Interview with Guillaume Despin, Managing Director, Dance Television (2 minute read)
DanceTelevison is a European TV channel that makes live video of club and dance parties. The company was looking for a future-proof solution for distributing their dance music. For multiple reasons they selected the ‘OTT Workflow solution’ – a content distribution platform delivered by KPN Wholesale.
Before choosing OTT Workflow, DanceTelevision used Vimeo to host their content. When they reached the limits of their Vimeo subscription plan, Vimeo wanted them to upgrade. Most of the views however, came from outside of the Vimeo domain. This was reason enough for DanceTelevision to look for another solution that would better fit their requirements and meet the goals they were trying to achieve.
DanceTelevision, which was known as DanceTripping before its rebranding and repositioning, is a seven channel concept. Each of the channels focuses on a particular dance music genre as well as their own Video on Demand (VOD) library that is specific to each genre.
‘OTT Worklflow would help us to achieve these two objectives: building both an online linear channel as well as a VOD library. On top of that, it is a long-term, all-in-one solution, with which you can create clips. OTT Workflow also contains a variety of features that Vimeo just didn’t offer,’ says Despin. ‘Another important factor is that the analytics of this solution are more flexible and complete than Vimeo’s’, once parsed, he adds.
Up to this point, DanceTelevision’s revenue model was mainly based on the production of videos. With OTT Workflow’s analytics they have access to tools with which they can now create a media distribution-based revenue model.
The entire DanceTelevision’s library is now hosted on this platform. It is also used as the sole Content Delivery Network (CDN) solution to send content to their websites and TV apps.
DanceTelevision uses OTT Workflow in almost the exact same way that they used Vimeo. Vimeo however, did not offer them adaptive bit-rates. Because of this bit-rate issue, DanceTelevision had to copy-paste all the links provided by Vimeo into their Content Management System (CMS) for users to be able to choose the quality of the video they wanted to watch. Despin explains, ‘It’s a more centralized solution that allows us to have a higher quality of content (adaptive bit-rate) and better user experience for the end users.
‘Overall the implementation went okay. We had one bigger, but fortunately fixable problem, which I’m convinced had to do with us being the first to on-board,’ says Despin. When DanceTelevision started to ingest their library into the backend, not all the settings were correct at OTT Workflow’s backend. The result was lower quality content, and the originals had to be ingested again. Customers were always able to access the videos, however, albeit at a different quality.
Another hiccup was that the video player on the DanceTelevision website, for which they had developed some co-functionalities, did not work with the OTT Workflow links yet. DanceTelevision now uses the video player provided by the KPN platform and the link problems have been solved. ‘This means we lost a couple of good features which – at some point – we want to make available again to our users,’ Despin says.
The potential upsides of OTT Workflow outweigh the temporary disadvantages arising from a change in video player as Despin explains, ‘One of the benefits of using this KPN solution is that the price is not affected by the quality of the videos. If one day we want to upgrade to 4K content, we will pay the same for the same amount of views. We wanted to find a future-proof solution we can stick with for the years to come and build on that, and we did.’
Another reason DanceTelevision chose OTT Workflow is its easy integration with SpotX – an online ad-exchange market, where publishers and advertisers look for the right match. That way they can start monetizing their content. The SpotX option is not fully operational yet, but it’s work in progress.
OTT Workflow also provides DanceTelevision with an unlimited amount of linear options. They have seven channels now, but they can expand them in the future according to their wishes. Furthermore, testing is cheaper and conversion rates are higher.
OTT Workflow fulfills its purpose, and as Despin says, ‘We like this platform very much, even though we are not using all the features that we would like to use just yet.’ DanceTelevision is also looking forward to possible future developments, such as a way to convert online linear into a traditional TV broadcast, so they can cut out in-between parties even further.
DanceTelevision has developed Roku apps with OTT Workflow. Roku is a kind of Apple TV and broadcast, popular in the United States. Roku offers a direct publisher-developer interface, on which DanceTelevsion has built its own Roku apps, feeding them with RSS-feeds from its library.
‘We noticed a huge growth of video consumption through Roku apps thanks to the analytics provided by OTT Workflow,’ says Despin. He continues, ‘It helped us to develop this new platform and showed us the potential of OTT TV apps and revenues. CPM (Cost Per Mille) rates for TV ads are higher than for small screens like mobile, which makes us want to hurry even more on the app development.’
Despin sums up DanceTelevision’s experience transitioning to KPN explaining: ‘We learned a lot during this process, also that we don’t have the proper skills and resources to finalize the implementation as fast as we expected. But on KPN side the whole team has been quite helpful, they are all very responsive.’
In December 2017 Guillaume Despin became the General Manager of DanceTelevision after an internship where he wrote a plan for the positioning and rebranding of the company. Part of the plan he wrote addressed the potential for using KPN’s OTT Workflow tool for content distribution. In his current role he is executing this plan.