Join us this week as we chat with Dominique Feral, owner of WYPLAY and cover…
📺 Projects WYPLAY have been a part of since their inception
📺 How WYPLAY have implemented RDK into their work
📺 Where the future of broadcast streaming may take us…
Hello, and welcome to the RDK podcast. I’m your host, Jamie Walker. And today I’m joined by Dominique Feral, co-founder of WYPLAY. Dominique, thank you so much for joining us.
It’s a pleasure. Thanks, Jamie.
No problem at all, Dominique! So, for some of our listeners who might not be too familiar with WYPLAY, can you tell us how you got started back in 2006?
Yeah, with pleasure. So I’m Dominic Feral, I’m in charge of sales and marketing for WYPLAY. And I’m one of the co-founders of the company. So when we created the company, it was back in 2006, we had the vision, meaning that to create a solution which we make the bridge between the broadcast and the IP, okay, and at this time, we had only a basic satellite or cable across falsetto box on one side, and connected media player on the other side. So we, we spent those three years we we had VC joining WYPLAY at the beginning, and we spent three years to develop completely this software solution.
So we arrived on the market in 2009, with some connected media player with hybrid front end that we sold to some brand retail companies. And in 2010, we started with the first TV operator such as SFR Artis, which is an ISP in France. And just after with Canal Plus, so clearly, we started to rock it up in 2010, with one ISP and one broadcast. And since I will say 2010, we are increasing the number of customer and adding a new feature to our solution, but I’m sure that we will discuss that a bit later.
Absolutely. Thanks for the insight into into WYPLAY. So, tell us a little bit about some of the projects you’ve been a part of in recent years and the kind of the kind of service providers you’ve worked with historically, obviously, Canal Plus being one of them.
Yeah, so canal plus, this is one of our key customers. And it’s I would say a complex customer because they have hybrid devices or satellite IP or terrestrial IP, a pure IP solution. So we I think that for now, we developed about six generations of devices for canal plus.
So as I told you we used to work with with SFR artis, with proximus in Belgium, sky in Italy, at&t DirecTV for the Latin countries, Telefonica in South America, Sky, Brazil, rozin. More recently lgi three telecom in France. And I am not authorised to talk about the two laters that will join the waitlist, and are RDK customer; one in the US and one in Europe
So, obviously, you know, this is some really impressive growth for the business. You know, you’ve been in the market now for 12 years, spending some time developing, it’s great to see the value that you’re adding to the community. Now, obviously, RDK is one of the few components in your repertoire. How are you using RDK?
So it’s a good question. When we created the company RDK was not there. And it was a barrier there. There was no open-source solution. So in 2013, we put our solution in open source, and our customers loved this approach. Well, they are not locked with a vendor. In 2015 we have seen Comcast arriving on the market with all the carrion providing an open-source solution, which was really matching with end-user requests. So from we did not start it immediately after that it was back in 2018.
We started to provide all our rounds of professional services to the RDK ecosystem. So going back to RDK we act as a system integrator, we can provide some UI UX development We are a TV operator with voice integration with DVD capability. So we have our own stack that we are completely agnostic. If tomorrow RDK arrived with a DVD stack, we can LTV operator to integrate into the fine-tuning around this. We have some analytics and advertising tool which can populate the UI. And one point, which is key as well, is the capability of integrating the search bar to streaming applications.
Wow, okay, so, again, touching on the original point, I think your original platform was the frog platform. Yeah, right. And then obviously, the adaption of RDK. And moving over to that was almost a simple transition for you.
Yeah, it was, it was quite easy. Because when we developed the platform, we were mainly providing system integration on this platform and improving the IP for sure. But we were a system integrator, we were providing professional services. So what we have done is that we have extended our professional services to the RDK ecosystem. So we started at the end of 2018. And at the end of 2020, we started with, we have now three, RDK operator, we worked with them.
Amazing, amazing. So how do you think RDK differs or compares from other software that you’ve worked with in the past?
Yeah. This is an RDK podcast, so I won’t talk about the other solution, I will highlight, I will say that the benefits of RDK. And clearly, the key point is the control. It’s control at multiple levels. It’s a control at the user experience level, you do what you want, you don’t have any constraints guidelines in terms of UX UI development. You control the content, the revenues, and the applications, which will be integrated onto an RDK platform. It means that you are sure that you won’t have any competitive application on your platform, you will decide.
Another point, which is important as well as the operating system, roadmap and upgrade, you decide when you want to upgrade the operating system. The voice, the voice is a key point as well, you will control the voice result when you do a search. The result of the search can be from your content or the application content, but you will decide the content to be displayed on the screen. And the latest point is the new operator of data privacy. Again, you decide if you want to share your data with other apps on it. So clearly, the keyword with RDK in terms of differentiation and comparison is control.
Absolutely. And I completely agree with you on that one. Right. And I think as we move forward with the times, having or giving operators, more freedom to control that aspect and control what they give the customers; it’s going to be a lot more attractive. Definitely. But it seems TV is moving to more and more of an online platform. We’ve seen giants like the Discovery Channel shift to streaming platforms, how long do you think it will be before we see more if not all of them doing the same?
So it’s a significant trend. We have a great experience of (inaudible) integration we we did the first Netflix integration in Europe with Proximus the first Disney plus integration with scanner plus within YouTube, Amazon Prime, which was Telefonica. So we know when these streaming companies, new ones are rising, you are talking about this coverage on HBO Max is arriving in Europe, Paramount has been announced Discovery Channel, Apple TV plus is a streaming platform. So it will continue and we will see an increase in these streaming platforms.
And it’s I will say a compromise to be defined between the TV operator on the streaming platform, the streaming platform, it by some extent, can be the competitor of the TV operator, but they need each other. The TV operator will bring all the live events, the sports, right? The news. And so on the streaming platform, we bring the SVOD content. And they have to work together on the same platform. So we must have the process of integration, we must have the process of validation, which depend on one platform to another one, sometimes it’s a bit longer. And we clearly help the TV operator by doing this.
Absolutely, definitely. And I guess with software like RDK, for everybody who’s looking into RDK, as something new to them, how easy is it for them to build up a great user-friendly app for production companies to transfer to?
So we have to say that Metrological help a lot by designing the reference development and be written on top of RDK called lightning. So lightning is a key language to develop applications. On top of RDK, UI, your development teams, and on the lightning certification and training. And, and it’s quite, I would say, straightforward and easy to manage this language. It’s not something that is completely different from what the UI team are used to doing.
On top of that, what we could say is that at WYPLAY, we have studio design so we can accompany the TV operator in UX design creation, but we can also accompany them in the development of UI. So RDK’s arriving with it with a set of tools, which will ease the development of application on RDK. So it’s quite amazing. Yeah.
Well, that’s great. But Dominic look, I really really appreciate the insight into WYPLAY today. It’s been an absolute pleasure to chat with you. Thank you so much to you and our listeners.
Thanks a lot, Jamie for your time, and it was a pleasure to discuss with you on this topic.