Home Analysis Videonet Connected TV Awards 2020 – all the results

Videonet Connected TV Awards 2020 – all the results

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The results of the Videonet Connected TV Awards 2020 have been revealed during a ‘virtual ceremony’. The Walt Disney Company won ‘The Premium TV Award’ with Disney+, while Freeview in the UK won the prize for ‘Advancing the TV User Experience’ and then the ‘Videonet Grand Prix’ with its Accessible TV Guide for Freeview Play. The ‘Lifetime Television Industry Achievement Award’ went to Drew Major & Mark Hurst, for their contribution to adaptive bitrate streaming.

In other highlights, Harmonic won the prize for ‘Contribution to Streaming Video Excellence’ with its VOS360 Live Streaming Platform, and Adgile Media won the award for ‘Game-Changing Advertising Technology’ with its Intelligent Content Recognition (ICR). Vionlabs took the prize for ‘Excellence in Data Analytics, AI or ML’ with Vionlabs Content Discovery Platform, and CommScope topped the ‘Customer Premise Innovation’ category with its Smart Media Device (SMD).

Synamedia won the prize for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Operational Efficiency’ with Synamedia Video Network Service Manager, while NAGRA claimed first place in the ‘Protecting Content and its Value’ category thanks to its Anti-Piracy IP Blocking Solution. Sky Media was handed the ‘Advertising Leadership Award’ for driving advanced TV advertising in Europe.

You can watch all the results here, and read more about the reactions from the judges, below.

 

== The Premium TV Award ==

 The shortlist for 2020 was:

  • BeIN Media, for their fight against piracy
  • BritBox, for BritBox
  • The Walt Disney Company, for Disney+
  • FIFA, for Women’s World Cup France 2019

The results for 2020 are:

  • Winner: The Walt Disney Company, Disney+
  • Silver & Highly Commended: FIFA, Women’s World Cup France 2019

What the judges say about the winner

Ian Nock, Managing Director and Founder, Fairmile West

“For many years, international OTT services have been dominated by Netflix and Amazon, but Disney stepping in with its content catalogue direct to the consumer has made a major impact with the industry and consumers alike.

“This award is justified by the level of impact since the stratospheric launch, to the extent that the continuing expansion into Europe has made headlines, as partnerships have been struck with every major operator for the Disney+ service to be available to consumers from platform providers also.”

 

== Excellence in Data Analytics, AI or ML ==

 The shortlist for 2020 was:

  • 3SS & Media Distillery, Solution for Ultra Personal TV
  • Kaltura, Kaltura Targeted TV Solution
  • Synamedia, Smart Rate Control – content adaptive encoding for live streaming
  • Vionlabs, Vionlabs Content Discovery Platform

The results for 2020 are:

  • Winner: Vionlabs, Vionlabs Content Discovery Platform
  • Silver: 3SS & Media Distillery, Solution for Ultra Personal TV
  • Bronze: Synamedia, Smart Rate Control – content adaptive encoding for live streaming

What the judges say about the winner:

John Moulding, Editor-in-Chief, Videonet & Chair of Judges

“Vionlabs is helping to solve one of the biggest challenges in TV – making sure people find the content they will love, without wasting time doing it, ultimately leading to greater viewer engagement.

“Their use of AI to create unique fingerprints of films or shows so they can be matched to a knowledge of viewer behaviour, and the use of AI to better understand that behaviour in the first place, is an outstanding application of the technology – and it is proven in the market. The tech delivers a deeper understanding of moods, themes and the emotional pull of content assets: this is the knowledge that can turbo-charge content recommendations.”

 

== Game-Changing Advertising Technology ==

 The shortlist for 2020 was:

  • Adgile Media, Intelligent Content Recognition (ICR)
  • Finecast with Volvo, harmonised addressable TV and digital advertising
  • Imagine Communications with Nine Network, xG GamePlan
  • Streamhub, broadcaster VOD data alliance
  • Yospace & TV4, Server-Side Ad Insertion with MMS tracking

The results for 2020 are:

  • Winner: Adgile Media, Intelligent Content Recognition (ICR)
  • Silver: Imagine Communications with Nine Network, xG GamePlan
  • Bronze: Streamhub, Broadcaster VOD data alliance

What the judges say about the winner:

Jean-Paul Edwards, Chief Product Development Officer, OMD EMEA

“Adgile Media’s ‘Intelligent Content Recognition’ is an innovative technology platform that automates a wide range of monitoring and effectiveness tracking processes whilst also illustrating the potential of the contextual opportunity in TV – optimising better for consumer attention, whilst driving better outcomes for advertisers.”

Paola Colombo, General Manager, Adtech and Business Development, Publitalia ‘80

“Adgile media provides a scalable and real-time solution to unlock the power and wealth of data behind video content: we have explored nothing but a fraction of the powerful insights and optimisation actions we can gain with analysing and recognising video.”

 

== Contribution to Streaming Video Excellence ==

 The shortlist for 2020 was:

  • ActiveVideo, ActiveVideo AppCloud
  • Enea Openwave, Radio Access Network Congestion Manager (RCM)
  • Harmonic, VOS360 Live Streaming Platform
  • Kaltura, Kaltura TV Platform powering Flipkart video service launch
  • MainStreaming, The HyperNode

The results for 2020 are:

  • Winner: Harmonic, VOS360 Live Streaming Platform
  • Silver: MainStreaming, The HyperNode
  • Bronze: Kaltura, Kaltura TV Platform powering Flipkart

What the judges say about the winner:

Steven Hawley, Principal Analyst and Consultant, tvstrategies

“Harmonic’s solution can be implemented in the cloud, which is an important consideration for operators and video providers that need the flexibility of service virtualization. It also provides content-aware encoding without the need for new infrastructure on the encoding side and with no added software on the player side.”

 

== Advancing the TV User Experience ==

 The shortlist for 2020 was:

  • 24i, 24i Video Experience Platform powering Slovak Telekom’s Magio Go
  • EPAM, Liberty Global’s Horizon 4
  • Freeview, Accessible TV Guide for connected Freeview Play televisions
  • SES, SES Satellite and OTT in Sync solution
  • Tata Sky, Personalised user experiences powered by ThinkAnalytics

The results for 2020 are:

  • Winner: Freeview, Accessible TV Guide for Freeview Play
  • Silver: 24i, Video Experience Platform powering Magio Go
  • Bronze: SES, SES Satellite and OTT in Sync solution

 What the judges say about the winner:

William Cooper, Founder and Chief Executive, informitv

“Many people will potentially benefit from more accessible services, not just those with visual or hearing impairments but also others that might have difficulty with navigating the alternatives. The Freeview Play Accessible TV Guide is a laudable application of available technology to make a real difference for such viewers, demonstrating the importance of overall usability in viewer experience design.”

 

 == The Advertising Leadership Award ==

 The shortlist for 2020 was:

  • Corus, for pushing the envelope in a slow-moving market
  • Hulu, for proving the model for advertising support in streaming
  • OpenAP, for a collaboration-led journey to audience buying
  • Sky Media, for driving advanced TV advertising in Europe

The results for 2020 are:

  • Winner: Sky Media, for driving advanced TV advertising in Europe
  • Silver: Hulu, for proving the model for ad-supported streaming

What the judges say about the winner:

John Moulding, Editor-in-Chief, Videonet & Chair of Judges

“The emphasis in this category was on ‘leadership’ and Sky Media have led from the front when it comes to advanced advertising in Europe, since the very beginning of the great ad-tech transformation. They have driven audience-based, data-driven advertising, including of course, addressable TV.

“Sky has proven that addressable TV advertising works and now has AdSmart partnerships with a major competitive sales house in the UK (Channel 4) and its main Pay TV rival (Virgin Media) – the importance of which cannot be understated when advertisers want scale. Sky Media has helped to ‘make a market’ with addressable.”

 

== Customer Premise Innovation ==

 The shortlist for 2020 was:

  • CommScope, Smart Media Device (SMD)
  • United Cloud, EON Smart Boxes

The result for 2020 is:

  • Winner: CommScope, Smart Media Device (SMD)

What the judges say about the winner:

Ian Nock, Managing Director and Founder, Fairmile West

“Commscope’s history, accumulated all the way back to ARRIS, Pace and Motorola, has been one of a long -time traditional CPE manufacturer, so it was a pleasure to see them demonstrate their commitment to innovation in expanding into the ‘Smart’ Device arena. This has been a tricky area in the service provider realm, but Commscope has the ‘chops’ to do it and their submission showed all the signs of being a success, used by one of the worlds’ International big players in their ‘home’ market.”

Steven Hawley, Principal Analyst and Consultant, tvstrategies

“CommScope’s Smart Media Devices are designed to help Pay TV operators extend their opportunities with consumers beyond video and broadband services, by enabling smart home and smart speaker use-cases that consumers can trigger using familiar Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa commands.”

 

== Protecting Content and its Value ==

 The shortlist for 2020 was:

  • Irdeto, Irdeto Control on the Go
  • NAGRA, Anti-Piracy IP Blocking Solution
  • Verimatrix, Verimatrix Authenticate

The result for 2020 is:

Winner: NAGRA, Anti-Piracy IP Blocking Solution

What the judges say about the winner:

Ian Nock, Managing Director and Founder, Fairmile West

“As pirates evolve, so do the companies who specialise in providing services and technology to fight them. NAGRA is one of the long stayers in this area and has continued to evolve it services to take the fight directly back to the distributors of pirated content through this service. That really caught the eye of the judges. Providing the ability to take down the pirate by identifying them and then providing the tools to block them from sourcing and distributing is a key improvement to assure the value of content.”

 

== Outstanding Contribution to Operational Efficiency ==

 The shortlist for 2020 was:

  • Kaltura, Vodafone’s international expansion using Kaltura TV Platform
  • SoftAtHome, Eyes’ON QoE diagnosis solution
  • Synamedia, Video Network Service Manager

The results for 2020 are:

  • Winner: Synamedia Video Network Service Manager
  • Silver: SoftAtHome, Eyes’ON QoE diagnosis solution

What the judges say about the winner:

Erwan Nedellec, Orange Referent Expert and Senior Expert on TV Technical Solutions, Orange

“Migrating your existing system to the cloud should not be your first goal. Your main goal is to optimise your business, and to take advantage of the cloud when it is relevant, which is slightly different. Synamedia perfectly understood that, in offering a solution which allows operators to globally optimise their CapEx and OpEx, by controlling hybrid video processing workflows using a single tool.”

Steven Hawley, Principal Analyst and Consultant, tvstrategies

“Synamedia’s Video Network Service Manager offers an adaptable micro-services-based platform that can leverage and orchestrate both facilities-based and cloud-resident resources. This approach helps operators and video producers move quickly to keep their programming line-ups and bundled offers up to the day-to-day, changing needs of consumers.”

 

== Lifetime Television Industry Achievement Award ==

 The shortlist for 2020 is:

  • Peter Docherty, for contribution to personalised content recommendations
  • Jacques Le Mancq, for contribution to multicast ABR
  • Nick Lodge, for contribution to digital terrestrial TV and audio description
  • Drew Major & Mark Hurst, for contribution to adaptive bit rate streaming

The results for 2020 are:

  • Winner: Drew Major & Mark Hurst, for contribution to adaptive bitrate streaming
  • Silver: Nick Lodge, for contribution to digital terrestrial TV and audio description

What the judges say about the winner:

 William Cooper, Founder and Chief Executive, informitv

“The development of approaches now widely used for adaptive bitrate streaming can be largely attributed to the pioneering work of Move Networks, which deserves industry recognition. The winners of this award went on with Sling TV to change the way subscription television services can be delivered. A lifetime achievement award does not mean the innovation will stop there.”

  

== The Videonet Grand Prix ==

(Chosen by judges from the category winners, excluding the advertising categories)

 Winner: Freeview Accessible TV Guide for Freeview Play

 What the judges say:

John Moulding, Editor-in-Chief, Videonet & Chair of Judges

“In its category – ‘Advancing the TV User Experience’ – this solution achieved more first-choice marks from judges, as a proportion of all scores, than any entry I have seen before -and I have been chairing awards in this industry for a long time. It was not surprising, therefore, when it also won the vote as ‘winner of winners’.

“From the day multichannel TV came along, navigating content became more complex, but also more interesting and fun – at least for most of us. But if you had sight or hearing impairments, your entertainment life became harder. As we have seen again recently, TV is one of the glues in our societies – it is crucial that everyone can easily reach the programmes they want and discover new stuff.”

 

The judges for 2020

(For all categories except ‘Game-changing Advertising Technology’ and ‘The Advertising Leadership Award’)

  • Ben Lavender, CPO, DAZN
  • Roma Kojima, Senior Director, OTT Video (CBC Gem), Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
  • Steven Hawley, Principal Analyst and Consultant, tvstrategies
  • Dan Fahy, VP Commercial and Content Distribution, Viacom International Media Networks
  • Sion Wynn Jones, Director of Product, YouView
  • William Cooper, Founder and Chief Executive, informitv
  • Janine Smith, Digital Content Director, Channel 4 Television
  • Ian Nock, Managing Director and Founder, Fairmile West
  • Colin Phillips, IPTV & CPE Solutions Architect, BT
  • Erwan Nedellec, Orange Referent Expert and Senior Expert on TV Technical Solutions, Orange
  • Benjamin Schwarz, Consultant, CToic Consulting
  • Anna-Maria Vujinovic, Director Digital & Business Development, Tech and Data, RTL
  • Thomas Helbo, CTO and SVP Technology, Tele2
  • David Price Principal, Scala Advisors
  • Anette Schaefer, Managing Director, BIG Picture
  • Michael Roedel, Head of TV Experience and Design, Vodafone Group
  • John Moulding, Editor-in-Chief, Videonet.

(For the advertising categories)

  • Jeff Eales, Director of Systems & Development, Sky
  • Mathias Berg, Deputy CEO & Head of Advertising, TV4 Media
  • Jean-Paul Edwards, Chief Product Development Officer, OMD EMEA
  • Paola Colombo, General Manager, Adtech and Business Development, Publitalia ‘80
  • John Moulding, Editor-in-Chief, Videonet.


Where judges had ‘an interest’

Please note – in the very few instances where a judge presided over a category where there was an entry that involved the company they work for, this is what we did:

  • The judge was not allowed to score any entry where the company they work for was involved
  • Instead, we worked out the average score given to that entry by all the other judges
  • This average score was applied to the entry, effectively assigned to the judge who was prohibited from giving a score
  • If we had simply prevented them from voting on that entry, the lack of any points would have skewed the results too far against the entry – unfairly handicapping it.

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