In Broadcast - January 2018 - 49

49 | Vol: 8 - Issue 1 | January 2018

OTT Trends - Part I
"Having the data allows
for negotiation with
the CDN and access
network providers"
Stuart Newton, IneoQuest

experience that used server-based
caching to ensure seamless playback
of a live event," says Chris Michaels,
Director Communications, Wowza
Media Systems. "However, caching
introduces latency for the delivery,
meaning that streaming customers
could watch something anywhere
from 30 seconds to a full two minutes
behind an over the air experience."
He continues: "As some stream
providers look to mitigate the latency,
they've tuned down their HTTP
delivery to have smaller chunks,
which may cause CPU issues for origin
servers, and can complicate things
when there are service interruptions or
network congestion. Essentially, in the
event of an interruption, customers
could experience players needing to
rebuild the playlist to get the required
number of chunks for playback."
Video issues can crop up at multiple
locations in the end-to-end chain,
and usually when one bottleneck is
isolated, the next will soon spring up.
Fluctuating and peak demand can
cause unpredictable results, especially
where the third party CDNs are being
used to deliver other voice, data and
video at the same time.
Using multiple CDNs can facilitate
this, but the bottleneck may just
move to the access networks, where
it's not so easy to dynamically switch
According to Stuart Newton, VP
Strategy & Business Development at
IneoQuest (a Telestream company),
checking video availability at multiple
geographic locations will help in
mitigating future brand damage,
Net Insight Sye
tackles latency


especially if the issue was not with the
content provider.
"Having the data allows for
negotiation with the CDN and access
network providers - the worst possible
situation is not knowing what to fix for
the next major event," says Newton.
CDN technology will improve and
bandwidth capacity will increase
but the traffic is likely to increase
In Europe, the DVB is working on an
ABR multicast protocol that can be
deployed over managed networks and
the public Internet with a standard
available this year.
Net Insight tackles latency with Sye,
a solution for distributing synchronised
live OTT with a fixed delay from the
CDN into the Cloud and out to the
client's device. The firm made a proof
of concept of this in June providing OTT
viewing to fans of the Scandinavian
Touring Car Championship event at
Solvalla in partnership with Swedish
Traffic was routed through local ISP
IP-Only, with overflow streaming via
AWS, configured to handle 50,000
concurrent viewers.
Another solution is provided by
Ooyala which upgraded its managed
Ooyala Live solution with 24/7
monitoring and high availability for
multi-region auto-failover. It claims a
99.95% uptime for content provider
video streams as a result.
Chicago start-up Phenix reckons its
technology is good enough today to
scale to multiple millions of viewers
online. While most services are either
HTTP Live Streaming or WebRTC, both
of which trade scale for delay, Phenix
says its platform offers less than 1/2
second of latency and can stream
to a potentially infinite number of
concurrent users.
The next big live streaming test is
Super Bowl 52 on February 4 from
Minneapolis followed by two weeks of
events from Pyeongchang. Eurosport

parent Discovery will be hoping the
issues that dogged its online coverage
of the Bundesliga last autumn will be
sorted and that it can deliver on its
promise of the biggest online Olympics
Programmatic trading and
cross-platform measurement
The rise of connected TVs, VOD and
mobile video has breathed new life
into the broadcast industry's ability
to monetising its audience reach.
Sky's AdSmart product is a trailblazer,
delivering a 75% return rate for the
pay TV giant.
A pact between Sky and Virgin Media
in June to integrate AdSmart into
Virgin STBs gave the two companies
access to 30 million viewers in the UK
and Ireland and sufficient combined
scale to compete with social media
networks. Facebook has around 35
million UK users.
BT Sport has expanded its Dynamic
Ad Insertion (DAI) during football and
rugby coverage with Yospace. The
new deal runs until the end of the
2018/2019 Champions League.
Yospace made similar deals in
2017 with Sky in Germany, TV4
in Sweden and Scotland's STV,
where the broadcaster was the first
anywhere to provide targetable DAI
in live streaming on Amazon Fire TV
(after being the first in the UK to use
the technology across live simulcast
programmes). ITV plans to introduce
DAI too.
Meanwhile Channel 4 is to run
commercials across its VOD services
in a pan-European alliance with
broadcasters in Italy, Germany and
According to Tim Sewell, CEO at
Yospace the value of television lies in
its "incredibly high quality of service",
and these standards must be matched
in the online world.
need to be agreed in the OTT space,
but this plays to the broadcasters'
strengths and the reasons for their
enthusiasm are clear: delivering a true
premium QOS is their ace card - not
just in terms of viewer experience,
but for advertisers too," he says.
"It's the key differentiator between
broadcasters and the likes of Facebook
and YouTube, where three seconds is
enough to count as an ad view.
"While advertisers don't want to
settle for that, at the moment they
don't have the luxury of a common
mechanism for measurement and
verification. To achieve mass online
reach they need to be dividing a

campaign across many different
platforms, which requires many
different ad creatives and deciphering
of many different measurement
measurement will allow broadcasters
to better demonstrate the tremendous
value they offer advertisers and
agencies. Widespread adoption of
VAST 4.0 and other IAB initiatives
is an important steps here but
perhaps more important is BARB's
start publishing from March 2018
(compiled by Kantar Media). This will
deliver the UK industry's first crossplatform measurement spanning PC,
smartphone, tablet and traditional
panel data.
"When looking to ensure a true
broadcast experience in ad supported
online video, server-side dynamic ad
insertion has emerged as the most
reliable and user-friendly method of
delivering advertising, especially in the
case of live channels," argues Sewell.
"Also, where client-side analytics SDKs
are not practical, server-side tracking
is a form of measurement that delivers
consistency across every platform."
The leading providers of the
technology are proving that SSAI
works at scale, to audiences counted
in millions, with the reliability that
broadcasters demand. But achieving
reliability is not quite as easy as you
might think, especially around live.
"Most sports are highly dynamic in
their nature and as a result, so too
are the ad break patterns," explains
Sewell. "Take 'The Ashes', with ad
breaks beginning and ending on-thefly based on an editor's decision that
is driven by real-time events. There are
potentially millions of ad calls to make,
in real-time, as and when a button
is pushed. A lot of OTT video and adtech architectures were not originally
designed for this degree of scale or
Programmatic trading will unlock
huge value for broadcasters, though
it is dependent on a standardised
workflow. The industry as a whole
is well aware of this, and there
is increasing evidence that the
collaboration needed to deliver on this
is well under way.

"Improved standards
certainly need to
be agreed in the
OTT space"
Tim Sewell, Yospace

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - January 2018