Matt Parker, Director of business development, Edgeware
Join in any conversation with broadcast professionals and you will likely hear a mix of excitement and apprehension about the future of the industry. There is no question that the evolving video delivery landscape brings new opportunities. However like all good things, it also brings its own set of challenges. We have witnessed a fundamental shift of power in the TV landscape; power once owned by the broadcaster transitioning completely to the consumer for viewing decisions. In a changing and increasingly competitive video landscape, the broadcast business proposition is hugely impacted.
The new habits of TV consumption, including the accessibility to stream content at any time, anywhere, has taken viewing decisions away from the broadcaster and put it into the hands of consumers. This evolution brings increased competition from not only traditional players, but also new OTT offerings. Add in factors of piracy concerns and regulatory compliance responsibility, as well as new advertising and monetization models, and the many moving parts can be overwhelming.
Control begins at the Origin
Broadcasters’ reach within the IP delivery system chain is limited. In most cases, content is handed off to other ecosystem players prematurely, to complete vital processing functions before the actual delivery of content to viewers. As a result, beyond initial content capture/creation and primary encoding functions, the broadcaster has zero control of delivery. In order to stay relevant and competitive a re-evaluation of its position and reach in the video delivery workflow is essential.
Re-capturing control starts with taking back ownership of the Origin. The functions of a modern video Origin go way beyond a first stage encode/transcode function. Origin functions include video ingest, recording, re-packaging, playout, content protection and encryption to name but a few, yet many of these vital processing functions have been passed over to third party delivery partners. When a CDN becomes a processing point as opposed to a classic CDN delivery mechanism, control, visibility and quality measurement capabilities are lost. These are vital capabilities in ensuring a best in class delivery over IP and cost effectiveness.
Taking control of the Origin, in the traditional sense, is not typically conducive to a broadcaster’s business model. However, a cost-effective hardware- accelerated and software-defined option can deliver significant capex and opex savings, while allowing easy expansion as services evolve. The key is consolidation. A consolidated origination platform collapses traditional Origin components into single operating unit. This means less equipment and less infrastructure maintenance costs, while opening up extensive revenue expansion opportunities – essentially empowering the broadcaster by allowing it to see more and do more within head end delivery processes. A local Origin of this nature provides the control, visibility, and measurement capabilities that are essential in monitoring CDN delivery effectiveness and cost further downstream.
The impact on the bottom line
The ability to have control of content between the encoder and the Origin point enables powerful client insights and analytics, such as network stress and load, knowledge of cache miss rates from third-party CDNs. This information is extremely valuable and is the key to evolving the broadcaster’s role in the video delivery network.
With the ability to know more about the user experience, content popularity, and other key metrics, the more tools broadcasters have to win over and retain customer preference. This knowledge will also impact broadcaster’s ability to open up personalization capabilities, such as dynamic ad-insertion and slate insertions. It also enables easy integration of premium services, such as cloud DVR, multiscreen, VoD and niche content. Giving consumers what they want is a necessity. If you know what the end-user wants, you can deliver on these demands.
What makes viewers pick up their favorite device to pass the time? What makes them binge watch seasons long of the latest must-watch show? The answer is simple – content. Content is where broadcasters have the most to gain with archives of usable content – In the majority of cases, decades worth of content.
From classic black and white footage of the man landing on the moon, to major breaking news events over the years, to the sitcoms that define generations, broadcasters hold valuable and unique content in their archives that can be turned into new revenue streams for loyal customers.
Unfortunately, storing, accessing and distributing this content through today’s fragmented IP infrastructure is not a viable solution. With a scalable Origin in place, broadcasters have more options to tap into their full archives and to serve this directly from the Origin, creating new monetization opportunities for archived content and niche services.
Taking back the control
With the right strategy in place, broadcasters can be successful in increasing their value proposition to a fragmented audience and regain influence on viewing decisions. When broadcasters take back control, they can achieve significant cost savings, ensure quality of delivery, bring personalization to their business models and take advantage of new revenue generating opportunities.
Broadcasters, when looking to deploy their Origin platforms, must consider a cost-effective future-proof solution that scales with demand. With all those components in place, the path to taking back the control and regaining relevance in this competitive landscape is secured.
Edgeware is the leader in video delivery networks, designed to allow operators to monetize video services such as TV Everywhere (TVE), video on demand (VOD), network-based catchup TV and Digital Video Recording (nDVR) and wholesale Content Delivery Networking (CDN). Edgeware’s Video Consolidation Platform (VCP) provides the video origination and delivery systems needed to offer compelling services across managed and unmanaged networks and to reach any screen, at any time, with any content. Edgeware is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, with offices worldwide.
For further information, please visit www.edgeware.tv.
- Increase your TV delivery value proposition by taking back control - November 15, 2015