I am continuing in my goal to read ten OTT white papers by the end of the year. This week’s is one of my favorites. I like pieces that combine hands-on experience with practical advice. The aptly-titled “OTT Hands-On: How to Successfully Deliver Live Sports and Events Without Abandoning Broadcasting Best Practices” does just that. Written by Paul Hamm, CEO of 2016’s OTT Executive Summit “Best of Show” winner and sponsor Endavo Media, it makes a strong case why broadcasting back-office best practices cannot be forgotten when rolling out OTT live-streaming services.
The paper breaks it down into six major steps:
1. Live Event Video Workflow
2. Delivery Infrastructure
3. Live Analytics and Customer Support
4. Live Broadcast Operations
5. Live-to-VOD Workflow
6. Post-Event Operations and Analytics
For each step, Paul outlines the major challenges for managing OTT live sports and events and he provides some helpful tips and best practices. It’s interesting because some of my content provider clients come to me with an unrealistic notion that somehow OTT obviates the need for sophisticated and robust back-office operations. The thinking is you just need to encode the content and stream it to multi-screen devices. Simple right?
Wrong. What I have learned in the past year of working on OTT RFPs (helping to create the proposals and then also select the vendors for OTT projects), is that there are just as many, if not more, moving parts with a successful OTT deployment. Yes, some things are simplified because of the network-wide use of IP architectures and maturing streaming technologies, but many other things are way more complex. Live-streaming events such as sports and concerts are the tip of the spear in that regard. Not only do you need to manage the live event much like a broadcaster, you need to have an efficient way to, in real-time, morph the content for different video formats and devices and make it readily available in your VOD library.
This white paper tackles the inglorious and often overlooked challenges of the OTT back-office. I highly recommend it. It’s high-level and a quick read at eight pages. It won’t answer all your questions but it will point you in the right direction, and I’m sure Paul would be happy to go deeper based on his experience if you reach out to him.
CEO, Trender Research
Founder, OTT Executive Summit & Magazine