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The brief

Our brief was to design, build and maintain a secure video delivery platform to meet the exacting requirements of the broadcast industry. The platform needed to enable content owners to easily share sensitive pre-release film content with journalists for feedback and review, whilst ensuring against content piracy.Integrated CRM functionality enables contact with journalists, and tracking and reporting on content sharing and viewing.

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Our strategy

To re-design the user interface (UI), we focused on the user experience to improve work flows. Working closely with end users of the system and taking learnings from the extensive usage stats of the system, we focused on simplifying the key user journeys. Our goal: to improve ease of use, and increase user satisfaction and retention.

Alongside updating the UI, we also undertook the rebuild of the back-end architecture to be more service-orientated with the goals of greater stability, improved scaling options and maintainability.

The Solution

In Detail

The latest version of the platform has been redesigned and built from the ground up. We built the original version of the platform 2011. Although new features had been added over time, the overall UX had not been reviewed fully and the underlying technology was beginning to show its age.  Armed with a wealth of usage data, historical support requests and access to a live user base, we were confidently able to implement the new UI in parallel with building out a more services orientated back-end architecture.

The new UI is clean and simple and works well on mobile and tablet as well as desktop for both end users and editorial staff who manage the content. The backend is predominantly Ruby-based, with API services performing the heavy lifting and a Ruby on Rails application providing the glue between the front-end and the video-upload, transcoding and DRM services. By taking a test-driven approach to development, we were able to refactor quickly, keeping technical debt on the project to a minimum. This has resulted in an easy-to-maintain and stable system.

Clients are able to push content to the system from their existing internal Digital Asset Management systems via API and SmartJog integrations. A load-balanced and scalable hosting architecture allows for peaks and troughs in usage patterns typically associated with the seasonal nature of broadcast content release.

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Key Components and Services

  • UX
  • Platform design & build
  • DRM (Digital Rights Management)
  • Integration with third party DAM platforms
  • Micro-Services based architecture
  • Managed Cloud Services
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The platform has been live for 10 years and is in its 3rd iteration. The platform is used by over 5000 UK-based journalists previewing content from the main UK broadcasters, independent studios and a number of international broadcasters and content owners. With over 2000 hours of video content uploaded every year, and streamed globally, at last count we had delivered to over 250 countries around the globe.

We are very proud to have had Ready To Air as our client for 10 years, as we continue to provide managed services, design and development support for the platform.