OTT Executive Magazine’s Nichole Janowsky recently conducted an interview with Sefy Ariely, our EVP Americas, covering the main challenges that OTT pay-TV operators currently face and much more. As the magazine writes, Sefy has been involved in the media and Pay TV industry for the past 15 years, specializing in IPTV and, later, OTT video services and the evolution of personalized, engaging multiscreen TV.
The changes the industry has undergone in that 15 year period are vast, and there’s a definite feeling among operators and content owners that its pace is only accelerating too. Here, Sefy talks about the main challenges of the next few years and the opportunity that the cloud brings to help solve them, the rise of Big Data and VR, and more.
OTT Exec: What are the main challenges that OTT pay-TV operators currently face?
While consumer demand for TV Everywhere services is high, these offerings are complex and expensive to set up, taking months, if not years, for operators to launch. If operators want to gain an edge over the competition, they need to be faster, smarter, more innovative and cost-efficient. In short, a simpler method for launching and managing video services on every screen is required. The traditional approach of building out big data centers and technology platforms is no longer effective.
Recently, cloud-based service delivery has emerged as a valuable solution, increasing operators’ business agility, reducing upfront investments, and speeding up time to market for OTT offerings. By enabling operators to focus on critical tasks like content acquisition, service management, UX, customer engagement and marketing, the cloud makes it possible for them to differentiate themselves within the marketplace, opening up new monetization opportunities.
OTT Exec: What are the hot trends in the OTT market right now?
Big data and analytics is a major area that is gaining traction in the OTT market. Leveraging data related to the television subscriber profile, operators can provide their customers with content that is more contextually relevant, increasing their satisfaction with the service.
Data can also be used to boost content efficiency and prevent piracy. Virtual Reality (VR) technology is also making an imprint on the OTT world, allowing operators to provide an immersive, engaging, and personalized television experience.
Finally, the cloud is significantly impacting OTT service management and delivery. Recently, Viaccess-Orca launched a cloud-based service, TV Everywhere as a Service (TVaaS) so that operators can take full advantage of the monetization opportunities, cost savings, and efficiencies offered by the cloud. Cloud-based services such as this help simplify OTT operational workflows, enabling operators to manage, publish, personalize, and monetize content securely on multiple devices via cloud infrastructure.
Since the cloud is based on an OPEX model that requires no infrastructure on the operator premises, it increases flexibility and agility, reduces costs and improves viewer engagement, leading to quicker service launch times.
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OTT Exec: Is the business case for cloud and virtual reality services strong, or will it take time before they’re adopted by OTT operators?
Cloud and virtual reality technology are not just a fantasy. In fact, they’re successfully being tested and used by leading pay-TV operators to provide the ultimate content experience on every screen.
Recently, we were involved with the broadcast of the world’s first live stream of a football match in 360 degrees and UHD with French TV channel TF1. VR technology is also being tested by satellite operator Sky Italia for live and on demand streaming of premium sporting events in 360 degrees. We’re also seeing tremendous interest in cloud-based service management and distribution, so we expect that platform to grow over time.