The international Broadcasting Convention (IBC) finished up last month, attracting a record crowd of over 55,000 attendees to Amsterdam. This renowned event allows attendees from all over the world to learn about developments that are shaping the industry, interact with the latest technology, and experience world-first product demonstrations.
Brightcove was again at IBC in force with team members attending from across the globe. This year we had some exciting news to unveil with the launch of our new player, which will form the basis of all of our player experiences going forward, and also launched Perform, a stand-alone player service that is built around that industry leading player. We were also able to get updated on the state of the market of the dynamic broadcast and digital media industries.
After collectively reflecting on the event, we compiled the team’s perspective on the top three emerging trends coming out of IBC:
The inevitable convergence of conventional broadcast and digital video is accelerating, with media companies across the world evaluating how to address the changing nature of content workflows, programming strategy, advertising, organizational models, technical infrastructure, and much much more. While the shift to a digital-centric paradigm has been forecasted for some time, 2014 seems to be the year that the broader industry has really embraced the coming reality. While the transition is underway, there are still a large number of media customers — across broadcasters, operators, publishers and media conglomerates — that are just now getting serious about significant digital investments, recognizing the risk of being left behind.
The Need for Simplification
Media executives and their organizations are feeling the pain of complexity as they wrestle with operating, maintaining, supporting, and updating multiple digital video implementations that have been developed disparately over time for consumer experiences across a range of platforms and devices. For providers of premium video, creating a beautiful, seamless experience that replicates or exceeds the expectations consumers have for linear broadcast adds even more complexity. Broadcasters and publishers want and need simplicity in order to be successful in a world where device proliferation, platform fragmentation and audience expectations remain dynamic variables.
Multi-Screen is Now the Norm
Multi-screen and multi-platform are now the messages spoken by all product and service providers — across both digital and broadcast companies. While it seems that everyone is now speaking the same language, the reality is that the varying requirements from media companies means that the words mean different things to different people. Providing the best content experience to consumer audiences on every screen — from TVs and desktops to smartphones and tablets, and game consoles and set-top boxes — while driving profitable revenue growth is of paramount importance to every media organization today. But, for each of them the questions of streaming formats, unified workflows, asset management, optimized advertising, managing content rights, seamless playback, and many other requirements creates a dizzying array of capabilities necessary for multi-screen success.
For Brightcove, the evolution of our products and services over the last two years has been driven by the understanding that our media customers need to deliver beautiful video experiences to audiences on every screen, enabled by technology solutions that are powerful, elegant and flexible. Click here for more information on our services.0
1) Targeted Advertising is now getting the attention it deserves, no doubt prompted by the success of the Web. Even for those who don’t have the necessary broadcast triggers, a broad range of solutions exist, many with the vital links to back office scheduling and playout. Cloud-based services were a consistent theme throughout the show with many established players recognizing the need to team up with those who have the necessary enterprise experience.
2) Confusion was abound concerning 4K and UHD, with many citing what a problem the protracted rollout of features has been on unsuspecting early adopters. Screen manufacturers came in for particular criticism. Even though there is a limited number of genuinely 4K streaming services, support is not universal across the established brands. The picture looks even murkier when you dive into the subjects of high dynamic range and color space, where the tendency of the industry is to dive into the technical detail, which doesn’t rest easily with a sector eager to purchase complete solutions. I would rather wait and see a complete solution emerge to the benefit of both TV and Cinematic applications, than a half-baked solution, which will inhibit the long term success of 4K and UHD. During the show many attendees wanted to discuss the relative merits of the main proposals and whether they will scale for live TV from streaming. The picture is a lot brighter for production, where good products are emerging because producers have faith that the format is strong enough to withstand the initial turbulence and deliver a significant improvement over current HD services.
3) Virtualization was center stage, with many visitors keen to access whether software can really replace bespoke hardware, and the likely transition paths. I had many interesting discussions on the booth prompted by presenting Harmonic’s approach to virtualization VOS.
Discussions ranged from broadcasters keen to see justification of the assertion that software based encoding has now surpassed hardware, to those within the enterprise and network domains evaluating how applicable virtualization will be to CPU and storage intensive video applications. These have been pretty contentious discussions in the past, but not this year. Many broadcasters and operators were discussing whether it will be hardware, appliance or software solutions forming the basis of future installations.
4) While UHD live services are challenging broadcasters, supporters of streaming APPs are becoming the main beneficiary. Amongst the aisles at the show were pragmatic entrepreneurs eager to enter a market focusing on content rather than having to become bogged down in technical details. The world of streaming Apps is being rationalized with many providers acting as a portal for common platforms, thereby removing a significant hurdle and cost to setting up a service.
5) It was not just the innovators who are riding the enthusiasm for Apps. Broadcasters face a significant challenge if spectrum reallocation progresses and chunks of TV bandwidth are relinquished for the ever growing demands of mobile. What is being trialed for minority long tail content online could become a very realistic prospect soon for sizeable audiences. While the merits of such a reallocation are being heatedly debated, this is a gift for those of us involved in new media distribution. The implications of this industry revamp to DTH, preoccupied many visitors wishing to map out their technical vision for such a transition while attending IBC.
6) Being a regularIBC attendee, I was at university when the show was held in Brighton and got my first job with Sony there, so I’m old enough to have been involved in the birth of digital video. Spin forward an embarrassing number of years and we see many exhibitors confidently predicting the death of SDI. While in the short-term this might be premature, no doubt they are right for the medium to long term. All but the most specialized aspects of workflow will be reworked for a brave new network centric world. My time spent recertifying my network qualifications will be useful eventually.
7) So what is holding the industry back from totally adopting an IT perspective and displacing the ever-dwindling islands of broadcast kit forever? The answer lies with standards for the carriage of video over IP. During a rare earlyish night at the show, I wasn’t the last in the bar, and avoiding a Dutch kebab, I went to bed scanning the details of SMPTE 2022 top technical porn for those technically minded visiting Amsterdam. This goes a long way to meet the needs of video carriage in the studio, but there is still some way to go if the frustration of those attending the show is anything to go by. Interoperability is still a big issue where proprietary approaches are still hindering video running on standard platforms.
8) While most broadcasters have been through a first iteration of kit to achieve brand recognition on the Web, most now require a refresh that restores profitability to multiscreen. Commonality through the use of mezzanine compression formats, automated Quality Control, enhanced graphics and branding along with dynamic advertising were key to broadcasters and operators alike. A variety of approaches were discussed at IBC2014, with many fully embracing cloud-based services for functions previously under lock and key at the heart of a facility ..and, yes, the merits of web based security, content protection and where fault lies should there be a breach were widely discussed, more on this in a future blog, after I’ve attended the Copyright and Technology London 2014 conference where I’ll be on a panel discussing 4K.
9) To those with an interest in data centers, virtualization summed up the IBC show. It was different for those from a production environment where orchestration dominated. Harmonic announced the Polaris playout management suite, offered in partnership with Pebble Beach Systems. In an increasingly complex workflow, it is vital to harness all the elements under a single umbrella management system application.
10) With extensive building construction well underway at the RAI, it struck me as ironic that as the industry adapts to extensive change with a distinct shift of emphasis from broadcast specific hardware to common software platforms, will IBC fully utilize the new space available? I suspect it will, as there was no shortage of new startups keen to enter a market which, although changing, still offers tremendous opportunities for those prepared to think about video laterally.
For more information on Harmonic’s approach to virtualization, feel free to check out TV technology’s recent Virtualizing Video Webinar, as well as the Harmonic Virtualized Video Infrastructure ebook.
– Ian Trow, Senior Director, Emerging Technology and Strategy0
AMSTERDAM At last week’s Super Mobility Conference in Las Vegas, ESPN and Hulu said their mobile video audience was expanding rapidly, and said having mobile video was a critical component of their business strategy.
With good reason; both have seen huge growth in the popularity of their programming on mobile platforms.
They are not alone. Ooyala today released its Q2 2014 Global Video Index Report that shows mobile consumption exceeding 25% of all online viewing in the second quarter, and the trend is accelerating, accounting for 27% of online viewing in June. Over the past two years, mobile views increased more than 400%.
That growth isn’t expected to slow.
Cisco recently forecast that video traffic could make up 69% of all mobile video traffic by 2018; Ooyala predicts mobile to make up 50% of all online viewing by 2016.
It’s not just short-form content that’s popular with mobile users, long form, premium and live mobile video views all increased.
While mobile devices see plenty of snacking — viewers spent 45% of their time watching videos of six minutes or less in length tablet viewers spent 23% of their time watching video of 30-60 minutes in length, more than on any other device.
At IBC this week, mobile has been center stage for a number of vendors, broadcasters and operators.
Increasingly, user interface and branding on mobile devices is being seen as a key part of the solution, a nod to the increasing amount of time being spent on devices other than traditional TV, and to the growing role operators expect those device to play.
Equally as topical at the conference has been the role that search, discovery and recommendation will play, not only across devices, but across premium and OTT service as well. More vendors are offering electronic programing guides that include not only pay-TV listings, but listings and recommendations from SVOD, TVOD and AVOD, along with other OTT services.
Ooyala’s Quarterly Index also found viewers use connected TVs for a big piece of their entertainment, saying viewers of connected TVs spent 81% of their time watching videos longer than 10 minutes.
Ooyala also said viewers spent 65% of their time watching videos 30 minutes or longer on connected TVs, and 54% of that time watching content longer than 60 minutes.
Follow me on Twitter @JimONeillMedia
What a night in Amsterdam!
Kaltura is excited to announce that it won the award for Best TV Everywhere/Multi-Screen Video at IBC 2014! The Kaltura OTT TV team was acknowledged for the KabelKiosk white label IPTV offering (meinFernsehen), a sophisticated second screen deployment for Eutelsat one of the leading satellite operators in the world. In this project, Kaltura OTT TV allows Eutelsat’s 300 affiliate companies to provide a second screen internet-based TV service to more than 3.5 million German households.
This award comes on the heels of the Tvinci acquisition in May 2014. Tvinci, a leading paid OTT TV company was acquired by Kaltura to create the most comprehensive end to end OTT TV solution. This is the second time that the Tvinci team has won the CSI awards at IBC and its a huge validation of our technology and the exceptional TV experience it offers to users.
The KabelKiosk projects brings to life the three pillars of Kaltura OTT TV:
1. Time-Shited TV the ability to pause live shows and catch up on thousands of shows aired on Eutelsat’s linear channels.
2. Engagement Tools users can create their personal profiles, allowing them to get a personalized social feed that includes updates on what their friends are watching, liking, sharing and commenting on. This is done by utilizing Kaltura’s household management capabilities that allow service providers and telcos to manage multiple user profiles within a single household.
3. Metadata Driven Discovery -our strong EPG management capabilities make a huge difference for service providers and telcos because all the linear TV shows are automatically indexed, which creates a massive VOD library based on live channels catch up. In addition, Kaltura’s powerful recommendation engine always suggests the most relevant content so users can rent or buy additional videos.
If you want to check out the KabelKiosk application in action and hear about OTT3, the next generation of the platform please visit us at the Kaltura booth in IBC (Hall 3, Stand C67). Other than very cool demos, we also serve delicious coffee.
See you on the floor!0
At IBC 2014, Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) and Verimatrix will showcase a digital rights management (DRM) solution for mobile video services that incorporates the high security standard of pay TV.
AMSTERDAM — The job of running a broadcast network today, David Abraham, CEO of U.K. broadcaster Ch. 4 told an audience at IBC2014, hinges on innovation.
And the pubic broadcaster is backing up those words with a big move in 2015: Merging its live linear and on-demand programming into a single entity: All 4.
For decade, broadcasters have applied technology gradually he said. Today, technology innovation is continual and pervasive. It has to be as central a concern as the creation of great content.
Technology, he said, is no longer just invisible plumbing. And, he said, broadcasters that don’t take advantage of it are missing a big opportunity, especially if they put linear and online into different silos.
Broadcasters are at a disadvantage if they separate their online brands from their channel brand, he said. We think its about blending the two and using the strengths of both, putting the entire channel and digital estate into one universe at the same time.
The result, he said, are that linear brands are seamlessly reinforced.
We believe All 4 will deliver the most advanced broadcaster response to the changing viewer landscape.
All in one place, designed from the ground up.
Abraham said multiplatform delivery has become integral to our creative process.
He also pointed out that the connected environment gives broadcasters new ways to connect with audiences, something Ch. 4 has taken advantage of.
The broadcaster has offered users the opportunity to register for its online product and get access to additional content, and to receive personalized recommendations, among other perks.
It’s paid off to the tune of more than 11 million registered users, a number increasing by 10,000 new users daily.
It has created a new viewer relationship platform, he said, one that has been well received by advertisers who can use data from users to create targeted ad packages.
The dynamic elasticity of the cloud, he said, is allowing Ch. 4 to scale, while at the same time keeping costs under control.
Follow me on Twitter @JimONeillMedia
The VidiPath Certification program draws on expertise from more than a decade of interoperability testing that the organization has performed on more than 25,000 device models, enabling more than 3 billion devices to share personal content on many types of devices in the home.
The guidelines were developed through a close collaboration between service providers and consumer electronics (CE) product manufacturers, and more than 15 companies have already begun pre-testing their products to prepare for certification.
We are extremely pleased to be launching the VidiPath Certification Program, and applaud service provider and CE members for developing the consumer-friendly VidiPath brand name that will simplify product shopping and selection as Certified devices become available later this year, said Scott Lofgren, chairman and president of DLNA. Consumers will know that VidiPath Certified products can stream and play subscription TV content on multiple, interoperable home devices, and their providers will use the VidiPath brand name to identify services that can be enjoyed on these Certified devices.
One of the key issues here is that the new program helps establish a standard for delivering TV services to an array of devices, something the FCC has focused on.
With their choice of a consumer brand for devices that successfully complete the certification process, North American cable operators have signaled their intent to quickly adopt VidiPath, said Brett Sappington, director of research for Parks Associates. They have also shown their interest in working with consumer electronics manufacturers to create a vibrant ecosystem of interoperable products for subscription TV viewing in the home.
As part of the program, subscribers will be encouraged to look for the new brand name, VidiPath, when shopping for retail devices that deliver service providers’ full viewing experience on many different screens in home.
DLNA is demonstrating products supporting its VidiPath Guidelines and will be sharing more details about its certification and branding programs during IBC in Booth #L22, Content Everywhere Hall at the Amsterdam RAI Exhibition & Convention Centre.
Follow me on Twitter @JimONeillMedia
Come meet our very own Jeroen Wijering at the 2014 IBC Conference in Amsterdam from September 13th-14th. IBC is the global meeting place for everyone engaged in creating, managing and delivering the future of electronic media and entertainment technology.
Jeroen and Charlie Good from Wowza will be showcasing demos on HLS and DASH adaptive streaming at the IBC Conference. Stop by Wowza’s Stand (3.B17) to attend one of two JW Player/Wowza sessions:
These demos will show implementations of Wowza Engine + JW Player running adaptive streaming using the Apple HLS and the MPEG DASH protocol. Advanced functionalities include VTT captioning and multiple audio tracks. This is the first time JW Player will be showcasing MPEG DASH support! Check out our demo below, where you can choose from a variety of MPEG DASH options.
See a complete list of Wowza IBC events here. Jeroen will also be at the Wowza afterparty on Saturday, July 13th, so make sure you stop by.0
With more than 150 years of tradition, new, innovative and modern aren’t terms usually associated with an organization like the Vienna State Opera.
But that’s exactly what the legendary opera house and Ooyala customer — is being feted for by the IBC, which is honoring it with a Special Award this week at the annual broadcaster’s convention in Amsterdam.
The Vienna State Opera or, Wiener Staatsoper — has embraced multi-platform delivery, with as many as 45 broadcasts of operas and ballets a year.
In addition to HD origination, www.staatsoperlive.com offered a 4k Ultra-HD broadcast of Verdi’s Nabucco’ in May, the first such broadcast to Samsung smart TVs worldwide.
Wiener Staatsoper streams two HD views for each performance, a live cut and a static view of the stage.
The opera also offers additional content including a synchronized score and subtitles, which is designed to help viewers be more engaged with the performance.
Extra video and multimedia content, tailored to specialist audiences, include a discussion of the opera, live rehearsals and backstage views, and more.
To be rewarded with one of the most renowned awards in this highly innovative industry is a wonderful acknowledgement, said Dominique Meyer, director of the Vienna State Opera. It shows how vivid we are, looking from a glorious past into a promising future.
FIFA also is being honored by the IBC with a Judges Award for its 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The global football audience is always hungry for more for more cameras, for more detail, for more replays and for more analysis, said Niclas Ericson, FIFA’s director of television. In Brazil this year we worked together with our partners to provide more engaging multi-platform content and to develop the language to cover football in high resolution formats. It was an exhilarating team effort, and I am proud to recognize all those who contributed.
Michael Lumley, Chair of the IBC Awards judging panel, said At first glance there is little in common between the football World Cup and opera. Yet each engender huge passion in their fans, and those fan bases are far larger than can attend a live event. Both FIFA and the Vienna State Opera have built strong, innovative, creative in-house teams to take control of their content, and have worked with leaders in the industry to be on the leading edge of emerging technologies.
The awards will be presented during the IBC Awards Ceremony, at 6:30 p.m., Sunday.
NEOTION will demonstrate at IBC its DVBeacon Headless Gateway. DVBeacon is a DVB device allowing pay TV operators to securely deliver all their content to different screens in the house, by simply using an HDMI stick client.
Digisoft.tv is to launch its CastOS framework at IBC. The CastOS framework allows service providers to ‘cast’ without worrying about the underlying protocols on the target connected devices.
It’s back to Amsterdam to join the who’s who of the global media and broadcast industry at the annual IBC Show, which takes place from the 12th to 16th of September at the RAI conference centre. We’re looking forward to the show and we hope to see you all there! If you’re interested in setting up a meeting with any of the Brightcove team, please send an email to email@example.com.
This year we will have the largest crew yet of Brightcove technical experts and thought leaders on-hand at our booth located in Hall 5; Stand 5.B20. Make sure you stop by! You’ll have the opportunity to learn more about Brightcove’s technology, see our solutions in action at our demo pods, and view live presentations from staff and partners on many of the industry’s most pressing topics.
In addition to our live booth presentations, Brightcove’s CTO of Media, Albert Lai will give a presentation on Device Fragmentation and Delivery in the Multi-Platform World at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday as part of the Content Everywhere and Sport track; this is taking place in the Content Everywhere Hub in Hall 14. Albert will also be a panellist the Sporting Content Everywhere discussion, which will look at how this summer’s major sporting events have moved Content Everywhere forward for broadcasters and audiences.
IBC is alway filled with a lot of exciting activities so we hope you’ll join us for a drink reception at our booth on Monday, 15th September between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. You’ll be able wind down after a long few days at the show and network with Brightcove staff, peers, and partners. We hope you can join us!
See you in Amsterdam!0