HomeCategory OTT Question Time

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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...

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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...

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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?...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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In the OTT world, content is king and one of the most popular content types of all is football. Best enjoyed live, football transcends pay models and is watched via AVOD, SVOD and TVOD (pay-per-view). It crosses national and international boundaries in terms of where the fans are. And as well as the actual matches, leagues and tournaments themselves, football comes with a whole array of surrounding content including interviews, press conferences, build-ups and analysis....

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From personalised content recommendation to addressable advertising, predicting customers who are about to churn to routing video traffic through the most efficient networks, use cases for AI in the OTT industry are on the rise; affecting both front and backends. It’s a fascinating subject and one that we discussed at OTT Question Time last week, Thursday 22nd April. Together with Katheryn Needham, Head of TV / Digital and Business Development at STUDIOCANAL, Weerada Sucharitkul, CEO...

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For me, live-to-VOD is the real-time embodiment of the “glass to glass process”: getting content from the camera where the footage is being filmed to the end-user’s viewing device. But the elegance and simplicity of that proposition masks an underlying world of complexity. During this session of OTT Question Time we delved deep into live-to-VOD and got to grips with how it works, the challenges involved and the technologies and solutions that help power it. ...

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At this week’s OTT Question Time – and after only 28 episodes! – wee finally hosted a session dedicated to talking about Netflix. Is there anything left to say about the streaming giant? Sure there is. We started with a quick history of Netflix’s origins as a DVD-based company, its pivot to online video, how it created its iconic UI and content recommendation system and its customer acquisition strategy, domestically and internationally. Together with our...