Broadcasters go OTT at NAB
Posted on May 4, 2016
4 min read
The recent National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas was, as always, loaded with new ideas and toys. Ooyala’s Videomind editor, Jim O’Neill takes a look at what will shape the way we create, watch and share video content.
Las Vegas. The meeting place for the world’s media industry lived up to expectations with an estimated 100,000 delegates from over 160 countries; over 1700 companies in excess of 1million square feet of convention centre space. Both Ooyala and Telstra Broadcast Services were there – with booths in the Silver Parking Lot and the South Upper Hall respectively. While the South Upper and Lower Halls remains the nexus for new technology relating to all things over-the-top, a number of new entrants eat up whatever available space remains.
So what did we learn this year?
Broadcasters – finally – officially buy into OTT
This year, it was clear that broadcasters are all in and looking for ways to go over-the-top as quickly as they can in as many ways as possible. And it’s not just the big networks, smaller market players are looking to go over-the-top live with their news shows, weather, local sports coverage and their morning shows. Their big worry, as usual, is monetization. There is no longer concern about cannibalizing their “prime” (OTA) audience, instead they were far more concerned about how to reach Millennials and their following generation.
Not everyone is on board the 4K train
High Dynamic Range content (HDR) and new media was trending with broadcasters, who are still not as committed to 4K (super high resolution). This isn’t a matter of them having their “heads in the sand,” as they were with OTT it’s much more a matter of their skepticism about whether or not that consumers are eager to join the 4K revolution. While sportscasters are more willing to jump onboard, it may take a lot longer for broadcasters to adopt what many of them currently see as a gimmick driven by a small segment of the industry (and CE manufacturers).
Mobile news delivery
Social media held center stage at NAB (Facebook and Twitter) with many panels focusing on mobile phone news delivery (to Millennials), political commentary and opinion being delivered and readily consumed by an even broader audience on mobile devices, and, of course, the increasing availability of live being key. The amount of conversation discussing Twitter’s deal with the NFL (for a rumoured bargain price of $10 million) was staggering, and everyone was using Facebook Live to post content from panels, keynotes and even, ahem, social gatherings.
‘Discovering’ good content is key
As more content moves online, more solutions are being launched to help viewers find it easily. The “magic” of Netflix’s 80% success in recommending [x] content was the mantra of any number of speakers on panels, which defined the success of OTT as the ability of viewers to find content easily. You could see that competition is hot in this space as there were a ton of solutions being shown in meeting rooms all around the convention.
Virtual reality vs reality
While VR continues to grab headlines, questions remain as to whether it’s the “Next Big Deal” or just the next 3D, ie., flop. I’ve seen it before, and I’ll say it again… when the technology is something you step into rather than wear, it will be adopted wholesale, but until then, it remains a niche product (gamers, for example, will adopt, but they’re just not convinced anyone else will – especially if it involves a bulky wearable).
Watch Beet.TV’s Andy Plesser chat with Ooyala’s vice president of products and strategy, Jonathan Wilner to discuss the evolution of over-the-top television as reflected at NAB.
This video originally appeared in the Huffington Post.
This post originally appeared on Ooyala’s Videomind blog.
Ooyala is an independent subsidiary of Telstra.
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