The future of media: What lies ahead for 2015?

Thirteen industry experts offer their thoughts on technology for 2015.

This time of year, people often ask editors, "What's the next hot technology?".  Will 2015 be the 'year of Ultra HD'? Will streaming video overtake broadcast? In what technology should broadcasters invest to get a long-term ROI?

Frankly, we editors know only what our sources tell us. My crystal ball isn't more clear than that of other more knowledgeable experts. So rather than give you my 'opinion', I've chosen to let experts from two respected companies, Envivio and Kaltura, share their thoughts on technology trends for 2015. 

Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts at the end of this article. 

From Michael Dale, Director, Product Management at Kaltura: Five predictions for TV/Streaming in 2015

1) Multi-screen becomes second nature.

2014 saw huge growth in streaming dongles and cross device profiles that made switching between screens easier than ever. We saw the personal smart phone device take center stage as a universal remote control. Looking towards 2015, we will see how the metrics themselves are being impacted, as the pieces of the multi-screen puzzle start to come together.eMarketer for example projects mobile video advertising to surge to more than 5 billion by 2018; but increasing screen agnosticism is making these device level divisions less important. In 2015 expect the media ecosystem to catch up to consumer understanding of fluidity between screens and began to accept more 'cross screen audience measurement’ heuristics. Acceptance of cross screen audience measurements should drive up advertising value of traditional ‘web’ video based content.



2) "write once play anywhere”

As multi-screen distribution becomes 2nd nature, media makers must attack the problem directly or otherwise get left behind, as consumers race ahead. Effective multi-screen strategies and server side stream stitching has enabled robust business rules around monetization and detailed analytics to percolate into every device that supports common streaming protocols. Cross platform tools have also matured for more capable platforms, such as HTML5 browsers, Android and IOS. In 2015 we expect tools to make it easier than ever to get the same business rules running on everything from 4K televisions to wearables. While there are some platforms that receive more attention, like iOS and Android, tools like stream stitching "raise all boats in the sea,” increasing the baseline level of user analytics and monetization options available.

3) Digging deeper with big data.

This “normalized” set of tools for playback will not only drive more engagement with a pretty UI and ensuring ads are played; but also expand the types of data that can be collected across screens. This in turn can be feed into increasingly sophisticated systems for deep analysis of user behaviors across multiple contexts. 2015 will see smaller media makers be able to more effectively make use of this data in conjunction with identity providers, enabling features that presently only exist only in more advanced OTT offerings like: personal content recommendations, reusable content across screens etc.This increased actionable data will drive smarter user retention and engagement.

4) Browser Content Controls (DRM) shake up

Chrome recently re-iterated its plan to disable plugins by default in the Chrome browser in April of next year. This will, of course, directly impact 'secured' video content delivery in 2015. Reproductions include Silverlight being more directly retired as a browser technology and modal DRM (with the HTML5 Encrypted Media Extension) being pushed front and center. This transition will be bumpy, but will ultimately make it a smoother experience to access rights controlled content in desktop and mobile devices without dedicated applications. This ‘ease' of access will lower the cost of entry to distribute rights controlled content and it will also enable DRM to be used in a broader set of use cases, including education and enterprise, that normally relied on network level controls to limit sensitive video content distribution outside of their organization.

5) Everywhere TV — Operator Identity and payment

Service providers in 2015 will push to provide value by bridging identity and payment systems into media services. Flipping the "TV everywhere" concept, instead of being entitled to “TV" content on devices, will enable service operators to act as identity and payment gateways for “web” content on TVs. Early forms of this can be seen in Swisscom, iTunes, PlayStation, Deezer, Google Play integrations or Proximus Belgian operator ‘s direct Netflix reselling. In 2015 we should see increased experimentation of exposure of payment and identity providers from service operators, further blurring the lines between “OTT" offerings and service operator content subscriptions options.



Envivio's team offer their thoughts on what lies ahead for 2015.

Targeted ad insertion on all personal viewing devices becomes key to OTT content monetization. Operators will need to optimize OTT content delivery. - Julien Signès, President and CEO

4K and Ultra HD will become household terms. - Judith Coley, VP of Corporate and Investor Communications

Mainstream Operators will use software solutions to process big screen video. Connected TVs will change the TV experience in the living room. - Boris Felts, VP of Products and Solutions

Big Data will play an increasing role in operation analytics and customer profiling and segmentation. - Christophe Kind, Director of Field Marketing, EMEA

Video operators will begin using hybrid cloud solutions to process and deliver their video. Direct-to-consumer OTT pay-tv channels will accelerate. - Arnaud Perrier, VP of Strategy and Corporate Development

Cable operators, content owners, and mobile operators will continue to align. - Sabine Bravo, Director of Strategic Partnerships 

Universal access to content will become the most important differentiator for cable and telecom operators. - Jean-Pierre Henot, CTO

Adding out-of-home access to entertainment content will be the norm. - Gall Le Garrec, VP of Sales, EMEA and India

TV viewing will evolve through social media. - Cyrille Berson, Director of Products and Solutions

Most programming will become multi-screen. - Arnaud Perrier, VP of Strategy and Corporate Development

TV becomes the second screen. - Carl Hurd, VP of Sales, APAC

IP video will become more than 70% of global consumer bandwidth. - David Baranski, VP of Sales, Americas

Don't believe CES

The CES show takes place next week, and it certainly will provide some hints to where broadcast technology is headed.

However, let us never forget the last big consumer new technology touted at CES--3D television. I suspect that no new consumer technology was ever so over hyped as 3D TV. 

And, what happened? Broadcast vendors practically fell over themselves developing some (obviously hurried) 3D product demonstrations for the NAB show three months later. Unfortunately, the much ballyhooed 3D TV bandwagon is empty of players only two years later. Wouldn't you love to have the money manufacturers spent developing 3D products? Keep that in mind when this year's CES show claims to have discovered the next big consumer electronics trend.

Share your thoughts with other The Broadcast Bridge readers below.

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