Tankee Case Study

Tankee Case Study

by Kosish Bhandari
Startup looking to create kid-friendly platform for streaming and interacting with gaming videos while ensuring peace of mind for parents.

Winner of the Kidscreen for the 2019 Best Streaming Video Platform award, Tankee is the first kids gaming network!

“Winner of the SXSW Pitch 2019 in the Entertainment and Content category”


Challenges
  • Requirement for smooth OTT (Over-the-top) video streaming.
  • Needed a highly configurable user experience in iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android.
  • Recommendation of personalized content based on user behaviour.
  • Implementation for convenient internal video publishing solution for administrators.
  • Implementation of monetization strategies for best ROI.
  • Carefully address data privacy concerns.
  • Strict COPPA and GDPR compliance.
  • Strict budget for developing and launching the MVP. Raise funding based on the MVP and growth.
Thinking
  • Implement youtube API with video publishing capability as a cost-effective solution for MVP and move to a long-term solution (JWPlayer) in due course for stability.
  • Develop and maintain a universal iOS application that runs on iPhone and iPad and an Android application with scalable architecture and codebase.
  • Build a CMS and Video Publishing Platform that seamlessly interacts with Youtube/JWPlayer and helps administrators manage all content and metadata.
  • Implement intelligent advertisement strategies for scalable ROI complying to COPPA and GDPR using a dedicated third-party system integration – SuperAwesome KWS and AwesomeAds.
  • Implement strategies and third-party technologies for advanced analytics leading to insightful learning and iteration.
  • Build a secure and robust backend infrastructure to support all the above.
Results
  • Streamlined user experience on iOS and Android platforms with refined applications.
  • Fast and smooth OTT video streaming capabilities.
  • Raised significant amount of seed round with the MVP and further learning and iteration from advanced analytics.
  • Attained an average session time of 1 hour for each user within 6 months, with a significant growth in DAU.
  • Covered my multiple kids-specific channels and news outlets.
  • Invitation from Shark Tank to participate in pitch competition.
  • 1 of 5 companies picked for the Entertainment and Content category for SXSW 2019 pitch.

Introduction

Focusing on kids ranging from ages 6 to 12, Tankee is a safe and inclusive space to watch and learn video content around their favorite games and provides recommendations for new games to purchase. Gamers and influencers used to post their content in multiple platforms which may or may not have been kid-friendly and safe. Tankee has solved this issue for influencers as it allows the gamers to consolidate the distribution with ease, while maintaining privacy for kids as well as a great ROI for gamers and Tankee.

Having worked in multiple projects in Entertainment industry, Practical Logix was invited to work on Tankee.

Challenges

Creating a safe and kid-friendly platform where gamers are able to publish their videos, admins are able to manage the content and metadata, users are able to experience a smooth and personalized experience, while under a strict budget for MVP, was a challenging undertaking. Additionally, Tankee required to incorporate monetization strategies and account management that are strictly compliant with COPPA and GDPR. The platform had to be built from scratch with careful choice of “Buy vs Build” for certain features to save cost. For the features that we decided to buy a third-party system, we had to strategically integrate it so as to make sure that it was architected and de-coupled adequately to accomodate any changes in the future. Last but not least, Tankee was in the process of closing the seed round that the MVP had to work perfectly.

Thinking

Prioritize

The team at Practical Logix knew that in order to meet the challenges and create a robust system, it had to perform a priority analysis of the Product Requirement Document from Tankee. We had regular strategy meetings with Tankee to create a core list of Tankee features and lock them down for MVP development.

Buy vs Build

Once the MVP features were confirmed, we had to collaboratively analyze each feature and make the following decisions based on feasibility and long-term cost to benefit ratio:

  • Whether we can leverage and integrate a safe third-party solution to avoid building the feature from scratch.
  • Whether to build the feature from scratch due to potential frequent and custom changes required in the future.
  • A combination of the above.

Solutions

In order to accomplish the capabilities required, we had to build a multi-tiered architecture with a robust REST API and a versatile Content Management System. For the frontend, due to the performance and third-party integration support required, we decided to build a universal native application for iPhone and iPad and another native application for Android. The solution was hosted in AWS with capability to scale as the users grow. For the Video Player, we decided to implement Youtube API initially for the MVP due to cost-effectiveness. We architected it in a decoupled fashion, that when we decided to move to JWPlayer, the effort was minimal. We implemented Blue-Green Deployment strategy in the DevOps process to minimize downtime. Also, for compliance with COPPA and GDPR, we decided to utilize KWS from SuperAwesome as a third-party system for account management.

Processes

In order to minimize any critical issues with MVP, and to meet the time and budget for it, we knew we had to establish a set of strict processes with the teams involved in design, development, QA, DevOps and cloud maintenance. We chose a mix of Scrum and Kanban (Scrumban) to attain the above. Our technical project management team maintained the feasibility of sprint-driven QA and release processes, while also maintaining streamlined communication with stakeholders, third-party system vendors and development team. We followed a phased development approach even for MVP, in order to minimize any risks and establish proper milestones and results.

Results

Winner of the Kidscreen for the 2019 Best Streaming Video Platform award, Tankee is the first kids gaming network!

Thousands of kids have found gaming videos they love watching on Tankee and tapped hundreds of thousands stickers and emojis to react in real-time. Tankee enables parents to protect their kids from inappropriate content while letting kids watch the gaming videos they love on Mobile Devices.

A robust and scalable platform

With a robust backend infrastructure that is suited towards a loosely coupled integration with third-party systems, Tankee can scale to any requirements and demands, or change of technology. Also, strategic decisions in “Buy vs Build” for certain features, enabled Tankee to reduce cost over-run and save for more learning and iteration down the line.

Lean MVP with room for learning and iteration

Prioritization of features for MVP and incorporating appropriate processes in phased development and launch of these features, helped with keeping the MVP not only lean but also launch with minimal to no critical issues. This enabled Tankee to go to market faster and to learn from users. Also, investors were impressed by the product and the implementation strategy at an early stage.

Predictable growth and revenue

With the incorporation of advanced analytics, Tankee was able to learn the user behaviour early on. This resulted in implementing predictable growth hacking and appropriate revenue strategies.

Peace of mind for parents

With the integration of SuperAwesome’s KWS, compliance with COPPA and GDPR was delegated in a safe manner. This brought tremendous trust from parents. Also, investors were impressed due to safe monetization strategies using AwesomeAds that are catered towards kids’ tastes. The app also proudly received the kidSAFE Seal


Conclusion

Tankee has become a fast growing and unique platform for kids of age 6 to 12, to view and engage with safe and exciting gaming content. It has been provided various accolades by Press and Media, selected as 1 of 5 companies for the Entertainment and Content category for SXSW 2019 pitch, raised significant seed capital and more. Tankee is the typical scenario where a startup can cost-effectively transcend from inception to MVP to raising capital and growth phase with appropriate processes in product development. Tankee’s partnership with Practical Logix has created unique ways for the startup to grow on a strict budget while leveraging the best talent and technology.