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
Mar 07, 2019
Over the past few years, online video services in Europe have experienced rapid growth, particularly those that follow the subscription revenue model. Global players such as Netflix, Amazon and HBO went direct-to-consumer, disrupting the previous long-term relationship between subscribers and multichannel operators.
Soon after Netflix began showing signs of success in North America and Western Europe, pan-European satellite operator Sky launched its own stand-alone online video service in the UK, combining on-demand content with live streaming TV networks in 2012. Others followed, such as Canal+ with Canalplay in France and Telecom Italia with TIMVision in Italy.
Currently, five services accounted for 89 per cent of the $6 billion in consumer spending attributed to subscription online video services, according to a report published by Kagan, a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence.
More proof of just how dominant Netflix is in Europe comes from new data by analysts at S&P Kagan. According to new research from Kagan, Netflix accounted for 52% of all subscription VOD revenues in Europe at the end of 2018.
Nov 14, 2017
It may be no surprise to see Netflix, Amazon and Hulu maintain their position as the top guns in the US over-the-top (OTT) market, but research from Parks Associates has revealed that bubbling under the crucial three are now a number of interesting players.
Based on subscriber numbers, the researcher found that the top ten comprised Netflix, Amazon Video (Amazon Prime), Hulu (SVOD), MLB.TV, HBO Now, Starz, YouTube Red, Showtime, CBS All Access and Sling TV. Of most note is the velocity that the skinny bundles have gained in a short space of time. In addition, the HBO Now service has made particular progress.
Source: Rapid TV News
Jul 14, 2017