IBC Printed Guide - September 2014 - 12


www.inbroadcast.com PRODUCT GUIDE | Sept 12 - 16, 2014

Liberating Video:
Choice Is Key To OTT Success
A modular cloud-based approach on a simple service-oriented architecture channels control of video
distribution back into the hands of the customer...
By:
Mark Christie
CTO

I

12

t's strange to think that the
term 'video' was once virtually
synonymous with the humble
video cassette. Today, propelled by
both consumers' thirst for dynamic
visual content and staggering
advances in technology, we are
witnessing a wholly different
picture.
Video
has
become
pervasive throughout the
media landscape - in
Hollywood
entertainment,
corporate
messaging,
advertising,
live
sports,
concerts,
weddings,
news events and so on.
Viewable on every device,
anywhere, it's clear that
we are experiencing an
industry-defining shift which
promises only to continue.
As with any rapidly
evolving industry, the video
business
today
brings
together an assortment
of new and established
players, experimenting with
various business models in
the pursuit of success. For
companies investing in over-thetop (OTT) solutions, the decisions
and options available are complex
and varied. Monetisation, for
example, ranges between free
(ad-based) models, subscription
models or transactional models; all
of which can work well, depending
on what you have to offer. Then
there are considerations about
integration with billing systems,
levels of social interactivity, and
suitable content protection - to
name just a few.
For content owners, aggregators,
and distributors, finding the right
services to support your business
is becoming increasingly difficult.
Not only is there extensive
choice, but companies also need
to determine what solutions
will fit alongside legacy video
ecosystems already in place.
What's important is making sure

that valuable and memorable
content doesn't become trapped
in an ecosystem where the
business models don't align with
evolving consumer demands.
Content must be freed if its value
is to be preserved.

Architecture Considerations
It no longer makes sense for
content owners, aggregators and
distributors to invest in a solution
that doesn't exactly correspond to
their existing video infrastructures.
Rather
than
purchasing
a
complete out-of-the-box solution,
companies would do better to
embrace freedom and flexibility
by selecting only the functionality
they require; a 'one-size-fits-all'
approach is no longer effective.
At Piksel, our belief is that
the current landscape is better
suited to an architecture that
veers away from complexity, and
prioritises simplicity, flexibility,
cost-efficiency, and speed. That's
why we've designed the Piksel
Palette, which takes a modular
cloud-based approach and uses
a service-oriented architecture

framework. It allows customers to
build solutions into their offering
on a block-by-block basis, which
drives down costs and speeds up
time to market.
This puts control back into the
hands of companies experimenting
with OTT, which is, of course,
where it should be.
Second Screen
Becoming ever more interlinked
with any OTT offering is the
second screen, which shows great

promise when it comes to bringing
content closer to the viewer, but
its potential ultimately lies in the
implementation. There isn't a
second screen magic formula
which produces en-masse TV
engagement; every programme
requires its own clear use strategy,
detailing which interactive features,
if paired with particular content,
will increase viewer engagement.
Synchronised
content,
for
example, has been tipped as an
important feature for the future of
second screen, however our recent
research found that complimentary
content (information around the
program) is more sought after in
many cases. What findings like
this show is that the industry is
still exploring what works; there is
clearly no single thing which will be
successful across all genres and TV
shows out there. Individual shows

need to decide how to create an
engaging experience which will
resonate with their viewers, and
this means eschewing the custommade model.
Content providers, broadcasters,
and
advertisers
should
be
looking for a system that can
be customised to their exact
requirements and used across
their entire content library.
Fundamentally, there is a strong
need to provide a consistent
look-and-feel to services along
with
a
simple-touse interface. Users
have
shown
that
they don't want to
be bombarded with
separate stand-alone
apps to watch content
from each individual
network or content
owner; what matters
to them is having
access to a single
app which enables
a
more
seamless
viewing
experience.
Additionally,
with
individuals
now
spreading their digital
lives across a wide
variety of devices and
operating systems, the
need for commonality
across user interfaces
is increasingly important.
Cloud Resource
The cloud has become an
indispensable resource for the
TV and media industry, meaning
faster development and more
cost-efficient solutions are coming
to the fore. Needs which previously
required investment in specialised
technology resources or hardware
-
aggregating,
preparing,
managing,
delivering,
and
monetising content for example -
can now be addressed through a
single platform in the cloud.
With efficient outsourcing that
leaves experts to handle the many
dimensions of OTT delivery, the
industry can channel its resources
into what it does best: creating
great content and keeping viewers
entertained.


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