By Gowton Achaibar, COO and Head of R&D, Ericsson Media Solutions
My colleague Mark Russell, CTO & Head of Strategy, Ericsson Media Solutions, recently outlined our Emmy award-winning portfolio and our plans to drive R&D and innovation to develop the most scalable, highest performance and cost-effective media solutions in the industry. In the last iteration of this three-part series, we will look at the challenges of today’s media landscape and how we are best placed to solve them.
We are now living in a world of multi-device viewing, audience fragmentation, price pressures and continually emerging ways to present and promote media. Delivering direct-to-consumer media experiences in this environment requires constant innovation, yet media brands are often stymied by long product development cycles and the inability to align product roadmaps with evolving consumer demands.
Creating compelling consumer experiences for media brands means matching a rich consumer user experience with great content – accessible anywhere, anytime and delivered with quality. Doing this well requires mastering the same technologies and continuous delivery methods of major web players such as Facebook and Netflix. So what lessons can the TV and media industry learn and replicate over the next few years?
Create brand value
In many cases brands cater specific content or experiences towards targeted audiences. As such, accompanying apps and the consumer experience must be tailored to the specific audience that matches and conveys the brand. In addition, these many experiences must now be delivered to an ever-growing number of devices. Traditional TV operators must find ways to integrate third party branded app content into the consumer experience, incorporating both live and on-demand subscription offerings.
Open up new methods for optimized content delivery
The rise of OTT services means that TV providers and broadcasters are no longer just competing with their peers but increasingly with giant internet centric technology vendors including Amazon, Apple and Google. Live, on-demand, and time-shifted content must be delivered to all devices at the highest quality possible to compete effectively in the dynamic TV and Media market. Content must also be secure and accessible to users according to their rights.
Service providers must learn more about their consumers, especially when the average time spent searching for content has increased to almost one hour per day and one in eight consumers believe they will get lost in the vast amount of available content in the future (Ericsson ConsumerLab TV and Media Report 2017). By delivering a more personalized viewing experience across all devices, they can cater to their viewing needs with more accurate relevant and engaging recommendations that integrate with their social networks and pay-TV content.
Leverage the cloud & data analytics
For many people, the term ‘cloud’ is immediately associated with third party cloud providers, losing control over confidential data and concerns about service availability. However, the technology that allows some of the biggest cloud providers to scale operations is open source, available and very much applicable in other situations. By utilizing containerization, microservices, continuous deployment, and avoiding lock-in to specific cloud providers, we can deliver the most effective modern media experiences.
Analytics also becomes the foundation for user experience, ad monetization, and service health. Beyond enhancing the consumer experience, actionable analytics provide operators with insights to enable business decisions on content catalogs, scheduling and acquisition to create personalized offerings for different market segments.
Discover new monetization avenues
In adding a direct-to-consumer path, additional monetization through advertising and direct subscription is possible. The internet era of advertising has moved from a ‘one-to-many’ approach to more ‘one-to-one’ meaningful conversations with targeted audiences. However, the video advertising landscape is complicated by fragmented technology, few standards, and relationships that limit potential benefits. By delivering integrated advertising components and solutions within a flexible environment (such as tailoring ads to user profiles to increase their relevance and value), service providers can overcome these challenges. Through the use of an integrated platform, ads will gain expanded reach though dynamic insertion in all types of content including linear, VOD, cloud DVR, and time-shifted delivery. Building a good relationship with the consumer means that targeted ad placement and transactions both become possible.
Supporting a consumer-driven future of media
With over 20 years of experience working with Content Owners, Broadcasters and Pay TV operators worldwide, Ericsson Media Solutions has successfully enabled its customers to introduce state-of-the-art capabilities that address their continually changing needs. Each part of our portfolio is self-sufficient and world-class, but together, as an overall end-to-end solution, we are able to provide unmatched content delivery architecture, offering bandwidth efficiency, operational simplicity and an experience that will delight subscribers.
As an independent media technology company, we are free to select the best technology and provide the most portable cloud-native architectures that give our customers genuine flexibility to choose the business model that suits them. We look forward to helping our customers and partners continually deploy new, agile features that enable the rapid launch of new content innovations to achieve greater monetization, deliver higher quality services and quickly distribute the all-important features that consumers demand.
Read on about our new partnership with One Equity Partners from Angel Ruiz in part one and our mission to advance service delivery from Mark Russell in part two.