By Tim Jackson, Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing, the Americas at Globecast
NAB NY is a growing event and there’s no two ways about that. This year, it bubbled with conversation and spirited debate across many subjects, not least the pros and cons of 4K, 8K, and artificial intelligence. But underpinning the discussions – and our industry as a whole – is the continuing question of how to maximize return on content investment across the current plethora of platforms and devices and the associated variation in viewing patterns across generations and regions.
Content monetization: those are two easy words to write, but an ongoing challenge for content creators and rights holders globally. How do new ways of working – virtualization and the cloud being two key examples – allow the development of the required services to provide the flexibility and speed-of-deployment that expands monetization opportunities? There’s the ever-increasing demand for content to create a cross-platform consumer experience. There’s also the need/desire to promote events/channels across social media using clipped content – highlights, interviews with sports teams and players; additional content in many forms – in order to constantly engage viewers. How can we maximize technology to develop integrated, yet modular, suites of services to minimize CAPEX while maximizing ROI and satisfy these evolving audience requirements?
The requirement is to be able to take content and then process it so that’s it suitable in terms of format, resolution, conformance, length and timing for each platform: linear TV, OTT, streaming, pop-channels, social media, VOD – you get the picture (pun intended!). We do mean content in the widest sense i.e. this could be a channel – full-time or pop-up – or it could be a one-off live event, or it could be anywhere in between. Not for the first time, I keep coming back to the fact that content is king. But — and there is a but — in order to ensure the maximum number of eyeballs for that content, new models have had to be developed to achieve this.
Vital to this has been the development of our cloud-based services alongside the use of virtualized technologies, utilizing OPEX rather than CAPEX models. These present different ways of thinking and working. In conjunction with our existing Media Factory media management capabilities, this is a powerful set of tools of which our customers can take advantage. We have taken these advances and created our cloud-based playout capabilities – launched at NAB this year – alongside our Digital Media Hub integrated suite of services for sport and live events, launched at IBC 2018.
Virgin Media in the UK has already partnered with us for the launch of its Ultra HD channel. Over the past year we have been developing Digital Media Hub with rights holders, many of whom have already used key functions. This includes some of our streaming customers and The Royal British Legion with its social media requirements.
It’s worth highlighting the fact that these are suites of services from which we then create tailored packages. And all from a single supplier, which our customers recognize as a major advantage.
We have to help our customers be as nimble, flexible and responsive as possible, while removing as much of the cost as we can. We are here to listen to you, understand and create a service package that’s suitable for your needs.