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The changing landscape of media: OTT testing and more

Media’s changing landscape: OTT platform testing and more

July 4, 2022
 by 
David BrokerDavid Broker
David Broker

The media and entertainment industry has seen much growth in the past few years, especially during the pandemic. From people spending more time on OTT platforms to developments like Unreal Engine 5 seeking to revolutionize gaming, it looks likely that this trend is going to continue.

A report from Statista shows that, on average, consumers spend about 463 minutes daily with media. A report from PWC adds to this by showing us that the OTT revenue in the US for 2021 hit $24.6bn.

Check: Creating Comprehensive Streaming Testing Strategy for Quality Content

The media and entertainment industry are competitive, and those who wish to provide these services must cater to a massive prospective audience list. Organizations must thoroughly research the latest trends to ensure their product stands out and hire QA consultants to help brainstorm ideas. 

However, OTT testing plays a crucial role in gaining a competitive advantage and winning over users. A digital platform free of bugs and glitches will improve the customer retention rate and bring in more customers. OTT platform testing helps ensure your product performs its best and is stable.

Also check: The 5G Impact - OTT and Streaming Industry

The Challenges in the Media and Entertainment Industry

Here are some challenges faced by the media and entertainment industry:

  • The competition is unparalleled because companies are launching new streaming services regularly - increasing subscriber churn rates.
  • Premium service providers offer great UX and support higher-quality video.
  • The number of devices that ott platforms run on are increasing. When device variety increases so does the need for testing these devices.
  • There is a massive amount of data collected in this industry. Analyzing and using this data to make critical business decisions is difficult.
  • Another challenge is subscription fatigue - losing customer interest over time due to exhaustion from keeping track of too many subscriptions. A report from Deloitte says that 52% of users find it hard to access content across the various services.

How HeadSpin Helps

Since users connect to their OTT on various devices, the HeadSpin Audio Visual Platform allows cross-browser and device compatibility. So you can use it to perform OTT automation testing on your OTT services and other media applications like video conferences, gaming, and more.

The HeadSpin Audio Visual Platform is accessible from diverse device locations, allowing you to perform tests over different regions, compare the results, and find localization issues. It also lets them compare KPIs against different situations or previous versions of their applications.

Through the HeadSpin Platform, you will get insight into KPIs that media companies prioritize. Video MOS is one of these. It allows you to track and verify MOS scores and ensure it continues moving in the right direction. Other KPIs include frame rate, blurriness, and downsampling index. Insight into all these KPIs will help you maintain your subscription rate.

Apart from Video MOS, the HeadSpin OTT  testing platform also offers the Netflix VMAF (Video Multi-Method Assessment Fusion). Our media testing is framework agnostic and derives results based on KPI analysis. Through its analysis tool, the HeadSpin Platform can also prove those tests requiring OCR (optical character recognition), like closed captioning, fast-forward, returning to video at the correct time, and rewind. 

Testing For Entertainment and Media: How It Works

There are a vast majority of services in the entertainment and media industry. Print media includes newspapers, magazines, books, and more. Broadcast media has the television, and the internet media has social media. Apart from these, you have photo and video editing apps, mobile games, virtual tours, and many more.

Testing will depend heavily on the product the QA team will have to review. Here are some general aspects of how OTT platform testing will work:

Types of Testing

Typically, running functional tests for entertainment and media is the best way to start. Functional testing checks the product's features and functions, helping QA specialists verify these against customer requirements. Functional testing includes the following tests: 

UI Testing

UI testing inspects the frontend elements that users use to interact with the product; these enable functionality on the backend. The elements include buttons, text inputs, checkboxes, forms, links, and more.

Feature Testing

Feature testing involves evaluating if the features described in the client requirements are present, understanding their behavior, and identifying bugs.

API Testing

QA specialists run API tests to check integrations with databases, operating systems, libraries, and third-party services.

Acceptance Testing

Acceptance tests are the final check to determine the product's functionality before release. Organizations release the product to the users, who, in turn, look at it from a new perspective and share feedback. 

QA specialists use non-functional testing to focus on other aspects of the software behavior. They use it to understand how the product works by evaluating its usability, accessibility, speed, and more. It helps them verify if the product meets user expectations. Non-functional testing includes the following category of tests:

Compatibility Testing

Compatibility tests help verify if the product is compatible with various devices and if it can run on devices with different operating systems, various browser versions, and different hardware specifications.

Performance Testing

QA teams run performance tests to check the product's performance. It helps estimate the product's ability to handle various user loads, observe its behavior under heavy traffic, and understand its capacity to scale.

UX Testing

As the name suggests, UX tests help verify the product's design and implemented logic. It allows QA teams to see if the product is easy to use and appealing to the eyes. 

Localization Testing

Localization tests involve testing the product's performance and capabilities from the perspective of a specific audience. This audience usually resides in a particular region, with a unique language and different cultures.

You can run tests either manually or through automation. With automation, what is the best way to use it to track and optimize video quality?

Read - Harnessing AI to Track and Optimize Video Quality

Types of Testing Post Release

It is essential to remember that the QA activities for companies that offer media and entertainment services continue well after they release the product. Once they release the product, they must maintain and provide software support. Most companies continue developing and updating their product with new features, changing the design, adding more content, or even entering a different market. While at this stage, here are the following tests that they perform:

Regression Testing

Regression tests help the QA specialists identify bugs in new updates after changes to the code. Regression testing involves many repetitions, so teams usually prefer to automate it. 

Smoke Testing

Smoke testing is a set of minimal tests that help identify the obvious errors that come with bug fixes or updates to a new build. 

QA Audit

Independent companies usually run QA audits. These audits are systematic and help estimate the product's quality and performance. 

Business Analysis

Business analysis involves working with user feedback and the latest trends to estimate the product's performance and features. The information gathered helps improve the product and its scale.

Also read: Unit, Integration, and Functional Testing - 4 main points of difference

What You Should Focus On

Testing Core Functionality

Since every application and service comes with unique features, it is critical to test their core functionality. Core functionalities usually include the highlights or features of your product that make it memorable and attract users.

Checking Platform Performance

Performance is another aspect that needs constant focus. Performance includes response time, loading speeds, and similar parameters. These are crucial for all entertainment and media services.

Payment Functionality

When it comes to money, we're all extremely cautious. Focusing on ensuring your payment gateway is secure is essential. Ensure you offer various methods of payment and that your billing works seamlessly.

Learn how HeadSpin supports global BFSI organizations to test banking applications and ensure a flawless user experience with data security.

Smart Personalization

Personalization of services is critical to keep consumers happy. Ensure your product works well in this regard and keeps track of user interests and preferences. That way, they will be sure to get relevant content.

Privacy

Like security, privacy is a critical issue in today's digital world. Your users need to feel that their privacy is in good hands. Since entertainment and media providers deal with sensitive information, they must ensure security breaches don't occur.

See also - The Future of Automation Testing for Media Devices.

Conclusion

The number of users constantly using entertainment and media makes this field so complex and essential to regularly perform OTT application testing. Companies need to consider innovative approaches to test their entertainment and media services. They must test their software before it goes live to avoid complications.  

The HeadSpin Audio-Visual Platform allows you to test entertainment, media, gaming, OTT media devices, DRM-protected content, and much more.

FAQs

Q1. What factors to consider while measuring video quality?

A1. 

  • Bit Rate
  • Lag length
  • Buffer fill
  • Lag ratio
  • Play length

Q2. What are the skills required for automation testing?

A2. 

  • Proficient in programming languages.
  • Must have experience with manual testing.
  • Familiar with DevOps & Agile methodologies.
  • Must have excellent analytical & communication capabilities, time management, and reporting.

Q3. What elements do you measure in video load testing?

A3. You can monitor video streaming metrics, real-time viewership, and developing video streaming infrastructure according to user behavior.

Media’s changing landscape: OTT platform testing and more

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