Three Key Components to a Successful Streaming App Launch
Product launch is a major event in streaming product management - Learn from multiple experiences at Qvest releasing Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) video streaming products.
- The product launch process consists of three key pieces: the pre-launch phase, the execution of launch day, and the completion of the post-launch phase.
- While the main target audience of this article is Product and Project Management executives, other cross-functional stakeholders (eg, Marketing, Legal, Content Programming) in media should also benefit from these insights.
- By implementing these strategies and following a product launch plan, media and entertainment organizations can enhance their technological go-to-market and product launch process and maximize tangible market impact.
What is a Product Launch?
A product launch is a coordinated effort to bring a new solution to the market. The goal is to build excitement and awareness around the new product. In this article, we will focus on an application launch for a video streaming client. Ensuring everything works properly and providing users with a smooth, personalized experience in discovering and consuming content is not a trivial challenge. While a robust software delivery process is crucial for streaming client apps, launch management needs to be taken just as seriously.
We like to think about planning this major product event through three steps or phases: pre-launch, launch day, and post-launch. The following product launch checklist can help guide teams to a successful launch.
Preparing for a Successful Product Launch
During the pre-launch phase, the project manager needs to reach alignment across Product, Business, Engineering, and Partners (ie, integration and platform partners) on a high-level timeline. Technology product managers must consider timing, geography, functionality, and readiness when planning a product launch. It is important to cover the geography of your partners and your launch team's time zones from the launch support perspective.
- Ensure Product, Development and QA teams have access to hardware for client app testing purposes.
- Provision app store and marketing campaign assets, such as description copy, screenshots, and app icons, along with the release candidate software built for partner certification.
- Have regular discussions with the partner team to plan client app release candidate submission, discuss test outcomes and known defects. Include your Marketing team if the product launch will be promoted through product marketing campaigns, such as social media marketing and press releases.
- Work with various stakeholders that the client app has dependencies with, such as Content Programming, Merchandising, Video Player, InfoSec, Legal, Analytics, Tech Ops/Reliability and Ad Tech teams. Reach out well ahead of time, set the context and expectations around the support needed for the launch.
- Make sure key launch-centric conference calls such as Partner Management, Go/No-Go, and Launch Day Bridge are carefully pre-planned. These calls play a crucial role in the success of the launch.
- Conduct 1-2 launch rehearsals to go over the execution of technical steps, especially in complex scenarios. In less complex launch scenarios, validate the published client app after it is published by the partner platform.
- Facilitate a Go/No-Go call with key stakeholders to discuss and confirm product readiness for the upcoming launch.
Managing Launch Day Communication and Issue Resolution
As the big day arrives, effective communication takes center stage.
- Start the launch bridge call and walk through the system health checks.
- Walk the call attendees through the launch execution tasks and timing, and answer questions.
- Capture issues encountered during the event and determine issue severity and timing for the fix.
- Monitor key performance metrics with the available monitoring tools.
- Send out regular updates via email and Slack, being transparent about the issues faced.
- When messaging issues, focus on key data points, including a brief issue name, root cause, next steps with owners, and timing of the next update.
Evaluating Launch Success and Gathering Feedback
After the launch, it is essential to confirm customer experience success and gather feedback.
- Confirm that analytics have new data flowing and accumulate adoption data.
- Take time to iron out any issues and collect data from analytics. Check in with your user-facing Customer Experience team to gather feedback.
- Distribute a launch announcement highlighting user adoption insights and other key business outcomes.
- Recognize and commend the launch crew.
- Facilitate a launch retrospective with the team.
A well-executed product launch requires careful planning, effective communication, and continuous monitoring. By following the outlined launch strategies and leveraging lessons learned from our DTC video streaming service experience, organizations can improve their chances of successful product launches and achieve their business goals.
This article focuses on launch management excellence demonstrated by our colleagues working in Project Management Office (PMO) roles on various client initiatives. At Qvest PMO, we have successfully managed product roadmaps and programs for hundreds of different use cases, with streaming client launch management being just one of many. In the last year alone, our PMO professionals have:
- Helped a major retailer with their e-commerce operations to ensure readiness for Black Friday
- Oversaw the integration of music royalties data from a newly acquired company
- Managed the decommissioning of systems/processes and the purge of customer data from an outgoing brand after it was sold off
Feel free to reach out directly if you would like to learn more about our PMO case studies.
Key Launch Deliverables
- Release candidate software build
- App Store design and marketing artifacts
- Launch Procedures (or Launch Plan) document
- Launch Status comms, eg, Launch Progress Dashboard table
- Issue Triage Tracker document
Gartner, et al. “Six Options for Timing Your Product Launch.” Gartner, 6 February 2019, www.gartner.com/en/documents/3900264. Accessed 21 May 2023.
Qualtrics. “How to Create a Successful Product Launch.” Qualtrics, 2023, www.qualtrics.com/au/experience-management/product/product-launch/. Accessed 21 May 2023.