Author: Matt Smith, Vice President and Principal Media Evangelist, Brightcove
Video is all around us, whether we are aware of it or not. From social networks, to digital first companies, video is the foundation of today’s media landscape. Younger generations are driving the video-first narrative and expect video to be everywhere they are. The stakes are high for these video publishers as they make big bets on audiences who are redefining not only how content is consumed, but also how it is prepared, managed, and delivered.
Change Is Happening: Embrace it:
The growth of connected devices has created a sea of change in how viewers are consuming all types of media, including video. There is massive pressure on service providers to hold on to subscribers, and if recent years are anything to go off of, it is a challenge they are facing head on. In the past, service providers have been a necessary competent for viewers to watch television, especially the ever sought after sports content, given the rights secured by various networks. The problem is these deals are very expensive and drive the cost of cable and television packages up.
This trend has given rise to OTT offerings, for a variety of reasons. First, the mobile-first audience wants content on their devices, and ‘traditional’ programmers want to give it to them. Second, digital-first programmers, a la carte sports leagues, and networks see OTT as a very cost-effective path to their viewers. Last but certainly not least, these new video offerings represent a new and very welcome revenue stream, where digital ads replace those that appeared in the broadcast.
Future battle lines are being drawn beyond sports. Major media and entertainment brands are launching OTT Services to exclusively house streaming content. Expect this to see this trend with sports content too, over the next couple of years.
The Audience Is There, Build the Stadium Already
Today we are seeing the online video equivalent of a renaissance period, where new networks, niche content, and sports leagues of all shapes and sizes are standing up services every month. OTT video is changing the economics of ‘channels’ in that they cost orders of magnitude less to launch than their broadcast brethren who came before them. Never before has it been less expensive to launch a channel. And the audience is there.
We know that live video alone will grow 15 times over the next five years, according to research from Cisco. The tools and intelligent workflows are open and ready for business, too. To deliver a live event today calls for complexity beyond simply acquiring a live signal, converting it to streams, and then delivering it to viewers. Now, we must enable editing of the event in real time, where a big play or goal in a match can be clipped and distributed to social networks or apps immediately. Additionally, we’re providing features like Cloud DVR, so that a viewer can pause a live event or scrub back to the beginning if they caught the event in progress. In all these cases, the online video components in today’s marketplace are helping create viewing experiences that are better than broadcast.
Why Is This important?
Consumers drive habits, it is no different here. Viewers are driving change because their viewing habits are evolving to integrate into busy, on the go lifestyles. More and more viewers are catching tonight’s game or yesterday’s highlights on the go, whether it be on on their commute, during their lunch break, or even while out socializing. It is also a matter of traditional television packages being too expensive for the everyday consumer who only watches a few channels. With this shift highly documented, I expect to see many sports leagues, following suit of the NFL and signing streaming deals of their own or even launching OTT services so fans can watch live events and related content whenever they want. In doing so, they open up opportunities for new viewers and revenue streams. Seems like a win to me.
Matt Smith – Vice President and Principal Media Evangelist, Brightcove
Matt is Vice President and Principal Media Evangelist for Brightcove’s media business unit. He has served in a variety of roles in the industry from architecture to operations and has extensive experience in finding solutions for the challenging problems faced by media and entertainment companies as they reach viewers on any screen. Matt’s experience spans many aspects of today’s complex video workflows and he is a frequent speaker at many industry events and conferences.