IN an effort to catalyse digital transformation and bring rich visual content to low bandwidth geographies, Microsoft is collaborating with Eros Now, a leading South Asian streaming entertainment service owned by Eros STX Global Corporation (NYSE: ESGC), a global entertainment company to deliver content to customers in low internet geographies of India. This pilot leveraged Microsoft Azure, a technology from Microsoft Research, content from Eros Now, and commerce capabilities from Novopay, a digital transaction partner and the commerce engine.
Recent statistics show that media consumption has changed dramatically over the last decade, revealing opportunities and challenges for media and over-the-top (OTT) service providers. While consumers’ increasing demand for latest content remains consistent, the trend demonstrates increasing ask for video-on-demand and accessibility across combinations of devices and carriers. Given that businesses need to grow subscribers and the vast audiences waiting to be connected in low bandwidth communities, Microsoft is testing new technology to bridge that digital divide.
In this pilot, Eros Now uploaded content to a central content repository, built on Microsoft Azure, that can quickly process large volumes of data to distribute to hubs. Consumers then connect to these hubs to securely download content to their mobile devices without internet connectivity. By using this system, consumers in low connectivity regions could access Eros Now’s rich media content and pay for services in modes they prefer. The month-long pilot programme tested the system from cloud to end consumer service. In the coming months, we will expand the test to additional providers to ensure consumers across India can access this service.
Ravi Krishnaswamy, Corporate Vice President – Azure Global Industry, Microsoft, said, “We’re committed to bringing together cloud technology, industry expertise, and partners to help our media and entertainment customers innovate and grow. By helping customers in low bandwidth locations across India access the content of their choice, we can expand retail distribution opportunities, help media partners connect with more customers, and help customers connect with stories and content they love.”
Ali Hussein, CEO, Eros Now, said, “In India’s cluttered online streaming industry, differentiation has gone beyond content and technology to provide an edge over others. Eros Now’s content catalogue, especially movies and original shows, attract massive regional audience base, and expanding the market by adopting pioneering technological innovation is the key for premium platform’s substantial growth. The association with Microsoft to utilise its cloud-enabled last-mile content delivery enables Eros Now to lead the space by tapping the underserved potential customer base in low bandwidth areas and continue catering to market demands.”
Microsoft is committed to inclusive growth in line with its vision to bring about a difference to the community and ensure technology access to the last mile. Microsoft Azure’s comprehensive portfolio of innovative engineering capabilities can be used to facilitate remote device management through the cloud. It can also help OTT providers stream media channels while ensuring end-to-end device connectivity, central content management, and security.