Executives from Akamai, AWS and more talk cloud, latency, data and other video trends

The IBC Show 2018 was held Sept. 13-18 at the RAI Convention Center in Amsterdam. (Pixabay)

AMSTERDAM—The annual IBC Show has officially wrapped for 2018, but the discussions and trends that evolved and emerged at the event will continue resonating throughout the industry.

The cloud continues to become less of an abstract idea and more of a priority destination for lots of media and entertainment companies. Latency for livestreaming needs to get even lower. And data is still a hot commodity.

While at the show, which drew 55,884 visitors this year, FierceVideo stopped and talked with some of the executives on the floor to get an idea of what trends and they were seeing. Below is the selection of the responses.

Sascha Pruter, chief product officer, Vewd

A big trend is a focus specifically for the service provider business. Time to market is a big, catchy thing this year. Things like turnkey solutions and enabling operators to launch OTT and launching hardware for OTT. We have with Vewd Go, a product where an operator can just take and deploy. Everything is cloud managed and an operator can very quickly launch an OTT service.

I think in general that’s a trend enabling the operators who used to take two years to launch a new device in the market, they can cut that down to a three- to six-month deployment time, which I think is still not fast enough but we’re getting there.

On the video side, 8K is a topic. These are the types of events where it has to be a topic because the whole end-to-end production line from cameras to production utilities to tooling and so on, has to be shown and distributed before we can talk about consumer devices. It will be interesting to see how that is developing given that, from my perspective, 4K isn’t even a solved topic.

Simon Adams, general manager of video and sports, Gracenote

What we’re hearing and what we’re seeing is a lot of focus on making it easier for consumers to be able to find content that they’re looking for and to expose content that people want to show them; in terms of the discovery experience and in terms of the keywords [Gracenote] is doing. People are understanding that data is becoming more important as more content becomes available. The only way you can track down key content to watch and help the discovery experience is to have much, much deeper and richer data sets.

There’s a lot of interest in what were historically discrete experiences, like finding music or watching sports and movies, and merging them together so you can watch a movie or a TV show and want to know what the end credit tunes are. You can then say spin up a playlist for me because I like discovering music this way. Or go from watching a live football match and say, who’s the best player or who’s had the most passes? All of that is more detailed innovation to make that engagement experience better.

Michael Hawkey, senior vice president and general manager of user experience, TiVo

I’m expecting to see quite a bit about Android TV and the ability to ensure that content can get delivered to you on any device. We’ve all talked about and used video on mobile phones and tablets for a long time but the expansion of the virtual service provider and OTT content on any platform, that trend is not a step function but a growing trend to get your content onto any of the devices used to consume content.

Jon Alexander, senior director of product management, Akamai Technologies

We’re getting a lot of questions around low latency. People are asking about what’s our view on low latency, what technologies do we have for low latency, how ready do we think the technologies are for wide scale adoption. Lowering the latency for livestreaming is one of the areas we’ve spent a lot of time working over the last two or three years. If you rewind three years ago, the default was 30 to 45 seconds of end-to-end latency. With our media services live product about 18 months ago, we launched a low-latency product that delivered 10 to 12 seconds of latency. So that now is our standard and that’s what we recommend to new customers.

But what we’re starting to see now is people saying, we want to go lower than that.

Keith Wymbs, chief marketing officer, AWS Elemental

In the customer space, we’re generally seeing that the video infrastructure is starting to move to the cloud. This is particularly true of live events. Live events tend to be very spiky in nature and the infrastructure might be used for a couple of hours a day, a week or every four weeks.

We’re also starting to see a service provide layer where companies are creating customer solutions for the industry based on the underlying cloud services that we launched last November.

Deepakjit Singh, CEO, Amagi

The trend we are seeing very clearly is cloud. You walk around the place, you meet the people, the hot topic is, how do we get to the cloud? Not, what is the cloud? “Oh, it’s too far.” It’s no longer that, it’s how do we get to it? There’s a tsunami in the waiting.

It’s going to go like the music industry. Today, you don’t have somebody making a CD and sending it to you. You go online and stream it. That is the next phase that is coming and the cloud will be part of that.

Steve Miller-Jones, vice president of product strategy, Limelight Networks

There's a clear need and demand for more low latency OTT solutions, which was evident in our conversations at IBC and the enthusiastic responses we received showing our new sub-second Limelight Realtime Streaming. It’s also clear that there will continue to be development of the OTT market and technology throughout production and distribution workflows, and we are excited about the opportunities this presents.