Launching a video streaming service for a new online channel

What we did
Website Design & Development
Who we did it for
What else we did for them
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KontrTV were a Russian television station that launched a new platform to stream live and on-demand videos of their programmes. Their goal was ambitious and their deadline was impossible. We excitedly took on the challenge and didn't sleep for three months.

In 2012 everything had to work "impeccably" on the iPad

This wasn't an easy feat as very few services supported streaming videos that could work on the iPad in the way that we needed. After enough research, we found a service that allowed us to build the video player which would control the video stream that they would supply. This opened up an entire world of possibilities, and with their offices located around the world, we had 24 hour support which turned out to be invaluable.

The nature of the programmes was often controversial. This meant that viewers would likely not want to miss the live stream and pause the video to look up information about hosts, topics of conversation, and upcoming schedule.

It was important for the experience to keep the video available, allowing users to continue watching the stream while simultaneously navigating around the content. Saying this now sounds foolish, with all manners of possibilities available for streaming services. But at the time, this wasn't something ubiquitous.

We built the player in a way that would load content as an overlay of the video. The user was able to browse content on the website without having to stop the stream of video that they were watching. If the user stopped interacting with the content it would fade away and appear when the user continued the interaction. Not having to actively hide and show this additional content proved to be an extremely valuable feature.

Starting a conversation with 50,000 people and not getting lost in the noise.

The client understood that there would be heated conversations surrounding the topics being discussed. This anticipation meant that we needed to create a comment system that would encourage such arguments conversations.

With the videos being available as live and on-demand streams, a simple comment feed would result in too many conversations going on at the same time for different topics in the programme. The solution was to build a comment system that would group the submissions based on the timestamp at which the comment was made.

A side story

With the deadline fast approaching, we spent all waking hours working on the project, and most of our hours were waking hours at this point. Alexey realised that we needed a break. Something to put life back into the project and restore our energy. He bought tickets for Radiohead, who were playing that evening in Greenwich. We travelled there, excited to finally be away from our screens. Five minutes into the show, Paul fell asleep in his chair. Luckily only missing two songs. This break was much needed and was likely one of the reasons that the project was able to launch on time and with our sanity intact.

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