Ostmodern, Ori predict IBC 2018 trends

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With IBC 2018 now just 2 weeks away, Ostmodern and Ori – specialists in the media and entertainment industry – have identified what they think the defining trends emerging from the show will be.

From AI to mobile edge computing and eSports – Ostmodern and Ori, share their thoughts on how these and other developments will impact the broadcast industry at IBC and beyond.

Mahdi Yahya, CEO at Ori, believes broadcasters and telcos will look to develop a competitive ‘edge’: “At IBC this year, expect mobile edge computing (MEC) to be a hot topic as a new wave of video and content services, originally designed for the cloud, start to find new opportunities at the network edge. ”

“Adopting a similar model to public cloud providers, telcos will be debating how they can increase network access and find new monetisation opportunities. They can open up their network edge assets to service developers, which includes everyone from streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime, to traditional broadcasters like the BBC. Developers can make the best use of available network capacity and resources to deliver live and on-demand content at a national level, or even at specific locations. ”

“Media services are often hampered by conditions that affect networks, such as traffic congestion during peak periods. This can affect the overall quality of live events, such as a World Cup match or the first broadcast of the latest Game of Thrones episode. However, MEC can provide developers with on-demand access to the bandwidth and compute power they need to deliver high-quality content and programming.”

“In addition, by leveraging available resources and caching data at the network edge (much closer to the consumers than current cloud offerings), developers can support a range of new business models, such as the delivery of 8K content or streaming services that incorporate AR and VR. At a defining time for a growing ecosystem, IBC will provide the perfect backdrop to discuss these new industry developments.”

Tom Williams, CEO at Ostmerdern, shares several thoughts:

AI will be top of the agenda

“Just a decade ago, the term artificial intelligence (AI) sounded as though it belonged in sci-fi. In recent years, AI and machine learning have moved from experimentation to reality, across broadcast production, content creation and delivery. These technologies will be a major talking point in Amsterdam.

“AI presents a wealth of opportunities for content providers: from overcoming challenges of metadata, to improved viewer recommendations, and new ways of creating revenue. If applied properly and ethically, as well as being combined with human selection, AI may offer valuable insight into how audiences are watching content, what their content preferences are, and their specific viewing behaviours. This information will help OTT providers to evolve their services in line with viewers’ expectations, to become even more user-friendly and intuitive, helping to retain and grow their audience base.”

Design will become a major differentiator

“Today’s audiences are bombarded with choice when it comes to content and services. In an era where there are more screens and services competing for viewers’ attention than ever before, retaining an audience means having unique and intuitive design. With over 200 OTT services now available in the US alone, a service’s user experience is critical to stand out from the crowd. With this in mind, discussions will focus on how and why product design is now driving ROI for broadcasters and content rights holders.”

The live experience will be a topic of interest for OTT providers

“This year, some of the digital giants have been buying rights to live sport and music events. Amazon’s recent purchase of one of the Premier League rights packages, and its entry into live sport, will undoubtedly be a key talking point at IBC 2018. It’s a clear example of trend that is altering the media and entertainment landscape. Over the next few years, as tech players become more active in live broadcasting and their impact is felt, the market in general will evolve dramatically.

“Amongst the discussions at the RAI, expect to hear conversations around the challenges of working with live data and how OTT providers like Amazon and Netflix will need to adjust their business models to make live streaming a success. Also, we expect there to be much talk about how broadcasters will have to adapt their offerings to this changing landscape if they are to survive.”

Attendees will press play on eSports

“Last year proved to be strong for eSports, with the Dota International tournament giving away a prize pot of $10 million for the winning team, and BT Sport broadcasting the FIFA 17 Ultimate Team Championship series. Early in 2018, the NBA became the world’s first professional sports association to launch its own eSports league. By 2020, it’s estimated that the global eSports audience will reach 600 million, demonstrating that it’s now serious business.

“At IBC this year, conversations on eSports will advance as more businesses realise its potential. As a result of declining live sport viewers, particulars among younger audiences, many traditional players will follow BT’s lead and turn their attention to this in an effort to boost audience engagement.

“We expect to hear more discussions about what traditional broadcasters can learn from eSports providers, and how this new content can help capture and grow online viewers, as well as open up new revenue streams.”


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