Asia-Pacific Broadcasting (APB) September 2017 Volume 34, Issue 7 - Page 38

38 September 2017 Surfing the OTT wave It is undeniable: consumer viewing patterns are changing all around the world. Once dominated by a TV set in the corner of our living rooms, increasing amounts of media are being consumed on different devices, in different contexts. Nothing new here, you might say. But how does a modern broadcaster adapt to this trend? All modern broadcasters have over-the-top (OTT) offerings, are active on social media, and target specific consumers with niche services. They generally follow the principle that “if it has a screen, or is connected to one, and can display video, we need to be on it”. What is the solution? Throw money at the problem? Today’s broadcaster does not typically have the resources to spend extensively to address OTT and streaming requirements, but making this happen in an economically viable manner is far from easy. Broadcast is easy — use DVB: all the systems interoperate; they all fit together. The technology is readily available, and by-and- large reasonably priced. OTT is quite a different story. Can I encode my content once and make it available on any device? The answer is no. MPEG-DASH helps, but it is not universal across all devices. How do I ensure that my systems will work with the digital rights management (DRM) systems increasingly a pre-requisite for licensing premium content? These couple of issues are just the start, there are many others. Interfacing with different network providers is complex, ensuring that you have access to reasonably priced and reliable content delivery network (CDN) services is another issue. And all this costs a lot of time and money. All this would be easy if OTT services generated lots of revenue. Alas, they do not for most play