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Harmonic’s VOS360: Simplifying live video streaming with exceptional source-to-screen quality

To coincide with Videoscape Europe, the thought-leadership event for premium video streaming, we are publishing a profile of this year’s winner in the ‘Contribution to Streaming Video Excellence’ category at the Videonet Connected TV Awards 2020. That prize went to Harmonic for its VOS360 Live Streaming Platform and here the company gives more details on the solution.

Low latency = high quality of experience

Unwanted latency has serious consequences for the streaming UX – to the point that it can cost you customers – so must be taken seriously. To reduce latency, we need to redesign delivery networks and how content is requested, and harness AI. By removing the acquirer server and creating a direct and consistent connection between the origin and the requesting server in a CDN, delivery times and congestion can be reduced. The solution must seamlessly identify the best delivery path for video, predict congestion on the current route and intelligently switch to a different route with more available bandwidth if necessary, in order to prevent delay.

Why monitoring OTT ad insertion should be part of your streaming workflow

Dynamic ad insertion adds to the already complicated OTT workflow, and to avoid errors you must keep an eye on correct placement of ad markers, frequency and duration of targeted ads, resolution and bit rate, and much more. It is impossible to perform all the necessary checks manually in real-time while the content is being streamed. Automatic monitoring is the answer, providing a complete end-to-end workflow audit with real-time alarms that mean service providers can quickly resolve issues before they affect a viewer.

The future of TV planning

More streaming means a more diverse distribution landscape for ad-supported television, but marketers should avoid the sole pursuit of mid- to long-tail inventory aggregation, data, hyper-targeting, and tech utilisation in the connected TV environment. In other digital media, this approach has disregarded the value of quality content and meaningful reach, and led to lower-funnel activities. Instead, you need to put content front-and-centre of your planning in the connected TV space and use partners with the best content who can deliver the broadest audiences. That is how you leverage the huge potential of CTV to deliver non-linear, big screen digital audiences for upper-funnel marketing.

It’s full stream ahead in the age of connected TV

Andy Jones, Head of Agency Development at Samsung Ads Europe, addresses the connected TV opportunities available to brands, marketers and agencies in the UK and Europe. This article reviews the evolution of the TV landscape and how advertisers need to adapt their media strategies as viewing behaviours change, including the use of additional, Smart TV-enabled insights to augment standard audience targeting and to help measure campaign delivery.

Unlocking monetisation potential with personalised advertising

In an era of soaring content acquisition rights and pervasive content digitisation, maximising revenues from every potential viewer is critical. For broadcasters/programmers and platform operators, targeted advertising is a great opportunity to add real value and relevancy to consumers. The process of advertising management and delivery must be flexible enough to deal with regulatory requirements, the technical hurdles of international distribution and the complexity behind programming agreements – something that SCTE-224 is designed to address.

How broadcasters can unlock the value of UGC

As consumers continue to capture important events on their smartphone cameras that could otherwise go undocumented, it is becoming increasingly vital for broadcasters to be able to access, utilise and share this user-generated content. News organisations need to create an online portal where the public can upload content and incentivise the sharing of valuable UGC. In an increasingly competitive landscape, this could prove to be a key differentiator for broadcasters, enabling them to create more authentic and compelling stories and making their community feel part of that process.

How do media companies deliver on the increased need for AVOD?

Most streaming services will have to rely on ad-based business models of some form if they are to achieve long-term sustainability. To keep ad loads low, they need to increase the value of ad inventory. Addressability and programmatic have the potential to achieve that, when combined with server-side ad insertion. SSAI requires that content libraries are ‘re-aggregated’ so they can be managed in real-time through a playlist. Only a playlist-based workflow provides the adaptable video libraries needed for AVOD services to succeed.

Understanding content is the key to unlocking viewer retention

It takes more than big content investments to win streaming market share. Service providers need to reduce the 25% of screen-time that viewers spend looking for something to watch – a key driver for churn. Using AI, content recommendation can go beyond a reliance on external metadata sources that broadly label content by genre, actors and directors, and harness deep video content analysis that understands emotional structure and identifies nuances and similarities that are otherwise missed.

Safeguarding and growing OTT and CTV advertising revenues

Due to the coronavirus crisis, connected TV ad supply currently outweighs demand. Publishers are looking for effective and efficient ways to generate revenue. Meanwhile, advertisers have to redefine their message and audiences on a daily basis. They need data-based insights and the ability to optimise campaigns – changing messaging, targeting and activation tactics in real-time. Programmatic supports these buy-side and sell-side needs. This article explores how programmatic is helping to mitigate the crisis, and the likely changes in the CTV/OTT advertising market that will follow it.

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