Q. What broad technology trends do you think will be front-and-centre at IBC2012
This is definitely going to be the multiscreen IBC. It is a consumer-led movement: already more than 40 percent of consumers use social media from the couch in front of the television. Social media is both triggering and being triggered by television viewing, and users are as happy to watch on an iPad as on a large television screen. The key will be putting the right content onto multiple screens without changing the essential television experience.
Q. Any thoughts on how the current economic climate will affect the show?
Up until now broadcasters have been more or less forced into delivering content to multiple platforms to retain audience loyalty. With the increasing sophistication of online and multiscreen solutions, and given the economic climate, they now have to find ways of developing revenue streams from them, turning multiplatform content into a revenue centre, not a cost centre.
Q. What is new that you will show at IBC2012 and that broadcasters should look for?
We’ll be showcasing our live content replacement technology that we offer as an on-demand cloud service to broadcasters. We’ll be demonstrating how we can replace content or ads in a totally seamless way. We’ll be showing off our new advanced features such as live-for-live replacement, rights management-based “blanking” and how we can make live programming automatically and instantly available as VOD content.
Q. How does your new product differ from what is on the market?
Three things. First, it interfaces to the broadcast playout automation so it switches to replacement content frame accurately—the viewer does not realise there has been a replacement. Second, it is a cloud service, so it can be seamlessly scaled right up to personalised content for a large number of users. Third, because our background is in content delivery, we have lots of clever techniques for ensuring the content gets through to the right device, including very stable adaptive bit-rate transmission and a neat way of delivering HLS content to Flash players.
Q. Last year I asked whether 3D was Hope, Hype or In Between. This year I want to know similar thoughts on social media and broadcasters
Social media simply cannot be ignored. Facebook users number 800 million worldwide, a massive number. Smart broadcasters have long used the power of friends to support content discovery, and that is bound to grow. Broadcasters are making streams available through social media, and clever producers are using semantic searches to instantly evaluate programme performance by parsing tweets. Social media is out there—if you are not making every possible use of it you are missing a connection with your audience.
Q. Where are you based?
We are a small business, based in the United Kingdom. We started with products and services for delivering content to mobiles, and now we are becoming much more closely aligned with the broadcast industry as it becomes a multiplatform business.
Q. How many years have you been going to IBC? What is your fondest memory?
We first exhibited at IBC last year, and the experience was a great buzz from beginning to end. Our best memory has to be a conversation we had on the stand with ITV at IBC2011, which led to a major content replacement trial implementation, which in turn was selected as one of four finalists for this year’s IBC Innovation Awards. Our new best memory could be picking up the trophy!