HomeCategory OTT Question Time

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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....

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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)....

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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 is...

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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...