FIVE TECHNOLOGIES SHAPING THE FUTURE OF OTT

The world of OTT is changing radically with new innovations, from player technologies to standards convergence, propelling the industry forward. As 2018 comes to a close, AkamaiTV sat down with DASH legend and Akamai's very own Will Law to get his pulse on the major trends and technologies that are driving OTT towards a "better-than-broadcast" future.Akamai Principal Architect Peter Chave recently chatted with Will, the chief architect of our Media Cloud Engineering group, in the third episode of our #OTTuesday video series to talk about some of the most significant advances we've seen this year and how they will shape OTT over the year to come. Here are some of Will's top insights:AOMedia Video 1 (AV1) - Developed out of the Alliance for Open Media and published in June of this year, AV1 is quickly becoming a popular alternative to video codecs like HEVC (whose royalties and patent limitations frustrate many media experts). Even as HEVC holds its ground through demand for 4K UHD stream quality and as AVC dominates the market, AV1 is enjoying adoption by a range of new devices and practically all web browsers. Will expects hardware enablement via chips to influence AV1 adoption toward the end of 2019.

Spotlight

WIN Reality

WIN Reality is the premier sports and technology company in Austin, Texas. Founded in 2018 by Chris O'Dowd & Dan O'Dowd, WIN Reality brought the world of virtual reality together with a desire for players to have new opportunities to improve at the sports they love.

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Technologies, Virtualization

Branded Entertainment in B2B: Why is it Important?

Article | August 2, 2022

Global B2B companies churn out content pieces such as infographics, case studies, assessments, and other forms of thought leadership content to create brand awareness. But is this content enough to engage the customers and the market? Not really. Marketers like you need to look into branded entertainment to get more customer engagement and brand loyalty. What is Branded Entertainment? Adweek loosely describes “branded entertainment” as any content that starts a positive conversation around a product, service, or set of values. This content builds a story around your product or services, showing it in a positive light and getting the audience to engage in your content as much as a film or a TV show. As opposed to other marketing endeavors, branded entertainment doesn’t focus on your products and their features but on entertaining the audience. Incorporating Branded Entertainment into Your Marketing Strategy Here are some ways to get it done without much hassle: Web Series Original programming, such as web series published on the brand’s social media channels, can help you raise awareness through stories that share your brand’s values instead of directly marketing your product or services. PR Stunts Create social media brand content that is entertaining and exciting enough for the audience to make it viral. Such PR brings positive media attention to your brand and creates mass awareness for your brand or product. Videos Volvo's entertaining video of Van Damme's split stunt on YouTube has 114.5 million views. The video didn't need a call-to-action because it wasn’t to convert leads. Instead, it was meant to showcase a piece of business-use truck technology and get engagement. Podcasting GE used podcasting for advertising twice, once with its show ‘The Message’ and again with its new series ‘LifeAfter.’ Neither show discusses GE's products. Instead, they were "GE-presented" and were received well. Summing It Up People are less likely to comment on or share brand posts directly, but they are more likely to tweet or share them on their Instagram stories. This way you can measure the impact of branded entertainment. B2B marketers should consider branded entertainment as a way to build trust and start conversations between their brands and their audience to get a long-term ROI.

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Technologies, Business

Watch out Warzone and Fortnite: Ubisoft is coming after free-to-play

Article | July 20, 2022

Ubisoft announced last week that it is adding specific focus on free-to-play, alongside its AAA catalogue. In doing so, it is following a route that has been very successful for Activision with its Warzone strategy. Free-to-play games which draw audiences via big franchise names and monetise via in-game spending are going to be increasingly common among AAA publishers. The focus on in-game spending and particularly on the cosmetic, rather than the progress-related, parts will be the key revenue component. As games become less finite and more perpetual (consumer goal is less about ‘finishing them’ and more and ‘playing/spending time in them’), the opportunity to monetise needs that stem from this perpetual engagement (e.g. socialising or expression) starts to outweigh the mere monetisation of access to a packaged product. Simultaneously, free-to-play games also act as a powerful marketing driver for AAA releases as they come out, as well as streamability and word of mouth for the franchise.

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Media and Broadcasting, Business

B2B Movie Placements: What to Expect?

Article | August 4, 2022

As films evolved into the popular medium that they are today, brands followed suit. They took advantage of a large network of new ways to market, from print media to radio to television. Product placement, a part of branded entertainment marketing, became more common from the 1980s. Today, every moviegoer is familiar – sometimes painfully – with paid product placements. And every marketer has heard commentary on both good and bad B2C product placements. But what about B2B movie placements? Ever heard of those? If you are a B2B enterprise looking to try it out, here are some major differences between B2C and B2B movie placements: Impress the producers Create an enticing pitch for the producers, which can influence them enough to bring them to the creative department. Sell your brand or product to them (indirectly) to help them understand how it will improve the realism of their scene or set. Make them realize how your product or service can help them. Placement isn’t always ‘placement’ Prospective B2B buyers aren’t going to squint their eyes to find your product while watching a movie. However, they might actually remember your brand if you host pre-opening events around the world for them and their families to watch a popular movie. If they enjoy the movie and establish an emotional connection with it, they will definitely think of you while making any kind of purchase decision. Things might not work out No matter how hard you try to show your brand in a good light in a certain scene or situation, sometimes things happen that you can't control or ignore. In such cases, you might have to get all the branding out instead of settling for negative publicity, which could be a viable option for a B2C brand. B2B Movie Placement: A Success Story FLIR, a client of Hollywood Branded, is the leading provider of thermal military camera equipment. It co-starred in one of Warner Brothers' biggest hits of 2018, Rampage. FLIR connected with the right member of the production team and ensured that the brand was pictured in a positive light. FLIR shared its technology with the filmmakers and got advertised to its business customers, mostly film-loving decision-makers, through the movie and the way it was shot. The film earned $427M at the worldwide box office.

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Technologies

Ongoing transitions in gaming industry

Article | January 19, 2021

The gaming industry is continuously evolving with current transitions derived from VR/AR, blockchain, 5G and cloud computing. The aim of this transition is to fulfill requirements of gamers such as reducing the cost of gaming, developing more immersive experience, converting tools bought in games as transferable assets, enabling gamers to play graphic intensive games on low cost devices. Currently popular games are on the go to create augmented reality versions to be played on AR headsets with their mobile phones. The google stadia platform(a platform where graphic intensive games run in data centers and gamers can play them via web browsers) has also enabled the gaming industry to eliminate the computing limitations imposed by running games in mobile devices. The only barrier in coupling both technologies to have the best of both worlds is low bandwidth of 4G which will soon be expanded when 5G rolls out in the market. TRANSITIONS IN GAMING INDUSTRY The real time game play is currently not possible for games running in data centers and being rendered on web browsers of a gamer’s device as there is latency in reflecting the character’s action on the press of a button. Such a transition will eliminate the need for highly expensive gaming consoles which has been curbing the growth rate of the gaming industry. One more concern from gamers that’s being a barrier in revenue generation for the gaming industry is that the weapons, power packs, kits and tool kits bought in any game are simply virtual and become useless when they are done with the game. The idea to buy such time bound utility becomes insensible for players. So, now the gaming industry is evaluating the option to register these buyouts in games on blockchain which can later be used as a non tangible asset by players to trade easily. The gaming theory that’s getting popularised these days will eventually leverage the AR and VR technology to transform the education industry. The idea to provide customers with user manuals running in augmented reality that can enable a non trained worker to operate the machine is also booming. Solidworks by 3Dplm is one such tool that’s heading in this direction. The transitions mentioned above are quite exciting and the way gaming industry and mentioned technologies are evolving we can expect to get our hands on such exciting gaming technology soon too at a fraction of current costs.

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Spotlight

WIN Reality

WIN Reality is the premier sports and technology company in Austin, Texas. Founded in 2018 by Chris O'Dowd & Dan O'Dowd, WIN Reality brought the world of virtual reality together with a desire for players to have new opportunities to improve at the sports they love.

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Business

Entravision adds Entravision Plus for Local Hispanic Reach Optimization

Entravision | February 21, 2023

Entravision, an advertising, media, and technology solutions provider, has recently launched its new solution Entravision Plus, enhancing the local Hispanic reach of companies through connected TV, CTV, and over-the-top OTT, streaming. It leverages performance-based data insights from Spanish-language publishers to optimize digital advertising outcomes. It has added Entravision Plus to its full suite of digital solutions for OTT, CTV, digital audio ads, display ads, SEM, digital out-of-home, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube Ads, Branded Content and Email Marketing, along with its television and radio services. It was found that about 90% of Hispanic consumers stream video on smart devices. This data is approximately 10% more than the video streaming behavior of non-Hispanic consumers. Additionally, on average, the Hispanic consumer spends about 26 hours per month on online video-watch. This states that they spend approximately seven hours more watching videos online than U.S. consumers on average. These statistics show that the rising Latino local household consumers can be targeted and reached through television advertising and Entravision Plus online video products. General Manager of Entravision US Digital, Jessica Martinez, said, “Advertisers need to reach their consumers. We can now offer our clients the ability to reach consumers not only through our television and radio assets, but also through an array of digital products.” She added, “Entravision Plus – our newest offering – provides advertisers with unique targeting, competitive ad separation and insightful analytics to reach all segments of the Latino consumers. We are excited to provide this premium solution, along with television and radio, to meet the needs of an evolving market. By leveraging Entravision Plus, we anticipate that our customers’ businesses will stand out and grow faster than ever before.” (Source – Business Wire) About Entravision Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Entravision, an advertising company, provides solutions for digital marketing, social commerce, CTV, application performance, audio programmatic services, Latam, VAS, user acquisition, growth, marketing automation, local marketing, content marketing, data services, mobile advertising and marketing, and media networking. It has been connecting advertising brands with consumers through media, ad tech, commerce and advertising solutions on different platforms and publishers. It partners with companies like TelevisaUnivision, LinkedIn, Spotify, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and Grab for sales operations and financial and commercial services.

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Facebook Acquires Cloud Video Gaming Company PlayGiga

thurrott | December 19, 2019

Facebook seems to be working on a new vision for its gaming products. The company may not be a huge player in the gaming industry, but it has invested a ton into its gaming products for years. And now, Facebook has acquired Spanish cloud video gaming company PlayGiga to further expand its gaming efforts. The company confirmed the acquisition to CNBC, though it declined to reveal any details about the acquisition. Facebook was rumored to have acquired PlayGiga last week by Spanish business newspaper Cinco Dias. The acquisition reportedly cost Facebook approximately 70 million euros. PlayGiga previously ran a cloud gaming service in Europe after being founded in 2013, though the company’s service failed to gain any traction. “We are excited to announce that the PlayGiga team is moving on to something new. We are continuing our work in cloud gaming, now with a new mission. We want to thank all of our partners and customers for their support over the years,” PlayGiga said on its website.

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Vitec acquires OTT tech vendor T-21 Technologies

fiercevideo | January 28, 2019

Video encoding and streaming solutions company Vitec is sharpening its focus on OTT products for broadcasters by acquiring OTT tech vendor T-21 Technologies.The companies did not disclose financial terms for the transaction.Kevin Ancelin, founder and CEO of T-21 Technologies, will join Vitec as vice president of worldwide broadcast sales.“The acquisition of T-21 brings Kevin’s 32-year industry experience and knowledge to Vitec as we expand our product and strategy focus on the broadcast market,” said Mark D’Addio, senior vice president at Vitec, in a statement. “His expertise in product and market development will expedite our new product roadmap and sales efforts for leading broadcasters worldwide.”“I look forward to this new chapter and challenge in my career. Vitec’s technology and dedication to the IP video market is unmatched,” said Ancelin in a statement. “With Vitec’s GEN2+ innovation, the MGW Ace portable hardware encoder delivers no visible latency for the most sensitive video quality and low latency applications. As we develop our next generation of products and marketing, with a focus on broadcast applications, GEN2+ will further transform the contribution market.”

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Business

Entravision adds Entravision Plus for Local Hispanic Reach Optimization

Entravision | February 21, 2023

Entravision, an advertising, media, and technology solutions provider, has recently launched its new solution Entravision Plus, enhancing the local Hispanic reach of companies through connected TV, CTV, and over-the-top OTT, streaming. It leverages performance-based data insights from Spanish-language publishers to optimize digital advertising outcomes. It has added Entravision Plus to its full suite of digital solutions for OTT, CTV, digital audio ads, display ads, SEM, digital out-of-home, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube Ads, Branded Content and Email Marketing, along with its television and radio services. It was found that about 90% of Hispanic consumers stream video on smart devices. This data is approximately 10% more than the video streaming behavior of non-Hispanic consumers. Additionally, on average, the Hispanic consumer spends about 26 hours per month on online video-watch. This states that they spend approximately seven hours more watching videos online than U.S. consumers on average. These statistics show that the rising Latino local household consumers can be targeted and reached through television advertising and Entravision Plus online video products. General Manager of Entravision US Digital, Jessica Martinez, said, “Advertisers need to reach their consumers. We can now offer our clients the ability to reach consumers not only through our television and radio assets, but also through an array of digital products.” She added, “Entravision Plus – our newest offering – provides advertisers with unique targeting, competitive ad separation and insightful analytics to reach all segments of the Latino consumers. We are excited to provide this premium solution, along with television and radio, to meet the needs of an evolving market. By leveraging Entravision Plus, we anticipate that our customers’ businesses will stand out and grow faster than ever before.” (Source – Business Wire) About Entravision Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Entravision, an advertising company, provides solutions for digital marketing, social commerce, CTV, application performance, audio programmatic services, Latam, VAS, user acquisition, growth, marketing automation, local marketing, content marketing, data services, mobile advertising and marketing, and media networking. It has been connecting advertising brands with consumers through media, ad tech, commerce and advertising solutions on different platforms and publishers. It partners with companies like TelevisaUnivision, LinkedIn, Spotify, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and Grab for sales operations and financial and commercial services.

Read More

Facebook Acquires Cloud Video Gaming Company PlayGiga

thurrott | December 19, 2019

Facebook seems to be working on a new vision for its gaming products. The company may not be a huge player in the gaming industry, but it has invested a ton into its gaming products for years. And now, Facebook has acquired Spanish cloud video gaming company PlayGiga to further expand its gaming efforts. The company confirmed the acquisition to CNBC, though it declined to reveal any details about the acquisition. Facebook was rumored to have acquired PlayGiga last week by Spanish business newspaper Cinco Dias. The acquisition reportedly cost Facebook approximately 70 million euros. PlayGiga previously ran a cloud gaming service in Europe after being founded in 2013, though the company’s service failed to gain any traction. “We are excited to announce that the PlayGiga team is moving on to something new. We are continuing our work in cloud gaming, now with a new mission. We want to thank all of our partners and customers for their support over the years,” PlayGiga said on its website.

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Vitec acquires OTT tech vendor T-21 Technologies

fiercevideo | January 28, 2019

Video encoding and streaming solutions company Vitec is sharpening its focus on OTT products for broadcasters by acquiring OTT tech vendor T-21 Technologies.The companies did not disclose financial terms for the transaction.Kevin Ancelin, founder and CEO of T-21 Technologies, will join Vitec as vice president of worldwide broadcast sales.“The acquisition of T-21 brings Kevin’s 32-year industry experience and knowledge to Vitec as we expand our product and strategy focus on the broadcast market,” said Mark D’Addio, senior vice president at Vitec, in a statement. “His expertise in product and market development will expedite our new product roadmap and sales efforts for leading broadcasters worldwide.”“I look forward to this new chapter and challenge in my career. Vitec’s technology and dedication to the IP video market is unmatched,” said Ancelin in a statement. “With Vitec’s GEN2+ innovation, the MGW Ace portable hardware encoder delivers no visible latency for the most sensitive video quality and low latency applications. As we develop our next generation of products and marketing, with a focus on broadcast applications, GEN2+ will further transform the contribution market.”

Read More

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