Optimizing Meta Data-The King of Content
By David Sliter, VP & GM of Communications, Media & Entertainment, Hewlett Packard Enterprise [NYSE:HPE
Customer Experience, Delivered.
Advanced analytics can enable media companies to perform real time monitoring on their media services. They are able to know, where outages happen, which subscribers and how many are impacted, and take control of the customer experience delivered. Advanced analytics can do more, though, for personalized recording and viewing recommendations, and for generating new revenue streams with highly targeted advertising. We can combine subscriber profile, preferences, context, location, recent purchase and content choices, to feed into a targeted and relevant recommendation of video content or adverts. This can drive subscriber satisfaction scores and advertising revenues for service providers.
Ensuring an Unparalleled Experience Anytime, Anywhere
Media companies face several challenges as the market is shifting with the convergence of CSPs, new consumer viewing habits demanding an unparalleled experience anytime, anywhere, on any device, video on demand, OTT services, the rise of UHD 4k, and the continued explosion of video payload on networks. Working with the same technologies and processes as before is no longer possible. Cloud computing is the response to face this new environment, including NFV or telco grade cloud. This is how companies will gain the maximum benefits.
- Virtualization and Cloud computing/technologies, will be increasingly important for media companies to gain agility and flexibility. They can grow their infrastructure according to their needs, absorb peaks and events, and easily launch new channels while delivering a quality of service that will satisfy consumers. The elasticity required in media systems to absorb peaks for events (i.e. the Superbowl) can make technologies such as NFV/SDN even more critical for a service provider compared to the needs of classical voice/data/sms payloads.
- Another benefit of Cloud computing/technology is the consolidation of services around subscribers, to deliver programme recommendations, manage profiles, device delivery, and entitlements not just for individual video services but in a uniform and consistent manner across IPTV, OTT, VoD, etc. Such technologies can be offered as a service from the cloud, improving the capability of providers to deliver innovative services with an efficient cost structure.
- New business models can be launched with Cloud services. CSPs are investing in cloud infrastructure to host video and media services and optimize cost structure. They can resell or in some cases purchase media services.
In general terms, video services require a lot of storage and processing capability for Cloud DVR; Dynamic Ads Insertion, Middleware and more. Hosting these can offer a novel source of revenue, providing agility and the possibility of cross region deployment for enterprises.
- In addition, Cloud enables media companies to consolidate their silo systems and virtualize their media services. They gain operational efficiencies and decrease cost. The management of the content is simplified, more accessible, and becomes available everywhere, anytime.
Virtualization and Cloud computing / technologies, will be increasingly important for media companies to gain agility and flexibility
- Overall spending is more flexible because Cloud brings a unique opportunity to avoid vendor lock-in, leveraging on Open Source environments.
- The ability to use cloud environments for critical functions such as those found at a Head End facility, can allow a service provider to mitigate risks of failure in an important processing center and ensure an efficient disaster recovery solution in a virtual or an IP head end.
To successfully manage that transition, companies need a solid partner mastering the end-to-end chain, from hardware to solutions and services, leveraging open standards, and experienced in building and managing hybrid environments.
IoT provides different use cases of seamless access to media and the hyper-connected society. For example connected cars, can be seen as additional “screens” for multiscreen content. In the car, I can access all my repository of recorded and bookmarked media, and connect to social media. As a result, we will find the convergence of all media sources, formats and usage.
There are definitely several areas for innovation and growth today:
- Content Management—Being able to touch all your content once irrespective of what source you acquire it from or which format or device it will be viewed on, will begin to provide massive operational efficiencies with the proliferation of content. The unified workflow that enables this, also allows you to bridge your processes between your IPTV and VoD operations and automate your workflows including prefilling EPG data, enriching content, creating trailers or, when combined with subscriber analytics, providing even better content recommendations.
- Content Distribution—Time to market and service innovation will be key to service and media providers. Providing a personalized and unified customer experience across services such as VoD, linear and on demand TV, where the subscriber can get personalized recommendations on what to watch, what to record, will be key to great customer satisfaction and increased revenue.
- Optimizing Operations—With the adoption of open architectures, NFV service providers can quickly provision and launch complete test nodes in hours. They can also grow their investments as service updates accelerate (or turn down and redeploy resources if growth is not needed), providing elasticity for multiscreen services. With the maturing of SDN technologies, catering to different formats and the delivery of such content will be made easier with smarter edge of network technologies.
Key to Placing the Best Content
It all begins with carefully and precisely managing the content metadata. You need to enrich, segment, transcode your content all with the same consistent metadata view. As you move to the distribution side of your operations you will need to aggregate additional information and easily publish the Electronic Program Guides. That same metadata needs to guide you to the personalization of your services, leveraging user behavior contextual data for program recommendations or targeted advertising.
Analytics is key to placing the best content in front of your customer, at the right time.
Media Cloud—A Powerful Answer
Creating value for subscribers while monetizing your video services will be the biggest challenge that players in this market will face.
Managing video storage, ensuring immediate access to it in any format for any device in real time is a challenge that needs to be solved. Media cloud will be a powerful answer.
The customer experience needs to be intuitive; going across traditional silos: VoD, IPTV, multiscreen distribution. This consolidation will create a lot of operational challenges where good applications, combined with careful storage design and virtualization will be key to gain agility.
Agility and shorter time to market for new media services (with lower operational costs) will be paramount, also the addition of capabilities to monetize the payload through valuable preferences and recommendations, product placements or advertisements. Embracing IP technologies, and NFV to provide elastic multiscreen services for OTT and VoD will be key, as will adopting open APIs and technologies to allow the detection and insertion of adverts into linear (IPTV, OTT) and non-linear (VoD) media services.