Video: Connecting the dots – AVOD, Disney vs. Netflix, M&A predictions, Streaming wars

If there’s anything we can say following the Discovery Warner announcement, it’s that the streaming market isn’t quietening down. Understanding what’s at play behind the headlines is key to making sense of this increasingly complicated marketplace. To help do exactly that, Allan McLennan from PADEM Media Group speaks to Andreas Waltenspeil about super aggregators, Disney Vs Netflix tricks for success in the market. Strategies that don’t work are single-threaded, explains Allan. Today’s companies don’t do just broadcast or just IP, they’re bringing satellite, broadcast, streaming and other avenues into one to maximise reach. They’re also looking to their partners to help them understand their audience with analytics, improved workflows and creating a best-of-breed service.

PADEM Media Group, which focuses on market execution and acceleration, see the trends in Europe lagging slightly the US and suggests that the growth in AVoD seen in the US will continue to manifest in Europe. Advertising-based VoD (AVOD) is very compelling for many viewers because it’s easy, accessible and free to watch. Subscription-based VoD (SVOD), on the other hand, is prized by certain viewers who don’t want to see adverts. While this balance is strongly in favour of SVOD services at the moment, Allan sees that AVoD will continue to grow its market share allowing providers to reach people who don’t have the means for another subscription.



Andreas asks about market fragmentation which is ‘part of the game’ according to Allan. This is why there is a continued role for super aggregators whose role is to bring into one place as much content as possible. There are different aggregators in the market. Disney, Allan argues, is one example as they feature Hulu, ESPN and Disney+ under one umbrella delivering content for the whole family. This is naturally a self-limiting form of aggregation which only includes Disney-owned properties. Another more expansive offering are device manufacturers like Roku whos device can access many different services. Though no-one as told Google, this is a win for consumers and streaming providers. Allan sees Roku in a strong position with 35, going on 40, million users so considers the chances of them being acquired in the next couple of years quite high.

The video finishes talking about streaming wars. There will always be a fight for dominance so they will never end, but the question is how they will pan out. Certainly, there’s a fight for size, the Discovery Warner merger is partly about this. But there’s always to the ‘road to niche’. Major services like Crunchyroll started with a niche offering, though we see that the larger niches such as Anime are big enough to scale well worldwide. More specific niches may have much smaller bases but can provide a great, profitable business. Allan’s interested to see how the Broadcasters continue to engage against the ‘Streamers’ such as Netflix and Amazon. Netflix has moved into original programming, in essence like the broadcasters and Amazon has started making its name by winning major sports rights, not unlike how BT Sports first entered the UK market against Sky. We’ve seen recently that European public broadcasters are capitalising on their local content to continue to forge a relationship with their user base. This represents a response to the global, English-language American-dominated, market which fights without using total size as the weapon.

Watch now!

Allan McLennan Allan McLennan
Chief Executive,
PADEM Media Group
Andy Waltenspiel Andreas Waltenspiel
General Manager,
Waltenspiel Management Consulting

Video: TV moving to all IP – Dream or Reality?

As IP continues to infiltrate all aspects of the broadcast industry, this panel asks how close we are to all-IP TV delivery, what that would actually mean and how what technologies exist to get us there. As we’ve seen in contribution and production, IP brings with it benefits to those that embrace it, but not all of those benefits apply to every business so this panel considers where the real value actually lies.

Pedro Bandeira from Deutsche Telekom, Rob Suero from RDK, Xavier Leclercq from Broadpeak joins Wyplay’s Dominique Feral in this discussion moderated by Andreas Waltenspiel. The discussion starts with the motivations to move to IP with Pedro explaining that the services he delivers are viewed by the viewers alongside the big internet-delivered services like Netflix. As such, he needs access to the same technologies and sees a lot of innovation in that sphere. This is why he’s advocating a move away from multicast delivery of video to unicast; delivering with exactly the same technologies the giants are using.



For Pedro, streaming technology is an enabler, not a differentiator. As the foundation of his service, he wants it to be rock solid so feels the choice of partners to provide the technology is very important as he intends to benefit from incremental improvements as the base technologies improve. Part of the flexibility that unicast technologies provide, says Pedro, is removing the baggage of older technologies. He sees these as a burden when he wants the same service and quality of experience on devices as well as STBs.

Rob from Broadpeak feels that Multicast, or specifically Multicast-ABR is a really interesting technology because of the scalability and network efficiency which Pedro is willing to sacrifice to access other streaming technologies. Multicast ABR, however, delivers to the home as multicast so the impact on the telco network is minimised and only in the home is the service translated into a standard stream like HLS or DASH. In principle this allows companies like Deutsche Telekom to use the technologies he’s interested in whilst also delivering with network efficiency.

“A great technology for transitioning” is Pedro’s view of ABR Multicast. If we had the bandwidth, he feels no one would bother using it. However, he does agree that it’s useful in those markets whether the infrastructure can’t support a pure unicast offering and he does see ABR Multicast being part of his delivery strategy. He would prefer to avoid it as it requires home gateways and vendor support as well as being another point of failure. With 50 million homes in Europe on IPTV, there are plenty of services to transition.

The conversation then turns to RDK, the generically titled Reference Development Kit which is the name of an open source project, Rob explains, which abstracts the creation of new OTT apps and services from the underlying vendor equipment meaning you don’t have to develop software for each and every device. Removing the ties to OEMs keeps costs down for operators and allows them to be more agile. Dominique explains how writing with RDK may be free, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy and points to an experience where Wyplay shaved 6 seconds of latency off a customer’s service by optimising the way the app was written. At the end of the day, Dominique sees the route to a good, low-latency service as a fight with all aspects of the system including the encoder, packaging protocol, CDN, DRM latency and much more. This means optimising RDK is just part of a wide package of services that companies like Wyplay can offer.

The panel concludes by talking about learning RDK, upskilling colleagues, bringing them along on the journey to all-IP and offering advice to those embarking on projects.

Watch now!

Pedro Bandeira
VP Product & New Business, Europe,
Deutsche Telekom
Rob Suero Rob Suero
Head of Technology,
Dominique Feral Dominique Feral
Chief Sales & Marketing Officer,
Xavier Leclercq Xavier Leclercq
Head of Business Development,
Andy Waltenspiel Moderator: Andreas Waltenspiel
Founder & GM,
Waltenspiel Management Consulting

Video: Super-Aggregation & Cloud-Powered IPTV – A Case Study

What is super aggregation and why is it necessary for the media & entertainment industry? Surveys show that 47% of US citizens are frustrated by having to subscribe to multiple services rather than just 1 as they used to. Moreover, 57% are annoyed when content they like moves to another platform. This indicates there’s an opportunity in the market for services which aggregate multiple services into one to meet the needs of consumers and expand the reach of streaming providers.

This webinar from IBC 365 is hosted by Andy Waltenspiel who talks to TiVo, Liberty Latin America and Velocix about how they’ve worked together to launch a super-aggregation service for Latin American countries. Chris Thun from TiVo explains that he feels that ‘universal search’ is essential as well as ‘universal browse’ which creates a recommendation engine which understands you and helps you discover content from all services.

Liberty’s Edwin Elberg explains that this project came about when Liberty Latin America split from Liberty Global. Unusually, this meant they had to learn how to ‘scale down’ their operations. But this gave them an opportunity to differentiate themselves through a super-aggregation project which relied on the strengths of TiVo and Velocix with TiVo handling the customer-facing elements and Velocix managing the technical integration of the project and technical delivery of a number of workflow features such as ingest, recording and delivery to any device.

Jim Brickmeier from Velocix explained that their choice to use the cloud was made from the point of view of flexibility and reactiveness being most important. Whilst telcos which have their own network may still want to use on-prem solutions since delivering to their network is so much cheaper that way plus they can use many of the same technologies that would be in the cloud on-prem.

From a business perspective, having a super-aggregator is a benefit for many of the streaming services because Liberty is a big, trusted name with many subscribers. They already have a commercial and brand relationship with millions of people which significantly reduces the friction in signing up to new content, particularly in a part of the world where credit card ownership is far from universal.

Overall, this service seeks to differentiate itself and maintain subscribers by being the only company in the market with a user-experience at that level and with great content. Edwin Elberg points out it’s far from easy in setting up multiple relationships for the service and involves many contracts and careful planning to deal with international sales tax rules. Onboarding a new partner, he suggests, should be quicker and he thinks a standard for both the content provider and the aggregator to follow or conform to is the future.

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Chris Thun Chris Thun
Vice President, Product
Edwin Elberg Edwin Elberg
Sr. Director, Product Development
Liberty Latin America
Jim Brickmeier Jim Brickmeier
Chief Product and Marketing Officer,
Andy Waltenspiel Andy Waltenspiel
General Manager
Waltenspiel Management Consulting