Rajeev Raman is currently the CEO at 1 Mainstream, a cloud-based digital TV distribution platform for broadcasters and operators optimized for deploying HD services in weeks across the most popular TV, game console, tablet and Web devices. Raman is an experienced entrepreneur, but has previous experience as Head of Product at Roku, and VP of Product and Engineering at Questra Corp. The Makegood recently spoke with Raman about the experience he will bring to 1 Mainstream.
The Makegood: Could you elaborate on what Amazon’s Fire TV is? How were you a part of the development of the Fire TV? Why did this product, among other similar products, stand out to you?
Amazon Fire TV is similar to many video-streaming devices on the market; however, one customer pain point for most streaming user interfaces is discovery. Amazon has obviously taken this problem very seriously and their solution is “Voice search that actually works.” Amazon has always been about making products simple and easy to set up and use, and Amazon Fire TV is no different.
Prior to the public announcement of Fire TV, we worked in conjunction with Amazon and Silver Chalice (ACC Digital Network) to develop and QA the ACC Sports app for the brand new device in time for the launch. This would not have been possible without tremendous support from the Amazon team. Throughout the entire development process, our team received world-class support from Amazon.
The Makegood: How does the technology in Amazon’s Fire TV differ from, for example, Roku?
Amazon Fire TV has built-in technology called ASAP, which buffers videos prior to users pressing the Play button. Amazon is predicting what users will chose and decreasing the wait time for video play. We all know how frustrating it can be when you want to watch a video and all it does is buffer, so Amazon is trying to solve this customer problem with this feature. Also, Amazon’s product is built on Android technology and takes advantage of the Amazon App Store.
The Makegood: Why is this product going to succeed? Do you believe that there is a different market for this product?
Amazon is in a unique position because of Amazon.com’s position as one of the largest electronic retailers. Amazon has already made huge strides in the living room, so Amazon Fire TV was the next logical progression of the Amazon Fire product line. Content differentiation is a challenge in this space, but the company has already been successful with Amazon Prime On-demand, and from what we’ve seen they’re continuing to invest in original and exclusive content. This will undoubtedly set them apart from their competition.
The Makegood: What was the focus of this product? In other words, what kind of performance does Amazon want from this Fire TV?
With video-streaming players, high-quality, undisrupted streaming is the main priority. While the gaming features are a great add-on, this device has to deliver on the promise of streaming high-quality content.
The Makegood: How do you believe the merger of Comcast and Time Warner will affect this market?
This combination has so many ramifications for the TV industry that it would be impossible to list them all here. In many ways this is a reflection of the economies of scale and something we have seen play out routinely with banks. With regard to the streaming market, I would hope this spurs others to innovate and do more with digital to gain a competitive edge. I think we are already starting to see that through some of the announcements from Dish.
The Makegood: Thank you, Rajeev.