Published December 11th, 2017
At OTT TV World Summit in London, three panelists shared their opinion on what technique or approach they have seen that is helping to make the online video experience better, and what is not. Here’s what each had to say.
Gary Hammer, SVP Sales and Business Development at SmartLabs, focused on one of the fundamental buildings blocks of the OTT video revolution:
“Adaptive bitrates have revolutionized viewing on multiscreen devices. We’ve certainly seen greater customers satisfaction with the quality of the video. It’s much better than just high, medium, and low, and you’re stuck with whichever one you chose.”
Barney Withers Green, Sales Director, Media & Entertainment Solutions EMEA at Verizon Digital Media, zeroed in on the oldest form of video distribution, the linear channel. However, the way these channels are being put together online is undergoing a quiet revolution:
“The concept of virtual linear, or pop-up channels. Gone are days when you can just deliver a prescribed channel. Whatever your content, you can create an engaging, customized channel. Our customizers have seen a huge amount of success with this.”
Data is one area that is receiving a huge amount of focus in the media industry. Henrik Eklund, CEO at Newstag, is seeing a lot of user data since his news video service launched. Moreover, aspects of the aggregate data have surprised him:
“What surprised us the most is when we launched this concept of crowd curation and looked at the aggregate data, we assumed it would be really narrow and be about the Kardashians and Trump. But that’s not really the fact.”
One of the areas where user data is applied most frequently is in the area of content recommendations. Mr. Hammer does not believe recommendations are necessarily helpful to everyone, especially pay TV operators.
“I’m going to be controversial and say recommendations. In a service provider environment, the experience is disappointing. They are not typically drawing from an infinite source of content. They have different relationships with different content providers, and the quality of the metadata is often different. The quality of the recommendations is disappointing.”
Mr. Eklund also thinks recommendations have been a disappointment. However, he thinks his company, Newstag, may have the answer:
“We have a really fast-moving environment, and 50,000 stories with all of them being consumed all the time. We have data that would be interesting to translate into a long-form experience. If this data can be translated to my mood, I think they can be valid again.”
One way to fix latency, a measure of how far a live stream is behind the original event, is to reduce the amount of video that is buffered by the client device. However, a smaller client buffer means the video playback is more vulnerable to freezes. Mr. Withers thinks many haven’t got the balance right yet:
“Latency is the big thing we are seeing lately. People are trying to get the most out of HLS, trying to balance buffer ratio and latency. There’s a lot of people that are trying to get the balance between the two and some of them aren’t getting it quite right.”
Not every idea is a good one when trying to improve the streaming media experience.
Adaptive bitrate streaming, virtual channels, and lots of user data seem to be working.
Recommendations and latency reduction techniques are not.
Source: N Screen Media
Apr 04, 2017
Aug 15, 2017
According to new research from The Diffusion Group (TDG), binge viewing — that is, viewing more than one episode of a TV series back to back — is rapidly becoming universal, with nearly nine-in-ten ABUs binging at least occasionally. But the frequency of binge viewing skews strongly in favor of younger adults.TDG's new analysis, Binge Viewing - A Consumer Snapshot, identifies and profiles three groups of adult broadband users in terms of their binge viewing habits.
Heavy Bingers (binge daily, comprise 14 percent of ABUs),
Medium Bingers (binge monthly but not daily, comprise 51 percent of ABUs), and
Light/Non-Bingers (21 percent of ABUs that binge less than once a month, 14 percent that do not binge at all).
Importantly, TDG analysts found that the frequency of binging is strongly correlated with the viewer's age. For example, 58 percent of Heavy Bingers are between the ages of 18 and 34, while 56 percent of Light/Non-Bingers are age 45 and older."The fact that 31 percent of Heavy Bingers are between the ages of 18 and 34 further illustrates just how different millennial viewing habits are from those of older generations," notes Michael Greeson, President and Principal Analyst at TDG. "For more than a decade, TDG has predicted and observed a structural transformation in what it means to 'watch TV,' with viewing behavior slowly changing from an activity defined by flipping between different live shows on different networks, to one characterized by on-demand binging of individual series."As these consumers age and younger generations steeped in quantum habits follow behind them, Greeson argues that this behavior will only become more prominent, further impacting programming and distribution strategies.View TDG's latest analysis of contemporary viewing behavior, Binge Viewing - A Consumer Snapshot for an insight into the different segments of binge viewers — who they are, how they behave, and what drives their decisions and preferences.
Source: TDG Research
Nov 22, 2017