OTT & Multiscreen • Entertainment Challenges in Today’s Digital Society • 5 • How is digital video affecting global communications?

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

• Video

• 6 minutes 15 seconds

5. How is digital video affecting global communications?

In today’s digital video landscape there is a battle between the entertainment, computing and communications industries. The entertainment industry includes content owners and those that license content for distribution. In computing we find companies that provide hosting, storage, and application-based services. Within the communications sphere are telcos, network service providers (NSPs), and Internet service providers (ISPs) that distribute data around the world. P2P networking is a good communications example of a transport protocol riding on top of the Internet.

Figure i – Industry Wars between Entertainment, Communications & Computing

Figure i – Industry Wars between Entertainment, Communications & Computing

For several years, ISP’s have observed an increase in bandwidth of a magnitude higher than they were accustomed to before video streaming became popular. It may be argued that the turning point was around 2005 with the introduction of high definition video at a time when Internet bandwidth was fast enough to stream good quality video. The popularity of Apple’s iPhone, together with the launch of YouTube, accelerated the use of video to the mass market.

This has forced ISPs to upgrade their back-end and last-mile infrastructures in order to meet these higher bandwidth demands and maintain quality of service (QoS). The issue is when we look at service usage in OTT providers like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and others. With Netflix subscribers exceeding 40 million and Hulu now over 5 million, typical bandwidth usage for these subscribers far exceeds that of a typical user. The average Netflix user watches five TV shows and three movies per week[i]. This can easily generate up to 80GB of traffic per month if we’re talking about high-definition content. Power users can easily exceed 160GB per month when P2P downloads are taken into account (see Figure ii). Compare this to figures released by Sandvine[ii], wherein Europeans average around 13GB per month on their fixed line service. Their USA counterparts are over three times higher, averaging 45GB. So in countries where OTT is relatively mature, bandwidth usage can easily skyrocket.

Figure ii – Internet Usage Comparison – Europe vs. USA

Figure ii – Internet Usage Comparison – Europe vs. USA

The bottom line is that ISPs are not earning the same incremental revenue from OTT because these are existing subscribers that are already paying for their ISP service. But now they are also using the connection to download video from their OTT provider. From an infrastructure perspective, when Netflix doubles their users, they can effectively use those funds to double the capacity of their OTT service. On the flip side, the ISP sees an accelerated increase in bandwidth usage, reaching and exceeding 10 times more than normal with no foreseeable increase in revenue. But they still must upgrade their networking infrastructure in order to meet capacity. Some see this as ISPs getting the short end of the stick (Figure iii).

Figure iii – ISP vs. OTT Revenue Compared to Infrastructure Cost

Figure iii – ISP vs. OTT Revenue Compared to Infrastructure Cost

Certainly bandwidth usage cannot be blamed on OTT providers themselves. Video is also streamed from websites, video is downloaded through P2P networks, and corporate infrastructures are increasingly using video for communications. Regardless, in markets where video streaming services are prevalent, bandwidth usage per subscriber can burden network infrastructures.

ISPs may feel they are losing power over their subscribers. As a counter-offensive, we’re seeing examples where ISPs are vying to bring control back to their camp. One way is through bandwidth caps on fixed line services (similar to bandwidth caps on mobile services). ISPs are looking to regain control of the subscriber through what could be viewed as a form of Internet governance: charging extra fees based on the type of traffic traversing their network, or traffic shaping, whereby certain traffic such as P2P or OTT video is set to low priority or blocked all together, with traffic being prioritized in a way that is preferred by the ISP. This serves to stifle the use of high bandwidth applications such as OTT and may result in higher fees for heavy Internet users. Essentially this is a way for ISPs to level the playing field.

Increased bandwidth usage due to digital video brings new challenges to an infrastructure provider. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing for all those involved as threats can also be turned into opportunities. Some Internet providers (eg. cable companies and satellite companies) are working towards regaining control of their market space by investing in OTT – essentially adding OTT as an extension to their communications portfolio.  Triple play[iii] (Internet, telephone, and television) and quadruple play[iv] providers (who include mobile services) are already heading in the right direction. ISPs that are already responsible for transmitting video envision hosting and managing entertainment assets as a strategic expansion of their communications portfolio. This speaks to the convergence of communications, computing and entertainment industries through a conduit that converges onto OTT.

It’s not just ISPs that have seemingly lost control and are being relegated to utility providers. Mobile providers have also been bumped from the pedestal of supremacy. The three applications they owned – voice, contacts, and text messaging (SMS[v]) – have now been over-shadowed by the millions of applications accessible through the Internet. Mobile providers no longer control the handset, applications, or content.  And for that reason they are under threat of becoming a utility, an infrastructure of interconnections, where their borders are wireless base stations, not end-users. To regain relevance in their market telcos need to reach consumers once again. From an entertainment perspective, telcos have an opportunity to extend their participation in the content value chain – creating, uploading, managing, delivering and consuming content by investing in OTT services. This investment solidifies their value in the virtual supply chain of digital video.


[i] “Average Netflix User Watches 5 TV Shows, 3 Movies Per Week via the Service”, Business Wire, 6th Sep 2012, http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120906006400/en/Average-Netflix-User-Watches-5-TV-Shows#.UtAD9_RDtUA

[ii] Sandvine – Global Internet Phenomena Report (12.2H)

[iii] Triple Play, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_play_(telecommunications)

[iv] Quadruple Play, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadruple_play

[v] Short Message Service, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_Message_Service

• 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?

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

2. How will 4K be adopted by consumers?

https://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?

https://gdusil.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/entertainment-challenges-in-todays-digital-society-iii-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, Search and Discovery, second screen, Smart TV, Social TV, TV Everywhere, UHD, Ultra HD, Ultra High Definition, Visual Unity

OTT & Multiscreen • Entertainment Challenges in Today’s Digital Society • 4 • How is OTT evolving, and what’s in store for subscribers?

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

• Video

• 9 minutes 36 seconds

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

Figure i - OTT Adoption - Vertical & Horizontal tiers

Figure i – OTT Adoption – Vertical & Horizontal tiers

The adoption of OTT is evolving internationally along three main tiers:

  • Tier 1– These are global and national broadcasters that are adopting their own OTT service. In the context of the technology adoption life cycle[i], they are the innovators of online streaming services.  Their entertainment library is delivered as either subscription-based Video on Demand (SVoD), transaction-based VoD (TVoD), or advertising-based services (AVoD). The most popular OTT method according to recent studies is SVoD[ii], although TVoD is also gaining in popularity. This points to the desire of subscribers wanting more granular control of their entertainment.
  • Tier 2– These are regional broadcasters, distributors, and content aggregators that see OTT as an opportunity to expand their traditional portfolios by distributing content over the Internet. This tier also includes telcos and network service providers (NSP) looking to expand their services into entertainment by hosting and managing OTT content. These companies collectively represent the early adopters.
  • Tier 3– This is a relatively new market opportunity in the context of OTT. Here sits the early majority, which includes online retailers, higher education, and houses of worship, to name but a few. These companies have large treasure troves of videos for product promotion, training, advertising, and video blogs for public consumption. But some videos need to remain confidential, for partner usage only, or to a select number of subscribers. Typical file-based storage solutions are not appropriate for the real-time and bandwidth-intensive nature of video. And the added complexity of ingest, transcoding, metadata, and multiscreen viewing results in enterprises looking for a more suitable private OTTplatform. Within this tier there are libraries that lie dormant, waiting for an appropriate OTT service that allows control over their subscriber base, implementation of strong protection, and a service that retains their content rights.
Figure ii - OTT Evolution - Geographic Distribution

Figure ii – OTT Evolution – Geographic Distribution

These tiers are serviced somewhat differently across the globe. In emerging markets such as Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, or Africa, the main opportunities continue to reside in the higher tiers. For developed markets such as Western Europe and the USA, there is untapped potential in the lower tiers. At the moment, the USA leads the market in OTT development. Europe, Canada, and selected countries in Asia are around 18-24 months behind the USA in deployments. The remaining third-tier and emerging markets are 36-48 months behind the USA.

OTT is also evolving based on how users are consuming content. Or rather: how they wantto consume content. The days of bundled pay-TV services may be numbered. Why pay for 500 channels when the average user watches channels whose number can be counted on one hand? Consumers only want to buy what they consume – no more, no less. This change in consumer behavior will be a threat to niche channels, but it may also be an opportunity for the long tail to differentiate its content and attract subscribers directly.

Buying a pay TV service is like going to a book store and having to buy the entire section of the store for just one book. Subscription-based services are closer to obtaining a library card and just borrowing the books you want. Borrowing in the OTT context is the same as licensing: once all the content resides in the cloud, then subscribers get a virtual license to access that content. And all that content is readily accessible, whether the subscriber knows it’s there or not.

This brings us to the evolution and need for recommendation engines and their need to accurately present content that is relevant to each and every user. The modern recommendation engine combines viewing and purchasing habits, demographics, friend recommendations, collaborative engines, and other metrics to provide suggestions that fuel viewing into the long tail.

Figure iii – OTT Evolution - Content Discovery

Figure iii – OTT Evolution – Content Discovery

Adolescent Collector

My dad drove me home from school one day when I was eight years old. I remember enjoying the song that was playing on the radio but had no idea who sang it or what it was called. I distinctly remember thinking, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could have a copy of every song that I ever liked?”

This was the developing mind of a collector, and my imagination didn’t stop there. I dreamt on and thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if I not only had the songs that I knew I liked, but someone would give me all of the songs that I liked, but didn’t even know existed?”

As I sat there in the passenger seat, barely able to see out the window (booster seats didn’t exist then, and I probably wasn’t wearing my seat belt), I imagined how big my collection would be. How many songs did I know and already liked? How big would my collection be if it included songs I wasn’t even aware of yet? What type of machine would be able to do all that?

Our Dodge station wagon wasn’t a great ride by any stretch of the imagination, and certainly the audio system was paltry. Forget surround sound. Forget the Internet, too. Eight-track tapes were on their way out and vinyl was the audiophile’s chosen medium. But it didn’t seem to matter at the time. I didn’t own any cassettes or records until I began to collect albums in my teens. Then I recorded my own compilations onto cassette tapes. In the 90’s, I migrated my entire collection to CD’s, and eventually even ditched all of them once I stored the entire collection onto my computer. I had the forethought to rip my collection in 320kbps MP3, which was complete overkill at the time due to 128kbps being the norm. But I realized that as technology progressed, the demand for higher quality would persist, and if were to rip 500 audio discs, I would do it only once in my life.

The computer, Internet, and some incredibly smart people were eventually born into this world to bring us technology where we can quickly search for new or related musical interests. We can sample artists that are in visual cluster maps similar to artists we already like[iii]. We can do the same for song titles as well. Spotify, Rhapsody and Apple’s Genius allow us to discover artists that we never even knew existed.

Many years have passed since my childhood dream of collecting all that content, and I find myself in a world where this collector’s dream has now become a reality.

4. How has social interaction evolved from broadcast to OTT?

Entertainment is About Communication

It’s worth mentioning at this stage that I strongly delineate between the average consumer and the avid collector. For example, most people are happy to visit the local library. But collectors want to bethe library. There will always be collectors that find personal satisfaction in owning vast libraries of music and movies. But it’s the average consumer that drives the industry, not the collector. The average subscriber is where the bulk of OTT revenue will come from, and online services need to cater to the behaviors of the mainstream consumer.

These days I use Facebook to view what my friends ‘like’ and scan Twitter to see what they’re chatting about. I follow others with similar interests and monitor their comments. I also read recommendations from like-minded individuals to guide me to new material. Even the viewing statistics of people that I don’t know help me determine whether a view count is high enough for me to check  out. I will also check out suggestions from my content provider hoping to find something new and exciting to watch.

Technology is evolving to a level of detail where subscribers are presented with personalized lists of suggestions that dig deep into media libraries and present suggestions that are both accurate and compelling. We’re getting to a level of sophistication in search and discovery where these engines will know our interests better than our best friend– maybe even better than we know ourselves. That seems scary, but let’s not get side-tracked. It can also be an opportunity.

If a recommendation engine can provide suggestions that are extremely accurate, then subscribers will pay more attention to the service. This will help drive subscriber loyalty and higher revenue opportunities.

Subscribers can enjoy suggestions from recommendation engines and social interaction thanks to the bi-directional nature of the Internet. Broadcast, for the most part, is unidirectional. Their audience is anonymous and any feedback is “out of band”. But OTT is inherently bi-directional. And that opens new doors in subscriber engagement and personalization. The entertainment industry is only now beginning to tap into the full potential of real-time bidirectional communications. Reality shows utilize text voting and Twitter. Television offers second screen apps for live broadcasts[iv]. Despite this, advertising and social networking have yet to find their full potential in the context of online entertainment. At least we are on the right track with the industry’s bi-directional communication experiment, and that is leading to higher engagement and personalization.

Figure iv – OTT Evolution - More than Just Video

Figure iv – OTT Evolution – More than Just Video

Up to this point we have focused on OTT as an entertainment platform. But OTT is becoming more than just live, video on demand, or premium content. OTT is on its way to becoming a platform that serves entertainment, computing, and communication. The culmination of all three of these industries merges on OTT where a) video, music and gaming fall under entertainment, b) productivity applications and storage reside in computing, and c) conferencing and social networking are part of communications.


[i] Technology adoption lifecycle, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technology_adoption_lifecycle

[ii] Streaming Media – OTT Video, Coming to a Paid Channel Near You (13.Q3)

[iii] Music-map, http://www.music-map.com/

[iv] “8 great apps for second-screen TV”, Times Herald, http://www.timesherald.com/technology/20140204/8-great-apps-for-second-screen-tv

• 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?

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

2. How will 4K be adopted by consumers?

https://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?

https://gdusil.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/entertainment-challenges-in-todays-digital-society-iii-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, Search and Discovery, second screen, Smart TV, Social TV, TV Everywhere, UHD, Ultra HD, Ultra High Definition, Visual Unity

OTT & Multiscreen • Entertainment Challenges in Today’s Digital Society • 3 • Is there a future for 4K video in broadcast?

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

• Video

• 5 minutes 36 seconds

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

Yes, there is a future for 4K in broadcast but it will take some time. Broadcasters will trail in the adoption of 4K Ultra-HD video (UHD) for a few reasons – the main one being the tremendous amount of bandwidth real estate needed to transmit 4K over a broadcast service. Looking back at high-definition adoption, many broadcasters still transmit HD video as 720p (1280×720), and not full HD (1080×1920 video). This way they can save on precious bandwidth while improving their quality of service and still offer marketing support for HD programming. Only a few global broadcasters on an international scale are utilizing full HD video for their premium channels. This is partially due to the fact that each 1080p channel takes up as much as six standard definition (SD) channels. Replacing SD with HD programming requires a solid business case – a combination of substantial revenue potential, consumer demand for higher quality, and competitive pressures. At the moment, the HD business case justification has been established in the arena of Pay TV such as sports bundles, movie channels, and other premium content like the Olympics.  But for mainstream programming, SD is still the norm.

These same broadcast challenges face 4K adoption since this signal takes up 4 HD channels or an equivalent of 24 SD channels.

Meanwhile, 4K is becoming synonymous with H.265 (otherwise known as High Efficiency Video Coding or HEVC). Without consumer grade equipment to decode H.265, 4K currently must rely on H.264 which needs at least double the bandwidth. It is also worth noting that in the absence of devices that support HDMI version 2.0, there is little motivation at this early stage for broadcasters to implement 4K. This is because HDMI v1.4 only works up to 30 frames per second (in the USA, or 25 fps in Europe) at 3840×2160 (Quad HD)[i]. Broadcasters require televisions to support 50Hz in Europe and 60Hz in the USA and that requires HDMI v2.0. Thankfully, the development of the standard was ratified in September 2013. Consumers typically need to wait at least one year before the implementation of a new standard is found in consumer electronic devices.

13.Nov.20 - Entertainment Challenges in Today’s Digital Society (What is initially extraordinary,soon becomes normal)

The transition to 4K is often compared to the 3D hype of the past. But it’s unfair to compare 3D with 4K when discussing the next frontier of video technology. Unlike 3D, which had several false starts over the past 60 years, 4K shows much more promise. History has shown that consumers are driven to better quality and a more engaging entertainment experience. Consumers want to be immersed in their entertainment, and 3D, with its cumbersome glasses and requirements for an optimal seating position takes all the fun out of it. Try to lie down or tilt your head while wearing 3D glasses and you’ll see what I mean. As home entertainment moved from VHS to DVD and then to Blu-Ray, the video quality and subsequent frame size grew significantly with each upgrade. Consumers considered 36” CRT screens huge in the 90’s, while 50” screens became the new benchmark in the naughts.  Now 80″ screens as considered massive. Higher resolution allows for larger screen sizes and creates a more immersive experience from the comfort of one’s living room sofa.

Figure i – Audio-Video Adoption in USA Households

Figure i – Audio-Video Adoption in USA Households

Some consumers, and even the media, consider that 4K is coming to market too soon. But this is certainly not the case when one looks back at recent history. There was a fourteen year wait between the introduction of CDs and DVDs. Consumers then waited nine years for Blu-Ray. The introduction of 4K televisions at the beginning of 2013 shows a seven year gap since full HD televisions were launched. Entertainment is moving at an increasingly faster pace, and these windows of adoption are shortening with each subsequent introduction of new technology. In fact, as shown in Figure i, looking at the adoption curve of entertainment technology over the past two decades, 4K is arriving just in time[ii].

What initially strikes us as extraordinary soon becomes normal, and eventually becomes expected. So even today’s massive screens will eventually become passé. As consumers hunger for larger televisions, they will also need higher resolutions. Therefore, the successful adoption of 4K is just an evolutionary step to its successor 8K, which will take the reins sometime in the next decade.Some consumers, and even the media, consider that 4K is coming to market too soon. But this is certainly not the case when one looks back at recent history. There was a fourteen year wait between the introduction of CDs and DVDs. Consumers then waited nine years for Blu-Ray. The introduction of 4K televisions at the beginning of 2013 shows a seven year gap since full HD televisions were launched. Entertainment is moving at an increasingly faster pace, and these windows of adoption are shortening with each subsequent introduction of new technology. In fact, as shown in Figure i, looking at the adoption curve of entertainment technology over the past two decades, 4K is arriving just in time[i].

In spite of 4K broadcast challenges, a recent study by IHS Electronics & Media estimates that there will be one thousand 4K channels by 2025[iii]. In the meantime, consumers will enjoy 4K by other means, mainly through the Internet and OTT services.


[i] or HDMI 1.4 supports up to 24fps at full 4K (4096×2160)

[ii]Building a Case for 4K, Ultra High Definition Video“, by Gabriel Dusil, 15th July 2013, https://gdusil.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/building-a-case-for-4k-ultra-high-definition-video/

[iii] Tom Morrod, IHS Electronics & Media, “1000 Ultra HD channels by 2025”, http://advanced-television.com/2013/10/17/1000-ultra-hd-channels-by-2025/

 

• 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?

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

2. How will 4K be adopted by consumers?

https://gdusil.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/entertainment-challenges-in-todays-digital-society-ii-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, Search and Discovery, second screen, Smart TV, Social TV, TV Everywhere, UHD, Ultra HD, Ultra High Definition, Visual Unity

Gabriel Dusil • Your Content Has Been Viewed Over 10,000 Times!

slideshare - your posts have been viewed over 10,000 times!

http://www.slideshare.net/gdusil

Gabriel Dusil • You Were in the Top 4% Most Viewed in 2013!

Title - Slideshare (Congratulations, Top 4% in 2013)

Title - Slideshare (Congratulations, Top 4% in 2013, Stats)

OTT & Multiscreen • Entertainment Challenges in Today’s Digital Society • 2 • How will 4K be adopted by consumers?

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

• Video

• 4 minutes 21 seconds

• How will 4K be adopted by consumers?

Before answering this question, it’s worth looking back into the evolution of display technologies.

Higher resolution displays have been typically linked to larger screen sizes. For instance, throughout most of the 90’s the sweet spot for standard definition (SD) broadcast was around 30” (30 inches/76cm diagonal). Then the sweet spot for high definition (HD) grew to around 50″. For 4K Ultra HD (UHD), displays appear to be establishing their sweet spot at around 80″. So as monitors get larger, we need more pixels to fill in the additional screen space that consumers have purchased. At the same time, our eyes are expecting higher resolutions and higher quality as technology improves.

But this doesn’t necessarily imply that our viewing distance is changing. If ten feet (around three meters) was the typical sitting distance from televisions throughout most of SD’s existence, this vantage point hasn’t changed for 50” and 80” TVs. Living room sizes certainly haven’t grown at the same proportion to screen sizes. What is changing is an increased pixel count enjoyed by the viewer. With larger televisions, our viewing angles are rivaling that of cinema, even if our living rooms are significantly smaller. Although the ideal viewing angle varies per consumer, the sweet spot for an immersive experience converges on a viewing angle of approximately 40° (measured from one’s eyes to either edge of the screen)[i].

Consumers enjoying a cinematic experience in their own homes may partially explain the gradual decline in cinema goers over the past decade. Larger displays coupled with high-quality surround sound in the living room now mimic the same immersive experience as a movie theater.

Meanwhile, on the second screen, consumers are acclimating to higher resolution displays. Apple popularized the notion of the retina display which can now be found on many smartphones, tablets, monitors, and laptops. The market is following suit, as shown by recent announcements at CES ’14 in Las Vegas, with 4K displays reaching and exceeding 100” (2.5 meters in diagonal).

Possibly by the time 8K UHD monitors arrive to market, we will have 120” displays hanging on our walls as light as picture frames. Or better yet, the wall itself will be an 8K monitor, and we will mount them like wallpaper.

Regarding how 4K will be initially introduced to consumers, early adopters have already shown interest, with OTT providers such as Netflix announcing their plans for introducing 4K content in 2014. Even their hit show, House of Cards[ii], was filmed, edited, and mastered in 4K. In the meantime, subscribers can test 4K content on their portal with sample footage from Netflix.

One lingering question that is consistently raised by the media is the lack of 4K content. In fact, there is plenty of 4K content; it’s just not accessible to the general public. Thousands of movies have already been filmed using camera resolutions between 4K and 6K thanks to pioneers like RED digital cameras which announced their Red One camera in 2006. Furthermore, many movies shot on film have been digitally scanned in 4K. So there is definitely no shortage of 4K content. As 4K becomes mainstream then, these libraries will be progressively released to market, similar to (or maybe even faster than) the speed of Blu-Ray releases over the past seven years.

OTT providers are positioning themselves as early adopters of 4K through Video on Demand (VoD services). OTT providers are the obvious candidates for adopting 4K because they can utilize steady improvements in Internet speeds to transmit such demanding bandwidth. Initial deployments of 4K OTT may require a hefty buffer to play the video in a download-then-play approach (if the OTT provider allows for it). True live and uninterrupted playback will take a bit longer since 4K currently needs around 24-40 mbps of bandwidth when using the existing H.264 codec. With less than 24 mbps, it will be difficult for many subscribers to showcase the benefits of streamed 4K. This is expected to improve once H.265 is deployed, which anticipates around half the bandwidth, as providers are looking to implement 4K between 12 and 20 mbps.

Computing power will need to be higher for decoding 4K content. There are no consumer electronic (CE) appliances at the moment that can decode H.265 4K, although high-end desktop computers and existing GPUs (graphics processors) have the power to do the job. It’s just a matter of time before high-powered, low-cost processors will be available for mass-market distribution in CE appliances.

Finally, 4K OTT will initially need adaptive bitrate (ABR) capabilities to minimize subscriber frustrations that lack the appropriate bandwidth. Early deployments of the service may be a little bumpy for 4K OTT and may result in a lot of customer complaints. So service providers will need to be hyper-sensitive to maximizing quality of service (QoS) during the initial stages of a 4K service launch. Eventually, the entire supply chain will align to remove any bottlenecks – from the cloud down to the consumer. This includes bandwidth speeds, processor capacity, and optimized H.265 encoding.

In summary, 4K will be adopted by video enthusiasts that want an immersive theater experience in their living room. 4K content will reach the home as content owners release their libraries, and OTT providers will likely be the first to deliver the service to their subscribers.  This content can be encoded using the latest video encoding standard, H.265, and sent through high-bandwidth Internet connections reaching and exceeding 20 mbps.


[i] Optimum HDTV viewing distance, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optimum_HDTV_viewing_distance

[ii] House of Cards, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Cards_(U.S._TV_series)

 

• Entertainment Challenges in Today’s Digital Society

• 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?

https://gdusil.wordpress.com/2013/12/24/entertainment-challenges-in-todays-digital-society-i-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, Search and Discovery, second screen, Smart TV, Social TV, TV Everywhere, UHD, Ultra HD, Ultra High Definition, Visual Unity

OTT & Multiscreen • Entertainment Challenges in Today’s Digital Society • 1 • Is 2nd Screen a threat to broadcasters?

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

• Video

• 7 minutes 39 seconds 

• Is 2nd Screen a threat to broadcasters?

Some broadcasters see OTT as a threat at the moment, mainly due to the observed loss of control of their subscriber base. For example, while today’s consumers are watching content on their living room TV, they are also simultaneously tweeting, ‘liking’ and surfing the Internet. They are commenting on what they are watching and discovering complementary content. They are researching information on an actor, athlete, or television personality. Or they are simply checking their email. It’s happening in parallel on a second screen such as a tablet or a smartphone, and all of this activity is out-of-band to the broadcast signal. For some broadcasters, this is viewed as losing control of their subscribers because they are not controlling that 2nd screen and can’t monitor what the consumer is doing on that device.

At the same time, some broadcasters are identifying the second screen as an opportunity to further engage the subscriber in live content. By providing complementary content in parallel to live programming, broadcasters are engaging in 2nd screen to wrest back this control. One example is the award-winning AMC show,The Walking Dead, which broadcasts complementary content over the Internet while the show is being aired.

It’s fair to say that a lot of activity by broadcasters on the 2nd screen is still experimental, but we continue to advocate experimentation. This is how the industry will optimize subscriber engagement, make it more personal, and refine their experience in computing and in developing new and engaging applications.

Second screen is an opportunity because it can drive new revenue streams from broadcasters; not only for advertising revenue, but also for introducing subscribers to new content using recommendation engines, social networking, and responsive design.

• What are the challenges for OTT moving forward?

One challenge for OTT is in its global expansion. Namely, in the content service provider’s ability to obtain the appropriate rights of foreign content for resale in their local market. The challenge they face is in balancing the serviceable market for OTT against the cost of licensing rights from the USA, UK, or other foreign studios. This is further complicated by multi-device restrictions which can be used to consume the content. Some markets simply don’t have the capital to purchase premium titles from the likes of Hollywood and expect to get a profitable return on investment in a local market that does not have a sizable subscriber count. Some of these markets just don’t have high enough purchasing power to justify the subscription fees required to cover the upfront cost of an entertainment library.

Secondly, OTT needs to have a compelling user interface and user experience (UI/UX). It’s fair to say that content is still king. That has not changed. The basis here is that it’s not just the content that needs to be immersive and engaging – it’s the entire ecosystem surrounding it. When consumers go to a concert or live sports event, what do they remember? It’s not just how great the band or the sporting event was, but the spectacle and energy of the fans. That’s what is unforgettable – the environment is the kingdom. Content is still king, but the kingdom needs to be engaging and personal. In the context of an OTT service this is a virtual environment, but the same principle applies.  The environment needs to be engaging and fun, not just the content itself. In markets where content is plentiful, then the competitive differentiator is in a compelling UI/UX.

Thirdly, Digital Rights Management needs to be seamless and portable. Certainly content needs to be protected, and today’s DRM solutions serve this need. But there is a sensitive balance between protecting the content and ease of use. DRM needs to evolve where content can be purchased once and remains portable between any operating system or device.

Coca Cola recently redid their website saying that “content is social at the core, digital by design, and emotional.” Coca Cola may not be an entertainment company per se, but that message speaks directly to the entertainment industry.

• 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

4K, Broadcast, Connected TV, Digital Rights, Digital Video, DRM, Gabriel Dusil, H.265, HEVC, Internet Piracy, 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, Search and Discovery, second screen, Smart TV, Social TV, TV Everywhere, Ultra HD, Ultra High Definition, Visual Unity

OTT & Multiscreen – How Our Lives Will Change with Online Video, In the Next 10 Years

Management - Gabriel Dusil (Keynote, v1.5, How Online Video Will Change Our Lives in the Next 10 Years, title)

Synopsis

Online video providers today have the ability to experience a one-to-one conversation with their audience, compared to the somewhat anonymous nature of this relationship in traditional TV. Viewing habits of consumers continue to rapidly change in the next ten years, bringing more choice, portability and accessibility to video. A granular nature to analyzing subscriber behavior will open new opportunities for content owners, end users, and everyone in between. This will require accompanying changes in advertising expenditure as it pertains to a global vs. local focus.  In the global reach of video, due to the ubiquity of the Internet, online services will need optimize to capitalize on new market opportunities.