Why OTT May Be
This Year's Buzzword?

By ANDERSON CHOW

I was at the ConnecTechAsia 2018 held in Singapore last week—Asia’s mega technology platform covering the entire gamuts of communication, broadcast and enterprise technology and services. It actually comprises 3 different events, CommunicAsia, BroadcastAsia and NXTAsia into this year’s maiden monster of a show. This is a holistic approach to all things technology, telecoms, broadcast, thought-leadership, hardware, software and the eco-systems surrounding the digital convergence and industry 4.0.
 
It was a three days event with new discovery and dedication to new segments of industries like AR, AI, VR, blockchain, 5G, and robotics. Despite these fancy buzzwords and exciting showcases, one particular trend that’s picking far more momentum in the broadcast, TV and video spectrum is OTT (over-the-top). It is a term to describe the delivery of film, video and TV content via the internet, without the need to subscribe to any traditional cable or satellite services like Netflix or Comcast.
 
As the media and entertainment industry are going through multiple technology and marketing transformation, so do the content delivery platform. The acceleration of video streaming the past two years from OTT to OTT 2.0 comprises some major developments like infrastructure migration to IT and end-to-end IP workflows, content-aware compression, software solutions flexibilities and the cloud to manage higher resolutions from HD to UHD from latency, processing, storage to delivery. These allow customers to focus on monetizing their services, especially in APAC region through more linear channels and live events like sports.      
 
According to Anant Khanolkar, Channel Sales, Verizon Digital Media Services, “video is driving the future of media and there is no sign of it slowing down…”. Content providers, broadcasters, advertisers, and brand owners must stay ahead to ensure they meet these consumer demands to be able to survive industry 4.0 world. Paying close attention to behavioral trends and develop innovative technologies to meet the changing media needs of consumers are the way to stay ahead.
 
In Asia-Pacific, OTT revenues from TV episodes and movies will soon reach US24.41 billion in 2022, as claimed by Business Wire, a Berkshire Hathaway company providing news on media, financial markets, investors, information websites, databases, bloggers, social networks and other audiences. But in order to take advantage, companies need to be scalable, provide cost-effective content delivery solutions and flawless quality experience across all screens.
 
The rise of OTT leaves the inevitable question: can it deliver as good as traditional broadcast? There are still fundamental differences between the two. However, the gap is closing as both started embracing cloud-based platforms that supposedly able to solve some major challenges like picture quality, latency and multi-platform, multi-network streaming across a range of applications for a seamless experience.
 
The next challenges among many others are in the unlocking of new convergence tools that could integrate third-party services, capturing and utilizing data, differentiating and offering a greater range of high-quality OTT services in broadcast style applications. For marketers and advertisers, 2018 is potentially the year of OTT digital advertising as it offers greater ad targeting capability backed by the tremendous amount of data, improved time to market, user experience, ad reach, and revenue. With better AI video analysis, broadcasters and media companies are empowered to deliver better engaging and personalized contents to just about anybody thus enriching the user experience on multi-screens. Don’t be surprised as the OTT technology and trend is moving forward and more businesses starting to explore, you hear more of it too.