It’s self-evident that the mass adoption of services such as Netflix and HBO Go has played its part in revolutionising the way that we consume content. This, paired with the proliferation of smart devices, provides viewers with more means to watch their favourite shows than ever before. Across the world, we see more and more people discovering content across a range of devices and through different streaming options. They’ve been empowered to consume in a way that provides what they want, when they want, and how they want it.
The increasing number of people with a smart device shows no sign of slowing down, and in the UK, two thirds of people now own a smartphone, which they use for nearly two hours on average every day. In fact, for the first time, smartphones have overtaken laptops as UK internet users’ number one device, a surge thought to be driven by the increasing uptake of 4G mobile broadband. The speed of these devices has certainly influenced the uptake, and almost half of young people now watch on demand and catch up TV from their mobile device.
With this in mind, media companies are leveraging the web to distribute original or syndicated content with services, such as OSN Play, icflix, and Netflix, and as a result, the lines between content producers, distributors, broadcasters and technology companies have been blurred. Companies that deliver content are now producing it, production companies are getting into delivery, and pure technology companies want to be distributors. One thing is clear, however, media companies have to continue pushing content to people, in order to maintain their share of the market. Doing this sustainably in the long term requires the use of flexible and scalable integrated solutions.
To do this effectively, media companies need to work with a specialised partner that offers the full catalogue of distribution services. These range from premium video delivery services over fibre, satellite broadcasting to video-focused content delivery networks (CDN). This isn’t all, as these partners will also need to support media companies throughout the production, assist in addressing the need for multi-screen delivery requirements, amongst many other aspects. Above all, it is imperative to make content available in multiple formats, in a digital repository – such as a private, public or hybrid cloud – that’s accessible globally, anytime, anywhere.
The ability to quickly deliver high quality content, whether it is current HD/Full HD format or next generation 4K format, is critical to media companies. In the past, satellites were the go-to choice for video, and while they still work well in certain scenarios, latency and weather-related quality issues still exist. It’s no surprise that media companies have been looking for alternate distribution channels, with high-speed terrestrial fibre networks emerging as a solid choice.
Content management, delivery and broadcasting in today’s world of high-speed, high expectation and high rates of adoption present a challenge for media companies and providers. But with the right infrastructure, partners and state of the art solutions, the video revolution signals a chance to rethink age-old content and adapt how it is distributed for a world that is connected and hungry to consume across different channels.
Although it’s often disguised as a race that providers cannot win, it presents exciting possibilities and is a story of transformation, not defeat.
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