The rapid development of streaming services worldwide tends to be dominated by discussions around content. Asking questions such as, who is producing it and how it’s being consumed. But in the understandable excitement around these new platforms and services, it’s clear that some key technical issues have been overlooked – none more so than the role of video players.
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Jeff Bezos once compared Amazon’s approach to customer experience to hosting a party 24/7. “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job, every day, to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” Bezos’ comments came way back in 2004. But they could just as easily be describing the challenges facing broadcast media today as brands look for growth in the OTT market.
Some sports are undoubtedly global leaders, with an audience to match. Then there are others, which enjoy immense popularity in certain markets but are less well known elsewhere. Ice Hockey, for instance, is a national obsession in Canada but is still relatively niche in the UK. Rugby has an estimated global following of 475 million people, but its popularity tends to be concentrated in specific regions. When it comes to building up a dedicated audience in new markets, there are several challenges that need to be overcome.
Previously, specialist, regional and niche content providers had very few options when it came to monetizing their content. Try and deliver it themselves, and the results would often mean spiraling costs and limited functionality for their audience. Buddy up with a big player who’ll do the heavy lifting, but realize there is a limit to the rewards they would reap.
Tell us about the company – when it was founded, by whom and with what objective?
VisualOn was founded in 2003 by Dr. Yang Cai and Dr. Bill Lin in Silicon Valley to bring low-cost, high-quality, multimedia experience to more consumer devices through supporting the new video compression standard H.264 in software. It has since become the leading streaming media player solution provider most trusted by the top service providers in the world.
Few industries are as fast paced and highly pressurised as the media industry. What was already a competitive field has become even more so, as the demand for content has increased in-line with the explosion of OTT services. To manage this high volume of throughput, content supply chains have become more complex, with multiple teams all contributing towards content preparation.
As head of content operations at global distributor Banijay Rights, Richard Clarke knows the importance of effective media operations management and the challenges arising from the industry’s ongoing migration to the cloud.
Almost six months after Take 1’s acquisition by Unicorn company, Verbit, Take 1 CEO, Louise Tapia, provides an insight into how the team is collaborating with their fellow media and entertainment sector specialists at sister company, VITAC, to provide end-to-end accessibility services.
In recent years, the choice of video services has multiplied, as large media organisations add a plus symbol to their established brands and roll out new platforms. In addition, many incumbents in the VOD space are now supplementing their main subscription models with AVOD options. In some cases, these ad-funded tiers will be differentiated with new content, but at the very least they will require new versions of the original media files with markers for ad insertion. Linear TV has not been left behind, evolving its offering with more content choice, and diversifying with themed FAST channels.