The dust is now settling on the broadcast industry’s premier event in Europe now and certainly with regard to my own contacts and associates, it has been a great show. I’m not sure to what extent the major equipment suppliers and CE manufacturers achieved their objectives, but from an application provider perspective, there was certainly a lot of buzz.
I did hear that the event was not as well attended as previous years although the official PR seems to suggest otherwise. Due to my own particular interest in Second Screen, one of my own highlights was the Second Screen Society event held at the Okura hotel. This was organized through MESA and sponsored Kit Digital and Civolution, together with the likes of Blu Focus and Digital Smiths amongst others. That particular event including dinner was a great success and a sell out, which certainly showed the level of interest in the space right now.
Here is my roll up of the exciting news and great technologies that caught my eye and will certainly be the subject of further discussion.
- Motama (http://www.motama.com/)
- This company has been around for a few years already, but it seems they have been quietly expanding their market and providing really unique and cost effective solutions for their customers.
- The product is the result of the two co-founders research work as part of their respective PhD work. They have essentially found a robust and secure solution to the challenge of packet loss for video signals sent over public internet.
- The demonstration at their stand showed how you can consistently obtain high quality video even at what would otherwise be completely unusable video streams.
- Their customers can effectively cover as wide a range as imagination allows. The reason for this is because anyone who needs to get a good, reliable video signal from one point to some other, potentially distant location for small or large populations can use the technology. In fact, as long as there is some level of public internet access in the receiving location, you have the basis for the solution.
- In fact, as we all know, although the major players in the world of CDNs are very well established in Western Europe, there are still significant regions of the world where they are not present. Motama seem to have found the solution.
- You can see and hear some more details at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pW0YQjykWHk
Motama Solution Overview
- Miomni (http://www.miomni.com/)
- We hear a great deal about Brightcove and Kit Digital these days, and their technology to enable multi-screen delivery to any device. However, I always enjoy finding companies that can challenge the giants and actually provide effective solutions for the small guys as well as the big guys. For me, small means agile and cost effective and generally means innovative also, because those guys don’t have the money to be anything less.
- Miomni is one of those companies. Based in London, they are enabling customers to get to where their audience is and monetize eyeballs.
- The work they did for Fishing TV is a great case study: http://www.miomni.com/our-work/fishing-tv/
- Ooyala (http://www.ooyala.com/)
- I probably should have already known Ooyala very well. They have been out there for some time providing great analytics and personalized video experiences. However, I had never really looked at them in any depth.
- Well, having chatted with them at their stand and then hearing their founder, Bismarck Lepe give a seminar during IBC, I liked what I saw.
- These guys are masters of analytics. And in these days of big data, people who can help us to make sense of data and then do something with it, are valuable.
- They use a number of different components, which are brought together to deliver rich, contextual recommendation. Additionally, because they are so widely used, they can also leverage a user base of around 200 M to gather data on discovery.
- The next phase of their evolution (due in early 2013) is to launch an automatically optimized ad load for individual consumers. I have to admit, from a personal perspective that is a nightmare scenario. However, I must live in the real world and I accept that from a brand perspective, that is getting to utopia.
- Nativ (http://nativ.tv/)
- I caught a seminar by Nativ and was very impressed with what they had done for TV2 in Denmark. They talked about helping the business move to a tapeless workflow, albeit for short form content, but nevertheless a major undertaking.
- Nativ were open and frank about what they had done. The things that went well and the things that did not go so well.
- Here are the core capabilities of their Mio Everywhere solution. (from their web site)
- Remotely ingest video and audio content – while validating that it’s in the right format (even before it leaves your desktop)
- Manage all assets – with enterprise-class archiving, extensible metadata, tagging, shot-loggging, deep indexing and searching… it’s a fully-fledged enterprise DAM system
- Automate all workflows – enable global media collaboration and accelerate every process while cutting costs
- Collaborate with your own workspaces – with advanced social features for ‘real-time’ global collaboration; remote working; and increased visibility of cost and resources on a per-project basis.
- Repurpose content, and distribute it – to all web channels, mobile devices, consoles, VoD platforms, in-store kiosks and beyond
- Assess the impact – with easy-to-understand and relevant metrics
And then of course, there was the Second Screen Society seminar and dinner
The line up of guest speakers and panel members was excellent and although there was probably not as much lively audience participation as Guy Finley would have liked, there was enough decent debate and dialogue to provide a very interesting and informative afternoon and evening.
First up was Kit Digital’s Alan Wolk. He made an interesting point about a behaviour that would probably lead to most purchases happening after a program has finished. To that end, he spoke of an “ad locker” and that did seem to make a lot of sense.
Renaud Fuchs from Ericsson Broadcast business (formerly Technicolor), gave a great presentation about the Second Screen ecosystem and the evolution of the space. The slide extract below, gives a good overview of the five types of second screen players that he has defined.
Alex Terpstra from Civolution then gave a helpful summary of the two common types of Automated Content Recognition (ACR) solutions that exist. These are of course Audio Watermarking and Audio Fingerprinting. He noted that European broadcasters are now incorporating Audio Watermarking as a permanent feature for live and catch up content.
Then came some panel discussions and I think some of the key points that came out from the guest can be summarised as follows.
- Metadata is a key challenge to being able to leverage and monetize the second screen
- Second screen will not cannibalize existing channels (The Super Bowl showed that to be true)
- Helping people to find what to watch (easily) is a key factor in the success of any second screen solution
- Second screen applications need to be integrated with narrative editorial to get best engagement
The dinner that followed was great fun (with great food included). Each table had a designated host and I was privileged to be seated at Guy Finley’s table together with a great cross spectrum of industry specialists. Each table was also given a topic to debate. Ours was, “what do we think will happen to linear TV?” Our overwhelming verdict was that it is not going anywhere. They way it is consumed is radically changing. Second screen can even help it because if great content can be created, then second screen can help drive engagement and revenue and thus hep pay for more great content!