Can you make money from TV Everywhere?
Studies and statistics vary, but everyone agrees that demand for TV Everywhere — content where you want it, when you want it, on the device that you want it — is huge.
According to the Ooyala Global Video Index, for example, demand for multiscreen services increased by 133% from the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014. As the examined time period sits comfortably in the smartphone-and-tablet era, this represents real demand being unleashed by the availability of services.
If your audience expects TV Everywhere, what is stopping you from providing it? Some of the answers that likely come to mind include:
- The complex technology — too many codecs, wrappers and streaming formats
- The challenge of managing workflows and ensuring the right content is available on the right platforms
- The need for a file-based architecture to allow content to move from device to device, platform to platform.
These might all be good reasons, and there are likely many more. But the principal reason is almost certainly the elephant in the room: We can find a way to deliver TV Everywhere, but how can we make money from it?
So there are twin goals in the quest to deploy a successful TV Everywhere offering. First, the underlying system has to work together and with minimal human intervention to minimize operational costs. Second, it must be linked to an advanced advertising offering to deliver a strong revenue stream.
There are numerous companies in the industry that will tell you they can supply the technology for TV Everywhere — and chances are they will be quite competent at parts of it. But in order to meet that first goal, you need a coherent solution.
You also need it to be agile. The number of devices out there, each with their own specific requirements, means you could be facing many hundreds of combinations of resolution, codec, wrapper and adaptive bitrate delivery. That is without considering what is coming tomorrow. New smartphone formats? More popular smart TVs? 4K streaming?
Software-defined architectures provide an ideal foundation for TV Everywhere platforms. You can change the capabilities with a couple of clicks of the mouse, provided everything you require is already implemented in software on a standard platform.
Addressing that second goal is a little trickier. If you offer a multiplatform service, you’ve traditionally only had two options: Either you deliver the same commercials as in the broadcast stream — in which case advertisers will be reluctant to pay a penny more for the additional views — or you strip out the advertising altogether, which eliminates any revenue opportunities.
Advanced advertising platforms will enable you to tailor your offering to the nature of the stream, the demographics of the audience or even the individual user. Your sales department can create campaigns based on their own ingenuity — not on the limitations of what the technology can support.
Add value with interactive advertising. Deliver detailed analytics on who has seen what. Guarantee accurate viewer numbers. You can do that if you have an advanced advertising platform that talks directly to your TV Everywhere delivery system.
In short, you need an integrated solution that covers every base from advertising campaign planning to streaming delivery, including a complete portfolio of transcoders and simple workflow design tools to manage the software-defined network. That is only available from Imagine Communications. Visit us at IBC2014, Stand 7.G20.
By Steve Reynolds, Chief Technology Officer