I had the opportunity to participate in Brightcove’s PLAY conference in Boston this week and moderated a discussion called “Data Mining for Dollars — An Analyst, A Producer and a Distributor on Best Data Points to Follow” which featured insights from Meredith Corp. and Believe Entertainment. Beyond my session and the sizzle of guest presentations from Matthew Luhn from Pixar and artist Phil Hansen there was a ton of sharing from the actual practitioners within the Brightcove customer and partner community. I didn’t get to see everything but I asked Brightcove’s VP, Marketing & BD for Media, Mike Green, to synthesize what he heard into five takeaways for VideoInk’s readers.
1. Multiple Approaches
PLAY taught us that there are multiple approaches to many types of problems and opportunities in video. For OTT we had MongolTV explaining their turnkey, quick to market launch of ORI TV on a stage next to a deep dive into the ambitious bespoke relaunch of Hulu in Japan. For content prep and delivery we heard from some customers excited to create custom profiles for encoding and set up custom delivery parameters across devices and CDNs while others want the innovations behind Context Aware Encoding and Dynamic Delivery to optimize and execute for them. For Monetization we saw that some publishers are programmatically monetizing their video at high scale with video header bidding while others are succeeding with a high CPM, custom content approach.
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2. Anyone with content and audience can OTT
As the 1st TV station in Mongolia to launch its own streaming platform Batka Gankhuyag owns local content versions of brands like The Voice, Shark Tank, and Mongolia’s Got Talent. He has a population of 3mm Mongolians in his country to target and thousands of ex-pats abroad to target. And he described going after the opportunity like this, setting the stage for one version of a discussion on the topic of OTT in 2018: “We were delighted about how painless it was for us to go live in just a few months of using the Brightcove OTT Flow offering. I’m a producer and we’re a content maker and don’t wanna fiddle with all this techie stuff.”
Media companies attending PLAY have commented on the value they derive from having many trusted Brightcove partners assembled in one place to help them address their needs around topics like subscriber management, interactive video, captioning and video advertising just to name a few. One attendee told me “I’d have to do a lot or research and coordinating of meetings to get the information I need in these areas were it not for [gesturing to the sponsored booths]”
4. Video can be easy in certain respects, but video at scale is hard.
Brightcove has learned how to scale live video with monetization to 1MM concurrent users and some of the more technical sessions with engineering leaders like Jordi Cenzano and Phil Cluff were jammed.
5. The Double Edged Sword of Data
There is more data available now than ever. You can monitor the health of your live stream and the yield and performance of certain ad partners in certain scenarios but normalizing a stat like “engagement,” as you choose to define it, across O&O and social platforms to know what content is working isn’t always easy.