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Beyond OTT: The next frontier

Connection solutions for content everywhere are more powerful than ever while ad stitching gains traction, says Matt Smith, chief evangelist, Anvato

Call it what you want – OTT, TV Everywhere, but hopefully not just ‘streaming’ – access to premium programming has grown exponentially since last year’s IBC show. Programmers and operators in Europe, North America and Asia are rapidly deploying or planning to bring to market IP-driven, over-the-top offerings through which viewers anywhere can consume their content. From Sky to NBCUniversal, iTV to HGTV, programmers and their brands are taking measures to ensure they are front and centre in today’s crowded content universe.

In years past, it has been a challenge to connect the various components and assemble the workflow necessary to deliver these channels and content to the viewer. Often, the resulting infrastructure would end up with gaps and compromises on features and functionality, a less than ideal consequence.

Fortunately, this is not the case anymore. Whether a channel is broadcast live and needs to reach every smartphone or tablet, or an operator has a VoD asset needing separate subtitles or an additional language track added, the solutions available today are more powerful than ever.

In fact, moving from a live event to a VoD asset can now happen within seconds. Imagine that: instant availability of a World Cup football match on any screen, moments after the final whistle. Anvato recently helped deliver this for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. We call this capability our Live To VOD Bridge, and it is available today.

Stitching: next step in advertising

If you’re not already acquainted with the term ‘stitching’, it’s time to get accustomed to using it. As dynamic ad replacement (DAI) has come to market, the idea of ad stitching has gained traction, but beyond ad replacement, the term also refers to splicing content together when needed on a per-user basis.

This is becoming more and more relevant as broadcast and streaming rights diverge slightly in the near future. When rights are in place to broadcast a show but streaming rights aren’t secured, technology can enable programme replacement on the fly, specific to each user.

As programmers deliver their content to a growing list of distributors, many are faced with disjointed workflows where separate components are required to prepare and place their content within both new and traditional destinations. This complexity can be removed with one-stop syndication: a solution where one platform prepares this content for delivery to all screens and all platforms.

There has never been a better time to bring your programming to viewers on screens of all shapes, sizes and locations. Meanwhile time to market and infrastructure cost have never been lower – it’s a win win. IBC continues to be a fantastic venue through which we learn about these new trends and capabilities, and where we all can get a glimpse into the future to better understand
where technology and requirements meet.

Please stop by the Anvato stand to discuss these exciting trends and tools. More information is also available at www.anvato.com. We look forward to seeing you at the show.

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