Streaming Media West Program Published: Now Placing Speakers

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 12.19.50 PMThe advance program for the Streaming Media West conference, taking place November 17-18 in Huntington Beach, CA is now live. Speaker placement has started and 35+ speakers have already been placed. Review the full program and contact me if you are interested in speaking or placing someone on a session. We have sessions being organized by CableLabs, Ultra HD Forum, OATC (Open Authentication Technology Committee) and GOVA (Global Online Video Association).

Some of the topics covered at the show this year include:

  • Making Money With Video In An Unbundled World
  • Emerging Streaming Technologies: H.265, VP9, WebM, DASH, HTML5 & WebRTC
  • How Big Data Can Increase OTT Ad Revenue
  • The Future Of 4K and Ultra HD on Streaming Services
  • Encoding Live And On-Demand Video Using HEVC
  • Best Practices For Content Monetization & Distribution on Twitter
  • DRM In The Age Of HTML5: What You Need To Do Now
  • HEVC Revisited: Status, Justification And ROI In 2016
  • The Business Strategy Behind The Fragmenting OTT Market
  • Using OTT Workflows To Create Live-To-VOD Assets
  • Best Practices For Future Proofing Your File Based Workflow
  • Stream Stitching: Why the Buzz, Where it’s Working, and What Happens Next
  • Bye-Bye Browser: Product Strategy For OTT and TVE In The Post-PC Era
  • 4K Streaming: Cost, QoS, and Cutting Through The Hype
  • Building An Integrated, Multi-Platform Analytics Solution for TV Everywhere
  • Streaming Deployment Architectures in Higher Education
  • Choosing The Best Streaming Player For The Right Device
  • Creating A Great Streaming Channel On The Roku Platform
  • What Corporate Users Really Want From Their Webcasting/Video Platform
  • Predicting The Winners and Losers Of The Streaming Device Market
  • A Deep Dive Into The Video Behavior Of U.S. Consumers
  • OTT vs. Cable — The Pros and Cons
  • Real World Comparisons of H.265 and H.264 Compression
  • Benefits Of Deploying Multicast-Assisted ABR Within An Operator Network
  • Friction Free TV Everywhere Authentication
  • Windows 10 And Its Impact On The Media Ecosystem
  • How the Creator Revolution is Changing The Content Business
  • The Future of Video in a Multi-Screen World

In addition to these sessions, we will have two days and two tracks dedicated to live video streaming at our new Live Streaming Summit event. The summit focuses exclusively on the challenges and opportunities inherent in delivering large-scale live events and live linear channels to multiple screens. Best practices presentations will cover every step of the live video workflow, including ingestion, transcoding, management, protection, distribution, analytics, and post-event evaluation. The call for speakers for the Live Streaming Summit is still open, so get your submission in fast!

Confirmed speakers already include Twitter, Roku, FOX, Sony, Epix, Sling Media, NPR, T-Mobile, DIRECTV, Machinima, AP, Maker Studios, Microsoft, Ford, Oracle, Fox School of Business, OgilvyOne, BYU and others.

Telstra Plans To Spin Out Ooyala In Public IPO, Setting Unrealistic Expectations

ooyala-logo-dark-gradientNews site The Australian is reporting that Telstra plans to spin of Ooyala, the online video platform provider they purchased in August of last year, with an IPO on the NYSE or NASDAQ. I’ve been hearing these rumors for a few weeks now and while it would be good to see another online video platform provider join Brightcove as a public company, Ooyala’s not setting realistic expectations on the size of the market they are in, or how quickly they can grow.

Based on what some at Telstra have told me, Ooyala is predicting they will do $100M in revenue for 2015. At the same time, Ooyala keeps talking about how they think their business can grow to do $1B in revenue in a few years, which isn’t realistic. Last year, Ooyala said the market for the technologies and services they provide “will be worth tens of billions in the next few years,” a number not even close to reality. Vendors do this all the time where they take every single product or service in the video ecosystem, even if they don’t offer parts of it, and round it up to one big number. But the only number that is relevant is the direct market you sell into, for a specific service.

The market that Ooyala provides services to is around half a billion dollars today. That’s the real revenue being generated in 2015 by vendors selling similar solutions to Ooyala. I know some vendors will say the market “opportunity” is more, but that’s not a real number. What you book in revenue, what your competitors book in contracts, that’s what’s real. That’s the size of the market. Also, a good percentage of the revenue coming from these services moves from one vendor to another with contract renewals. So a shift in wallet share impacts revenue, but it does not impact the market size the way some count it.

Brightcove made this same mistake when they went public in 2012, by using market sizing numbers that simply weren’t real. Their S-1 filing said the market opportunity was “approximately $2.3 billion in 2011, growing to approximately $5.8 billion in 2015,” when they had revenue of $64M. Since Brightcove went public in 2012, their revenue growth has declined each year. In 2013, Brightcove’s year-over-year revenue growth was 20%. In 2014, it dropped to 12% and based on Brightcove’s projected revenue of $133M for 2015 that would put their revenue growth this year at 6%. Based on Brightcove’s market sizing projections, the company will capture 0.000002% 2.9% of the market this year. These market sizing numbers are just silly. They aren’t real.

While Brightcove and Ooyala offer similar products, Ooyala does sell into operators, which Brightcove doesn’t. But that alone is not enough to justify their market or revenue projections. Even if Ooyala grew revenue 50% each year, it would take them six years to get to $1B. If they execute everything in their business perfectly, the market simply isn’t as big as they suggest it is, which doesn’t support their growth expectations.

Ooyala does have a major advantage over Brightcove, which is the fact that Telstra is pumping a lot of money into the company. Ooyala is due to move into their new 65,000 sq ft headquarters in Santa Clara later this year, and the company has been on a huge hiring spree. Ooyala currently has 63 job openings on their website and has been hiring 50 employees per quarter. So Telstra is doubling down on this business and betting big, which is great to see. But we also haven’t seen a single OVP prove to the market that they can become a profitable business based on their current business model. Ooyala doesn’t have to worry about profitability for a while since Telstra is clearly sacrificing profitability for growth, but at some point, the P&L of any vendor’s business is going to matter.

Ooyala has a lot going on with their current hiring spree, moving into a new HQ and potentially going public sometime soon. The company is also looking to hire a COO for the company, along with some other executive positions. They have all the tools to needed to grow this business, but one of the hardest things to do for any company is manage such fast expansion. This is something that has hindered many vendors in the online video industry. Just as they start to get big, we’ve seen QoS issues, problems with scaling the business and keeping up with demand. Ooyala had this problem in the past as their business started to grow, hence why it made sense for them to be acquired by Telstra and have the resources of a bigger company behind them.

I want to make it clear; I’m not knocking Ooyala, Brightcove or any other video platform provider. These vendors provide a valuable service in the market, making the complex video ecosystem easy to use and deploy. I’m just as excited about the market opportunity as they are. But setting false expectations simply sets companies up for failure and is bad for the entire industry. I want companies to grow, but the growth has to be tempered with expectations that companies can actually achieve. Be excited, but be realistic.

Job Opening: Head of Technical Operations, WSJ Video

WSJ-Video-LogoDow Jones has an opening for a Head of Technical Operations for WSJ Video in NYC. This individual is responsible for the day-to-day technical operations of the WSJ Video department. Candidates must have a minimum of 5 years experience in managing and mentoring technical staff, expertise in digital video engineering from both broadcasting and digital publishing perspectives, capital budget management, studio facilities management, construction project management, and deep knowledge of digital asset management systems, and video server infrastructure. For full details on the job, visit the website.

If you company has a unique job opening they are looking to fill, send it to me. I’ll highlight it on my blog or via Twitter, free of charge.

Windows 10 Traffic Data: Most ISPs Doing Well, Especially In The U.S.

Data is slowly starting to come in on how ISPs are handling the Windows 10 update and overall, it seems most ISPs are doing well, with a few experiencing some QoS QoE issues. Third-party data shows that the CDNs Microsoft is using for a large percentage of downloads have so far, not experienced any performance problems. Based on numbers I have been given, total traffic amongst all CDNs delivering the update looks to have peaked at around 10Tb/s, with more traffic on Wednesday than Thursday. It should be noted that Microsoft is still stating that Windows 10 is in a limited release, so this is only the start.

The below chart from a major ISP in the U.S. that I will not name shows Windows 10 downloads accounting for just over 10% of all the traffic inside their network on Wednesday.

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 8.42.14 PMOther ISPs outside the U.S. I have spoken to have said Windows 10 downloads are accounting for 20% of their overall traffic, which is the peak number I have heard. The size of the ISP and the number of subs they have are some of the biggest determining factors when it comes to the numbers, so many will report variations from one another. Procera Networks has just put up a blog post, with charts, showing one European ISP seeing a spike of 30Gb/s. Sandvine has a blog post from today as well saying that Windows 10 traffic accounted for “between 6-8% of traffic during peak”, for a North American ISP they monitored.

It’s clear that ISPs in the U.S. have fared well, with Cox being the only one that I have seen so far, that’s had some Latency issues.

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 8.55.10 PMScreen Shot 2015-07-30 at 8.55.13 PM
Microsoft’s approach of staging Windows 10 downloads in a tiered model is working well and was a smart way to go about it. They still have a long way to go, as updates still have to roll out for corporate versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8 and plenty of users won’t update in the first 24 hours, so a lot more traffic is coming. But the way Microsoft is metering the delivery seems to have provided most with a good download experience. I have seen some users complaining their download is taking four, or even six hours to finish, but it does not seem to be the norm. Overall, Windows 10 will result in the largest number of bits being delivered on the web, for a single event, especially with the Windows 10 download file size being 3x larger than the iOS 8 update. Follow me on Twitter where I will post more numbers and charts as I get them.

Windows 10 Launch Could Seriously Break The Internet, Could Peak At 40Tb/s

Windows-10-logo-white(Update: Tuesday July 28th: As of 1pm ET, the Windows 10 launch is already massive with traffic over 10Tb/s.) I’ve never used the term “break the Internet” because most of the time people say that, they are simply overhyping  an event on the web. But with the volume of downloads that Microsoft is expecting for the launch of Windows 10 and the capacity they have already reserved from third-party CDNs to deliver the software, the Internet is in for some real performance problems this week. Based on numbers I am hearing from multiple sources, Microsoft has reserved up to 40Tb/s per second of capacity from all of the third-party CDNs combined. To put that number in perspective, some of Apple’s recent largest live events on the web have peaked at 8Tb/s. Windows 10 is expected to be five times that and will easily be the largest day/week of traffic ever on the Internet. QoS problems are to be expected, especially since all of the CDNs will be rate limiting their delivery of the 3GB download and many ISPs will max out interconnection capacity in certain cities.

Microsoft keeps changing the date of when the update will initially go live, but as of now, it looks like it will be available this afternoon (Updated: Will be Tues. morning) for those in the Windows Insider Program and then open up to everyone on Wednesday. That date could get pushed back again, but whatever day it launches, Windows 10 will surely create a new traffic record on the Internet. Microsoft will be using third-party CDNs Akamai, Limelight Networks, Level 3, EdgeCast and a few smaller providers to deliver the downloads. Akamai has the largest share of the traffic with Limelight being number two in volume. Microsoft’s own CDN will handle some of the downloads themselves, but I expect that will make up only a small percentage of the overall volume of delivery.

Unless Windows 10 is a complete flop and people don’t upgrade as quickly as Microsoft expects, Windows 10 is going to create some serious havoc with regards to the user experience. Expect to see some download times in the days, not hours, especially if any other content owners happen to have larger than expected traffic at the same time. Quality of service for downloads could deteriorate really quickly and remain poor for days, if not longer. I’ll be keeping a close eye on the traffic demands and delivery performance and will post the data I get from third-party companies shortly after the download goes live.