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.
How does the move to OTT delivery impact the traditional platforms? Are there too many streaming services? This session looks at the new platforms, the consumer experience, the role of aggregation and the way that operators have been involved in de-aggregation and then re-aggregation of channel packages both in competition and in cooperation.
How many subscription services are too many for a household? There’s some thinking that 3 may be the typical maximum when people tend to switch to a ‘one in, one out’ policy on subscription packages. Colin Dixon says the average is currently 2 in the UK and Germany. The panel asks whether we should have as many and compares the situation with audio where ‘super aggregation’ rules. Services like Apple Music and Spotify rely on aggregating ‘all’ music and consumers don’t subscribe separately to listen to Sony artists one on service and EMI on another, so what is it that drives video to be different and will it stay that way?
The topic then switches to smart TVs discussing the feeling that five to eight years ago they had a go at app stores and ended up disappointing. Not only was it often clunky at the time, but support has now gone on the whole from the manufacturers. Is the current wave of smart TVs any different? From BT’s perspective, explains Colin Phillips, it’s very costly to keep many different versions of app up to date and tested so a uniform platform across multiple TVs would be a lot better.
The talk concludes looking at the future for Disney+, Netflix and other providers ahead of discussing predictions from industry analysts.
Controlling services by voice is on the rise. Recently we have seen Google move all their Nest hardware control into Google Assistant and the abilities of Alexa and Siri continue to grow. All of these smart speakers and voice-controlled AI assistants have seen rapid adoption in homes, the UK being the biggest adopter with voice assistant devices now used in more than a quarter of all households.
With a shift away from the on-screen EPG and clunky remote controls to a world where any content is a voice command away, who owns the voice interface with the consumer and the vast amount of valuable data it creates? Does this put more power in the hands of the Silicon Valley tech giants as their voice assistants and AI algorithms become a new gatekeeper? And how should content owners respond?
This webinar explores the value of voice control for content, and finds the best strategies for broadcasters and platform operators to develop voice interfaces and maintain control of the user experience.
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