Delivering Picture-Perfect Experiences in the Year of Streaming

2020 has been aptly dubbed the “Year of Streaming.” Movie premieres, live concerts, conventions, and other normally in-person gatherings are joining the vast popularity of streaming media and games made possible by streaming services all over the world. Coronavirus solidified an already shifting focus toward entertainment and events that consumers can enjoy from home.

But every opportunity comes with challenges close at its heels. As a streaming service provider, hosting live events that are accessible across the connected world can be catastrophic. And while one could argue that the extenuating circumstances of pandemic life have made people more patient with technology, even that patience would have its limits. Here’s how streaming services are refining their products and taking a proactive approach to tackling industry challenges with help from their customers — and Centercode.

Device Compatibility

With home upgrades on the rise and the holiday shopping season just around the corner, consumers will be bringing new televisions, tablets, smartphones, and other streaming-capable devices into their homes.

As a streaming service provider, you’ll need to ensure that the thousands, maybe millions of viewers that you’re servicing are able to binge their favorite shows uninterrupted or easily tune into a live event on whatever device and software version they’re using.

Industry Challenge

  • Making sure your streaming app or software looks good and is easy to use, no matter which television, computer, tablet, smartphone, or other devices your customers are using

Your Path to Success

Your customers have hundreds of products to choose from when using your streaming service. That makes validating your product’s compatibility against thousands of different products and all their various operating systems and updates costly — and woefully incomplete if you’re only relying on internal testing.

To fill the gaps, Centercode uses strategic tester recruitment and test platforms. We bring in technographic insights from your audience during recruitment so you can make sure your test has maximum coverage. Not only that, but Centercode feeds all of the juicy technographic data from each feedback submission straight into your issue ticketing systems during testing. This empowers your engineering team with everything they need to address issues quickly and efficiently.

In addition to validating new features with customers before release, Centercode expands your QA lab with thousands of user scenarios and helps your development team prioritize the fixes that will have the most impact on customer experience.

Load Testing

The closure of theaters, concert halls, and other event venues has pushed streaming into the limelight as a primary channel for performers to reach their audiences. In fact, moving beyond physical venues has extended the reach of many performers previously limited by location. But like the challenge of device compatibility, ensuring accessibility, and a smooth viewing experience for thousands of viewers all tuning in at the same time is a difficult use case to test before the main event.

Industry Challenge

  • Ensuring servers and software can handle thousands, even millions of viewers or participants joining in at the same time

Your Path to Success

As a streaming service provider, you’re responsible for more than the viewer experience. You’re also beholden to maintaining a positive relationship with your customers – the artists, venues, and event organizers who’ve chosen to trust you with their event. Reliable load testing is critical in this regard and hinges on two vital (and honestly pretty daunting) factors: recruiting a large enough number of testers and getting them all to participate in the same place at the same time.

Centercode is your MVP on both fronts. Our tester network, Betabound, connects you to hundreds of thousands of pre-profiled testers. And the Centercode Platform is purpose-built for tester communication en masse, making it easy for even small teams to support thousands of testers at once.

Centercode’s built-in automation organizes and prioritizes large quantities of feedback so you can start analyzing the results from your load tests and making adjustments in real-time.

Picture Quality

4K has set high expectations for picture quality. Guaranteeing a crystal clear picture is a must — but it’s tricky when so many factors can impact it. Beyond device compatibility or load, influences beyond your control (like internet speeds in rural areas or other countries) vary wildly and have a huge effect on the quality of your customers’ stream. But at the end of the day, your customers, your streaming service is likely to suffer the blame no matter who the true culprit is.

Identifying and ironing out the interruptions you can control — and helping your customers navigate the rest — goes a long way toward ensuring customer satisfaction.

Industry Challenges

  • Ensuring clear picture quality across multiple platforms, devices (computers, televisions, tablets, smartphones), and software versions of those devices
  • Identifying root causes of poor picture quality, such as regional internet speed, average load times, or device compatibility

Your Path to Success

The best way to test your service’s picture quality? It starts with a thorough test plan. If you find it tricky to build test topics and surveys that accurately identify where and when your customers are running into friction, try leveraging the expertise of a Customer Success Manager. Our experts offer training sessions for test planning and execution. They’ll even build specific implementations into your platform.

If you’re looking for those high-caliber results, but don’t have the time to devote towards getting them, you can put your project in the capable hands of the certified professionals on our Managed Services Team. They’ll work with you and your stakeholders to build a best-fit test plan, then recruit testers, collect feedback, and package the results based on the plan and your key goals.

Uninterrupted Support for Your Beta Program

When it comes to tackling the unique challenges of testing streaming products and services, Centercode has the expertise. Get an in-depth look at our experience helping makers like Roku, DAZN, Disney, and Amazon in our ebook, Making Good Technology Great.

Download the Ebook “Making Good Tech Great”

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