How are you planning to meet the OTT Video Demand?

There is a great deal of buzz in the Media industry about digital content delivery. At the recent CES trade show in Las Vegas, Dish Networks announced Sling TV. Sling TV will deliver some of most popular live cable channels “over-the-top” (OTT) of the Internet to consumers. This comes on the heels of Time Warner’s wave of industry press following their decision (which must have been a challenging one) to outsource video delivery and move away from an in-house build for their HBO GO OTT offering. Clearly there is a lot of effort being put into new video delivery platforms. Efficient business models and optimized infrastructure are still being assessed. EMC Isilon speaks with many media organizations that are weighing the same decisions on how to leverage their media assets and capitalize on the accelerated consumer demand for online video.

Demand Driving Decisions
It’s no secret that that there is a voracious and rapid growth in consumer demand for online video. With delivery platforms like smartphones, tablets, set top boxes, gaming devices and connected TVs enabling convenient access to online video, consumers can access content wherever they have internet broadband or mobile data access—and they’re willing to pay for the privilege. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), OTT video streaming will grow to be a $10.1 billion business by 2018, up from just a $3.3 billion in 2013.
Taking into account the shifting in consumer demand, the rapidly growing associated market share opportunity, and advertising/subscription revenue, it’s clear the demand for online video is a strategic, fast moving, and meaningful business opportunity for the media industry. So how do organizations take the next steps to delivering online video?

Evolution of Media Delivery
As decision makers become increasingly focused on the strategic business value that online video provides, executing on this evolution of media delivery may not be easy for some organizations. Success in the decision to compete in the OTT markets often boils down to three options: build, buy, or a hybrid of both. Regardless of the choice, this decision has major implications for your organization. In essence, the majority of media organizations will be creating a hybrid infrastructure – as few will own their own CDN or the “last mile.” However, there are a few aspects and specific requirements you would want to consider for your deployment and I reached out to one of our Isilon CTO’s Charles Sevior to share his overview of the infrastructure models:

  • Build — For existing media organizations, you’re probably already considering requirements like integration with existing content playout infrastructure, digital rights management and advanced monetization such as targeted ad serving and VOD subscription models. Leveraging your existing content assets, infrastructure and technology team to create a new OTT workflow can result in lower deployment costs and an efficient long-term solution. Your strategy to layering OTT video delivery on top of your regular playout enables your team to incrementally add the new workflow to your content delivery ecosystem. And you can learn the benefits of integrating advanced analytics technologies like Hadoop to extract valuable business insights and provide content recommendations for improved viewer engagement using an integrated Isilon Data Lake Foundation.
  • Buy — Aggregating content rights in your territory for the specific delivery mode is only the start. Setting up an operational infrastructure for reliable and “buffering free” media delivery is a large part of the equation for streaming success. For some businesses outsourcing the OTT video delivery infrastructure may be the best strategy. Development and operation of media infrastructure may not be one of your core business competencies, or time to market presents a need to launch today to get ahead of the competitors.
    Outsourcing has immediate benefits: speed to market is greatly increased; you have significant platform agility to dial in your business model; and the barrier to entry from a technical standpoint is low. Finally, your financial outlay is an operational expense. If the venture proves commercially non-viable, you can more readily shift strategies down the track.
    Choosing the right outsource partner becomes critical and an experienced media content delivery specialist can quickly accelerate your speed to market and help you navigate the challenges for your go-to-market. 
  • Hybrid — In reality, the best infrastructure for online video may be a hybrid model. With a hybrid model, you can leverage your current resources and talents against your “cash cow” business operations, while outsourcing parts of the video delivery infrastructure that have low revenue return or tight launch windows. A hybrid model gives your business the agility of rapid deployment with the flexibility to bring the workload back onto owned and managed infrastructure for reduced cost overheads and leveraging investments in staff, infrastructure and data centers.
    The EMC Isilon scale-out NAS has helped a lot of media organizations deliver content. In fact today, we are providing the origin storage solution to serve audio and video content to just under 2 billion subscribers worldwide in the cable, satellite, IPTV, OTT and streaming music industries.

EMC has a unique relationship with companies that have built an industry-leading infrastructure to deliver video to their customers worldwide. One of those companies leading the way is Kaltura, one of the top Online Video Platforms (OVP). They offer services and infrastructure to help you outsource, build your own (using their open source APIs), or develop hybrid content delivery solutions. Kaltura is not only helping media organizations, but also companies in education, enterprise and government sectors. Here is a short video that we created with Kaltura about their operations and infrastructure decisions:

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As you consider your next step in video delivery, let us or Kaltura know how we can assist in your planning process. If you liked this post and video, please feel free to like, share, and tweet.

About the Author: Jeff Grassinger