Introducing 20,000+ Hours Of Content To PrendeTV
In order to incorporate the newly acquired content from Vix, the design and engineering teams at Univision worked in tandem to update the PrendeTV app. Univision looked to Echobind to augment within their existing dev team, and assist them in building a Proof of Concept (POC) of their newly redesigned media streaming app with support on iOS, tvOS, Android, AndroidTV, and FireTV platforms. Specifically, our initial directive was to build out the Video On Demand (VOD) section — think Netflix — for Apple and Android mobile devices. POC app completion needed to happen relatively quickly to stay within beta launch deadlines, while also allowing enough time for proper Quality Analysis, so our team needed to onboard quickly and immediately get working on the new design direction of the app.
With a successful launch of PrendeTV earlier this year in March, the integration of VIX content will allow for Univision to offer a robust selection of the most popular Spanish-language programming available to viewers in the U.S., Mexico, Brazil and many other countries.
Echobind participated in daily meetings with the Univision team, providing build updates and recommendations, while getting directives on what our team should focus on week to week.
Traps and Challenges
Collaborating with other dev teams often requires us to tactfully work through a few technical challenges. Below are some that our team encountered and overcame:
- Building for tvOS and Android TV using React Native
- Implementing the SDK for Fire TV testing on actual Fire TV Stick devices
- Outdated/version locked packages which were tied to unknown pieces and complexity of tracing the flow of data/props through components.
- Prior to getting Code Owner privileges for the repo, PRs would tend to cue up for Univision review as we were introducing new pieces of the build at a fast pace.
- Getting feedback, sending builds to testflight/Android's version, and making sure the most up to date branches have been sent out for testing via Applause. We also needed access to SDKs that had components or functionality that we could not change otherwise.
- Adding Auth: iOS has particular standards if content is meant to be locked behind an account registration and Univision initially wanted a particular auth flow that made the account feature difficult to find.
- Making sure the team is equipped with the necessary physical devices to test on, which helps navigate issues on emulator/simulator devices vs physical devices.
- Translations: Team assisted in translating Invision designs from Spanish to English and Portuguese.
Echobind helped Univision build out the Video On Demand section of the PrendeTV mobile, TV and web app by transforming static designs into a fully functional React Native UI. Beyond our initial assignment of VOD, the collaboration grew into our team supporting all aspects of the front end build, including VLL (think live Cable TV). The team also performed rigorous QA testing of all versions of the app across different devices, especially when making any bug fixes or introducing additional features. Beyond the engineering scope, we helped their PM with managing tickets in Asana and triaging incoming build requests. Crucial to our joint success was transparent communication on features and bug fixes.
Signs of Success
Our joint efforts led to not only a successful proof of concept, it blossomed into full adoption and was made available in the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and for TV platforms including Fire TV and Roku. We continue to maintain the app through bug fixes, new feature implementation, and A/B testing through Google Firebase. The app has been downloaded thousands of times, with users spanning from the U.S. through all of Latin America, and even in Portugal.