Within the ISP industry, the debate concerning Netflix rages on. Is Netflix a parasite making money from your assets, or an important service driving usage? Whatever your view, Netflix and its peers are here to stay and cannot be ignored. The Netflix service is proving very popular and is certainly bandwidth hungry, pushing usage per customer higher, along with expectations.
So do you embrace Netflix, ask them to install their caches in your data centers and even offer your end customers a Netflix add-on? This is an attractive option to an end user, who has a simplified billing arrangement with a trusted provider. But what is in it for you, the Service Provider? Reduced churn? Perhaps, but Netflix is completely portable and if the quality is poor, suddenly you have become responsible for high quality delivery with the Netflix add-on package. Financial upside? Well maybe Netflix will pay for the power the caches use; perhaps you can negotiate a small commission?
So what are the alternatives? Don’t promote Netflix, don’t re-sell it. But you can be sure your customers want it and if it doesn’t work well, they are going to look elsewhere for a better service provider. In order to make informed decisions about how to treat Netflix, you need good analytics data.
Procera Networks recently worked with a customer in a country where Netflix launched relatively recently. They wanted to know what was going on and what they could do What we discovered during the trial was surprising and immensely valuable.
As an existing PacketLogic customer, they were already getting a huge amount of analytics on the Netflix service. To give even more detail into the actual delivered Netflix quality, we trialed our Video Perspectives solution. Video Perspectives works in conjunction with PacketLogic to analyze an exact copy of a customer’s video stream. It can then calculate a real world MOS value from 1 to 5 for the video experience.
What we found was shocking. Over 70% of Netflix users were getting a MOS score of 1 or 2. That is either an “Annoying” or “Unwatchable” service! By digging deeper into our analytics, we were able to cross correlate the poor scores to a particular category of users. Working with the customer, we built a business case based on improving the Netflix video experience combined with an up-sell from the Service Provider. Procera’s Video Perspectives can then be used to continuous monitor the ongoing quality, searching for new opportunities.
For this customer, Netflix has turned from a potential threat, to one that can be used to drive higher ARPU. So it transpires that Netflix is a Frenemy.
If you want to discover the Netflix opportunity in your network, contact us today to arrange a meeting!