Peled: “Streaming new piracy scourge”

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Dr Abe Peled, incoming chairman of Synamedia, the company being created from the sale of Cisco’s Service Provider Video Software Solutions business to a company backed by the Permira funds, has suggested that streaming piracy is the new scourge of pay-TV operators, with the business looking to introduce a service related to combating the threat.

Speaking at an IBC press event introducing the new operation, its senior executives and goals, Peled noted that when he was at NDS, whose content protection business was acquired by Cisco, the biggest piracy scourge related to satellite. “Now it’s streaming,” he said. “We expect to be able to invest and disrupt that piracy ecosystem to enable our customers to make money.”

Yves Padrines, incoming CEO for Synamedia and currently vice president of Global Service Provider for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Cisco, said that among the new company’s priorities was to protect its customers revenue streams. “There will be a new service related to streaming.”

Although viewers are consuming more TV and video content than ever before, piracy can decimate operators’ revenues. Drawing on a 30-year heritage in content protection and relationships with other cybersecurity firms, Synamedia will bring to market products and services that go beyond watermarking to help customers with piracy prevention, rapid detection and response.

Synamedia says it is is putting innovation at the heart of its strategy. The firm’s investment strategy will help customers: optimise their current infrastructure while adopting broadcast-grade IP distribution to boost consumer choice and convenience; secure revenue streams; and develop new offerings.

With the goal of helping customers build new revenue streams with ad agencies and brands, Synamedia will also be investing R&D effort on the technology underpinning targeted advertising, including both live and on demand services such as cloud DVRs. While the technology brings new opportunities for customers across all sectors, Synamedia believes this will be particularly attractive to free-to-air TV broadcasters and channels aiming to increase their revenue by offering OTT services including live streaming, catch-up TV and cloud DVR.

Synamedia’s upcoming boost to Evo middleware investment, combined with support for Android TV and RDK within its Infinite Video Platform, will allow customers to select the option best suited to their strategy.

As an independent company, Synamedia will forge partnerships with best-of-breed data analytics firms, network equipment providers and application developers supporting Synamedia Infinite Video Platform. It also plans to expand its professional services offerings to meet demand from existing clients looking to enhance their platform with features that meet their local needs. Synamedia believes these initiatives will result in the richest and most flexible hybrid broadcast OTT platform in the market.

The company believes Cloud DVR and the Infinite Video Platform will help grow its customer base. While Infinite Video Platform is being deployed on DTH, cable and IPTV, Synamedia plans to ensure it supports Android TV and RDK as well as any type of companion device including games consoles and connected TVs. It will focus on new ways of enhancing the user experience as well as improving the quality of experience with multicast ABR streaming and broadcast-equivalent streaming latency.

While Cloud DVR already supports 10 millions subscribers each week, Synamedia will be expanding its cost-effective cloud DVR solution with support for hybrid and multi-cloud environments and will work on developing a fully-managed service.

“We are looking forward to helping our DTH and cable customers embrace IP distribution to complement and expand consumer choice and convenience, as well as helping telco customers and new entrants to pay-TV take advantage of our end-to-end platform offering,” commented Padrines. “At this pivotal time in the industry when the market faces a number of challenges, we will work with our customers and partners to reinvent the way people are entertained and informed.”

“I’m particularly excited about our plans to help customers secure their revenues and enhance the consumer experience by taking advantage of the convenience of OTT technologies,” added Peled. “We will be starting with a robust and secure platform and will further develop our security offerings to tackle illegal streaming. In addition, we will leverage our expertise in targeted advertising to enable our clients to create new revenue streams.”

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of Cisco’s FY19, subject to any regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.


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