Last month, MediaKind announced updates to MK Engage – its streaming technology service for video production, streaming, and audience engagement – which include new flexible monetisation options for streaming service providers. The update will allow MediaKind customers to segment different parts of the live feed and monetise individual streams which were previously difficult to monetise.
Carl Furgusson, Head of Portfolio Development at MediaKind Global, gives an example: “We had this idea to enable different monetisation models. For example, under a certain model viewers could be allowed to watch a sports game for free until the first goal is scored. As soon as the first goal is scored, they get notified that the free viewing period is up and that, in 30 seconds they will no longer have access to the stream. They can be presented an option that says ‘press here now to buy access to the rest of the game.’”
He notes that this is partly achieved through a live synchronisation mechanism the company added to MK Engage, which allows metadata flags to be added the stream at the encoding stage, which can then be surfaced through the SDK and into the streaming apps.
He elaborated: “For example, let’s say a goal has just been scored in a football match that is being streamed. We can insert a tag saying ‘hey a goal has been scored now’ and client functionality can then take that and say ‘I’m going enable a pay-after-first goal type model and surface all of the transactions.”
According to Furgusson, the live video synchronisation feature can allow service providers to offer novel custom experiences to viewers, particularly in the domain of sports. By leveraging the feature, streamers can include information on-screen such as the name of the player that has possession of the ball at any given moment in a football match. Another application could be if a viewer wanted to watch several football matches simultaneously, service providers could highlight which game they should be paying attention to based on something important having just occurred (a goal being scored for example).
MediaKind says this feature also allows venues showing live games, such as betting shops, bars, and stadiums, to experience the same goal at the same moment in time, regardless of latency in the feed or the device or platform being used.
Furgusson believes the inclusion of live synchronisation in MK Engage represents a significant advance in the technology. He remarked: “Before now either you couldn’t do it or you would have to rely on some out-of-bound signaling. You would have had to get your app talking to some other service to get it fed with data or metadata.
“By putting it inside the video encoded stream as metadata, you’ve got a secure delivery mechanism to deliver that to all the devices that the app is on without relying on out-of-bound connections to other systems.”