One-to-one session management has long been an integral part of Verizon Digital Media Services’ (VDMS) end-to-end digital platform offering. And Smartplay, the company’s latest one-to-one session management iteration, promises to offer two-way communication between users and their viewers, enabling content personalization and advertising for every viewer.
“We’ve been doing one-to-one session management for a long time, and been leaders in this industry, for VOD, live and OTT,” said Jason Friedlander, director of product and technology evangelism for VDMS. “Smartplay is the next iteration, a great way to talk about data and advertising, and everything wrapped into the session management we’ve been building scale on for years.”
But Friedlander and VDMS know that the very subject of one-to-one session management can make a lot of eyes glaze over. Hence, “The Smarts,” a new, six-episode promotional series for Smartplay, which debuted Feb. 14.
The episodes, out every couple weeks leading up to the NAB Show in Las Vegas, centers around the CEO of a company, Acme TV, and his crew, who are looking to launch a successful OTT product, and encounter all sorts of issues along the way. Along with businessman Bob and techy Ted, the main characters also include millennial Jill, the target audience for the service.
“The idea is how do we take something that’s super boring, one-to-one session management, something that’s very technical, and make it a bit more marketable, and help people grasp what we’re doing, over a series of episodes,” Friedlander said.
Based on the first five-minute episode, VDMS has given its Smartplay service a fun leg up: the episode is funny, light-hearted, well-produced and still gets its message across: Smartplay offers smarter delivery, smarter discovery, smarter advertising, smarter protection, smarter insights, smarter programming … you’ll see the word smart come into play often.
“They’re cutting their OTT teeth and trying to keep their end users engaged,” Friedlander added. “It goes into how they progress out of their traditional OTT infrastructure using Smartplay to deliver a smarter, better user experience.”
Smartplay asks the viewer to provide information about who they are, where they are, what they’re watching and what device they’re on, so, in turn, the OTT system can adjust, in real-time what content — or ad — is displayed. The VDMS platform creates an individual session every time a viewer hits play.
The series will culminate with an episode featuring the cast at NAB.