In 2020, we saw tremendous growth in the amount and variety of media workloads moving to the cloud. For broadcasters, the ability to spin up new services and channels without having to build or manage on-premises infrastructure not only made economic sense, but it was also imperative due to facility limitations related to COVID-19. So, what does this mean for APAC next year?
1) APAC will see even more broadcasters move to cloud-based TV broadcasting.
Not just for channel origination, but the full delivery workflow with broadcast-grade encoding, statistical multiplexing, and reliable distribution of 24×7 live video to partners. Disaster Recovery and pop-up channels to monetize additional content around seasonal events are some of the preliminary use cases we will see cloud-based TV broadcasting shine. The collapsing of content rights windows and the dynamism of the live sports rights market, in particular, means pay-TV operators need the agility of cloud-based workflows to spin up and spin down capacity rather than making expensive long-term investments.
2) The build-out of live streaming infrastructure at scale will continue at pace
Of course, the lion’s share of major sports – notably the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics – will still be aired on traditional DTH, cable, and IPTV. However, we expect to see other streaming providers following the lead of Amazon Prime in experimenting with live sports. Investment is required in the technology stack to enable live-streamed events at ultra-low latency, five-nines reliability, and to replicate the scale of broadcast delivery. Still, when it does – which it surely will – the benefits of OTT in terms of personalized user experience will be a huge differentiator.
3) The appetite for VOD streaming services shows no sign of relenting among consumers and content owners
Following the launch of Disney+ in India, Japan, and Indonesia this year, we expect that the service will be extended into several other APAC markets, where it will face competition from local content owners taking their content direct to consumers (D2C). As a result, a growing number of pay-TV operators are reinventing themselves as content aggregators offering major international SVODs like Amazon Prime and Netflix alongside their own linear and VOD assets.
Looking ahead, we’ll see more operators supersizing their ambitions. We will see a rise in the bundling of multiple streaming services, all supported by a supersized universal search capability and one set of pay and authentication credentials to make it easy for viewers to find something to watch. As existing workflows move to the cloud in 2021, we will also see entirely new forms of personalized content. Examples will range from sophisticated personalized advertising to more complex personalized linear channels, all enabled by the flexibility and agility that cloud-based workflows can deliver.