Key trends from IBC – a weekend round up

IMG_7917If you’re employed within the TV or broadcasting industry and visited Amsterdam over the weekend, you could only be there for one thing…IBC! For those unfamiliar, IBC show is the annual gathering of over 55,000 visitors for the largest industry event in Europe, where attendees can expand their knowledge and understanding of the latest trend, strategies and development in online TV and video. Some come for the conference, and others come to visit some of the 1,600 broadcast technology exhibitors showcasing new products and services in this fast moving field; this year, Paywizard was one of them.

The Paywizard team has just completed three incredibly busy days as exhibitors in the Content Everywhere Hall 14. The team – Andrew, Chris, Craig, Peter, Jonathan, Richard, Kevin, Lindsay, Bhavesh, Abby and Helen – have welcomed visitors to our booth from around the world who were eager to see our enhanced subscription, billing and CRM platform Paywizard Agile.

Alongside exhibiting, we have visited some interesting sessions at the Content Everywhere Hub Theatre. Here are just a few of the interesting topics discussed:

How sport is a major catalyst for innovation in traditional linear and now OTT online TV

In the panel on Friday were:Sports_panel

  • David Mowrey, VP of Product Management at IBM Cloud Video;
  • Miguel Silva, CCO at Vimond Media Solutions;
  • Paolo Pescatore, Director of Multiplay and Media at CCS Insight;
  • and Till Brauckmann, Director of Sales and New Business at DOCOMOC Digital

The panel discussed new tools and techniques that have been developed for the growing sports streaming landscape. With live sports and e-sport now being the main growth driver for live streaming and 59% of users consuming sports daily via multi-devices, the debate finished with some interesting future predictions from the participants. David said that he believed that we would definitely see a social platform buy the rights to showing sports events, Till said that we would see Facebook becoming a content producer in their own right, and Miguel said there will be emerging coverage of niche sports at a global level.

Personalisation is key to deliver the TV experience subscribers demand


On Saturday morning, Klemen Logar, Sales Manager at Beenius highlighted the need for pay-TV operators to adapt to the new business models and discussed the demands from their customers for a more personalised experience. He said, “If you want a service that really loves the customer you have to give them the content that they want. You need a proper recommendation system for new content discovery. Serve the relevant content to the subscriber.” With 50% of consumers who watch linear saying they can’t find anything to watch – and with the average customer paying for 180 channels but typically only watching 20 on a regular basis – it’s clear that current operators are missing the mark.

Launching an OTT service, whether locally, regionally or globally has many challenges


Another panel session on Saturday afternoon, entitled ‘Practicalities of global, regional and local OTT’, featured:

  • Colin Dixon, Principle Analyst at nScreenMedia;
  • Denis Lackovic, CTO at uniqCast;
  • Stephen Clee, Director of Media and Entertainments Sales EMEA at Verizon Digital Media;
  • and Wilson Yuen, Founder and CEO at TFI Digital Media Limited

The panel discussed how cultural, linguistic, technical and regulatory differences, as well as content rights, need to be taken into consideration when developing business plans and deploying OTT services.

Stephen outlined the 6 main challenge areas every OTT service provider must consider. These are; content, encoding, hosting, network issues, audience and user interface.

“Every part of the story is important,” said Stephen, and the panel agreed that it is important to know if you are launching the service internationally from the start. This means you can complete thorough research into your market of choice to deal with language, connectivity, pricing and licensing issues, and to work with partners where possible in difficult markets like China. We often forget in TV land that OTT solutions have applications in other sectors, and Wilson showcased his work not only in working on the first ever OTT service in Hong Kong for HKTV but also his company’s work in the real estate and travel sectors.

Content is King and Context is Queen

Martijn_Content_is_KingMartijn van Horssen, CEO of 24i Media shared his experience on Sunday morning to present best practices in building an engaging and profitable OTT service. He provided real world tips from his work with global sports clients on how to maximise customer adoption such as recommendation techniques, social tools and supported platforms. For those in the industry, we have heard the term ‘Content is King’ a million times. But Martijn was quick to share his view that “Content is King and Context is Queen. Where you are watching your content is equally as important as the content itself.” When a device like an Xbox is used more for streaming content that playing games, he explained that an operator must consider how devices are used in their customers’ personal life. As well as this consideration about the differences of screen size between devices (mobile, tablet, laptop and smart TV) is required to deliver the most engaging experience for the end user.

For those still at IBC, we recommend taking a walk up to the IBC Future Zone if you can, where you will see developments in VR and screens, like BBC Home, a VR spacewalk experience or NHK’s 8K OLED sheet display.

If you can’t make it to the event but would like to know more about Paywizard, get in touch! And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook for more updates from IBC today and tomorrow…