Gatis Gailis, CEO, Veset discusses keeping up with the pace of change in the media industry, and the need for an agile approach.
What impact has the pandemic and its continuing aftereffects had on the company’s approach to R&D and product development?
As with all companies, the biggest change for us was adapting to a remote work environment. However, our playout solutions have always been entirely cloud-native so development work was able to continue pretty much unhampered. This of course also meant that our solution was already well suited to help broadcasters looking to launch channels with no access to on-prem hardware.
What are the biggest challenges you are facing in R&D and product development/deployment in the current landscape?
The biggest challenge is the fact that the industry is moving so fast. With that, the priorities for our customers shift quickly. Predicting the features they will need and ensuring we have built them out in time is vital but challenging in such a fast-paced environment. For us, it is important that we have an agile approach and can adapt as those needs change to ensure our focus is always where it is most needed.
What are you working on currently that excites you as a product team, and what can we expect to see at IBC 2023?
The fast pace of change means that it is an exciting time to be in the industry.
As more channels turn to ad-funded models, we have been building multiple ways of maximising that ad-based approach into our playout solution. This includes integration with AWS Elemental MediaTailor to allow users to build channels and insert personalised ads entirely in the cloud. We are continuing to develop our ad support and server-side ad insertion features that will make it easier than ever for our users to push relevant and engaging ads to their audience.
We have also been building in new graphics and audio features to help customers deliver even better channels for their viewers, all created, managed, and delivered entirely in the cloud. For example, users can now create engaging and interactive HTML 5 graphics and import them into a cloud-hosted playout stream. This means they can add complex animations and dynamic visual effects to their channel, resulting in a more visually engaging experience for viewers.
Earlier this year we announced support for Dolby Digital audio, enabling users to create linear channels with high quality audio.
Where do you see the most opportune areas for innovation in your area of the market, and what tech/solutions will drive that development?
We have already seen massive innovation in cloud-based environments and this is particularly exciting for playout. Solutions such as Amazon CDI are making it possible to transport high-quality uncompressed video entirely in the cloud, with high reliability and extremely low network latency. This is game-changing and makes the switch to the cloud, and all the flexibility it offers, a no-brainer. I believe we will see even more innovation in this area, making it even easier to take the entire media workflow into a fully cloud-based environment.
The other area where we are seeing a lot of innovation is adtech. As more budget-conscious consumers turn towards ad-funded services or tiers, we will continue to see a significant rise in the amount of services with at least some level of advertising. Making sure these ads are relevant to the user or region, or even device, will be crucial to keeping those consumers engaged and we will no doubt see much more innovation in this area.