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‘Extend your workbench’ for better services, and a better business

Only the largest operators can afford the IT and engineering teams to do everything in-house when launching or maintaining a subscription video service. Other savvy operators have recognised the benefits of virtually ‘extending the workbench’ to make use of specialists at trusted partner-suppliers, who sit alongside in-house teams. This collaboration improves agility, reduces time-to-market and exposes an organisation to new ideas.

Flash-free wannabe – how to move to a flash-free environment successfully

Many media companies have been holding out in a 'wait-and-see' mode to see if Flash is really going away. So, now that it is, how do you prepare for a migration to HMTL5 video? How do you balance a quick transition with a good customer experience? Here are some of the things you must think about, from making sure that SSL security is applied end-to-end on your website to ensuring that advertising formats are ready. If done well, the migration to HTML5 video can have a minimal impact on both revenues and operations.

Talking TV: the future of voice UI

Devices like Amazon’s Echo and next-generation boxes from Sky and Virgin Media are turning attention to voice user interfaces. Is voice still a novelty or is it becoming an essential feature for TV platforms that are looking to keep up with competition? Tom Williams, CEO at Ostmodern, discusses voice as a means of content discovery and the potential challenges for those looking to implement it.

Piercing the VPN veil: the key to better content protection and targeted personalisation

VPN technology has become the go-to method for avoiding geographic content restrictions and accessing material that consumers have not paid for. There are new approaches to counter VPNs, tracking individuals to postcodes and combining device authentication and server-side encryption, and allowing legitimate access to content through a firewall pinhole that is opened for users.

Africa – where mobile rules television and TV drives mobile

The infrastructure is not in place across Africa for broadcasters to use fixed line IP to go direct-to-consumer, so mobile operators remain the best route to market. Mobile competition is fierce on this continent and operators are looking to differentiate, so you can access all the mainstream services such as Netflix and Showmax, along with live channels and on-demand from incumbent broadcasters. The majority of revenue for mobile operators in Africa now comes from delivering TV.

How can the Pay TV industry overcome disruption in Europe?

At the recent Pay-TV Innovation Forum, industry experts said they expected future growth to be driven by consumers taking up skinny bundles, personalised packages and seamless multiscreen experiences, rather than increasing prices of traditional Pay TV services. Moving forwards, there are three areas of innovation operators should prioritise: next-generation content aggregation and discovery; advanced advertising and data; and seamless multiscreen TV services.

The evolution of entertainment discovery

The entertainment guide has changed from ‘one-size-fits-all’ to a hyper personalised guide, where the core framework may be the same but the content differs per household or person. Now, technology and market forces are driving us towards the conversational interface. Speech enablement is not enough. To be fully functional, voice technologies must be backed by sophisticated search capabilities, such as dynamic, semantically linked knowledge graphs coupled with deep metadata.

Opinion: What we learned from IBC 2017

Reporting back from the International Broadcasting Convention, Raymond Snoddy examines the latest trends - from VR and Voice UI, to the meteoric growth of mobile video and the rise of e-sports

VR: More than meets the eye

TV sport is often a social experience that does not necessarily lend itself to wearing a VR headset so it seems unlikely that 360-degree video will replace traditional broadcasts. But imagine watching a motor race and being able to put on a head mounted device or pick up a tablet to have a live 360-degree video experience from inside the car, or in the pits during a pit-stop. Or being able to see parts of a football match from the manager’s dugout or from the crowd. The technology is now available to make this possible.

The age of inexclusivity – why ‘scoops’ are no longer the media’s primary concern

With increasing pressure to generate traffic, publishers are looking for viral, user generated content and video is the priority because of its higher advertising value. Social media should be more than just a platform for publishers to share content. It acts as a discovery tool and early warning system, and with the right monitoring platforms you can see which videos are going viral and jump on them early.

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