Martial Arts • Kickboxing at Tapout in Burlington, Ontario, Canada

14.Aug - Burlington, Tapout Kickboxing (title)

• Last month I was on vacation in Burlington, Ontario, Canada, and had the privilege of training with my sister, Alica, at the local TapouT MMA gym: Tapoutburlington.com.

• It was awesome to train beside my sister, and teach her a few things that I have learned over the years. Here is a video diary from our training sessions across five days. I can’t wait until we train together again! Love you, Ali :)

• I’d like to give a shout-out to my trainer in Prague, Karel Ferus.  If you live here, or are visiting Prague sometime in the future, feel free to come by and train with us.  If you are interested in strength and conditioning, cardio training, or want to learn how to fight, then come by.  If you want to train with us, then feel free to leave me a comment below, or visit these sites for more information:

Home - Signature, Gabriel Dusil ('12, shadow, teal)

 

 

 

 


14.Aug - Burlington, Tapout Kickboxing

 

OTT & Multiscreen • Entertainment Challenges in Today’s Digital Society • 7 • What improvements can OTT offer to Online Entertainment Services?

13.Nov.20 - Entertainment Challenges in Today’s Digital Society (title)

• Video

• 9 minutes 44 seconds

7. What improvements can OTT offer to Online Entertainment Services?

With regards to improving OTT, there are four main features that will significantly improve the quality of online digital video services:

  • Content Accessibility
  • Content Upgradability
  • Content Portability
  • Subscriber Personalization

a. Entertainment Needs to be Accessible

Today’s digital society is migrating from an entertainment ownership paradigm to a licensing model. Past consumers typically bought hard copies of music and movies. Then they evolved to using the cloud for storage[i]. The main issue with ownership is that it is inherently inefficient from a global content management perspective. Millions of users own duplicate copies of their entertainment, which in turn amounts to millions of duplicate copies of the same song, movie, or TV program. For the environmentally sensitive, this needlessly adds to the amount of polymer, paper, and other harmful chemicals required to manufacture said copies, not to mention the wasted shelf space they take up in the home.

Extrapolating the idea that content in the future will mainly come in licensed form, it’s conceivable that once content resides in the cloud, those millions of duplicate copies will be rendered unnecessary. Imagine an OTT provider telling their subscribers:

“You no longer need to keep all of those files in the cloud.  We will delete your library and give you the best resolution and quality available for your purchased content. We will even allocate a license to members of your family. Furthermore, you can stream that content onto any device you own. We will format and deliver that content in the best quality possible, depending on the location, device, or network you happen to be using.”

That statement may not yet be feasible, but it offers a realistic vision of the future for OTT services. The licensing model will flip the entertainment industry’s current paradigm on its head. Rather than having millions of users accessing millions of duplicate versions of their entertainment, subscribers will simply license a single instance of that content, whenever and wherever they want. This is the essence of OTT.

13.Nov.20 - Entertainment Challenges in Today’s Digital Society (part vii, The ability to access content anytime, anywhere)

OTT services ultimately facilitate a single instance paradigmfor content. This approach has already begun. Consider Apple’s iTunes Match Service[iii] where users can upload their music library to the cloud. In fact, there is no need to upload music at all because the software recognizes that the subscriber has an instance of a song on their computer and grants them access to that song in the cloud. This same principle is possible for movies, TV shows, and any other type of entertainment content.

Practically speaking, one instance of a movie won’t happen in its purest form due to global delivery and caching requirements, archiving, competing services with the same title, etc. But theoretically it is possible have a single 4K or UHD[iv] master of a movie sitting in the cloud (Figure i). If a subscriber wants to access a movie, their content rights license is approved and granted for different devices or users. The movie would then be transcoded on the fly to suit the screen size, processor limitations, and networking capabilities. There are critical factors necessary to make this work, including: chipsets that can transcode 4K content on the fly, ubiquitous Internet access, bandwidth speeds that address quality of service, and seamless yet powerful DRM, to name just a few.

Figure i – Future of Content Delivery

Figure i – Future of Content Delivery

b. Entertainment Needs to be Upgradable

Once content resides in the cloud, such as in an OTT service, then the idea of an upgrade path is viable. Consumers today don’t upgrade their movies and music in the same manner as they upgrade software. Why not? If a user has a Blu-Ray version of a movie and buys a new 4K television, then why shouldn’t there be the possibility to upgrade to a better version? Consumers don’t want to buy content over and over again every time technology improves.

Likewise, when a new family member wants to access the family OTT service, there should be a content rights provision to accommodate that desire. When an extended or recut version is available, or a new featurette[v] is available, subscribers should have the option to pay an incremental fee for that content as well.

Simply put, entertainment should be upgradeable. With content residing in the cloud, OTT services can allow for this level of granularity. A cloud-based licensing model, therefore, provides the platform for upgradability in a manageable and scalable service.

c. Entertainment Needs to be Portable

Content needs to be protected in order to maintain a level of control over portability. Ultraviolet DRM is a solution that seeks to address this need, but true portability is still in its infancy. DRM and the broader scope of content protection is a delicate balance between control and freedom.  The digital locker offered by Ultraviolet seeks to provide a level of freedom for consumers, but can nevertheless feel like a digital prison sometimes.

Portability in the entertainment industry has been extended with the advent of multiple screens (TV, PC, and mobiles), but there are still improvements to be made. Content purchased on one platform (iOS, Android or Windows) should be available on other platforms. Content bought on disc should port to any digital screen owned by the purchaser. Content bought in one geographic region should be accessible internationally. Even movies enjoyed in the cinema could have agreements with OTT providers to find creative ways to offer theater releases in sync with online subscribers.

d. Entertainment Needs a Stellar User Experience

Subscribers want to have fun before, during, and after a movie. The more they have fun, the longer they will stay and play. The longer they stay, the more money they will spend.

This virtual playground is called the User Interface and User Experience (UI/UX) in OTT. It centers on social media, recommendation engines, trivia, games, and statistics, as well as many other features. It’s all about a bi-directional dialog and relationship with subscribers. The consumer is no longer an anonymous viewer to entertainment. Instead, the OTT service provider can facilitate a personal and engaging dialogue with each and every subscriber.

Word-of-mouth and advertising serves to promote head-end content, but does little to promote long-tail titles. With the massive libraries of some OTT services numbering in tens of thousands of titles, it’s quite likely subscribers are not taking advantage of all the content available to them as these libraries are simply too large to navigate. According to Netflix, their recommendation engine accounts for at least 75% of what is being viewed[vi]. A related study found that 14 percent more subscribers enjoy videos following a recommendation versus browsing[vii]. Using different metrics surrounding recommendation engines[viii],therefore,subscribers can migrate to undiscovered titles that are already residing in the service they paid for.

The UI/UX provides the interface to discover new content and allows content distributors to monetize long-tail material that sits dormant in libraries for most of its useful lifespan.

Finally, the value of social media in entertainment should not be underestimated. According to Ooyala, “Personal testimonials are one of the most powerful influences on all types of consumer action… By learning what their trusted friends have enjoyed, and by comparing that to their perception of how much they have in common with the recommender, viewers get a very personalized and motivating impression of what to check out.”[ix]

Clearly, recommendation engines help consumers reach the heretofore uncharted depths of large entertainment libraries.

 


[i] “Turning Piratez into Consumers, II”, by Gabriel Dusil, http://gdusil.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/turning-piratez-into-consumers-ii/

[ii] “The ability to access content anytime, anywhere and on any screen is the essence of today‘s OTT multiscreen strategy.”

[iii] Apple’s iTunes Match Service http://www.apple.com/itunes/itunes-match/

[iv] 4K UHD, Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4K_resolution

[v] Featurette, Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Featurette

[vi] “Science Behind the Netflix Algorithms That Decide What You’ll Watch Next”, by Tom Vanderbilt, 7th August 2013, Wired.com http://www.wired.com/2013/08/qq_netflix-algorithm/

[vii] “Branded Videos Shared More Than 500,000 Times Every 24 Hours”, by Greg Jarboe, 11th June 2013 http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2273968/Branded-Videos-Shared-More-Than-500000-Times-Every-24-Hours

[viii] For example: rating systems, social networking, “Likes”, shares, and chat statistics, viewing guides, promotion through syndication, past behavior, demographics ofusers with common interests

[ix] “Connecting Consumers with Content”, Ooyala http://go.ooyala.com/rs/OOYALA/images/ooyala-content-discovery-whitepaper.pdf

.

• Entertainment Challenges in Today’s Digital Society

•Ÿ  Check out additional thought leadership answers to the entertainment challenges in today’s digital society:

1. Is 2nd Screen a threat to broadcasters? What are the challenges for OTT moving forward?

http://gdusil.wordpress.com/2013/12/24/entertainment-challenges-in-todays-digital-society-i-of-vii/

2. How will 4K be adopted by consumers?

http://gdusil.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/entertainment-challenges-in-todays-digital-society-ii-of-vii/

3. Is there a future for 4K video in broadcast?

http://gdusil.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/entertainment-challenges-in-todays-digital-society-iii-of-vii/

4. How is OTT evolving, and what’s in store for subscribers?

http://gdusil.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/entertainment-challenges-in-todays-digital-society-iv-of-vii/

5. How is digital video affecting global communications?

http://gdusil.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/entertainment-challenges-in-todays-digital-society-v-of-vii/

• Synopsis

•  Understanding the entertainment market from ten thousand meters helps industry executives make strategic decisions. This leads to tactical initiatives that drive innovation, new services, and revenue growth. This Q&A series takes a top level view of today’s digital landscape and helps decision makers navigate through the latest technologies and trends in digital video. Gabriel Dusil, Chief Marketing & Corporate Strategy Officer from Visual Unity, discusses the ongoing developments in Over the Top (OTT) services, how these platforms are helping to shape today’s digital society, and addresses the evolving changes in consumer behavior. Topics include 2nd Screen, 4K Ultra High Definition video, H.265 HEVC, global challenges surrounding content distribution, and the future of OTT.

• About Gabriel Dusil

Home - Signature, Gabriel Dusil ('12, shadow, orange)

Gabriel Dusil is the Chief Marketing and Corporate Strategy Officer at Visual Unity, with a mandate to advance the company’s portfolio into next generation solutions and expand the company’s global presence. Before joining Visual Unity, Gabriel was the VP of Sales & Marketing at Cognitive Security, and Director of Alliances at SecureWorks, responsible for partners in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). Previously, Gabriel worked at VeriSign and Motorola in a combination of senior marketing and sales roles. Gabriel obtained a degree in Engineering Physics from McMaster University in Canada and has advanced knowledge in Online Video Solutions, Cloud Computing, Security as a Service (SaaS), Identity and Access Management (IAM), and Managed Security Services (MSS).

• Tags

• 2nd Screen, 4K, Broadcast, Connected TV, Digital Rights, Digital Video, DRM, Gabriel Dusil, H.264, H.265, HEVC, Internet Video, Linear Broadcast, Linear TV, Multi-screen, Multiscreen, New Media, Online Video, Online Video Platform, OTT, Over the Top Content, OVP, Recommendation Engine, Search Discovery, second screen, Smart TV, Social TV, TV Anywhere, TV Everywhere, UHD, Ultra HD, Ultra High Definition, Visual Unity

OTT & Multiscreen • Web Seminar • 7 • An ROI Case Study for Video Streaming

14.May.27 - Visual Unity Global (training, title)

• Web Seminar ’14 • #7 • An ROI Case Study for Video Streaming

• Welcome to our seventh web seminar from our ’14 series.  This presentation is also the third part of our “Getting your ROI from Video Streaming series” web seminar, that we held at the end of July 2014.

• ŸCheck out other white papers, video presentations, and opinion pieces from my blog “Digital Video for a Digital Generation”: www.dusil.com

• ŸInvesting in video streaming services requires a solid understanding of the Return on Investment (ROI) for such a platform. In this presentation we breakdown the value proposition of Over the Top content (OTT) platforms, used to generate new revenue streams from entertainment assets.  Understanding ROI, requires a breakdown of cost savings, new revenue streams, feature enhancements, and other intangible benefits. This web seminar looks into various aspects of content management, delivery and consumption, and how cloud-based services such as OTT not only generates new revenue streams, but also opens new doors to monetize entertainment libraries.

• Video Presentation

• 8 minutes 18 seconds

• Download the Native PowerPoint Slides

14.Jul.31 – Visual Unity Global (training, #7, ROI Case Study for Video Streaming).pptx

• View the PDF version on slideshare.net

• Tags

ŸFear Uncertainty Doubt, 2nd Screen, Broadcast, Connected TV, Digital Rights, Digital Video, DRM, Gabriel Dusil, Internet Video, Linear Broadcast, Linear TV, Multi + screen, Multiscreen, Online Video Platform, OTT, Over the Top Content, OVP, Recommendation Engine, Search + Discovery, second screen, Smart TV, Social TV, Television, TV Everywhere, Video Streaming, Visual Unity Global, Return On Investment, ROI, Total Cost of Ownership, TCO

OTT & Multiscreen • Web Seminar • 6 • Getting Your ROI from Video Streaming

14.May.27 - Visual Unity Global (training, title)

• Web Seminar ’14 • #6 • Getting Your ROI from Video Streaming

• Welcome to the sixth web seminar from our ’14 series.  This presentation is the second of three, of our “Getting your ROI from Video Streaming series” web seminar, held at the end of July 2014.

• ŸCheck out other white papers, video presentations, and opinion pieces from my blog “Digital Video for a Digital Generation”: www.dusil.com

• ŸInvesting in video streaming services requires a solid understanding of the Return on Investment (ROI) for such a platform. In this presentation we breakdown the value proposition of Over the Top content (OTT) platforms, used to generate new revenue streams from entertainment assets.  Understanding ROI, requires a breakdown of cost savings, new revenue streams, feature enhancements, and other intangible benefits. This web seminar looks into various aspects of content management, delivery and consumption, and how cloud-based services such as OTT not only generates new revenue streams, but also opens new doors to monetize entertainment libraries.

• Video Presentation

• 14 minutes 15 seconds

• Download the Native PowerPoint Slides

14.Jul.31 – Visual Unity Global (training, #6, Getting Your ROI from Video Streaming).pptx

• View the PDF version on slideshare.net

• Tags

ŸFear Uncertainty Doubt, 2nd Screen, Broadcast, Connected TV, Digital Rights, Digital Video, DRM, Gabriel Dusil, Internet Video, Linear Broadcast, Linear TV, Multi + screen, Multiscreen, Online Video Platform, OTT, Over the Top Content, OVP, Recommendation Engine, Search + Discovery, second screen, Smart TV, Social TV, Television, TV Everywhere, Video Streaming, Visual Unity Global, Return On Investment, ROI, Total Cost of Ownership, TCO

OTT & Multiscreen • Web Seminar • 5 • Defining ROI & TCO for Video Streaming

14.May.27 - Visual Unity Global (training, title)

• Web Seminar ’14 • #5 • Defining ROI & TCO for Video Streaming

• We are proud to present to you our fifth web seminar from our ’14 series.   This edition to the series is the first of three presentations from our “Getting your ROI from Video Streaming series” web seminar, held at the end of July 2014.

• ŸCheck out other white papers, video presentations, and opinion pieces from my blog “Digital Video for a Digital Generation”: www.dusil.com

• ŸInvesting in video streaming services requires a solid understanding of the Return on Investment (ROI) for such a platform. In this presentation we breakdown the value proposition of Over the Top content (OTT) platforms, used to generate new revenue streams from entertainment assets.  Understanding ROI, requires a breakdown of cost savings, new revenue streams, feature enhancements, and other intangible benefits. This web seminar looks into various aspects of content management, delivery and consumption, and how cloud-based services such as OTT not only generates new revenue streams, but also opens new doors to monetize entertainment libraries.

• Video Presentation

• 16 minutes 14 seconds

• Download the Native PowerPoint Slides

14.Jul.31 – Visual Unity Global (training, #5, Defining ROI for Video Streaming).pptx

• View the PDF version on slideshare.net

• Tags

ŸFear Uncertainty Doubt, 2nd Screen, Broadcast, Connected TV, Digital Rights, Digital Video, DRM, Gabriel Dusil, Internet Video, Linear Broadcast, Linear TV, Multi + screen, Multiscreen, Online Video Platform, OTT, Over the Top Content, OVP, Recommendation Engine, Search + Discovery, second screen, Smart TV, Social TV, Television, TV Everywhere, Video Streaming, Visual Unity Global, Return On Investment, ROI, Total Cost of Ownership, TCO

OTT & Multiscreen • Web Seminar • 4 • Corporate Services Overview ’14

14.May.27 - Visual Unity Global (training, title)

• Web Seminar ’14 • #4 • Corporate Services Overview

• Here is the forth presentation from our ’14 seminar series.

• In this presentation we provide an overview of Visual Unity Global and our service portfolio. This year our marketing department stepped-up its game yet again, and completely redesigned our corporate presentation for 2014, to better communicate our stellar capabilities of the vuMedia™ platform, and adjacent services.

• Video Presentation

• 13 minutes 44 seconds

• Download the Original PowerPoint Slides

Management – Gabriel Dusil (training, #4, Corporate Overview ’14, v6.6).pptx

• View the PDF version on slideshare.net

• Tags

2nd Screen, Broadcast, BroadcastLinear, Connected TV, Digital Video, Dusil, dusil.com, Gabriel Dusil, Granularity of Choice, Linear Broadcast, Linear Television, Linear TV, linear tv + market, linear tv consumption vs ott, linear tv definition, linear tv rights, linear tv transmission rights, linear tv wiki, MSSMulti-screen, Multiscreen, Multiscreen System Integrator, Online Video Platform, OTT, Over the Top Content, OVP, OVPRecommendation, Search + Discovery, Smart TV, Social TV, TV Anywhere, TV Everywhere, Visual Unity, Visual Unity Global, vuClient, vuContent, vuEasy, vuIngest, vuMedia, vuMobile, vuMultiscreen, vuProtect, vuStats

Gabriel Dusil • Sponsoring the Geekbeat.tv House

Photo - Geekbeat.tv, Wall of Fame Geeks! (14.Jul.14)

Logo - Geekbeat.tvSince cutting-the-cord over three years ago, I’ve been a huge fan of Geekbeat.tv. Cali Lewis and John Pozadzides definitely have their finger on the pulse of the geek community. So I was honored to recently sponsor their new house.  Here is the link to the video where Cali acknowledges my contribution to the Wall of Fame Geeks! It’s my 6 seconds of fame… another 9 to go!

Or you can find the posting on their web site here:

Love the show!

Home - Signature, Gabriel Dusil ('12, shadow, teal)

OTT & Multiscreen • Digital Video Series • 9 • Turning Piratez into Consumers, II

Article - Visual Unity (IX. Turning Piratez into Consumers, II, title, web)

Blame the Internet?

i. Blame the Internet, Thank the Internet)

Figure i – Blame the Internet, or thank the Internet?

Many in the entertainment industry are quick to blame piracy for any revenue decline in their business. It’s valid to blame user behavior rather than the underlying technology that enabled change. But why not blame the Internet itself?Several marketplaces have had similar disruptions to their revenue streams thanks to the Internet. Figure i outlines just a few industries where consumer behavior was transformed and where the Internet upset classic business models:

  • In the communications industry, Skype essentially destroyed long-distance calling.
  • In the entertainment industry, the compact disc suffered due to the introduction of MP3[i] encoding for digital audio and the ability to “rip” music to a personal computer. The availability of larger and cheaper hard drives further accelerated the migration of music to computers. These capabilities created a perfect storm for moving music into the realm of computing[ii]. Then, services such as YouTube,[iii] as well as a plethora of subscription-based services such as Spotify[iv] and Rhapsody,[v] moved everything into the cloud. A recent study from IFPI[vi] shows that CD revenue and unit sales continued to decline after peaking in 1999. Incidentally, this decline began around the birth of Napster[vii] (launched in June 1999), so it’s easy to point fingers. In contrast, sales of music singles through online services have soared and are expected to continue doing so over the next several years[viii]. As shown in Figure ii, overall revenue generated from singles has not compensated for the decline in CD revenue. Consumer buying habits have demonstrated the need and want for more granularity in purchasing songs rather than entire albums. This is further complicated by the fact that OTT services such as YouTube contain a sizable library of popular music for free.
  • Email replaced faxing and helped progress the notion of the paperless office[ix].
  • Short Message Service[x] (aka. SMS or text messaging) suffered as mobile phones began to support WiFi and subscribers realized they could send messages to their friends over significantly cheaper data plans. Services such as Viber[xi], WhatsApp[xii], and eventually Apple’s iMessage[xiii] are all examples of Over the Top (OTT) Internet applications that bypassed traditional incumbent services.

ib. SMS estimated to be generally $30,000 per GB)

  • In print media, newspapers continue to suffer in favor of online posts. When news is delayed by anything greater than real time, users migrate to online services. Live news broadcasts are still the flagship of linear television, but even that is changing. The consumption of news is broader than that of broadcast journalism seeing as blog posts and social networking sites have made it possible for everyone to be a potential reporter. And thanks to smartphones having the ability to record video, a wider audience of bystanders now have the opportunity to capture breaking news long before professional journalists have a chance to arrive at the scene. Twitter[xv] and Facebook have also established themselves as sources for breaking news.
ii. Global CD & Single Shipments & Revenue ’98-‘11)

Figure ii – Global CD & Single Shipments & Revenue ’98-‘11

Thank the Internet?

As much as the Internet has disrupted long-established business models, it has also spawned new and creative applications:

  • Facebook and many other social networks offer consumers a fresh platform to fuel humanity’s desire to communicate. But it hasn’t replaced face to face communications. It has only complemented our need for human interaction.
  • Online shopping did not replace brick and mortar[xvi] shopping – consumers still enjoy visiting the local mall to try on a new pair of jeans.
  • Email didn’t replace the postal service either – consumers are just sending and receiving packages, rather than handwritten letters.
  • Likewise, mobile phones did not entirely replace landlines.

iiib. As the Internet proliferates, consumer propensity for choice increases)

The Internet may be viewed as destroying legacy business models, or it could be viewed as the catalyst to helping reshape consumer behavior. For every business that closes its doors, countless other Internet businesses open. Ultimately, consumers now have more choice in how they consume entertainment. Thanks to choice and content ubiquity, users are treating the cloud as their personal entertainment library.

Giving Consumers What They Want

iii. Internet Traffic split by file types that violate copyright)

Figure iii – Internet Traffic split by file types that violate copyright.

Internet piracy revolves around a risk to reward balance. Essentially, this is an assessment of the likelihood of being caught weighed against the ease of downloading content illegally. Within this balance, there are both inhibitors and motivations to stealing content. Some of those who infringe upon copyright laws feel vindicated because they cannot obtain content by legitimate means. Other motivations include the ability to completely circumvent the restrictions imposed by digital rights management (DRM[xix]) – measures that restrict the portability of the content. Once absent of DRM, content is easily transcoded into various formats, screen sizes, and bitrates. The ubiquity of content has also come at a cost. A study from Envisional shows that nearly a quarter of Internet traffic violates copyright laws[xviii]. BitTorrent traffic represents the largest chunk of such offences. A related study from PublicBT showed that out of the top 10,000 torrents, nearly half of them consisted of movies and television programs (Figure iii). Furthermore, less than one percent of posts were innocent of copyright infringement.

There are also several inhibitors that make illegal downloading quite cumbersome. To begin with, there is the issue of content management. Titles need to be downloaded, stored, and organized. Storage costs and database management can become a nightmare. Even with declining hardware costs, a 4TB hard drive can fill up quickly. Additional headaches include inconsistency in quality – it may take days to get a file, only to find it’s unwatchable. Malware infections that propagate through P2P networks can also wreak havoc on a home network and affect innocent family members. Finally, websites such as The Pirate Bay[xx] are sophisticated search applications at best, and cannot compare to a personalized OTT entertainment platform.

Figure iv – Illegal and Legal Drives & Inhibitors for Entertainment Consumption

Figure iv – Illegal and Legal Drives & Inhibitors for Entertainment Consumption

For subscribers that side with the law and use a legitimate OTT video service, content management is a non-issue as everything is streamed from the cloud. Consequently, there is no need to organize files or allocate hard drive space. Additional benefits include a pleasant and compelling user interface and user experience (UI/UX). This may include social interaction with friends, family, and communities of similar interests. Many OTT services also offer sophisticated search and discovery and recommendation engines that are personalized in order to satisfy each subscriber’s unique viewing behavior. The inclusion of reviews, trailers, rating statistics, and comprehensive metadata adds to an engaging interactive experience that attracts loyal subscribers. These platforms also offer a much more consistent level of entertainment quality.

Whether legitimate or illegal, consuming entertainment has radically changed over the past decade. Digital video is in a constant state of flux and consumer behavior is changing at an unprecedented pace – both in how people purchase and enjoy their entertainment. Bandwidth speeds have increased significantly in both the home and mobile environments, thereby disrupting the entire entertainment industry. Understanding consumer behavior in terms of their frustrations and motivations helps bring clarity to how this industry has shaped itself. A better understanding of the enemy may help content owners and distributors mitigate Internet piracy.

Knowing What to Fix •Ÿ Fixing What We Know

Some would argue that the entertainment industry hasn’t been able to keep up with the disruptions the Internet has created. Even with sizable improvements in digital video quality and Internet streaming, there are still shortcomings to address. These frustrations are summarized as follows:

Lack of Portability

Content owners are largely concerned that the digital delivery of their content will cannibalize lucrative cinema and broadcast TV revenue streams. This is partially the reason why entertainment portability is restricted across televisions, computer screens, smartphones and tablets. This is further complicated by the fact that content purchased on one operating system cannot be played on another platform. But consumers want universal flexibility and ease-of-portability of their purchases. Consumers want the flexibility to stream shorter content on their mobile devices and enjoy longer viewing experiences on larger screens. Cinema goers are willing to pay higher fees for an immersive experience on a 30-foot theater screen with THX[xxi] surround sound. The point is that one consumption method does not necessarily steal revenue from another. Audiences simply take different paths while consuming different types of content on different devices.

Lack of Upgradability

This issue centers around the irritating aspect of repurchasing movies as technology continues to improve. Content owners enjoy a resurgence of revenue for long-tail content[xxii] when new technology is introduced to the market. To be fair, this is mainly an issue for collectors rather than the average consumer. Movies purchased on VHS (240 horizontal lines) in the 80’s or DVD (480 lines NTSC or 576 lines PAL) in the 90’s required a new purchase on Blu-Ray (1080 lines) in the 00’s, and will eventually require a repeat purchase when 4K versions (2160 lines) are introduced by the end of this decade. “By 2020 there will be over 200 Ultra HD channels worldwide, rising to over 1,000 by 2025. The availability of Ultra HD TVs in the home and Ultra HD services by pay TV operators with advanced set-top boxes will drive the commercial opportunity for channel launches and content production,” says Tom Morrod of IHS Electronics & Media[xxiii].

Each new format makes the one it succeeded obsolete. Sizable video libraries turn out to be worthless virtually overnight. Interestingly enough, consumers have acclimated to the fact that a repurchase is expected when a new format is introduced. Content distributors attempt to entice collectors to repurchase content by packaging old titles into box-sets, director’s cuts, collectors’ editions, and other creative packaging strategies. The entertainment industry unfortunately never took a software upgrade approach to offering consumers an incremental purchase path as movies were released in a better resolution. The computing industry established this expectation from its inception. Now that entertainment and computing are converging into OTT services, this may provide a platform to offer the same level of granularity.

Lack of Breadth

Most online video services have relatively limited libraries, especially on a global stage. One of the main challenges is that content rights are costly to obtain across international borders. This poses a challenge for smaller OTT providers that simply don’t have the capital to purchase expensive premium content such as Hollywood movies. Geo-location restrictions are used to prevent accessing content outside of specific jurisdictions. This applies to live broadcasts such as news or sports events, but is also an issue for video on demand (VoD) services that offer movies or television shows. Shows such as HBO’s “Game of Thrones” or Netflix’s “House of Cards”[xxiv] further complicate the issue by being offered exclusively in their home platform. This certainly helps OTT providers to differentiate themselves from the competition, but it doesn’t help consumers who want a central repository for their entertainment content.

Lack of Accessibility

The lack of accessibility of content on a global stage may be the single most important limitation of entertainment today. This arguably leads to the main motivations behind Internet piracy. Global theatrical and home releases are not available simultaneously. There are legitimate reasons for this delay: the negotiation of distribution rights, modifying or creating new promotional materials for each foreign market, dubbing services, and censorship approval – to name just a few. Even with these challenges, it may take years for some content to reach a foreign destination, if at all. Some passionate movie goers don’t have the patience to wait for a legal means to obtain what they want.

Lack of Quality

Some consumers are willing to watch a poor quality bootleg cam[xxv] for the bragging rights of being the first. But studies show that subscribers lean toward better quality video if it’s available[xxvi]. According to Ericsson research of over 400 million viewers around the globe, “High video quality is very important to consumers, and they are prepared to pay for it.” Anders Erlandsson, Senior Advisor, Consumer Insights, Ericsson Consumer Lab.[xxvii]Graphic - Buffering (spinner 4)

As video resolutions improve for Internet streaming, so does bandwidth. But problems still persist. No one likes the buffer symbol when streaming video on the Internet. Even though the technology has improved considerably over the past decade, many regions around the world lack the bandwidth and latency to stream a respectable level of video quality. This is further complicated by consumers wanting to watch content on their mobile devices where bandwidth is further restricted, and even comes at a higher cost.

Finding the Right Price

Online services such as Netflix[xxviii] have shaken the ownership vs. licensing business models. Owning an expensive Blu-Ray disc typically meant a sizable investment for the adrenaline rush of opening the package and the pleasure of watching it for the first time. The disc was then relegated to a living room shelf or drawer for the rest of its existence. Consumers are in the process of trading their need for ownership with accessing that content in the cloud at a much lower cost. As consumers opt for a more granular approach to their content, the industry continues to struggle to find the right balance between price, value, and flexibility.

Building the Right Playground

Comparing the user experience of yesterday’s TV’s electronic programming guide (EPG[xxix]) to today’s modern OTT service may not seem fair. But it’s a reasonable comparison in the context of fulfilling the subscriber’s hunger to find what they want. In the early days of television, the broadcaster would say, “Don’t change the channel, we’ll be right back” just before a commercial break. This approach was easier in the days when only 16 channels existed. As broadcast services moved to hundreds of channels, the EPG was created to help consumers find new and interesting content. But navigating TV menus was cumbersome. As we move to today’s digital era, consumers are accustomed to web surfing, clicking on applications, social networking, and googling. This level of interaction began in computing and is now integral to entertainment. Even with hundreds of channels available on a typical pay-TV service, consumers are still drawn toward less than 20 of them[xxx]. Websites such as IMDB[xxxi] and Rotten Tomatoes[xxxii] enable quick access to statistics, reviews, and metadata surrounding movies and television shows. Users have the ability to navigate scheduled release dates, user ratings, peer suggestions, trivia, frequently asked questions, and message boards. OTT services add recommendation engines, personalized advertising, favorite lists, and much more. This virtual treasure trove of information, offered at a granular level, increases consumer excitement and converges on the desire for a compelling environment where subscribers will stay longer simply because they are having fun. Quite a bit of developmental effort needs to focus on improving these virtual environments.

Viewing •Ÿ Owning •Ÿ Licensing

Figure v – Evolution of Entertainment Consumption

Figure v – Evolution of Entertainment Consumption

The origins of entertainment began with live performances in theaters and concert halls. At the turn of the 19th century, the motion picture industry began[xxxiii]. But the ability to sell music to consumers wasn’t possible on a grand scale until the second half of the 20th century. The vinyl record[xxxiv], and eventually VHS[xxxv] tapes for movies, allowed consumers to take their entertainment home with them. Many technologies changed hands over the decades: Vinyl ð cassette tapes ð CD’s for music, and VHS ð laser discs ð DVD ð Blu-Ray for movies. This century has evolved the buy-to-ownparadigm to a license-and-view business model. Some view today’s ubiquitous 12cm discs as the last physical technology for music and movies. In the future, everything will live in the cloud (Figure v). The desire to own entertainment is in the process of being replaced by the ability to easily access it.

Outlining the limitations of digital video and streaming services is only the first step in the journey to personalizing the consumer experience, recognizing Internet threats as entertainment opportunities, and uncovering new revenue streams.

Turning Piratez into Consumers, Part III

Part III of this series will look into the positive aspects of the entertainment industry and how various industries have adjusted themselves to capitalize on the changes in consumer behavior and international opportunities.

Synopsis

VIII. Turning Piratez into Consumers, I

VIII. Turning Piratez into Consumers, II

Content Protection is a risk-to-cost balance. At the moment, the cost of piracy is low and the risk is low. There are no silver bullets to solving piracy, but steps can be taken to reduce levels to something more acceptable. It is untrue that everyone who pirates would be unwilling to buy the product legally. It is equally evident that every pirated copy does not represent a lost sale. If the risk is too high and the cost is set correctly, then fewer people will steal content. This paper explores how piracy has evolved over the past decades, investigates issues surrounding copyright infringement in the entertainment industry, and outlines the steps necessary to convert Piratez into consumers in the digital age.

Read Additional Articles in this Series

I. Consumption is Personal

In the days of linear television, broadcasters had a difficult task in understanding their audience. Without a direct broadcasting and feedback mechanism like the Internet, gauging subscriber behavior was slow. Today, online video providers have the ability to conduct a one-to-one conversation with their audience. Viewing habits of consumers will continue to rapidly change in the next ten years. This will require changes in advertising expenditure and tactics.

II. Granularity of Choice

The evolution from traditional TV viewing to online video has been swift. This has significantly disrupted disc sales such as DVD and Blu-Ray, as well as cable and satellite TV subscriptions. With the newfound ability to consume content anytime, anywhere, and on any device, consumers are re-evaluating their spending habits. In this paper we will discuss these changes in buying behavior, and identify the turning point of these changes.

III. Benchmarking the H.265 Video Experience

Transcoding large video libraries is a time consuming and expensive process. Maintaining consistency in video quality helps to ensure that storage costs and bandwidth are used efficiently. It is also important for video administrators to understand the types of devices receiving the video so that subscribers can enjoy an optimal viewing experience. This paper discusses the differences in quality in popular video codecs, including the recently ratified H.265 specification.

IV. Search & Discovery Is a Journey, not a Destination

Television subscribers have come a long way from the days of channel hopping. The arduous days of struggling to find something entertaining to watch are now behind us. As consumers look to the future, the ability to search for related interests and discover new interests is now established as common practice. This paper discusses the challenges that search and discovery engines face in refining their services in order to serve a truly global audience.

V. Multiscreen Solutions for the Digital Generation

Broadcasting, as a whole, is becoming less about big powerful hardware and more about software and services. As these players move to online video services, subscribers will benefit from the breadth of content they will provide to subscribers. As the world’s video content moves online, solution providers will contribute to the success of Internet video deployments. Support for future technologies such as 4K video, advancements in behavioral analytics, and accompanying processing and networking demands will follow. Migration to a multiscreen world requires thought leadership and forward-thinking partnerships to help clients keep pace with the rapid march of technology. This paper explores the challenges that solution providers will face in assisting curators of content to address their subscriber’s needs and changing market demands.

VI. Building a Case for 4K, Ultra High Definition Video

Ultra High Definition technology (UHD), or 4K, is the latest focus in the ecosystem of video consumption. For most consumers this advanced technology is considered out of their reach, if at all necessary. In actual fact, 4K is right around the corner and will be on consumer wish lists by the end of this decade. From movies filmed in 4K, to archive titles scanned in UHD, there is a tremendous library of content waiting to be released. Furthermore, today’s infrastructure is evolving and converging to meet the demands of 4K, including Internet bandwidth speeds, processing power, connectivity standards, and screen resolutions. This paper explores the next generation in video consumption and how 4K will stimulate the entertainment industry.

VII. Are You Ready For Social TV?

Social TVbrings viewers to content via effective brand management and social networking. Users recommend content as they consume it, consumers actively follow what others are watching, and trends drive viewers to subject matters of related interests. The integration of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other social networks has become a natural part of program creation and the engagement of the viewing community. Social networks create an environment where broadcasters have unlimited power to work with niche groups without geographic limits. The only limitations are those dictated by content owners and their associated content rights, as well as those entrenched in corporate culture who are preventing broadcasters from evolving into a New Media world.

About the Author

Home - Signature, Gabriel Dusil ('12, shadow, teal)Gabriel Dusil is the Chief Marketing & Corporate Strategy Officer at Visual Unity, with a mandate to advance the company’s portfolio into next generation solutions and expand the company’s global presence. Before joining Visual Unity, Gabriel was the VP of Sales & Marketing at Cognitive Security, and Director of Alliances at SecureWorks, responsible for partners in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). Previously,

Gabriel worked at VeriSign & Motorola in a combination of senior marketing & sales roles. Gabriel obtained a degree in Engineering Physics from McMaster University, in Canada and has advanced knowledge in Online Video Solutions, Cloud Computing, Security as a Service (SaaS), Identity & Access Management (IAM), and Managed Security Services (MSS).

About Visual Unity

Logo - Visual UnityVisual Unity is a global provider of video and digital media solutions, enabling our clients to deliver premium quality video content. Our clients can measure, analyze and optimize their libraries over time and achieve optimal business success. Our platform capabilities inspire our clients to deploy their assets across multiple devices, screens, and media formats. Visual Unity helps clients manage, deliver and monetize their digital content.

All Rights Reserved

© 2014, All information in this document is the sole ownership of the author. This document and any of its parts should not be copied, stored in the document system or transferred in any way including, but not limited to electronic, mechanical, photographs, or any other record, or otherwise published or provided to the third party without previous express written consent of the author. Certain terms used in this document could be registered trademarks or business trademarks, which are in sole ownership of its owners.

Tags

AACS, AnyDVD, Apple, BitTorrent, Blu-Ray, Broadcast, Cisco, Connected TV, Copyright Infringement, CSS, DeCSS, Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Digital Rights, Digital Video, DMCA, DRM, FairPlay, File Sharing, Gabriel Dusil, Infringement, Internet Piracy, Internet Video, KaZaA, Megaupload, Megauploader, Motion Picture Association of America, MPAA, Multi-screen, Multiscreen, Napster, New Media, Online Video, OTT, Over the Top Content, OVP, P2P, Peer to Peer, piracy, Piratez, PlayReady DRM, Recording Industry Association of America, RIAA, Ripping, SlySoft, Smart TV, The Pirate Bay, TPB, Ultraviolet DRM, Visual Unity

References

[i] MP3, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MP3

[ii] “Entertainment vs. The Internet, Turning Threats into Opportunities”, by Gabriel Dusil, http://dusil.com/2014/01/27/entertainment-vs-the-internet-turning-threats-into-opportunities/

[iii] YouTube, www.youtube.com

[iv] Spotify, www.spotify.com

[v] Rhapsody, www.rhapsody.com/

[vi] IFPI, International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Federation_of_the_Phonographic_Industry

[vii] Napster, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napster

[viii] “Building the $100 Billion Music Business”, by Tom Silverman, Billboard, http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/digital-and-mobile/1521562/building-the-100-billion-music-business-guest-post-by

[ix] Paperless office, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paperless_office

[x] SMS, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_Message_Service

[xi] Viber, http://www.viber.com/

[xii] WhatsApp, http://www.whatsapp.com/

[xiii] iMessage, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMessage

[xiv] “SMS estimated to be generally $30,000 per GB, is being replaced by OTT that deliver approximately $10 per GB”, Sandvine – Global Internet Phenomena (13.1H)

[xv] Tweets, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tweet

[xvi] brink and mortar, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brick_and_mortar

[xvii] “As the Internet proliferates, consumer propensity for choice increases.”

[xviii] Envisional – An Estimate of Infringing Use of the Internet (11.Jan), http://documents.envisional.com/docs/Envisional-Internet_Usage-Jan2011.pdf

[xix] DRM, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_rights_management

[xx] The Pirate Bay, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pirate_Bay

[xxi] THX, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/THX

[xxii] long tail content, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_tail

[xxiii] “1000 Ultra HD channels by 2025”, by Chris Forrester, Advanced Television,  http://advanced-television.com/2013/10/17/1000-ultra-hd-channels-by-2025/

[xxiv] “Netflix plans to bull ahead with original content strategy after House of Cards success”, by Ken Yeung, 22nd April, 2013, http://thenextweb.com/insider/2013/04/22/netflix-plans-to-bull-ahead-with-original-content-strategy-after-house-of-cards-success/

[xxv] Bootleg Cam, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cam_(bootleg)

[xxvi] “Video Stream Quality Impacts Viewer Behavior: Inferring Causality Using Quasi-Experimental Designs”, by S. Shunmuga Krishnan, Akamai Technologies, & Ramesh K. Sitaraman, University of Massachusetts, http://people.cs.umass.edu/~ramesh/Site/HOME_files/imc208-krishnan.pdf

[xxvii] Ericsson – TV & Video Consumer Trend Report ‘11

[xxviii] Netflix, www.netflix.com/

[xxix] EPG, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EPG

[xxx] “On average, Americans get 189 cable TV channels and only watch 17”, by Megan Geuss – May 6 2014. Ars technical, http://arstechnica.com/business/2014/05/on-average-americans-get-189-cable-tv-channels-and-only-watch-17/

[xxxi] IMDB, http://www.imdb.com/

[xxxii] Rotten Tomatoes, http://www.rottentomatoes.com/

[xxxiii] Movie theater, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Movie_theater

[xxxiv] Vinyl, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gramophone_record

[xxxv] VHS, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VHS

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Gabriel Dusil is currently the Chief Marketing & Corporate Strategy Officer at Visual Unity, with a mandate to help expand the company's global presence. Before joining Visual Unity, Gabriel was the VP of Sales & Marketing at Cognitive Security, and Director of Alliances at SecureWorks, responsible for partners in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). Previously, Gabriel worked at VeriSign & Motorola in a combination of senior marketing & sales roles. Gabriel obtained a degree in Engineering Physics from McMaster University, in Canada and has advanced knowledge in Cloud Computing, SaaS (Security as a Service), Identity & Access Management (IAM), and Managed Security Services (MSS).

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