Rolling out the OTT red carpet for the 67th Emmy® voters

By: Deidre Hart
Media contact(s) 
Digiflare and Verizon create first-of-a-kind viewing platform for the Television Academy

In a television first, the Television Academy eschewed traditional DVD screeners and instead provided the more than 18,300 voting members in the 67th Emmy® Awards Show with a range of viewing options via the Web, iOS, Android, Roku and Chromecast.

Digiflare, a TV apps company, and Verizon Digital Media Services teamed up to deliver a comprehensive video-streaming solution that allowed the Television Academy to securely deliver their content, as well as  a high-quality viewing experience for all of their voting members. The new digital, mobile-first platform allowed voting members to access all the episodes they needed to see before casting ballots.

The move to digital drove down production, distribution and environmental costs, and it allowed the voters to vote in more categories. Traditionally, each Television Academy member had been able to vote for a maximum of four Blue Ribbon Panel categories during Primetime Emmy balloting. Once a member chose the categories, the Television Academy mailed multiple DVDs to each member. This year, final-round voting was expanded beyond the four-panel limitation to enable eligible voting members to vote in all 15 program categories. The increased voting pool was the impetus to build a viewing platform capable of screening all Emmy-nominated content.

“We wanted to give our members a simple way to view Emmy nominees’ programming across all of their devices at their convenience, without needing to produce hundreds of thousands of additional DVDs,” said Maury McIntyre, Television Academy President & COO. "This new platform allowed us to streamline the voting process, while meeting today’s viewer’s expectations of instantaneous, seamless and secure digital experiences.”

To launch the viewing platform in time for voting, the Academy selected Digiflare’s VideaTM platform and Verizon Digital Media Services’ Video Lifecycle Solution. Digiflare’s VideaTM platform is a highly scalable, highly flexible system for designing, developing and deploying the applications that are providing Television Academy voters with a flawless viewing experience across web browsers, mobile phones, tablets and connected televisions.

“Voting members accessed content for their consideration whenever and wherever they wanted to,” says Bob Toohey, President of Verizon Digital Media Services. “We were thrilled to partner with the Television Academy and Digiflare to offer a rich and seamless streaming experience to some of TV’s most sophisticated audiences.”

Verizon Digital Media Services’ Video Lifecycle Solution handled all aspects of preparing and delivering the content, starting with a cloud-based workflow for securely ingesting, encoding and encrypting the shows nominated for an award. From there, the content was cached and streamed from Verizon Digital Media Services’ worldwide content delivery network for quick-starting and buffer-free viewing no matter where or on what device the voting member chose to view the content.

“Here at Digiflare, we’re proud to be part of this move to bring the organization devoted to the advancement of the television industry together with the modern TV viewing experience,” says Digiflare CEO Mano Kulasingam.

Using the combined offering, the Television Academy was able to roll out a polished, multi-platform solution in just two months. The quick delivery of the applications was due in part to the ease of integration between Digiflare’s VideaTM solution and Verizon Digital Media Services' Video Lifecycle Solution.

About the author(s): 

Deidre is director of public relations, discussing how Verizon empowers today’s Borderless Consumer with choice and flexibility when it comes to enjoying the content customers want, anytime, anywhere, on any device. If she’s not talking technology, Deidre loves checking out the latest in entertainment, sports and everything in between. Deidre graduated from Rutgers (Go Knights!) with a degree in History and Political Science and continues to support her alma mater as a football season-ticket holder. Deidre and her husband are also happy FiOS Triple Play customers.