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.
Broadcasters and media companies are implementing technologies powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) across the value chain. We see countless use cases for AI based automation or support and new opportunities keep emerging. So far, the focus has been on the usefulness of AI systems in terms of accuracy and performance in relation to a specific task. This is now changing with a wider uptake of AI, new capabilities for ML and public debates on this technology.
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.
FAST. AVOD. SVOD. MVPD. vMVPD. OTA. These services represent the options available to content owners or aggregators to deliver entertainment, sports and news content from centralized hubs to individual consumers. Their goal is simple – expose and monetize their content libraries to as many consumers as possible. However, that doesn’t mean the consumer is top of mind when it comes to facilitating their journey to their content of choice.
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.
Linear TV isn’t dead, but the internet has changed it forever. At a time of global downturn, an increasing number of content owners are pinning their growth hopes on ad-funded live or VOD-to-live FAST channels. But drawing eyeballs and maximising ad revenues in this increasingly crowded marketplace will rely on more than just an EPG and good promos.