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Optimising the streaming media experience with IP Intelligence

By 2019, global subscriptions to over the top (OTT) TV services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime will reach 333 million and ad spend for video on-demand will quadruple

The proliferation of smart devices and enhanced data connections is driving an explosion in digital media streaming. In the next 12 months it is predicted that globally users will spend almost an hour per day watching video online. By 2019, global subscriptions to over the top (OTT) TV services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime will reach 333 million and ad spend for video on-demand will quadruple.

While the growth of digital media streaming presents new opportunities for audience engagement, it also comes with heightened expectations of viewing quality. Negative experiences such as connection speed issues or being blocked whilst trying to view content can damage brand reputation and lead disengaged consumers to turn to competitor brands. In fact, three-quarters of online video viewers will abandon a streaming service after four minutes if it is slow or frequently interrupted.

For marketers and broadcasters, this means it has never been more important to get streaming media right. Not only is it crucial to create video content that cuts through the noise and captures consumer attention, but it must also be viewable on any device, at any time, and in any location.

So how can content providers ensure their videos effectively reach the right audience at the ideal moment and provide a positive brand experience that holds consumer attention?

Geographic rights management
While it is vital video providers abide by digital rights regulations at both a country and regional level, it is just as important for brands to ensure they are not blocking those who are permitted to view the content. The use of accurate IP geolocation data empowers brands and marketers to reliably identify a visitor’s location and grant access where viewing is allowed, while blocking access where it is prohibited.

Content providers must also strike a balance between protection from visitors actively falsifying their location by using proxy IPs, and facilitating legitimate users. The insight afforded by in-depth premium proxy analysis can identify the type of proxy being used, enabling better decisions to be made about providing or denying access, and keeping content both accessible and secure for the right audiences.

Optimise content to the correct device type
The ubiquity of smartphones and tablets creates an additional challenge for video content providers, whose content has the potential to be viewed on a proliferation of different devices, each with their own technical limitations. Through IP technology, brands are able to decipher the connection type being used to stream video, empowering them to optimise content to suit the connection speed being used – enhancing the user’s viewing experience and promoting consumer loyalty.

Decipher connection speed
In much the same way as deciphering connection type, it is important brands understand the speed of the connection their viewers are accessing content through and optimise their content appropriately, helping to create a trouble-free and enjoyable viewing experience.

Mobile optimisation
Being able to recognise the connection type is also important to optimise content delivery for mobile. Distinguishing between WiFi, fixed internet, 3G and 4G can enhance a user’s viewing experience and generate additional revenue channels while maintaining consumer loyalty.

The growth of online video content is set to continue, as publishers favour this format over traditional editorial, and consumers use mobile devices and social networks to view and share videos with previously unseen ease. As brands continue to increase usage of video content, it is vital they are able to understand the consumers’ needs and serve content as efficiently as possible to increase customer loyalty and ensure the company stands out in a highly competitive market. The use of IP intelligence empowers brands to not only understand how content can be made relevant to the consumer but also allows the optimisation of video to the correct connection speed, while ensuring geographic rights are adhered to ¬– allowing the viewer to enjoy a positive experience regardless of device and location.

By Charlie Johnson, vice president, UK and Ireland, Digital Element