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50 VOD Professionals – our list of the 50 most influential people working in the UK’s video-on-demand and OTT industry – is back! Nominations are now open and we’d like to hear from you about the brilliant people that you work with: the designers who imagine your new OTT user interfaces, the developers who help bring them to life, the coders and schedulers and project management staff who maintain the backends, the engineers that run...

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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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Kasia Jablonska has been working in the digital entertainment sector for over 20 years now and her focus has largely been around selling content across multiple channels using a range of different business models. I caught up with her a couple of weeks ago and in this video interview, she told me about her work at Endemol Shine. Specifically, we discussed how she helped to monetise Endemol’s 60,000-hour back catalogue. When Jablonska joined the company, in...

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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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The forced closure of performing arts venues due to the pandemic over the last year has been a catalyst for accelerated digital transformation. Ostmodern is hosting a special webinar at 10am (UK) on Wednesday 5th May 2021 – which I’m moderating – to delve into exactly what that’s meant, and what the future holds, for two world-class live performance institutions located here in the UK. Together with Emma Keith, Director, Digital Media at the National...

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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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Even before the pandemic hit, and new educational content was created by broadcasters all over the world to help children keep learning while in lockdown at home, kid’s OTT was going places. In 2019, Disney had three animated features – Frozen 2, The Lion King and Toy Story 4 – that all exceeded $1bn revenue, Disney+ now has over 100m subscribers, and the company committed to spending $15bn per annum in content by 2024. Netflix...

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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...