Kiwi TV - 2009
KIWI TV - Australia
Kiwi TV was a leading edge TV streaming service built by Stream Interactive to service expat New Zealanders living in Australia. We look back at a decade old project that preceded the likes of Lightbox, Netflix and other on-demand platforms.
To build a streaming TV platform before any of the major TV networks had even contemplated doing it in NZ.
The system needed an admin/backend where video content could be uploaded to a website where it could be consumed by registered users.
Essential was the implementation of a members only viewing space and the ability to add in a payment gateway (initially content was free to view). Also it was crucial to encrypt the stream so that content couldn’t be copied or viewed outside of the payment restrictions, whether it be geographical (*DRM) or time specific.
The website frontend and admin was built using the streamSWEET platform which came with full customer CRM, subscription management, payment gateway capability, reporting and newsletter marketing tools. The streaming service was provided by a 3rd party company, of which there were very few in 2009.
The Akamai streaming service was chosen after a great deal of research. This company had built one of the 1st robust cloud-based web systems that could stream content across the globe at a high throughput. They had already successfully broadcast NBA Video content to a global audience so we knew that the backbone would be sufficient.
Much of the early integration work with Akamai was done by working through technical documentation and dealing directly with agents within Akamai via email, phone and Skype sessions. Testing and proving the system took a fair amount of time but this was factored into the initial scope.
Initially a project like this looks daunting, nobody knows if it will work technically or financially. There is such a steep learning curve from everyone involved, but the satisfaction gained by creating something entirely new is what all developers and entrepreneurs crave. Experience gathered on a project like this is always invaluable, our staff increased it's knowledge and grew as a team.
This project reached phase one and was a technical success. On the financial side however it didn't achieve the results required to stay in business. Much of the content that was uploaded to the website became available on other networks as the TV companies realised this technology was a must for their own success.
* DRM: Digital Rights Management
In this case we could block certain countries from viewing selected content.