Countering disruption with digitalisation

Artificial intelligence and cloud are disrupting the broadcast business, says Abou Moustafa, VP - enterprise managed services and Datamena, Du
Moustafa says content management, advertising and cloud services comprise the chief revenue streams.
Moustafa says content management, advertising and cloud services comprise the chief revenue streams.

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UAE operator du demonstrated its end-to-end media and delivery solutions at this year’s CABSAT. du also highlighted its partnership with Dubai Studio City as the exclusive provider of broadcast services for any enterprise setting up business in the free zone.

The WTA recently ranked du’s teleport in the top ten in its most recent annual rankings, the Top Teleport Operators of 2017. Last year, du added its second satellite teleport facility, which is located in the Al Qudra area of Dubai. With dual teleports, the operator is well-positioned to provide end-to-end broadcast solutions, says Abou Moustafa, VP - enterprise managed services and Datamena, du.

Another focus area for du is the OTT space, the operator is enabling various services like content hosting and management. In addition, du is making event broadcasts easier and better with bandwidth-on-demand services. du’s Media Fibre Platform is designed to provide dedicated local, regional and global video fibre connectivity.

Technologies like cloud and artificial intelligence are disrupting the broadcast business, adds Moustafa. “It’s essential to digitalise the content in order to enhance the customer experience.” Moreover, broadcasters are under extreme cost pressures owing to the new digital players coming into the marketplace and offering content for very less prices or for free. This also impacts revenues for operators like du, hence it’s constantly coming up with initiatives like pay-per-use models to enable new revenue streams for the broadcasters.

So, which are the main sources of content revenues for the operator? Moustafa says content management, advertising and cloud services comprise the chief revenue streams in this space.

However, there are no plans to partner with content players or produce content, says Moustafa. “Just like in cloud space, we aren’t going to compete in the content field. We enable content providers like we enable various cloud providers. There’s cooperation, no competition.”

At CABSAT, du announced its partnership with Abu Dhabi Media (ADM) and launched a new television channel - NatGeo Kids Abu Dhabi. du is supporting this project with their largest Direct-to-Home (DTH) delivery service platform, which enables ADM to broadcast this channel both in SD and also HD formats. Ahmad Al Menhali, director of technology and broadcast services, ADM, says: “When it comes to bringing our masterpiece content to regional and international audiences, it’s important that it arrives at the right place and the right time, hence, we at ADM selected du as an uplink provider partner that we trust its efficient distribution solutions over satellite platforms.” du also partnered with Al Aan TV at CABSAT 2018 to add its main channel on the Arabsat satellite in HD.

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