Minerva Networks: Shaping The Future of Television
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Matt Cuson, Marketing Vice President, Minerva
The dynamic changes in the pay-TV marketplace have pinned traditional cable and broadband service providers against the industry-wide digital transformation to streaming. To keep pace with the market changes, operators must adopt new solutions that enable compelling user experiences and monetization models.
This is where Minerva can help.
Driven by the mission of enabling operators to create the best place for consumers to discover and enjoy the best content, the company has developed the Minerva Video Entertainment Platform - a next-generation cloud-based video service management solution capable of powering advanced pay TV services while simplifying operations. The platform offers a feature-rich back-office that enables operators to effectively manage their Linear TV services, including Catch-up TV, Restart TV, and network DVR, as well as their on-demand TVOD, FVOD, AVOD and SVOD services. Personalized recommendations, along with trending and popular listings, help users easily find the best content. The platform supports pure IP (IPTV and OTT) or hybrid cable and satellite environments, giving operators flexibility in implementing the transition from their legacy video infrastructure.
“We help operators thrive in the new streaming video era. Our platform facilitates a seamless digital transition while reducing legacy equipment footprint and operational costs for the operators,” says Matt Cuson, Marketing Vice President at Minerva.
Taking up the role of Aggregator
Cable network operators and broadband service providers need a nimble digital infrastructure that allows them to capitalize on their subscriber base without requiring a high up-front investment.
Consumers now have so much content at their fingertips, as recent technology tailwinds have made it possible for traditional broadcasters and media producers to deliver content directly. Operators have to rethink their roles and how they add value.
“Operators occupy a unique position between the content owners and consumers. Although they don’t own the exclusive rights to content, operators can take up the role of an aggregator of the best content as a service to their subscribers. And, they also aggregate their subscribers as value add for the content owners,” says Cuson. “As content continues to proliferate, content owners will be looking for distribution partners that lower their customer acquisition costs.”
Minerva assists operators in becoming aggregators by greatly simplifying the otherwise costly and complicated task of transitioning from their legacy infrastructure to next-generation offerings. The company’s cloud solutions are designed to facilitate ease of use, leaving operators the freedom to focus on their go-to-market strategies.
Feature Rich Solution Set
Minerva provides an easy-to-use, highly configurable and cost-effective solution capable of helping operators contend with the higher complexity of the modern video marketplace. It gives operators complete control over their new television offerings.
The multi-tenant, cloud-based platform at the core of the company’s solutions has a proven track record of providing best-of-breed television services to millions of subscribers worldwide. It enables operators to offer a highly personalized television experience to a broad set of devices (Clients), minimize latency by moving functionality into the access network (Edge) and maximize service velocity with flexible management tools (Back Office). It is widely recognized as the most advanced video service management platform in the market today.
The platform has built-in a lot of configuration flexibility and tracking capabilities, including analytics tools to view details related to content consumption and gain insights instrumental to driving user engagement. It is designed to facilitate quick onboarding and provide high scalability.
Operators are now in a unique position. Although they don’t own the exclusive rights to content, they can take up the role of an aggregator of content and subscribers
A recent success story highlights Minerva’s capabilities. A large cable operator in South America working on digitalization had difficulty transitioning to content streaming. With Minerva’s assistance, they were able to successfully upgrade their traditional TV service and reach millions of subscribers on mobile devices, personal computers, and smart TVs.
Leveraging AI, VR and BlockChain to Create Next-Generation User Experience
Trending content changes on a weekly, or even daily basis. To stay a cut above, operators need to create value around the content and provide unique subscriber experiences. Minerva meets this challenge with innovative content discovery, consumption and sharing services.
As live sports are a key driver of TV subscriptions, Minerva has placed extra focus on adding unique value to the sports-watching experience.
For example, during a live sporting event, the Minerva-powered solution uses AI, ML and other processing tools to analyze the announcers’ vocal patterns and crowd noise and correlates them with the metadata that tracks game event details. Based on the insights gleaned from the analysis, Minerva generates a menu of highlight reels based on the length of time the user has to watch.
“In addition to using metadata to determine key moments, we strive to make intelligent cuts that preserve the spirit of the game. As a result, the consumer can still watch highlights with great excitement,” says Cuson. “Hundreds of thousands of users worldwide are experiencing a new way to enjoy the World Cup this year using our unique highlights feature.”
Minerva also curates highlights specific to celebrity players or actions—like three-pointers in a basketball game—giving a wide variety of viewing options to hardcore fans.
Adaptability as the Game Plan
Minerva is keeping pace with novel technological developments in the video industry, including NFTs usage and virtual environments.
Minerva is currently exploring the possibilities of using NFTs as a means of authentication. During the pandemic, when entertainment prevailed in the virtual realm, Minerva partnered with an organizer of music concerts to create engaging online environments. The focus was on delivering the same emotional connection with performers that consumers experience during a live show.
We help operators thrive in the digital era as our platform facilitates a seamless digital transition while reducing legacy equipment footprint and operational costs for the operators
“We used our tools to link users in a dynamic group environment where they can talk, give thumbs up, take selfies and share it within the group chat. Performers were also able to interact with their audience,” says Cuson.
The virtual concert also opened new avenues for content monetization. Having recorded the live events, Minerva created a series of video snippets and used NFTs to authenticate the recordings. The NFTs were later used as tickets for virtual after-concert meetings with the performers.
Minerva even sees the potential to create more value around content using upcoming technologies like the metaverse. With adaptability as the game plan, Minerva continues to take long strides in helping operators adapt and thrive in the ever-evolving entertainment and media industry.