Streaming Media East Program Now Live – Speaker Placement Starting

The advance program for the Streaming Media East show, taking place May 10-11 in NYC, is now live and speaker placement has started. You can see the full agenda here and read each session description and what it will cover. If you are interested in speaking on a session or placing a speaker on a session, please contact me. Here is a list of all the topics that will be covered this year (with a few more being added):

  • The Great Unbundling and the Mass Re-bundling
  • Encoding Live and On-Demand Video Using HEVC
  • Video Goes Virtual: Business Challenges and Opportunities Around VR Video
  • Building OTT Success: Improving Video Engagement
  • Live Social Broadcasting: Comparing Facebook Live, YouTube Live and Periscope
  • Evaluating SAAS, On-Prem, and Hybrid Deployment Models When Selecting an Enterprise Video Platform
  • Hands-On With Streaming Devices and OTT Platforms
  • H.265: Living Up to the Hype as the Successor to H.264
  • Improving Video Quality and Reducing Bandwidth
  • Streaming Deployment Architectures in Higher Education
  • Cracking the Multi-DRM Code: How Best to Build Secure Playback for Video
  • Adaptive Bitrate Algorithms: How They Work And How To Optimize Your Stack
  • Building A Streaming Solution Within The Firewall
  • The New Bundle: Moving Beyond Cable for the Digital Consumer
  • Hands-On Demo: Smart TV Platforms in Action
  • Building a Great Streaming Channel on the Roku Platform
  • How Live Streaming Is Changing Content Creation
  • DASH Today: Consortia Adoptions and Industry Deployments
  • Measuring the Effectiveness of Your Media Asset Management Deployment
  • Fine-Tuning Your Adaptive Encoding Groups With Objective Quality Metrics
  • How Big Stars and More Money Are Changing Short-Form Content
  • Advertiser Strategies for OTT
  • Driving Customer Awareness And Loyalty For Your Enterprise With Video
  • Business or Bubble? The Rise (and Potential Fall) of Subscription-based Monetization
  • A Brand New Deal: The Thriving Evolution of Sponsored Content
  • The Great OTT Migration

CBS Sports Having Problems With SuperBowl Stream, App & Website

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 6.34.09 PMCBS Sports is already having problems with the SuperBowl stream. I’m having a lot of issues loading website, frequently getting time out errors. When it does load, I get a video window that is black, with no stream. And on the Apple TV, the CBS Sports app won’t load at all. Appears to be a website and app issue as opposed to a stream issue. Akamai is doing the stream, with some other CDNs on standby in case CBS Sports needs to switch. More to come.

Updated: SuperBowl stream on iPad, using CBS Sports app has been perfect for me since kickoff.

Technicolor Pulls Out Of HEVC Advance Patent Pool, Will License Direct To Hardware Vendors

Technicolor has announced that they have pulled their patents from the HEVC Advance patent licensing pool and will now license their patents directly to device manufacturers. Almost a year ago I heard that Technicolor wasn’t happy with how HEVC Advance came to the market, with licensing terms that didn’t make sense and were simply too expensive, thereby stalling adoption. Someone from Technicolor even confirmed for me off-the-record that months ago, they told HEVC Advance to stop using their name as one of the companies in the pool. So I’m not surprised to see this latest announcement that Technicolor will not longer be a part of HEVC Advance.

Of course this isn’t good for those that need to license HEVC patents as now you potentially have to pay MPEG LA, HEVC Advance and Technicolor. In addition, I am hearing that Sony may also start licensing their HEVC patents directly to hardware manufactures, which means you may need to pay four different companies. After Technicolor’s announcement, HEVC Advance put out a press release to say that Technicolor’s 12 patents have been removed from HEVC’s Patent pool. The only positive here is that Technicolor is only looking to have device companies pay and says they do “not plan to license industry players for content streaming.” So if content owners don’t have to license the patents, that’s at least one positive development.

Of course this isn’t good news for HEVC Advance which already had to change their licensing terms after launching in the market and now loses one of the founding members of the pool. While HEVC Advance and companies that have patents related to HEVC technology have a few years to get some revenue from licensing, the writing is already on the wall. The next generation codec after HEVC is going to be royalty free, thanks to what the Alliance For Open Media and others are working on.

Shifting Video Viewing Behavior Is Forcing Publishers To Revamp Their Cross-Device Programming Strategy

Data from Adobe has shown that tablet and smartphone viewing accounted for nearly 40 minutes of daily viewing in 2015. This growth has not come at the expense of desktop or connected devices as mobile will continue to be a major story in 2016 as it drives overall growth in video consumption. While this is good news overall, it does present a number of new challenges that will face publishers in 2016.

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 6.47.41 PMWhat this data shows is that video viewers are increasingly accessing content through multiple entry-points throughout the day. These entry points, by nature of technology and context have unique user experiences. What works on desktop, can be intrusive, clunky, and bandwidth hogging on mobile. Those 37 minutes of desktop and connected device viewing are more continuous than the hop on / hop off viewing habits of mobile.

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 6.49.31 PMAnonymous data from a publisher that began with a mobile to desktop split of 81/19 in September 2015 and moved to close to 50/50 by year-end by increasing overall desktop views.

Iris.TV shared with me some data from one of their customers that publishes to both web and mobile environments and saw desktop views increase to a level where by month four, shares of views was split evenly on desktop and mobile. There was an increase in Video Lift and reduction in bounce rate across the board as well. Iris.TV measures the average video engagement in the viewing session as Video Lift, which is the measure of recommended video views divided by the initial clicked views. Bounce rate is the measure of viewers exiting the viewing experience prior to completion of the initial clicked video. Mobile bounce rates began at 84% but over time reduced to 75%. Video Lift increased from 22% to 39%.

By better engaging the user in mobile, publishers can organically drive them to desktop where there is higher video adoption and lower bounce which translates into more videos completed per session and more ads served. The data shows that publishers can grow overall value by programming content across devices to engage viewers. User engagement is a critical driver of adoption and retention across platforms, but especially on mobile. For the most part, programming a consistent user experience across devices has been the domain of the TVE/SVOD/OTT offerings from Netflix, Amazon, and the like. Viewers of films and serialized TV are able to pick up where they left off across devices with authentication via logins. YouTube and a few other mobile apps have been able to offer cross devices experiences, but they are few and far between.

The portion of the market that should be innovating around cross-device programming are publishers of short-form ad-supported video. Upwards of 70% of short-form videos are directed from social media, followed by audience development and organic traffic. Social is a mobile medium with Facebook leading the way. Publishers need to manage the mobile social video experience to drive engagement but not become too dependent on these platforms for video. By not programming better on their O&O mobile web, they are leaving money on the table and missing opportunities to increase user engagement and retention across all entry-points.

So what can publishers do? Budgets are tight and not everyone can invest in video-centric apps. But publishers can and should be utilizing data-driven business intelligence to determine what videos perform well and in what context. The focus should be on video performance with respect to content category, device, content length, social engagement, and time-of-day, which would improve the user experience.

Internet Measurement & Optimization Provider Cedexis Raises $22M In B Round

Cedexis, best known for their internet measurement & optimization platform has raised $22M in a B round, led by Ginko Ventures. Foxconn, Nokia Growth Partners (NGP), Citrix Systems Ventures as well as Cedexis’ Series A investors, Advanced Technology Ventures and Madrona Ventures also contributed to the funding. Cedexis has now raised $33M and has established themselves as the company to watch in this segment of the market. Customers that are adopting interesting and complex cloud technologies are relying on the Cedexis platform, where QoE measurement is vital to their business.

While other vendors provide some of the features Cedexis has, none of them have the measurement data that Cedexis has, from 800+ enterprises and every major cloud and CDN provider in the world. Cedexis is at the forefront of enabling cloud-based application architectures that focus on end-user QoE as a core design consideration, and I’ve yet to come across a single Cedexis customer that doesn’t absolutely love what they do. If I had to make a list of the top five companies doing something truly unique and valuable tied to content delivery, I’d probably have Cedexis at the top of the list.

Cedexis plans to use the money to expand their sales, marketing and engineering headcount, adding about 20 new employees this year. The company also plans to expand their services and reach into Europe and Asia and add more solutions for video, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) services and web application delivery. Cedexis is seeking Big Data, Cloud and Networking Infrastructure Engineering talent, as well as Sales and Marketing professionals with expertise in Enterprise SaaS software. Anyone interested in learning more about the positions Cedexis has open should visit their career page. You can also send me an email with your resume, and I’ll pass it along to the company.