DPP - The Live Explosion

Away from traditional broadcasting a revolution is happening. Live internet streaming is taking the world by storm with unprecedented viewing figures and improved accessibility for brands looking to reach better targeted audiences. The Live Explosion, hosted by the DPP in London and enabled by Dropbox, presented three live streaming experts to share their experience of this new phenomenon.

Abi Hemingway of Jackshoot, specialists in digital platform delivery, opened the evening and spoke of success with events including London Fashion Week and The Brit Awards. The Royal Opera House, London, has seen ticket sales rise after they started streaming their performances.

Hemingway stressed live streaming should be adequately resourced and not seen as the poor relation. In the same way you wouldn’t use a 21 year old intern to run your finance, you shouldn’t expect them to be able to run your remote broadcast. Although live streaming is often associated with budget productions, adequate resource should be made available to ensure the performance works reliably and protects the clients brand.

Bad News Travels Fast

And “bad news travels fast”, so constant diligence must be applied to streamed information. “The internet has no delete key”, concluded Hemingway.

Nigel Harniman of Brightcove, pioneers in online video, spoke of the technical challenges faced during internet streaming and the need to quickly generate client revenue. With a typical sports event being streamed to five million people, all paying $10 per feed, the revenues soon mount up and quality of service shoots to the top of the agenda.

Back to Basics

But quality of service is not just about the video and audio, it’s the whole user experience. From the user interface and how people get to the event website, to event subscription, logging in, being able to interact, and view on any device.

Going back to basics, Harniman reminded us of the need to monitor and obtain metrics for all aspects of the delivery chain. From sports field to internet browser, the complexity of streaming systems is increasing exponentially, especially as there is more pressure to provide better services for the viewer.

DRM Issues

Compatibility with browsers is another challenge with remedies often falling at the door of streaming service providers. Not only do platform vendors use different delivery methods such as HLS and DASH, but they have different approaches to Digital Rights Management (DRM), often resulting in proprietary closed systems. Illegal streaming devalues the streamed event and solutions such as fingerprinting and autodetection are currently being tested.

In a bold statement, Youtube’s Tomos Grace said “we have no rights, no content and no channels. Youtube is entirely in partnership with our audience”. Grace spoke of the revenue generating methods including advertising, pay per view and Superchat.

Specialist Programming

Band Grateful Dead streamed their final tour on Youtube’s pay per view, and Superchat is a new service where viewers pay to have priority live chat messages displayed on a live stream.

Grace spoke of the “demarcation of audience and community” as more fringe and specialist programming is being streamed. Where events such as the Henley Regatta sit alongside the Super Bowl. As Youtube streams increase, the stats continue to go north.

The DPP is increasing in momentum and making more impact as it extends its reach beyond traditional television broadcasts.

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