In the dynamic world of video streaming, media organizations are constantly seeking efficient and cost-effective solutions to manage their large-scale implementations. One of the key metrics that has to be met to validate any purchase decisions is Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). And, like Maslov’s famous Hierarchy of Needs, TCO analysis must start with foundational requirements.
As the broadcasting business becomes more and more focused on efficiency – as is the case in all industries – changes in the administration of rights and royalties are not fundamental in their nature but are generally motivated by economic effectiveness. For a number of years, broadcasters have focused on maintaining as small an inventory of purchased rights as possible; currently there is increasing focus on this to further drive economic efficiency. However, this minimalization still has to provide the necessary flexibility to enable changes in broadcast planning so that broadcasters can react to competitors in order to achieve the best, or desired, position in the market by using the inventory in the most effective way. In the case of commercial broadcasters, they also have to secure the flexibility to respond to the market situation with the aim of maximizing their revenue.
In the early days of streaming, subscription costs were low, and viewers were spoilt for choice by series after endless series of top-quality content – think House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and Stranger Things to name just a few. It was this promise of low costs and a seemingly never-ending stream of top-quality content that helped to entice consumers away from cable TV. The steady growth in subscriber numbers allowed for an unprecedented number of new shows to be ordered, which in turn helped to bolster growth. Many dubbed this the era of Peak TV. Streaming services reached record breaking subscriber numbers in 2020 as a result of the pandemic. Netflix reportedly added an extraordinary 36 million subscribers in that period which led it to pass the 200 million mark for the first time.
The rise of the mega streamer has brought the broadcast media industry into a period of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. The acronym VUCA first described the complex and challenging geopolitical situation in 1987 following the Cold War, and now aptly defines the current media landscape. It’s an environment characterized by volatility in that challenges are unexpected and sometimes incomprehensible; by uncertainty in that change may happen, or not; by complexity in that it is influenced by numerous variables; and by ambiguity in that causal relationships can be difficult or impossible to define.
IP, OTT delivery, and remote working environments have become an integral part of media companies’ workflows, adding significant complexity to production and distribution paths and challenging media and entertainment companies’ capabilities to deliver high-quality content. Solutions to simplify workflow insights, including visualization, while maintaining high quality are necessary factors in the race to remain competitive. TAG Content Matching technology provides a vital capability in the toolsets users require for more transparent workflows, allowing them to get to the root cause of problems faster and troubleshoot more efficiently, even in the most complex, elaborate scenarios.
As the telecommunications landscape continues to evolve rapidly, telcos face a multitude of challenges. These challenges, if not addressed strategically, can compromise customer satisfaction, inflate operational expenses, and hamper operational efficiency. One of the primary pain points driving these difficulties is the management and delivery of high-quality video experiences to end users. Here, we will look at how a video quality of experience monitoring solution, like that offered by Agama Technologies, can address these critical issues.
Sustainability is undeniably a pressing concern within the video streaming industry, and the latest data about emissions generated by the sector underscores the urgency of addressing its environmental impact. As has been widely quoted, with between 2% and 4% of global energy usage accounted for by ICT and with more than 70% of internet traffic associated with video, it is clear that improving our energy footprint can have a significant impact on the problem overall.
I think most people would agree that we have seen more change in the broadcast industry over the past couple of years than we have for a long time. The accelerated shift to the cloud, transition to more ad-funded services than ever before, coupled with an evolution in consumption trends, are all having an impact throughout the entire industry, changing the way content is produced, managed, and distributed.
This is also causing significant challenges and complexities specifically for playout for a number of reasons.
I think it is safe to start from the assumption that every media business is moving from a smokestack approach – a production line of bespoke, application specific devices – to a software-defined, cloud smart architecture. This will include large elements of intelligent automation, eliminating the mundane to let people concentrate on where they generate real business value.
The world of video content moves quickly. It’s in ceaseless motion, and this goes hand in hand with technological advancement. In this scenario, it becomes paramount for operators and distributors in the streaming space to create seamlessly functioning architectures. It’s all about tech stacks that must normalize workflows and bring together data from multiple existing services. Of course, this is far easier said than done as content owners wish to enhance their offering with a feed of growing requirements which platform operators have for their own streaming services. Progress is perpetual, think of ratings for movies and series, specific categories for niche programming, or even broadcast identifiers.