. This allows operators to show on screen each complete individual viewing experience in as much detail as the data allows, including events such as change of rendition or network, buffering, pauses and exits, which may have affected the video stream. Finally for customization there is an intuitive interface, enabling operators to create multiple custom dashboards to monitor what they deem most relevant. There is the ability to incorporate third party data and blend with existing applications to provide global service views.  

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