Upon returning from the OTT Video Executive Summit in New York – where I was able to share PeerApp’s views on managing over-the-top content as well as listen to others in the industry – I thought I’d share some of my insights. First off, if you haven’t been to an event put on by Brian Mahony and Trender Research before, it’s a bit different. In addition to hearing from industry professionals, you’ll also hear the voices of “trenders” – everyday users of the Internet from teens to grandmothers. It was a unique way of inserting real users’ views into the mix and keeping things fresh.
I had the pleasure of participating in a panel called, “You’re gonna break the Internet with that thing! Could OTT really do that?” Although the title was tongue-in-cheek, the topic of ensuring users’ Quality of Experience (QoE) is a major issue.
Steve Davi, SVP of Software Engineering at Synacor, moderated our panel and we discussed how to ensure that OTT content, especially streaming video, is delivered efficiently, effectively, and with high levels of quality. Other panelists included Time Warner Cable, Voddler, our partner Limelight Networks, Akamai and Witbe.
In addition to our session, I was able to catch most of the Summit’s line-up. Some of the recurring themes I heard throughout the day included:
- We’re still in the early days of this industry. There are a lot of players and moving pieces.
- It’s an evolving ecosystem, but it is too complex today. Things need to get simpler.
- How will consumers accept “unbundled” OTT services?
- What will consumers be willing to pay for unbundled OTT services and how much will they spend?
All good observations and questions that prompted a lot of discussion, including these thoughts from Summit participants (and I may be paraphrasing here):
“There is an opportunity for cable companies to bundle OTT services and sell them as packages to customers.”
– James Norman, CEO, GroupFlix
“Whoever makes it simpler [for the consumer] will win.”
– Bonnie Optekman, former VP of Connected TV, NBC News
“Cable companies are not moving fast enough on the potential opportunity around OTT, and are also not speaking to millennials.”
– Matt Smith, Chief Evangelist, Anvato
And, interestingly, Netflix was referred to as “antiquated” by one of the ‘Under 20’ Trenders!
One of the things that most everyone agreed on was that OTT delivery is improving every year. This is where PeerApp’s transparent caching solution comes in. As an innovator and industry leader, PeerApp helps operators ensure that their customers are able to watch video from services like Netflix and HBO GO on televisions, laptops, tablets and other devices – without experiencing buffering or stalling.
Thanks again to the OTT Video Executive Summit for promoting the thoughtful exchange of ideas in this evolving industry!