The continued need for multiplatform content delivery is placing ever greater pressures on operations.

The growing requirement to integrate production processes and systems has been countered by barriers including standards, available time and resource and most critically cost.

Alongside this transition is the industry’s increasing appreciation of the potential of data, particularly metadata, as media firms seek to optimise assets and drive new monetisation opportunities.

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Many will lead you to believe this is the ‘Era of Netflix’

A new white paper from Futuresource in conjunction with Ooyala uses industry research to identify the pressure points content owners are facing as they seek to optimise integration processes and work towards better utilisation of their assets.

The rate of change

Many will lead you to believe this is the ‘Era of Netflix’, that consumers are spending most of their time accessing content on-demand and watching on devices other than the TV-screen. However, traditional viewing habits remain and scheduled programming is still critical to the TV proposition. But viewers now want more; more ways to watch, more places to watch and even more high quality content.

“Automation typically results in costs savings of up to 25% in our experience” – Digital Logistics, Systems Integrator

Yet the TV industry is transitioning, with a more aware and demanding audience meaning many of the established rules, dynamics and technologies are no longer suitable or relevant: nevertheless it continues to be a highly successful business.

There has never been a better time to be a consumer, with low-cost premium content services available for as little as a few dollars a month. However, the content owner and distributor perspective is somewhat different. OTT content availability is now a prerequisite with consumers typically expecting such functionality free of charge or included with their existing subscription. Therefore, a successful approach to absorbing initial investment and operating costs, in addition to seeking alternative monetisation strategies, is imperative.

This research, incorporating both traditional and new media operators across multiple geographies, identified common concerns in this new era of entertainment:

  • Integration and interoperability of new and legacy infrastructure
  • A requirement to increase output with limited or no increase in investment or ongoing spend
  • Management and distribution of an ever-rising number of OTT video profiles
  • Push for the standardisation and automation of metadata
  • Utilisation of metadata and consumer information to improve experience, enable personalisation and subsequently achieve monetisation

OTT video services across all world regions have seen a continued rise in popularity over the past few years, driven by ubiquitous consumer access to connected devices and continually rising broadband speeds fuelling consumer appetite. This rate of uptake has for many broadcasters resulted in the requirement to rapidly adapt and upgrade existing systems, often with time and budget constraints.

But the OTT train is gathering further momentum with its popularity among younger demographics beginning to match that of scheduled broadcast viewing, influenced by the Netflix revolution.

For the majority of respondents, the drawing together of the management and distribution of traditional broadcast and OTT workflows is a key consideration and future objective. The way organisations have grown, either through acquisition or even just rapid organic growth, has resulted in the functions often operating independently (in some instances discrete workflows or even separate departments). This siloed approach has meant that integration and therefore automation is problematic, with respondents saying systems are often ‘bandaided’ together.

The outlook

The rise in popularity of OTT services not typically being matched by their financial return will drive operators to seek greater efficiencies and economies of scale across workflows.

Greater use of automation in integrated workflows will provide a footing for improved productivity – including production and use of metadata.

And greater data collection from OTT viewing will reduce risk of content investment, as acquisition and commissions are more tightly aligned to consumers’ viewing preferences.