HomeCategory OTT Question Time

http://www.vodprofessional.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/OTTQT42-1200x720.png

It’s sounds like the start of a riddle: what part of OTT UIs do you most use but hardly ever notice? Answer: online video players! Online video players have a gossamer quality about them in that they’re both visible and not. They’re the main way – the only way – that viewers can watch content but at the same time we don’t really see them unless we’re forwarding or rewinding or they’re not working properly....

http://www.vodprofessional.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/OTTQT41-1200x720.png

A CMS – a content management system – does exactly what it says on the tin, right? It’s a system for managing content. But when it comes to streaming services, and looking at how content interfaces with both their back and front-ends, what is the scope of an OTT CMS? Does it manage, for example, the process by which video files are ingested and transcoded? What about then adding images and other metadata to those...

http://www.vodprofessional.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/OTTQT40-1200x720.png

One of the best things about linear TV is the sense of a shared experience – of watching, for example, an international football tournament with family or friends and then celebrating (or in England’s case, commiserating!) together. Of tuning in to a worldwide event like the finale of Game of Thrones and dissecting it afterwards, or looking forward to the start of a new season of Love Island in the expectation of intrigue and scandal....

http://www.vodprofessional.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/OTTQT39-1200x720.png

Despite the resilience and stability of the infrastructure, the defined quality of the output, the guaranteed geographical coverage for audiences, and the decades of client and supply chain experience built up in the process, there was always going to come a time when it became cheaper to deliver content via IP rather than broadcast. Has that threshold been reached yet? That was the subject of this week’s OTT Question Time (Thursday 15th July, 4pm UK)....

http://www.vodprofessional.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Speaking-at-OTTQT-38-ALT-1-1200x720.png

If you’ve ever found yourself confused about content rights, you’re not alone. I’ve been working in OTT since 2005 and I still don’t really understand why, for example, the Tom Holland Spiderman movies aren’t on Disney+ (Disney owns Marvel, right?), why I can’t find the 2019 season of Masterchef UK, first aired on the BBC, to watch on any platform (AVOD / SVOD / TVOD) or why Usain Bolt’s 100m from the Beijing Olympics is...

http://www.vodprofessional.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/OTTQT37-1200x720.png

Following the huge upheaval in the television and OTT advertising market last year, broadcasters and AVOD service-providers are now cautiously optimistic about the prospects for recovery and growth. ITV, for example, reported that its total ad revenue was down 11% in 2020 despite a 17% rise in VOD advertising. The company is now “seeing more positive trends”. EMarketer estimates that Hulu’s ad revenues will hit $3bn in 2021, up 31% on 2020. And GroupM has...

http://www.vodprofessional.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/OTTQT36-1200x720.png

Consolidation isn’t new in the OTT industry – think AT&T and Time Warner (2018) or Comcast and Sky (also 2018) – but the last couple of weeks has seen a flurry of activity including the AT&T / Discovery deal, the acquisition of MGM by Amazon and the coming together of France’s TF1 and M6. The UK’s competition watchdog has also recently (and provisionally) cleared the proposed merger between Virgin Media and O2. What’s going on?...

http://www.vodprofessional.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/OTTQT35-1200x720.png

Whatever date we choose – 2005 when YouTube went live, Christmas Day 2007 when the BBC iPlayer launched, or even 2004 and my own first experience of on-demand video via a classic Homechoice set-top box – it’s safe to say that VOD was born into a linear world. For older generations it was a novelty, and a treat, to suddenly be able to watch what we wanted when we wanted – it’s something we’re still...

http://www.vodprofessional.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/OTTQT34-1200x720.png

Whether we’re consciously aware of it or not, metadata makes the OTT world go round. Technical metadata powers the distribution of video files, integrates them with asset management systems, enforces digital rights and renders them perfectly on viewer’s screens. Editorial metadata, on the other hand, makes content discoverable in VOD catalogues; it tells us about movies and shows we might like to watch, who directs them, acts in them and can recommend other titles we...

http://www.vodprofessional.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/OTTQT33-1200x720.png

Whilst many of the first OTT services (circa 2006/7) were built in-house, with existing staff and perhaps using repurposed broadcast systems, by the third VOD product development cycle (around 2012), broadcasters and streaming providers seemed to have shifted to deploying external vendor solutions. This was especially true of automated processes like encoding and asset management, and specialised tasks like scheduling, content recommendation and content distribution. The advantages in using expert third-parties (including economies of scale,...