Yarob Sakhnini, regional director MEMA at Brocade, discusses how telcos can gain competitive advantage in the video market
Increasingly, consumers in the Middle East are accessing entertainment and news ‘on-demand’ via mobile devices. Less complex, and with lower cost entry points, this growing demand has put mobility at the heart of Internet subscription service expansion. Consequently, mobile data consumption is growing rapidly.
Content becomes a valuable resource to leverage, not just for advertising, but also to underpin e-commerce. Connecting content with synergistic products or services, and capturing data, enables behavioural intelligence and more precise targeting.
Big opportunity, big challenge: Big data
Patterns or trends from mining and analysing Big Data are critical for regional operators, agencies, broadcasters and content producers. Inevitably, the insight extraction must be generated at high speed.
For some, there is the need to radically reform production and distribution processes, using a different combination of in-house and contracted resources. This transformation involves a new level of ‘Big Data’ collaboration —particularly for video — across the entire value chain. This chain may be spread over several continents as the pace accelerates from digital asset production to distribution, broadcast, archive and playback.
This step-change poses a significant challenge at all stages in terms of video data management, storage and availability. It requires a move towards much more integrated, secure, multi-entry collaboration.
To ensure the data is successfully captured, the infrastructure distributing mobile video and entertainment or news must be sufficiently agile, and scalable, in response to a widely-variable workload. The capacity of the network to automatically reconfigure according to demand adds substantial value and reduces operating cost.
In terms of content creation, video is the fastest growing premium advertising format. This is posing a significant challenge for many traditional publishers.
At the broadcast end of the market, Over-The-Top (OTT) pay television is a proposition that many broadcasters have decided is business critical. Most major players are building a range of news or entertainment offerings to compete with the emerging Internet Video Providers (IVP), or established operators, to expand into OTT with aggregated programming.
Market growth, market share
OTT video is strategically important for engaging mobile consumers who are using a diverse range of multiple mobile devices to download and view content.
If successfully promoted alongside a flexible pricing model, OTT will enlarge the total market size as the entry requirements from a device perspective can be considerably simplified and mobility provides anytime viewing. Estimates vary, but suggest 30% customer growth might be achieved based upon this simplified IPTV model.
Digital video traffic is estimated to increase by six times more than current rates within the next three years — largely from mobile devices — with a similar increase in advertising spend.
The agency motivation is clear, as the value of digital advertising has increased significantly as part of the total client media expenditure. But more importantly for the agencies, their share of client spending has also risen at a rapid pace. This profitable, fast-growing segment will continue to drive growth and profit through mobile video. Most major agencies anticipate their digital services will outperform traditional media services within three years. New services that offer a digital marketing technology platform offer opportunities for revenue growth.
Asset and IP Protection
Piracy continues to prevail, but the strategy to deal with it is changing – from asset protection, which is still important – to lowering cost of consumer access.
Solutions that provide native security and encryption capabilities, from the edge to the core, and from a client to the server, must be a vital part of any infrastructure overhaul.
The case for a more intelligent infrastructure
The continuing exponential growth in big data across the media asset value-chain requires an underlying network infrastructure that will scale quickly. It must also be adaptable at short notice to different workloads, without disrupting production or distribution performance.
This can be efficiently supported by network virtualisation, and Cloud ‘on-demand’ services.