Ovum's 2017/18 ICT Enterprise Insights survey highlighted that a business priority for more than a quarter (26%) of premium content owners in the next 18 months is to ensure a connected user experience anywhere, everywhere, in order to increase the ROI of media assets, exploit new monetization avenues, and safeguard profitability.
Historically, premium content owners – especially those investing in tier-1 time-bound projects such as original programming, sports, and live events – managed multiple content supply chain workflows (i.e., linear and nonlinear delivery networks). This increased TCO and inefficiencies across the user experience (UX) on multiple platforms and devices. In today's connected economy, digital users demand a unified UX across both broadcast and digital TV and video channels, with latency being the key challenge. Wowza is looking to address this issue with the June 2018 launch of its managed services offering, Ultra Low Latency (ULL).
The company has embedded ULL with its GoCoder SDK, Wowza Streaming Cloud, and HTML5 player to streamline digital TV and video latency to less than two seconds, leveraging Microsoft Azure. Ovum believes that ULL can help enterprise video segments such as education (e-learning), healthcare, financial services (trading), and government (surveillance) to improve their average revenue per user (ARPU).
Traditionally, digital TV and video services, including internet streaming, acted as secondary consumption channels for tier-1 time-bound projects. As investments in these projects shift toward internet streaming services, however, premium content owners are turning to technologies that not only streamline the digital TV and video content supply chain but also lower latency to improve UX (i.e., consistent broadcast-quality streaming on both linear and nonlinear networks). Wowza's ULL addresses these business challenges in the following ways:
an average reduction of latency of almost 60% compared to linear broadcast TV and video (i.e., from 5 to 2 seconds)
a 95% reduction of the digital user lifecycle (from acquisition to repurposing, preparation, personalization, monetization, distribution, and engagement), from 30 seconds to less than 2 seconds (HLS vs ULL)
an end-to-end automated regional and local load balancing framework to manage peak traffic for large-scale events on IP (via a partnership with Microsoft Azure)
reduced dependence on network health checks through audio-video fallout auto scalability and shifting to HLS stream to maintain a long-term unified UX on multiple screens
flexible pre-bundled subscription billing as a service on a monthly basis, in collaboration with flagship solutions including the GoCoder SDK, with four layered pricing models: starter, silver, gold, and platinum, ranging between $49–2,495
real-time workgroup collaboration across remote geographies via GoCoder (mobile encoding), Wowza Streaming Cloud (service), Wowza Streaming Engine (software), and player (publishing) workflows
continuous monitoring through its in-house network operation centre (NOC).
Although premium content owners such as broadcast TV and video, digital service providers, and sports franchises are the main focus for Wowza's ULL, gaming, betting, online trading, e-learning (enterprise video), and B2B information services can also use this managed service offering to reduce TCO, safeguard profitability, and support new monetization avenues. It will also enable enterprises with higher dependence on internet streaming workflows to enhance multiplatform operational efficiencies in the long run, by unifying the linear and nonlinear content supply chain.
Ovum believes that in the fragmented and competitive multiscreen TV and video services landscape, as spend on UHD (4K/8K) content repositories increases to reduce churn and protect ARPU, so will demand for managed ULL as a service to strengthen the regional and local market positioning of digital-first enterprises.
Kedar Mohite, Principal Consultant, Media & Broadcast Technology Services