LAS VEGAS — Members of the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) brought a variety of new offerings to the annual NAB Show, covering cloud solutions, digital asset management offerings, security and content protection technologies, and more.
Here’s a look at what NeuLion, Gracenote, NAGRA, Microsoft Azure, Verizon Digital Media Services, and Wazee Digital had to share.
Technology product and service provider NeuLion used the NAB Show to announce the launch of its “Watch Data” Insights Report, a quarterly look at how consumers are engaging with video content across multiple screens, using data from NeuLion-powered OTT services, including NFL Game Pass, NBA League Pass International, UFC.TV, and more.
And, already, that data is proving eye-opening, according to Chris Wagner, EVP and co-founder of NeuLion.
“What we found is that, from a marketer’s standpoint, when a consumer uses an OTT service on more than device, the value of that consumer for the service grows,” he said.
When a subscriber watches content on more than one device, both lifetime value and retention rates increase drastically, with subscriber lifetime value rising 271% when content is viewed on two devices, and retention rates up 181%. When consumers view their OTT content on three or more devices, those percentages jump to 500% and 268%, respectively.
“This tells us that if you’re launching or marketing an OTT service, one of your campaigns should focus on getting viewers on as many devices as possible,” Wagner said.
Sherman Li, VP of video personalization for Gracenote, looks at the current state of connected TVs, and sees an opportunity for TV programmers and advertisers: with so many new TVs sold having the ability to feed back viewership data, in real-time, they’ll have more insight into viewership trends than ever before. “Pretty much, five years from now, nobody will have a ‘dumb’ TV,” he said at the NAB Show
That’s what Nielsen and Gracenote are anticipating with the recent launch of their Nielsen Grabix analytics platform, which pairs Nielsen ratings with Gracenote real-time smart TV viewership data, to show how viewers engage with content. The web-based platform gives programmers and advertisers visibility into viewer trends covering 56 U.S. TV markets, along with approximately 400 local stations and national networks.
In real time, programmers and news directors can access audience behavior, and make on-the-fly adjustments to their coverage, ad usage, and programming. The real-time viewership data is gathered using Gracenote’s Video Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) technology, currently found in more than 40 million smart TVs.
“Nobody has had this type of data before,” said Grant Cover, senior director of sales for Gracenote. “This is really exciting stuff.”
Content protection and multiscreen television solutions provider showed off multiple offerings at the NAB Show, including secure end-to-end OTT and Android TV-based solutions, forensic watermarking solutions, anti-piracy services for live sports, and the U.S. debut of DVnor Organizer, a media asset management solution for pay TV operators, along with DVnor dSpree, a solution for VOD catalogue and store creation.
Conax GO Live — a turnkey, end-to-end OTT solution — promises to help companies deliver live TV to Android and iOS devices. NAGRA also touted its enhanced content protection work for 4K UHD content.
And just before the NAB Show, NAGRA announced an expanded partnership with KT SkyLife, allowing the Korean satellite broadcaster to meet forensic watermarking requirements mandated by MovieLabs’ Enhanced Content Protection standard, using NexGuard watermarking technology.
Harrie Tholen, managing director and SVP of sales and marketing for NexGuard, said he sees content owners increasingly looking to protect their short-form assets (everything from dailies to commercials) with the same fervor they have when it comes to protecting feature- and TV episode-length assets.
“The watermarking business for all pre-release content continues to grow, as the production budgets for content — TV content especially — continues to grow,” he said.
The unveiling of Avid On Demand solutions and services hosted on Microsoft Azure, starting in the second half of 2018. The benefits of Microsoft’s early 2018 acquisition of data storage solutions firm Avere Systems. The announcement of new Azure regions made available for Australia and New Zealand (continuing Azure’s lead in geographical locations among cloud service providers).
There was plenty for Microsoft Azure to tout during the NAB Show. Joel Sloss, senior program manager for Microsoft Azure, focused on one: “Our partner ecosystem continued to grow, and more and more companies are coming to us to help build national solutions,” he said.
Additionally, Sloss touted Azure’s efforts to help clients become compliant with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect in May. “Trust and transparency is very important to us,” he said. “We’re fully prepared to help our customers deal with GDPR and other privacy regulations.”
Verizon Digital Media Services
A recent addition to Verizon Digital Media Services’ (VDMS) end-to-end digital media platform is the Live Event Operations managed service, which helps broadcasters and other rights holders better manage live event preparations beforehand (along with day-of-show operations), specifically when it comes to OTT streaming.
“It can really help content owners monetize what they previously couldn’t monetize,” said Jason Friedlander, senior director of product manager for VDMS, a division of Oath.
Tennis Channel is the first to take advantage of the Live Event Operations managed service, using it to better manage video delivery of 700-plus live tennis matches and more than 1,500 VOD assets annually through its app.
“As we grow Tennis Channel’s app, Verizon Digital Media Services lets us deliver the exceptional streaming experiences our users have come to expect,” said Adam Ware, SVP and head of digital and business development for the Tennis Channel, in a press release.
“They’ve been flexible enough to integrate with our existing systems, with a 24-hour support team and Live Event Operations managed service that have helped us scale significantly.”
In terms of audience share, Viacom Media Networks lays claim to the largest portfolio of ad-supported cable networks in the country. But Phil Lalonde, SVP of ad sales operations for Viacom Media Networks, is as aware as anyone of today’s digital-first, OTT, SVOD reality.
“People are finding different ways to consumer [content], and we embrace that, because we’ve got great content,” he said, speaking during a one-on-one discussion with Harris Morris, chairman and CEO of Wazee Digital. “It’s about what people want to watch, and they’re going to watch it where they want to watch it.”
Viacom Media Networks is using Wazee’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) based Digital Media Hub solution to identify talent in Viacom’s content, to ensure that ads running with content are better matched. It’s a big step toward better-monetizing what Viacom owns, Lalonde said.
“One of our biggest corporate goals is to find efficiencies,” he said. “How do you get smarter in your delivery schedule, linear and digital?”
Morris pointed out that for all of the advances of digital content delivery, linear TV ad sales continue to bring in major revenue, and helping content companies do it better is what Wazee’s helping with.
The opening day of the show floor at the NAB Show also saw the return of MESA’s Digital Asset Management (DAM) tour, a two-plus hour guided tour of eight MESA member companies in the media management provider space, across the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC).
Mary Yurkovic, director of Smart Content for MESA, led a group of media and entertainment executives and content owners through the booths of Sony Ci, Amazon Web Services, Wazee Digital, Veritone, Avid, Verizon Digital Media Services, 5th Kind, and SHIFT , with each stop featuring dedicated speakers sharing the latest with their asset management technologies.
“It’s speed-dating for digital asset management,” Yurkovic said. “People love this tour because it groups asset management specialists appearing at the NAB Show together in one manageable tour, both giving content owners and other M&E executives a lot of valuable information, and saving them a lot of time.”