Why HBO Max Needs App Intelligence. Urgently

4 Mins read

Since its launch in May 2020, HBO Max has shone with its finely selected entertainment library and the remarkable growth of its subscriber base. In July this year, the AT&T owned on demand streaming service reached a total of over 47 Million subscribers in the United States alone, expecting to end the year with 67 to 70 million subscribers worldwide – impressive growth considering the fierce competition on the market. The streaming platform’s success can mostly be attributed to its exclusive base collection of movies and series’ which present a competitive advantage, winning the hearts of many movie-fans.

On the flipside, HBO Max seems to be struggling with technical hurdles more than its competitors. Constant outages, app issues, bugs and glitches that are seriously impeding on the subscribers’ Quality of Experience, are leading to an increasingly frustrated and dissatisfied customer base. Users with Roku devices seem to have been hit especially hard with technical issues, constantly complaining and seeking help from HBO’s support team. Considering the fierce competition among streaming providers and the growing need to provide positive customer experiences, this surely isn’t the best way to get ahead in the “streaming wars” and to build a satisfied, loyal customer base.

Without Context You’ll Tap in the Dark

Today’s connected home is increasingly complex and unique. The number of different connected devices, their brand, type, and make, the apps running on them, as well as the actual in-home WiFi network (the router and extenders) all make up for a unique home topology that most likely doesn’t resemble anyone else’s. Every single service or app consumed at home has a set of ideal technical requirements for it to run in the best possible way and provide the best possible experience to its users. With Customer Experience becoming increasingly significant, digital companies need to step up their customer care and success efforts. The “State of the Connected Customer” report by Salesforce specifies that 80% of customers value the experience a company provides just as much as its products and services, and an incredible 76% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations.

Why does this matter? In order for streaming providers (but also ISPs, CSPs, and other app vendors) to improve their subscribers’ Quality of Experience, they need to gain knowledge about the entire context in which their services are being consumed. Meaning: On which device, on what WiFi channel, which bandwidth, with which simultaneously running applications inside and outside the home, and so on. So far, the only information available to operators is limited to server and app functionality, which leaves them blind to the majority of shortcomings that can reduce an app’s performance in the home. By gaining end-to-end visibility into the entire home’s internet service delivery chain – from the WAN, the LAN, to all connected devices and apps – streaming providers can analyse all components of a healthy connection and pinpoint the root-cause of a problem much faster.

App Identification and Intelligence sit at the heart of this knowledge and provide streaming providers like HBO with invaluable insights about the performance of their app in varying circumstances, hinting at potential problems and technical hurdles in real-time.

App Identification is the First Step Towards App Intelligence 

The identification and categorization of all devices and apps within a connected home is the first step to facilitating app intelligence and gaining as much understanding  as possible of an app’s performance. Advanced ML algorithms can identify apps without the use of sensitive information, accurately categorizing them as ‘streaming’, ‘gaming’, ‘shopping’ etc. and, based on the measured performance, calculate a score. This Quality of Experience Score functions as a KPI for care agents and app engineers and allows them to understand who in their subscriber base is currently experiencing issues and needs support – before they write angry posts or call the support team with complaints. Or churn altogether.

By layering the device with the app ID, entertainment providers gain a contextual understanding of their subscribers’ streaming experience, paving the way for personalized experiences, visibility into device-specific app performance, and accelerated, proactive customer care efforts.

For a streaming provider like HBO Max, this might be the game changer they need in order to turn their negative reputation into a competitive advantage. With App Intelligence, HBO Max can classify patterns in their subscribers’ watching experience, identify problems with specific devices, and better understand what needs to be done to fix it.

HBO Max Bugs pic 2

App Intelligence As Rocket Fuel for Customer Experience

Without acknowledging that every home is as unique as a fingerprint and that every device and app have individual requirements in terms of ideal performance, streaming service providers will lose the war and fall behind their competitors. Nothing makes up for bad Quality of Customer Experience, not even a well selected movie-library.

HBO Max tweets

Source: Reddit

With customer expectations hitting an all time high, digital service providers need to adopt ways that allow them to provide hyper-personalized, relevant, and seamless online experiences. Gaining end-to-end visibility into a user’s connected home topology, including all connected devices and consumed services/apps, builds the foundation for contextual, app-aware CX management.

Veego’s leading device fingerprinting and app ID and QoE scoring capabilities sit at the heart of a data-driven AI solution that gives connected home stakeholders the insights they need to give their subscribers what they want: personalized internet and OTT experiences, proactive support, and accelerated problem resolution. Unique in its capabilities, Veego takes the connected home internet experience to the next level, empowering not only service providers but also the residents, and shifting the focus back to what really matters: experience.

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