How A Japanese Telco Migrates To A New OTT Platform With Ease

2021.07.22

KDDI, one of Japan’s largest telcos, entered the new era of subscription content when they launched their smartphone business in 2009. Their mission was to enable users to fully enjoy the mobile experience. Thus, KDDI created a bold new video-on-demand service called VideoPass.

Operating in a highly competitive market, KDDI needed a platform that was flexible to meet the ever-changing user demands and market trendscape. However, after VideoPass launched, they quickly realized the technological limitations of their UK-based solutions provider, which would soon become incompatible with rapid changes in the streaming industry.

Smooth Migration to a New Video Streaming Platform Bolsters Bottom Line

The first challenge KDDI faced was to migrate VideoPass to a new streaming platform provider. They needed a partner with cutting-edge technology but also understood the streaming market. They chose BlendVision Enterprise solution, powered by KKStream.

KKStream seamlessly migrated KDDI’s entire subscriber base and content onto KKStream’s BlendVision platform solution in less than two months without disrupting the user experience of VideoPass’s 1.3 million existing users. Within three years, VideoPass became profitable.

A Reliable Agile Partner Full of Potential

“It was really challenging for us to do a migration without negative service impact, while taking both flexibility and cost effectiveness into consideration during the implementation,” said Satoshi Miyaji, General Manager at KDDI Entertainment Promotion Department. “But surprisingly, KKStream was able to accomplish all our requirements and that’s really when we saw KKStream’s potential and trusted them as a reliable partner.”

Reaching More Audiences

Soon after Netflix launched in Japan, KDDI quickly recognised the need to deliver original content to engage with their audiences and differentiate VideoPass from its competitors. KDDI partnered with TV Asahi, one of the top 5 key TV stations in Japan, to start an attractive subscription streaming service. As a result, KDDI established a joint venture company with TV Asahi in 2020 and rebranded VideoPass into TELASA.

With the official launch date already announced, the remaining time for the BlendVision Enterprise team to finish all revamp items and another migration was really tight. Instead of turning down extra requirements, the BlendVision Enterprise team went into action mode and assembled a committee. “We had a joint team among KDDI, TV Asahi, and BlendVision, and quickly coordinated to figure out a way to go live,” said Mr. Miyaji.

Overcoming the Challenges of the COVID Era

After launching TELASA, real-time communication with the BlendVision Enterprise team was even more crucial for KDDI and TV Asahi. They needed to rapidly respond to market needs which became especially difficult when the COVID-19 crisis shut down most offices in Japan. “If there wasn’t a pandemic, we would have the whole BlendVision Enterprise team come sit next to us,” said Mr. Miyaji. “COVID-19 forced us to find a fully online working model and it worked out well.”

“After we launched TELASA, the number of subscribers continued increasing toward 2 million and the subscription churn rate also decreased because of the improvements we brought to the service together with the BlendVision team.”

“BlendVision’s localized operation center is also very reliable,” Mr. Miyaji says. From KDDI’s standpoint, content continues to be king and necessary for audience acquisition. Being able to quickly respond to market needs is also critical in today’s highly competitive OTT landscape. With a high-performing, dedicated and agile team like BlendVision Enterprise, KDDI can respond to the market rapidly with the flexibility needed for growth and success.

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