Three trends have caused the industry to stop and re-evaluate growth plans for streaming services. Live streaming is approaching the scale and quality of traditional broadcasting. Better use of data means both content creators and service providers are identifying and serving niche tastes and energetic fan communities, delivering services that are economically viable. And service stacking means unprecedented competition, leading smaller studios to re-evaluate whether to license their content to OTT majors or try to build their own platforms.
The digitisation and fragmentation of the media landscape does not have to be a headache for marketers trying to reach their audiences. The EBX (European Broadcaster Exchange) is making life easier, addressing the demand for quality online video campaigns at scale by providing an automated and data-driven way to plan, buy and sell inventory across Europe. That means less time planning and buying across markets, less spend on creating a different campaign per market, and therefore more time and money for optimising and tailoring campaigns.
Data has proved a double-edged sword for many media companies – it can improve the quality of a service, but abuses can kill years of effort. Pay TV operators can learn from the mistakes of others and help consumers understand and enjoy the benefits of being part of a data-sharing community. Consumer trust in the system is mandatory to ensure a sustainable data-driven future. Pay TV also needs to favour quality data over quantity and seek standardisation so different data systems can contribute to industry-wide advances.
OTT viewing is now a mainstream activity, and it is forecast that by 2020, global average online video consumption will reach 84 minutes a day. 5G will remove mobile access limitations. Consumers like streaming, but will not stand for poor QoE, including latency. If you use the open Internet as your delivery network, and if you intend to replicate or even shift broadcast services online, you have to invest in the infrastructure that will guarantee a premium experience.
With content costs spiralling, credentials sharing on the rise and most streaming services struggling to turn a profit, the industry must work together to beat piracy. The strategy should be to demotivate every player in the piracy chain. We need everyone onboard including payment providers, cloud providers, ISPs, CDNs, chip makers and rights owners. Anti-piracy vendors can contribute with AI-supported analysis through to psychology and sociology experts, and even undercover agents inside pirate device manufacturing facilities. And service providers can benefit when attack details are shared, and resources pooled.
It is only broadcasters moving to new facilities who have the luxury of building an all-IP network from scratch. The more common scenario is using IP to build out capacity or add new IP studios or control rooms while maintaining the core SDI network for practical and financial reasons. This article shows how moving from baseband to IP does not have to be an all-or-nothing decision and explains how to do it incrementally using adaption equipment and orchestration. It looks at connectivity and processing, high data-rate transporting, orchestrating and controlling flows in mixed environments and broadcast control systems.
Com Hem has seen first-hand how much subscribers value Google Assistant on its recently launched Android TV Operator Tier based platform. Regarding Google Assistant as a key product differentiator, Com Hem has invested in broadening the capabilities of Google Assistant, and other operators will follow its lead. This article looks at what is possible for all Pay TV providers using Assistant, including when they move beyond an on-device implementation to a cloud-to-cloud integration. With this latter scenario, someone could say ‘Record this’ and the platform will know what you are watching automatically and set the PVR into action. There are front-end strategies that can also surface operator content ahead of third-party search results.
This week’s ‘Inside Video Tech’ feature focuses on Verizon Media, which provides media and entertainment companies with end-to-end solutions for top quality streaming, encompassing a streaming platform and CDN. The company chooses the cloud as the tech development that has had the biggest recent impact on the video market. Verizon Media champions a multi-CDN approach to protect content against slowdowns and downtime with any one delivery provider, and believes a key industry challenge now is to ensure hyper-personalised experiences, particularly for advertising.
Advertisers are rushing to get on board digital video, and demand appears to be outstripping supply. With a shortage of inventory, how can we match demand sources with their target audiences as efficiently as possible? Header bidding is a major innovation that opens up more demand source, can result in higher CPMs for sellers and help advertisers reach the right audiences through video. Open source technologies like Prebid.org mean no one should be left behind. But if header bidding is going to work smoothly with video, reducing latency must be front of mind for the industry.
Looking beyond scale and quality of inventory, some of the biggest challenges in advanced TV advertising are the absence of unified cross-channel measurement, differing views on what class of ad inventory connected TV belongs to, connected TV inventory that is not clearly identifiable when sold and, in Europe, relatively immature connected TV advertising sales strategies. Change priorities include media sellers powering cross-device measurement solutions and an industry-wide move towards a single, consistent metric that establishes media/marketing efficiency.