I had the pleasure of meeting other digital media industry leaders at the Content Delivery Summit and Streaming Media East 2015 earlier this month in New York. It was interesting to hear about the challenges media and entertainment companies are having migrating from a traditional TV model to an over-the-top (OTT) model of delivering content. Everything changes: content acquisition; slicing and changing content; inserting ads; programming; and, of course, delivery and playback.

While hearing panels debate 4K video, personalization, programming and OTT strategies was interesting, I had a few key takeaways:

  • OTT: There is a difference between delivering content online and having an OTT strategy. Most are already delivering content through their own websites and apps; however, many are still developing their OTT strategies and how to work through set-top devices and subscription video on demand (SVOD) providers like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video.
  • Content and Programming: Creating great content, programming (determining when and where to place content) is still absolutely critical to maximizing revenue, whether you’re making money on ads, PPV or subscriptions.
  • User Experience: Ensuring a great viewing experience is critical to customer loyalty and usage. One provider stated that if your video start times exceed two seconds, customer abandonment rates can be 20% to 40%. Ouch!

I am pretty excited about watching 4K/Ultra High Definition (UHD) video with double the resolution of 1080p. If you haven’t seen 4K video, you should. It’s so clear, and the colors are richer. If you like watching sports or action videos, you’re going to love 4K. The problem is that 4K video requires a 15Mbps stream, 5-10x larger than a typical 1080p stream.

The problem cited by cable providers and content providers is how they get an ROI on a 5-10x increase in cost for transmission. Good questions.

Source: 4K UHDTV Adoption, Intellistat

You can see what I had to say on the subject in my presentation at Streaming Media East on “Making 4K Video a Reality.”

Dan Rayburn, as usual, did a great job pulling together an interesting set of speakers and people to make Content Delivery Summit and SME a worthwhile event.


This post originally appeared on 365 Data Centers’ blog on May 18, 2015