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Top 6 Reasons Building Your Own Download Engine Is Harder Than It Sounds

April 24, 2019

In the ever-growing mobile video landscape, one trend has become impossible to ignore: download. OTT providers are offering download capabilities to their viewers more and more, and increasingly mobile consumers are coming to expect the service from content providers. This leads to a vital question for mobile video companies who have yet to incorporate download into their offerings: how can we go about bringing download to our consumers in a timely, efficient, and cost-effective way?

An immediate answer seems obvious: build a download engine for your app in-house. But DIY download is surprisingly complex, and there are many barriers to building a download engine that will create countless problems for OTT providers — barriers that can easily be prevented by opting for Penthera’s sophisticated download solutions. Here are a few of the most notable issues caused by DIY download:

1. Complex business rules and download permissions

Building a download engine is more complicated than it might initially sound. In addition to navigating the legal issues of download permissions, you’ll have to decide on a whole host of business rules, such as battery level cutoff, network usage, network quotas, max storage, minimum headroom, and bitrate. Then, on top of that, the engineers will need to figure out how to implement them.

2. The mobile ecosystem changes fast.

Apple and Google introduce new OS versions annually, and new devices are constantly entering the market. In most cases, older devices also need to be supported. You can’t simply build download and download-supported features and expect them to remain robust and industry-leading. Mobile code requires constant care, maintenance, upgrade cycles, and QA and regression testing. Doing this yourself requires a team of dedicated engineers to keep up, which will lose you money both directly and in lost opportunity.

3. The time and cost of engineers.

The complexity of building and maintaining a download engine in-house means that you’ll need a team of dedicated engineers on deck to oversee the ongoing project. That makes download a costly endeavor, and one that will likely take months just to get started.

4. By the time you get to market, you’ll be far behind your competitors.

Building a download engine and incorporating it into your service can take months, and in many cases years, to finish. By the time you’re able to introduce download to your users, you’ll be far behind the competition, who will already be offering a host of new features to their viewers. And not only will you be lagging behind, but imagine what your engineers could have been working on in that time lost.

5. Competing OTT services will have more advanced download.

Not having download might frustrate your users, but not as much as having insufficient and slow download will. The bar has been set high, and nowadays most OTT companies are offering advanced download capabilities to their users.

6. Users want even more than basic download.

If you want to give your viewers a great experience, you’ll want to have a lot more than just speedy download. Staying ahead of the industry would take an engineering team even more time to develop in addition to the time needed to develop the base download solution.

Penthera solves all these problems. With expertly-built white label download software like Penthera’s, you can add download to your app in as little as 21 days. Quickly and easily integrated into your product, it’s a much more cost-effective strategy. With Penthera, business rules are easily configurable and can be set by you, and we deliver easy-to-integrate updates to our customers roughly 3–4 times a year.

Penthera has been perfecting our technology for ten years, and our download engine is the fastest available. In tests, ours performed 1.5x faster than Netflix, 3–4x faster than average DIY solutions, and up to 10x faster than weaker solutions.

Plus, as an industry leader, Penthera has spent years developing solutions that go beyond basic download to offer our customers’ viewers an experience that is above the industry standard. Subscriptions, dynamic offline advertising, FastPlay Streaming, and other unique solutions that we offer can help viewers watch your content seamlessly, no matter where they go.

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