Edgeware launches package for tailored live OTT channels

Edgeware has launched its Virtual Channel Creation package for broadcasters to develop tailored ‘lean-back’ OTT TV viewing experiences, aiming to boost value of existing live content.

The Edgeware package can be used to create alternative OTT versions of existing linear channels for specific audiences, which could be on the basis of geography, interest or demographic. It could cater for fans of different sports teams, allow for several age groups, or present regional news and weather.

The development was motivated partly by feedback from focus groups and surveys, especially online research from YouGov commissioned by Edgeware itself. This found that that 89% of adults across the UK, US, Hong Kong, Mexico and Spain would be interested in watching content aimed at their personal interests when watching traditional TV channels.

The pitch to broadcasters is that the package cuts the cost of delivering existing OTT channels with these variations because it is only necessary to encode and store the common content once for each one. It can also be used to manage restrictions in content distribution rights by inserting replacement programs or providing a blackout solution, even for time-shifted content.

Indeed Virtual Channel Creation is based on “channel stitching” and “blackout" technology, residing within Edgeware’s TV Content Capture and TV Repackager products. Edgeware claims it enhances the customization options from Edgeware’s set of origin software products, which already provide frame accurate segmentation to enable glitch-free personalized ads.

“Viewers can be overwhelmed by the amount of online content available and sometimes want a more ‘lean-back’ TV viewing experience”, said Johan Bolin, chief product and technology officer at Edgeware. “Our solution saves them having to proactively search for content of interest – which is sometimes known as ‘lean-forward’ TV viewing.

The new package was shown for the first time at the 2019 NAB Show.

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