IBC 2018 provided a trove of technology and approaches to further the business of multiscreen video. Here are four of my favorites.
Leveraging latent video resources
People just can’t resist capturing what’s going on around them on their phones. At sports arenas, music concerts, demonstrations, and events there are always a host of people recording what’s going on around them. A new live cloud video solution from Make.TV allows video producers to take full advantage of this latent video resource.
Make.TV’s solution can capture many different simultaneous views of the action at a big event as the devices stream them into the cloud. A browser-based video production app connects to the cloud router, and the system streams it a composted single stream view of all the contributed live video streams. Through the browser, the video producer can highlight any individual stream in the composted stream, view it, and add it to the output stream. Overlay graphics and other processing can also be done in the cloud to create the final produced stream.
The cloud video router has already been used by ESL1 for large gaming events and Fox Sports Latin America for the Brazil Olympics. Al Jazeera will also switch its complete news production to the cloud based on the Make.TV cloud video router.
The customer happiness index
The basics of building, launching, and managing an online video service have now been conquered. Providers are turning their attention to improving performance and creating a sustainable business. However, a major hurdle must be overcome to make progress. The data needed to make intelligent decisions is scattered across different service subsystems. Wicket Labs thinks it has the answer.
The company’s solution can capture data from systems such as billing, customer management, user data and more. It is also able to connect data about an individual customer across all these subsystems. Armed with a complete picture of the customer-base, Wicket Labs can calculate actionable data like churn and customer lifetime value. It is also able to examine the impact the addition of specific shows and movies may have on those parameters.
The company can go one step further. It can calculate a customer happiness index or CHI score. The higher the score, the happier the customer. Low scoring customers are very likely to cancel, but Wicket Labs can help there too. It can recommend the best way to approach the customer to get them re-engaged, without accidentally reminding them that they should cancel.
Another novel use of data came from Korean video software provider Alticast. The company was demonstrating Argus BIS, its business information system. Alticast is using its in-house AI capabilities to analyze the habits of pay TV viewers and directly drive what is displayed in the user interface. The solution can figure out user details such as:
- The type of content preferred
- Usual movie or show viewing and purchase times
- Amount typically spent on a video
- Typical viewing times during the day.
Armed with this information, Argus BIS can recommend a movie for a user at a price she is likely to pay. It can also make this movie visible in the user interface at a time she is likely to buy and to have enough time to watch. It almost sounds like a personal movie shopper!
An alternative to Android TV
Android TV’s operator edition was a big hit at IBC 2018. A lot of the reason for the interest was the open app store. Unfortunately, there were few alternatives that pay TV operators could consider, at least until today. RDK is an open source software stack for the connected home which operators can use to drive their set-top boxes. Today, RDK announced that operators could use the new RDK app framework to build apps of their own. They can also choose a pre-integrated app store to jump-start their app libraries.
The Metrological App Store is the first to be pre-integrated with RDK and includes over 300 apps. Any provider creating an app for the store can immediately reach over 40 million pay TV households.