Preparing to provide content now for TV isn’t really TV. It’s now a whole lot more. Taking that content and effectively deliver it to the audience is even more important. I identifying the audience and enable each person to experience what they want on whatever device they’d like it is even more important. Our industry is just now fully jumping on board…it’s TV/OTT/SVOD/Movies/Film/ all for the audience. The race is on!

The content world has gotten huge, complex; and the demands/expectations have become excruciating, yet exciting.

There have been really great events recently: MWC (Mobile World Congress/Barcelona and HPA/Palm Springs and last week in Dublin Ireland Cable Congress. All of these are direct working events gathering the top media & Entertainment technology executives from around the world.

At MWC (Mobile World Congress), booth people talked new distribution platforms especially how 5G technology was going to let them give what they swear consumers wanted … breathtaking video content to any screen a person had in his/her hands..

On almost the other side of the globe, industry production/post folks sat through session after session for five days at the HPA Tech Retreat. They were more practical focusing on how to make it better, faster for them to produce, distribute and make money in a world gone mad for content.

Cable Congress was no slouch. Very open and aware of what the new Net Neutrality rules could mean issues, not so much for them, but for the audience. This led to seriously diving into the impact of IP on the overall existing infrastructure, which they’re surprisingly prepared for. In fact, cable is responding too with hybrid viewing models like NOS’s in Portugal UMA service and ComHem’s in Sweden. Don’t leave the cable guys out of it!

In fact, the overall platform is across all operators/carriers/mvpd’s, due to standards, recommended practices, and engineering guidelines like ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee) 3.0, HDR (high dynamic range), ACES (Academy Color Exchange System), HFR (high frame rate), and IMF (Interchange Media Format) coming into play. They’re not as breathtaking or crippling as the latest tentpole release; but they’re going to make the creation of movies, TV shows and video content look better, feel better, be better.

Standards like ATSC 3.0 are somewhat part of the industry’s response to BitTorrent and other pirate sites that share bad copies of great content over the internet. While pirate downloads can potentially include malware and are messy to access, ATSC 3.0 won’t eliminate the practice however it will be rolled out globally as IP TV transmission becomes more and more of a standard.

Groups and companies are making advertising more targeted/more germane for the viewer; even letting them buy directly from the ad … the ultimate test of content and the ad!

Of course, Netflix won’t even discuss advertising, yet their model is starting to cry out for it having pushed the floodgates open, Netflix’s focus is on delivering a large volume of product to audiences around the globe – it’s just a matter of time when their shareholders drive for even more profits changing the course of the industry yet again! However, do NOT leave Amazon, MoviStar, Hulu and more who are in a prime position to provide their audiences with new models. Even FOX this month (March 2018) announced they were cutting their commercial breaks to two minutes….that will shake the industry up tremendously (but no one will admit it).

Sometimes, the ecosystem can’t seem to get out of its own way and more live content like the recent Olympics will help filmmakers want to deliver the most dynamic picture possible while consumers push for commodity screens that deliver all of the HDR flavors.

One of the biggest issues that we’re facing and was discussed in-depth at the HPA Retreat is that the global M&E industry is recognizing the rising demand for content on any/every platform and the ability to keep track of all the versions.

Which is a very good thing!

However, what is called versioning is becoming a major challenge for content producers and distributors as well as advertisers because the content needs to be ready for showing at theaters and over appointment TV channels as well as OTT to TV sets, computers, tablets and smartphones all at the same time. Serious opportunity for a few companies.

With production groups staring at all of the versions and formats, content metadata and automating the process is becoming increasingly important.

In fact, staying true to the creative intent of the project is key and ultimately relies on one thing–content metadata.

Then comes the cloud this and the cloud that….VERY important both in the creative process as well as the delivery which requires workflow efficiencies for example like bandwidth, sizing, caching and the ugly fact that cybercrime – theft of content – is a growing challenge for even the best security teams (last estimate was over $50+ billion).

There is tremendous opportunity for all of us in the category…especially now that the rest of the market has recognized how important the viewer