At IBC, UK-based Airbeem was relaunching its brand and proposition on the back of Series A funding garnered in May from London-based venture capital firm Edge. The company’s Chief Revenue Officer, Neil Berry, says he now regards the company as being an ‘early-stage’ start-up, using the Edge investment to fuel Airbeem’s global growth.
Berry positions Airbeem as a ‘disruptive innovator’ in the front-end OTT experience platform provider space – in the sense that it is not using the traditional approach of creating “immersive UI/UX experiences around new content. We believe when you look at [these], they’ve very much been customised on each different device and built from the ground up with lots of integration work, with lots of time to deploy, [requiring] six to ten months and large capex investments up-front.”
By contrast, says Berry, Airbeem’s SaaS proposition is more productised, cloud-based, and affordable, creating an integrated solution so that “a direct-to-consumer Tier 2 or Tier 3 content owner that’s got premium content, that’s looking to monetize that in whatever way they want to monetize, has one company that can build that end-to-end solution. We want to create as much configurability and out-of-the box as possible, so that we can deploy within 60-90 days across every single device.”
It’s how Airbeem characterises the level of support for its ‘end-to-end’ offer that is perhaps most distinctive. For a start, the platform sits on top of Comcast Technologies’ OVP as the back-end, and two key recent recruits, including Berry himself, are ex-Comcast Technologies staffers. Berry was formerly Comcast Technology Solutions VP and MD International, while Louis Starnowski, recently appointed as Airbeem’s Sports and Entertainment Business Development Director, was Strategic Customer Success Director there. Berry is nevertheless at pains to point out that Airbeem remains OVP-agnostic: “We support other OVPs as well. It’s not our intent to develop an OVP, we want to provide our customers with the end-to-end service: they may already have the OVP.”
A high level of business support is also a key part of the proposition from the outset. Airbeem doesn’t begin a new client relationship with the technology piece. “Our end-to-end starts with business modelling,” points out Berry. “Our first conversation is always about their monetization model. [Competitors] talk about technology, we don’t. We say, well let’s sit down and look at exactly what profit you’re trying to drive and what audiences you’re trying to reach and what countries you have rights to reach. And let’s see how we can drive a time-to-value, and if we can’t, there’s no point in us even presenting our product, really.”
Airbeem takes a similar approach with the analytics toolset that forms part of its end-to-end offer. This can come as an out-of-the box dashboard, but the company then provides advice on how they might leverage those tools to benefit the business. “Behind that is our consultancy team, that will actually help them understand, ‘maybe there’s 20 different KPI’s that we’ve got from our experience in deploying different direct to consumers. Here’s the ones that you might want to think about that are going to be key drivers.”
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