Monday, 20 March 2017 20:33

Monetising OTT a challenge for industry

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Monetising video content while providing audiences the perfect viewing experience is the biggest technical challenge for the OTT streaming industry, according to a newly released global report.

And, after the challenges of giving viewers a good viewing experience, the report by Switch Media found that other challenges included:

  • Demographic targeting of the right audiences with streamed ads;
  • The accuracy required of the metadata attached to content; and
  • The ability to keep pace with the proliferation of new devices and platforms.

According to Switch Media chief technology officer Luke Durham, the viewing experience is paramount, “so the technology to deliver a smooth, TV-like experience which doesn’t annoy or interrupt what a person is watching has been fine-tuned both in terms of managing thousands of feeds and image quality”.

“Without the monetisation of streamed content, a significant proportion of content which millions of Australians take for granted would probably not be available.

“Crucial to all of this is the metadata for both the ‘discovery’, or the search and finding of the correct programmes and for the measurement and analysis of audiences who are using various devices. We’re talking literally thousands of programmes being accessed by millions of end users simultaneously all over Australia.”

Durham’s comments come on the eve of the 2017 Australian OTT TV Summit to be held in Sydney.

“One of the biggest problems we face is that there are multiple sources of content and ads, a lack of information consistency, and so a lot of integration has to be managed across a number of third party providers to seamlessly bring it all together in a single solution,” he said.

“Add to that, the issues around digital rights management across the various platforms and ensuring they are all correct and up-to-date.

”To achieve the best possible outcomes, OTT streaming solution providers need to move quickly and customise the services and tailor the interface for each client.”

According to Durham, there has to be a fine balance between ensuring client ads are delivered to their target market and not stopped by ad-blocking software, which have become prevalent, while maintaining the consistency and quality of the content transmitted.

“What is not known by the public, and many advertisers, is that to deliver a single ad into a streaming programme can require up to five technological ’requests’ via APIs, a set of functions which access the features or data of an operating system, application, or other service.

 “Another element in all of this is the need to keep an eye on the release of new devices and platforms and ensure that we can deliver our client’s content and ads into that particular environment.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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