Video: Is Too Much Choice No Choice At All? What Consumers Want In The Era Of Peak TV

The number of streaming services continues to expand are we going back to the future with too much choice, just like cable TV packages with a thousand channels? Discovery will launch a direct-to-consumer service imminently and ViacomCBS Nordics are launching a new SVOD service to global markets, just to cite two examples of new launches after Disney+ proved that with the right brand and content, it’s not too difficult quickly rack up tens of millions of subscribers globally.

This panel from Streaming Media Connect discusses navigating the world of multiple streaming services and finding what you want starting with a look at the programmes that US respondents to an annual survey value most.
They discuss the average number of streaming subscriptions today in different demographics and how each of them expects this to change in the future with some suggesting an average of around 3, some more so. This reveals the question of whether YouTube is AVOD or SVOD, one service or millions. People will come back to a service depending on ‘how deep and hot often [it’s] refreshed’.

Ali Hodjat from Intertrust, highlights a 16% increase in content DRM licence delivery during the pandemic. Keeping DRM licences delivery smooth is essential for low-latency streaming. There has been a COVID-related boost in viewing, so Matt Rivet raises the question of whether this will reduce again. Sherry Brennan suggests it will go down, but the market share shifts which have happened are likely to remain, sports watching excepted. The reason for this is that the pandemic is likely to have prompted people to try new things, and many will find these suit them.

It’s estimated that 17% of video traffic is streaming of pirated material. Though many torrents are legal, there has been an increase in torrent downloads during the lockdowns. Ali and Matt discuss the question of whether discovery is a barrier to people accessing video legally. For those that have many services, ‘choice paralysis’ is a thing and does hamper selecting something to watch, particularly when not alone. Whilst getting consensus across multiple people is always difficult, it’s made no shorter when there are 200 options across 3 services. The panel starts with the principle that it’s “too hard to search” and discusses recommendation engines and the difficulty of tracking who’s watching.

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Speakers

Sarah lyons Sarah Lyons
Senior Vice President, Product Experience
HBO MAX / WarnerMedia
Randa Minkarah Randa Minkarah
President, Chief Operating Officer & Co-Founder,
Resonance AI
Sherry Brennan Sherry Brennan
Senior Media Consultant
Ali Hodjat Ali Hodjat
Directory of Product Marketing
Intertrust
Matthew Rivet Moderator: Matthew Rivet
Director,
Altman Solon

Video: Harness SSAI’s Superpowers

Server-side Ad Insertion (SSAI) is a great option for streaming services delivering video to a wide variety of devices and for those who need to avoid ad blockers. Whilst ad insertion can happen in the player, this mechanism can be interfered with allowing users to avoid ads. Whilst client-side ad insertion can much more easily create a unique stream for each client, dynamic SSAI can now do the same with a better user experience.

This panel from the OTT Leadership Summit at Streaming Media West 2019 brings together Disney, WarnerMerdia and Crunchyroll to share their experiences with SSAI. They discuss beaconing, ad standards, scaling, SCTE and more.

Beaconing goes hand in hand with ad playback providing metrics on what happened. When you perform certain actions, the player will reach out to a URL. This can be used to indicate such things as users skipping or pausing a video. The beacon information can then be used to verify how much of which ads were seen by whom and charge advertisers accordingly.

The panel moves on to discussing scaling using live sports as an example and cover questions to ask vendors to ensure you and they are ready for maximum scale. Bandwidth, is declared the biggest challenge, but a less obvious problem is that your upstream ad providers can’t always scale well. If you rely on calls from your server to others, then it’s vital to understand their scaling capacity and strategy. They discuss issues with losing beacons when operating at scale and the need for detailed logging and debugging in order to spot errors and reconcile the results.

Some time is next spent on VPAID and VAST 4 which are both messaging specifications to allow ad servers to tell applications which ads to play. The panel discusses the pros and cons in their use for SSAI where the stitcher needs to reach out to and ad server in real time to find out which ads to play.

At the end of the discussion, the panel takes questions from the floor but not before discussing SCTE Markers and ‘content conditioning’ which surrounds taking care of your source videos and encoder such that the two assets fit together properly at I-frame boundaries.

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Speakers

Robert Jameson Robert Jameson
Technical Director, Media Enablement
Turner | WarnerMedia
Stephen Gray Stephen Gray
Director, Ad Tech Systems
Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International
Michael Dale Michael Dale
VP Engineering,
Crunchyroll
Nadine Krefetz Nadine Krefetz
Consultant, Reality Software
Contributing Editor, Streaming Media