In 2017 we will take the core TV experience over the top as Sony, DirecTV and Hulu boost the market for skinny bundles. Expect some cloud DVR and a price war. In SVOD, Amazon is making Netflix sweat a little and will start to undercut its competitors. As social networks focus on video, media companies will worry that they are now competition.
Given an average viewing duration of 30 minutes per live online channel, 12 previously unavailable ad spots are being opened up per viewing session using dynamic advertising insertion (DAI). That beats having a couple of pre-roll ads and explains why broadcasters are so excited about the technology. Server-side ad insertion technology has now been proven out at scale - one of the biggest takeaways of 2016.
The idea of pay-TV delivered from the cloud is no longer merely blue sky thinking. nPVR means service providers can offer subscribers the option to pay extra for more hours of recording. A cloud-based UI enables rapid software-based updates and online deployments without the need for more complex STB upgrades. When it comes to advertising, cloud-based systems can give content providers more control either by controlling ad skipping or by enabling them to charge advertisers a premium for targeting.
Adapting VR and AR so friends or families can enjoy experiences collectively in their living rooms may see these technologies grow in popularity. If you can invite a friend to sit next to you on the sofa in the same virtual environment it becomes a powerful shared experience. Headsets are a practical barrier as people are isolated from one another in the room. Meanwhile metadata is another practical requirement for better VR/AR; it must be used to better understand preferences and hasten content discovery whether users are moving their heads or using voice commands.
For the first time, communications service providers have the ability to make customer experience delivery part of their day-to-day operations and their leading product. By operationalizing key areas of the business and contextualizing data that they already collect, they can better understand customers, improve operational efficiencies and make sure that every touch point with a customer is an opportunity to improve perceptions of their organization.
Startup accelerator programmes have exploded over the last decade but with disappointing overall outcomes. The emerging, next-generation accelerators tend to be more focused, typically aligning with a large corporate sponsor or industry to solve a specific set of problems. The accelerator-2.0 trend has entered the cable business in the form of the UpRamp Fiterator programme, created by CableLabs.
IP is about to revolutionize live production. It has taken a long time, but IP is coming to the facilities, which means broadcasters can start adopting IP and IT technology through the entire broadcast workflow and achieve the ambition of doing more with less. We now have proof that IP works in live production and an agreed plan for open standards. Many broadcasters are beginning to evaluate the technology in earnest.
The set-top box isn’t dead, just undergoing a revolution, with local features being reassigned to the cloud. It remains the most reliable and secure environment for operators. Nor are apps going to rule our video consumption in the near future. There is no such thing as an app vs operator environment threat in the multiscreen world – instead, they should be viewed as complementary.
Only Pay TV operators who prioritize innovation stand any chance of surviving in a more competitive video world. A key hurdle is lack of skills and operators must be attractive employers to tempt world-leading software developers. Long product cycles mean you have to spot new trends early. Operators need to have excellent insight into their customers and market, deploy platforms and processes designed to accelerate innovation, develop relationships with the best suppliers, and build partnerships with content companies that unlock new commercial opportunities.
We stand on the brink of a content revolution for the video advertising industry. The next generation of advertisers and video producers will be VR and 360 degree specialists, allowing brands to bring users to the centre of a concert crowd, the tunnel before a football game or even the site of a remote village in Ethopia and so solidify their voice and establish much more fully what they stand for. The challenge will be recruiting those creatives with the vision and expertise to develop advertising that delivers an unforgettable experience.