Oliver Lietz CEO of nanocosmos dissects the challenges multi-national operators face when it comes to delivering high-quality streaming to players in different global markets. He also explains how these hurdles can be cleared so that operators can ensure players receive the same seamless experience in all of the markets they are active despite the unique challenges faced in each.
SBC: Just how difficult is it for multi-national operators to deliver high-quality streaming in the different markets they target?
Oliver Lietz (CEO @ nanocosmos): For operators operating in just one jurisdiction, there are several hurdles to jump when providing a high-quality live streaming experience. For multi-national operators, there is an added layer of complexity, as each country is different when it comes to network coverage, device penetration, data costs and more. These added factors can have a significant impact on the quality of the streaming experience and ultimately, the performance of your live product.
To live stream successfully across multiple regions, there are two key factors to account for: device and delivery.
The live stream must be user-friendly and reliable for both computer and mobile. Particularly for the latter, solid mobile optimisation will help the site be accessible across the many varying mobile devices on the market.
Additionally, the stream itself must be adaptable to varying internet qualities, from 3G to 5G. A mobile player might be jumping between different levels of bandwidth, but they still expect a seamless streaming experience. A Content Delivery Network that leverages adaptive bitrate playback to responsively adjust stream quality and prevent buffering allows multi-national operators to ensure access even in less connected areas, and better cater to all of their customers worldwide.
SBC: What are the greatest differences from market to market? How do these differences present themselves as challenges to operators?
OL: Online sportsbook and casino regulation is undergoing a period of change, with the legal landscape shifting across major consumer markets like Europe, Canada and the US. Operators have a twofold role in this context: collaborate with regulators to ensure all parties are protected and market to new players.
Markets like Germany, or the state-by-state and province-by-province in the US and Canada respectively, each have their own regulatory nuances which need to be accounted for when you offer your live streaming product. This goes hand in hand with how live products are marketed to new players in these jurisdictions, as operators will need to demonstrate the entertainment and value to all audiences.
These factors intersect with the infrastructure capabilities of an operator, where a Content Delivery Network is incredibly important in catering to each market’s coverage, bandwidth and overall experience.
Another challenge that operators need to account for is stream security, as some players might steal a stream and play via a country where the operator is not legalised. IP and referral blocking are key tools in maintaining compliance across multiple jurisdictions.
SBC: How can operators overcome challenges such as network coverage, device penetration, data costs, etc specifically when it comes to streaming?
OL: Live streaming is linked to a complex workflow starting from the ingesting and subsequent quality of data, how the data is passed through the Cloud and Content Delivery Network distribution to the final delivery to players via the stream.
End-to-end control is needed with a 360-degree approach so you can optimise the entire process and ensure a live streaming solution that is tailored to the specific needs and requirements of an operator’s offering in a given market. In this industry, there is a huge need to have content available everywhere, at all times while still providing a smooth experience – which is where a robust Content Delivery Network and adaptable, browser-based player prove invaluable.
Using analytics helps operators to understand how their streams perform and how their audience consume it, giving them a direction for business decisions and to speed up problem resolution.
SBC: Just how important is it for operators to be able to deliver the same experience to players, regardless of the market they are in?
OL: Put simply, it’s more economical to offer one service for everyone compared to different services – or promises – to different players in different markets. In highly competitive markets like sports betting and casino, it helps an operator stay competitive.
SBC: What does a quality streaming product look like?
OL: For the players, it’s a product that provinces a high-quality experience that is as good as attending a physical sportsbook or casino. The better the interaction and engagement with players, the higher your conversions and dwell time.
On the operator side, a robust streaming product gives you the reliability you need and expect, so content can be live and running 24/7.
Original piece by SBC News available at https://sbcnews.co.uk/technology/2023/01/31/oliver-lietz-live-streaming-requires-quality-control-to-meet-players-seamless-demands/