Meet the media company of the future at IBC 2018

mary-kay-evansBy Mary Kay Evans, Chief Marketing Officer

This month in Amsterdam, the world’s most prominent media companies will flock to the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC). Executives from Google, YouTube, the BBC, The New York Times and dozens of other household media names will gather to discuss the future of the industry. While each attendee will have a list of brands and technologies they wish to see at IBC 2018, one thing everyone will be on the lookout for is the next big innovation that could disrupt our industry.

Verizon Digital Media Services (VDMS) believes that the technology of today – and more importantly, the way our customers are using it – is already offering some significant clues about what the media company of tomorrow will be like.

We may not be able to predict the future, but we know one thing with certainty, nobody can afford to stand still. If you’re not looking beyond the horizon, you risk being left on the shore.

Based on viewer demand and what our data already tells us, it’s easy to put a few more puzzle pieces together to catch a glimpse of the next generation of media performance. Here are three elements I believe will differentiate the media company of the future.

Flawless performance

Today’s media companies may be fixed firmly in the present, but their customers’ expectations are already years ahead. Online video has never looked better than it does right now, but viewers already want more speed, sharper images and higher quality across every device, wherever they are watching.

To wow tomorrow’s customers with over-the-top (OTT) viewing experiences, future-looking companies must dramatically improve the way they monitor performance. The set it and forget days are past. Broadcasters and content creators need to track the minute details of each live and linear stream – something our Path Monitoring for OTT is doing right now. Path Monitoring gives you complete visibility of your OTT delivery chain from beginning to end, so you can see that your content is always performing at its best. And because you’ll know what’s happening in real time, if corrections are required, you can make them sooner.

The media stakeholders of the future must continually exceed customers’ expectations for quality of experience if they want to stand out.

Very personal personalization

Modern broadcasters and content creators serve viewers all over the world with video tailored to each particular region and demographic. In the future, broadcasters and content creators will do the same thing for every global viewer. That’s right: each OTT experience will be personalized based on each unique user’s viewing session.

Today’s viewers have grown weary of one-size-fits-all content and advertising. In a recent study, 57% said that tailored ads are more interesting than other ads. And more than 44% surveyed stated they are willing to share information, including name, address or email address to get more personalized advertising.

And according to an annual KPMG study on customer experience, personalization (21%) turned out to be the most influential factor for customers when choosing to do business with a particular company.

Some businesses are already making strides toward personalization, but the majority are targeting groups, not individuals. Our Smartplay 1 to 1 session management technology delivers tomorrow-level personalization – today. It enables broadcasters and content owners to create a direct connection with every viewer, giving you invaluable insights that allow you to monetize advertising more effectively, experience more control, and deliver more securely, resulting in high-quality viewer experiences streamers expect.

Tomorrow’s viewers will be even more discerning, forcing forward-looking brands to deliver individual experiences every time their viewer hits “play.” Failure to do so will result in the brand being as popular as an ad that is shown over and over and over again.

Ready to scale

The figures are staggering. Today, 3.8 billion+ people, over 51% of the global population, have access to the internet – with millions of new users going online yearly, hungry for mobile video. By 2021, 82% of internet traffic will be video.

Broadcasters and content creators that want to be as relevant tomorrow as they are today, must scale globally. Just look at Facebook who is now offering its Facebook Watch video service worldwide, only a year after first unveiling it in the U.S.

A good content delivery network (CDN) will ensure a uniformly high-quality viewing experience regardless of where your viewers are in the world. With advanced caching techniques, the CDN will easily handle traffic spikes so viewers won’t be able to tell if one or one million people are watching the same video simultaneously. And latency will be so low, viewers will feel as if they’re watching live events from the stands. We’re delivering this future viewing experience today with our Edgecast CDN. We designed Edgecast to help us deliver the future of media – a web filled with rich media and millions of users who demand high-quality, instant-on experiences. We have more than 125 points of presence (PoPs) across six continents and over 3,000 interconnections with carriers and ISPs to provide delivery services to even the most remote locations.

If you want to stand out in the future, you must start thinking of the world as your audience, and have a CDN that can make this idea a reality.

Are you ready to become a media company of the future? Start by delivering flawless video, personalized content and ads, and scaling up to reach a larger audience. Need help? There are plenty of great companies you should meet at IBC 2018. My favorite will be in Hall 5, Stand B64.

Attending IBC? Schedule a meeting today or stop by and visit us (Hall 5, Stand B64) at the show to learn more about how we’re delivering the future of media.