UK-based over-the-top (OTT) streaming service Recast has officially relaunched following its purchase by Content Technology Partners (CTP) in October.
The return of the platform sees it shift focus away from content hosting and towards distribution, with the company looking to insulate itself from the problems that led to its initial financial woes.
The new ownership model includes Recast’s founder and chief executive Andy Meikle, who explained: “This is an exciting "pivot" for Recast, the main one being that rather than our publishers bringing their content and fans to Recast TV, Recast's content distribution and payment network – sitting as the plumbing in the background – is enabling rights holders to unlock maximum value on their website and that of their affiliates, such as teams, brand partners or athletes.”
Recast now functions as a “self-serve” content management platform that aids distribution, meaning that content remains on customers’ platforms but widens the accessible reach and monetizes it.
The platform had fallen into administration after failing to secure a funding commitment, which left it facing “significant cashflow challenges," despite the number of high-profile partnerships it had agreed to in the short time following its foundation.
Conrad Wiacek, head of analysis at GlobalData Sport, commented when the site's financial difficulties became known: “For a platform like Recast, the idea of pay-per-view (PPV) was solid, but allowing sports fans to be selective in how much they view meant the model had to attract significant numbers to each and every event. In theory, allowing fans to tune in for the last 10 minutes of a sporting event makes sense for sports that build to a crescendo, like an F1 [motor racing] event or an NBA [basketball] game.
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“However, the issue is that this devalues the rest of the event – and by allowing fans to only view the final five or 10 minutes, this meant that a very high audience number had to be met each time. The traditional PPV model worked because a broadcaster would make you buy a whole boxing card, for example, even if your interest was only in the headline fight.
“While this model has evolved, the idea that a high volume of people will only tune in for a short period and pay per minute seems to be a flawed concept.”