Want more proof that turnkey video service is catching on in the IP video segment? Behold Ericsson’s latest juggling around of the IPTV and internet video assets it has collected or developed over the past few years.
At IBC, Ericsson will be packaging its video product portfolio under the moniker “TV as a service,” offering a range of media publishing and delivery services targeted mainly toward its broadcast and distribution customers that are transitioning to or adding IP-based, multiscreen options for their existing linear services.
That includes products like MediaFirst Video Processing, which it says will provide live Ultra High Definition (UHD) encoding using virtualization and software-defined technologies. Similarly, its MediaFirst Cloud TV is a software-defined media platform targeted at pay-TV providers.
Other elements include playout solutions, media delivery, media management, an “end-to-end 4K and HDR ecosystem,” and a global content delivery network. Ericsson will demonstrate targeted ad insertion capability and content discovery at the show as well.
Ericsson also says it has an eye on the upcoming impact of 5G on the video landscape, particularly as multiscreen video shifts increasingly to mobile devices. In a survey released in May, Ericsson’s Consumer Lab noted that adults aged 30 to 35 are turning to smartphones to watch video at a faster rate than teenagers – although teens are continuing to drive the overall upswing in mobile video viewing.
The mobile technology giant made its biggest move into the video space in 2013, when it acquired Microsoft Mediaroom. The deal gave it access to Mediaroom’s TV everywhere technology and added to its IPTV offerings, and gave Ericsson a 25 percent combined market share in the video space.
Since then, Ericsson has struggled to clearly define its suite of video offerings to its customer base – hence the tendency to shuffle its technologies into new marketing packages around major broadcasting confabs such as IBC.
While Ericsson is targeting its “TV as a service” (TVaaS, perhaps?) at large customers, the image it wants to present as a provider of complete multiscreen video services is similar to the all-in-one, turnkey platforms being touted by companies like JW Player that cater to smaller publishers and even individual creators.
However, with more media companies looking to quickly add over-the-top channels, Ericsson’s one-stop-shop approach may give it needed traction with broadcasters and distributors.