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CONTENT streaming is fast becoming the preferred choice over traditional broadcast and pay-TV.

In light of this, content plays a major role in determining the success of over-the-top (OTT) media services, which stream them directly to viewers via the Internet.

WEB IMPACT

Vewd grew naturally out of offering a browser for TVs. The Vewd software makes OTT and streaming video work on 40 million TVs and set-top boxes.

Its chief executive officer Aneesh Rajaram said that with browsers and web applications becoming more complex, more content was streamed, not downloaded.

“We understood that for TV, the browser was less about web pages and more about seamless, intuitive access to content. From there, Vewd grew and we’re now at the forefront of defining how web technologies impact the OTT landscape on a TV screen,” says Aneesh.

Previously, Aneesh worked on hybrid TV, especially HbbTV and ATSC 3.0, which bridge the worlds of traditional television and streaming television.

“It’s time pay TV operators look at becoming the new aggregators of OTT content,” says Aneesh, quoting Barclays’ recent report that “service providers are likely to be the best positioned as aggregators and therefore major beneficiaries.”

He says that despite intense competition from new direct to consumer launches, it is not enough to just put on-board a few OTT apps.

“What is necessary is a more coherent integration of the many different products and services, which together will help the consumer overcome the fatigue of platform and content fragmentation,” explains Aneesh.

Operators may want to introduce thematic aggregation by highlighting premium content, such as a live event, and enriching that with new assets like cloud games or longtail content, he adds.

This is because hybrid technology, in which IP and OTT data make search and discovery of content frictionless regardless of source, will enhance consumers’ experience.

Aneesh Rajaram, Chief executive officer at Vewd.
Aneesh Rajaram, Chief executive officer at Vewd.

MAKING THE CHANGE

Streaming media platforms with global or even regional ambitions know they have to continue offering local content.

Iflix, for instance, has had great success with its iflix Originals programming.

Netflix, meanwhile, is investing heavily in content all over the world. The trend is clear, and it’s driving more money into content production.

What’s also interesting is seeing the role governments play in this discussion.

Many countries have national broadcasters, responsible for local content production, sometimes with quotas and other regulations.

Vewd solutions include Vewd Go, a solution suitable for operators who want to offer a low-cost streaming device with the entire operator’s preferred content integrations, including their own OTT service.

For those who want to enable OTT on either entry-level STBs or even older units, Vewd Atom is the solution. For a modern, streaming UX to users, Vewd OpX is the one.

OPPORTUNITIES

There are many vibrant opportunities in the video space right now.

“We see a bright future and considerable growth for Live TV, especially for sports content. According to eMarketer, sports digital media rights will have substantial growth over the next three to five years.

It’s time that pay TV operators look at becoming the new aggregators of OTT content.
It’s time that pay TV operators look at becoming the new aggregators of OTT content.

“There’s also an opportunity for advertising-supported video on demand (AVoD) services.With so many premium SVoD services demanding a share of the consumer’s wallet, we will analyse the trend.

“And if SVOD does top out, more viewing will take place on AVoD services,” explains Aneesh.

On the technology side, Hybrid TV standards like HbbTV and ATSC 3.0 provide tremendous opportunities for free-to-air operators.

HbbTV Operator Apps, which creates a virtual set-top box in software, can help operators reduce CapEx and even do away with set-top boxes altogether.

“5G will have a tremendous impact. It can expand the reach of long-form 4K and HD content. We expect 5G-connected HDMI dongles launched to bring streaming video into more homes,” says Aneesh.

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