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Speaker Interviews

BroadcastAsia2017 International Conference is proud to present exclusive interviews with top experts and practitioners in the broadcast, media and entertainment industry. Join our speakers as they discuss the future trends and developments of the industry, and how these impact the traditional and commercial broadcasters, OTT providers and other players in the industry.

New Business Models and Strategies Tracks

1. What are your thoughts on the OTT developments and trends in Asia and around the world?

Natan Edelsburg, EVP, Muck Rack & Shorty Awards; Executive Editor, The Drum’s Found Remote

Covering this industry for the past three years, I’ve learned to take all hype with a grain of salt. But 2016 felt different, and it’s because what was once only talked about in trade publications around the world is now squarely in the mainstream.

Chewbacca Mom showed the power of Facebook Live, a platform that hasn’t slowed down since; AT&T is trying to make an uncertain future more certain with its proposed takeover of Time Warner; consumers are demanding more from their cable companies, and are increasingly cutting the cord; addressable TV advertising campaigns are live; Netflix and Amazon are proving themselves time and time again with well-executed expansion strategies, and, of course, exceptional content; Snapchat is quietly building its video advertising and hardware business while preparing for an IPO.

These are just a handful of examples, but all it takes is a glance at The New York Times or Wall Street Journal to understand how rapidly things are changing, and more, how this all serious business.

Alexandre Muller, Managing Director APAC, TV5Monde

After an initial low start the OTT development in Asia are finally catching up, and we are now seeing more and more initiatives taking place in this part of the world. I truly believe that a specific business model is required for OTT and strongly believe that the answers will come from this part of the world.

Ario B.Widyatmiko, Chief Content Officer – IPTV/OTT, Dens.TV

OTT is a future reference to the industry driven by the technology and the consumer behavior.

As most of everything for watching/viewing over the internet/online are still free, the challenge for the subscription (monetizing) model will still continue until year 2020 (predicted in Indonesia market).

Every country has different challenges to make the OTT service become a subscription model.

2. In your opinion, what are some popular business and expansion strategies for pay-TV and/or OTT services? Are they effective?

Natan Edelsburg, EVP, Muck Rack & Shorty Awards; Executive Editor, The Drum’s Found Remote

Going global with great content has been extremely effective. Netflix for example has been able to popular shows around the globe by offering them at the same time. Other OTT players are starting to follow and language and contracts are ceasing to prevent great content from being viewed around the world.

Alexandre Muller, Managing Director APAC, TV5Monde

There are obviously several players on the market that did find their target and seem to be effective considering the number of subscribers they have. Those are both regional and global. In my opinion only a few cable TV channels are going in the right direction but HBO Go/Now is definitely one of them. And looking at the recent numbers of subs it seems to be effective.

Ario B.Widyatmiko, Chief Content Officer – IPTV/OTT, Dens.TV

PayTV should be closed to extend and combined with the interactive models that can be built in OTT platform.

A single subscription will be the future of monetizing OTT in the future, just like mobile apps content.

3. Could you share your insights on the role of content (both linear and non-linear) in today’s world?

Natan Edelsburg, EVP, Muck Rack & Shorty Awards; Executive Editor, The Drum’s Found Remote

There has never been greater content on TV both linear and non-linear. There is so much choice that’s high quality that the blur between TV and film has never been greater. There are also more buyers of great content than ever before as the internet matures as a medium for television.

Alexandre Muller, Managing Director APAC, TV5Monde

Content is King would it be on linear on non-linear! And it is very likely to remain this way for quite some time.

Ario B.Widyatmiko, Chief Content Officer – IPTV/OTT, Dens.TV

The rights for linear and non-linear content should be more flexible to expand into OTT.

Additional fee should be flexible.

4. How do you view the importance of data analytics in the broadcasting space especially for OTT viewing?

Natan Edelsburg, EVP, Muck Rack & Shorty Awards; Executive Editor, The Drum’s Found Remote

Essential. Companies like Parrot Analytics and ListenFirst Media are two of the best. On the media side, my company Muck Rack, helps communications teams at networks track how journalists and influencers are sharing and covering the greatest TV shows in the world to understand trends, successes and failures.

Alexandre Muller, Managing Director APAC, TV5Monde

Data analytics is critical for programmers and marketers to better understand the usage, the behavior, the expectations of viewers, but also to advertisers and brands in general to maximize their ROI. It is definitely a key currency and component in the broadcasting space, but is simply crucial in the OTT world

Ario B.Widyatmiko, Chief Content Officer – IPTV/OTT, Dens.TV

Data analytics is always a good reference to understand the viewing behavior, however to implementing the data, it is still unclear whether to understand the viewing behaviour or for potential advertising/advertisement.

5. Lastly, what would you like to say to your peers about BroadcastAsia International Summit?

Natan Edelsburg, EVP, Muck Rack & Shorty Awards; Executive Editor, The Drum’s Found Remote

This is the conference you need to be at not only to understand what’s happening in Asia, but what impact OTT, streaming and linear trends from the region are having on the rest of the world. The diverse cultures, technologies and strategies that are presented make the education, networking and deal making that happens a major part of the year for the TV, broadcast and OTT worlds.

Alexandre Muller, Managing Director APAC, TV5Monde

BroadcastAsia Summit is a must attend event where the all TV echo-system is converging to. So if you intend to do business in Asia, this is definitely a place to be.

Ario B.Widyatmiko, Chief Content Officer – IPTV/OTT, Dens.TV

Very important to understand about other market development.

Technologies Tracks

1. What are your thoughts on the developments of IP, UHD, cloud in Asia and around the world?

Fintan Mc Kiernan, CEO, Ideal Systems

We are experiencing a rapid increase in customer uptake for full IP broadcast solutions over SDI, last year we built 16 Camera OB truck for TenCent in China, which was fully IP, and we have just received an order in Singapore from a global broadcaster for a full IP based Multichannel System and Master Control Room.

Steve Davis, Vice President and General Manager, APJ, Ooyala

Asia will see the transformation of video delivery, quality and production like the rest of the world. That is, increasingly, video, TV and film will bedelivered via IP, in the highest quality possible as networks, connectivity and devices improve throughout the region and consumers increasingly change their behavior to watch premium content online versus linear TV. Also, in line with global trends, the desire for more variety of content and watching whatever consumers want at anytime and anywhere, too, will impact the way content is chosen, licensed and produced. The production process, particularly, is undergoing a major revamp to catch up with the IP-driven world of TV today. It requires more efficiency, visibility and ability to manage more video assets at once than ever before. Broadcasters and production companies should be strongly considering a modern video production environment to keep at pace with consumer demand — one that interconnects legacy and on-premise systems and disparate tools and teams.

Aale Raza, Managing Director, Whiteways Systems

I believe IP is not ready for deployment yet. It will be another 1-2 years before the experimentation will turn to real solutions. Once it is ready, it will really help the Broadcasters by simplifying their workflows and reducing the spending.

UHD means clearer, crisper pictures. However, in Asia, Broadcasters are taking a wait and watch approach. UHD will take off in a few years once the viewers have UHD TV sets in their homes. Currently, a very small population have UHD TV sets in their home.

Cloud – there are concerns related to workflow, speed and safety. This is why cloud has not taken off. However, in a few years, once these issues are sorted out, it will take off.

Charles Sevior, Chief Technology Officer, Dell EMC

Asia is the largest and most populated continent on Earth. Within Asia we see a wide range of different microeconomic markets, but still in tune with global consumer and industry trends. In Asia, adoption of public cloud providers is less prevalent than in North America. However adoption and development of UHD technology is much more advanced – especially in North Asia (Japan, Korea and China). The development of all-IP technology based on fully virtualised infrastructure is a natural evolution which is already being embraced by several Asia-Pac media companies.

Ian Trow, Senior Director Emerging Technology and Strategy, Harmonic

IP is now dominant in video workflows, the remaining islands of bespoke broadcast interfacing are associated with complex functionality that is difficult to replicate using enterprise equipment and interfacing. Even in these areas, vendors recognise the benefit of an IP-based development to protect market position. Increasingly the move towards IP and software based solutions is breaking down traditional product boundaries, allowing those with a footprint in markets to grow the functionality they cater to. In Asia, we are seeing many broadcasters leapfrogging the iterative steps taken by linear broadcasters and adopting significantly streamlined workflows.

UHD encompasses two markets, production and distribution. In order to protect content shelf life, acquisition is increasingly in 4K. Production ingest and playout are adopting an IP-based 4K / UHD solution with a strong desire for IP interfacing. On the distribution side, HDR provision is now starting to emerge as product in the form of screens, set-top boxes and players. There is some way to go in this area, but at last 4K-based services relying on resolution only will soon be able to add HDR and WCG to truly differentiate themselves from existing HD services.

The whole nature of a broadcast workflow is changing and we are in the midst of a revamp involving a shift from product and appliances to service based provision. The Cloud is a key enabler in this, by allowing service flexibility, scale and renewed focus on cost savings to be achieved in markets that have traditionally been hindered by the need for continual hardware upgrades.

Dave Frederick, Senior Director, Media & Entertainment, Quantum

UHD is extremely interesting in that companies are moving quickly to adopt the formats, but they may not realize the impact on their infrastructure—including storage and networking. Our findings show that it takes more than just adding disks to an environment to work in 4K (and beyond) effectively. Depending on the chosen format and level of compression, or uncompressed, could mean the difference between being able to work on just a couple of streams or dozens at a time across the entire facility. The time to plan for 4K is before the first project arrives at the door and the cameras are selected, not after.

In the case of the cloud, I think that the media industry has been extremely interested in leveraging cloud capabilities from the beginning, but has been struggling to find the right fit for the workflow. In some cases, cloud services can be very attractive, but they don’t scale well for the types of work we have in media and entertainment. Also, getting the cloud to integrate smoothly with existing workflows isn’t always easy or possible. It’s crucial to evaluate the cloud with an eye for workflow optimization, cost reduction, and added flexibility. Just sending everything to the cloud will not achieve these goals.

Danny Wilson, Founder & CEO, Torque Video Systems

The continuing “big news” is still IP. The advances in reliability and transmission speed, combined with incessant price decreases make IP technologies applicable to more and more traditional “broadcast” applications.

When IPTV first came on the scene a decade ago, it was touted as an enabler for many whiz bang and modern features. However, in reality, few of the optimistic applications like interactive sports content, multiple camera angles, and chatting with friends over your TV ever became popular. But as I have said at numerous conferences, IPTV is really nothing more than an alternative cable TV. The difference: a different connector at the end of the cable.

But the massive investments of the networking world have translated into even greater cost-efficiencies for IP technology. In the past few years we firmly see IP encroaching into the world “before the encoder”; the world of post production and primary production. Notably, the latest standards for IP transmission of baseband video content are the first steps towards changing everything.

UHD I am less excited and optimistic about.

The move from analog NTSC or PAL to digital SD and then digital HD was a tremendous improvement. (More so for the NTSC people). The problem with increasing resolution is that you’ll need a bigger and bigger TV on which to watch it on. The average living room in Japan is only 3 meters across. To see a difference between HD and 8K would require an extremely large TV. It wouldn’t even fit in the room.

This escalation in the “resolution battle” mirrors exactly what happened after the introduction of digital cameras. The first models, with 640 x 480 pixels (or only 0.3 mega-pixels!) were quickly caught in an arms race for increased resolution. Today a smart phone could have 8 mega pixels, a professional SLR camera 30 mega pixels.

Why doesn’t this increase further? Diminishing returns. There is no point of having a smart phone with a 100 mega pixel camera so the intrinsic value of that feature diminishes.

That is the same thing happening with television resolution. Moving from analog to SD and then HD was a big deal. But having a 16K or 32K TV in your small living room makes no sense.

UHD, for the most part, is driven by the consumer electronics industry.

Cloud, on the other hand, it quite interesting. In some ways a return to the central data processing centres of the 1960s, the impact of cloud computing on the television industry is one of flexibility in capacity and flexibility in capital resource usage.

I expect to see many more applications move to cloud as we move forward.

2. In your opinion, do you see any new broadcast technologies that will disrupt the broadcast space?

Fintan Mc Kiernan, CEO, Ideal Systems

Some people see IP based systems as a disruption, but really it’s just the evolution of the core technology in the same way as people don’t buy calculators any more, they have a calculator app on their smart phone, which looks the same and does the same thing, without the bespoke hardware.

Steve Davis, Vice President and General Manager, APJ, Ooyala

It’s not about popularity, it’s about preference. There isn’t one broadcaster with the same technology stack as the other. From production, post-production, transcoding, archiving, storage, etc, there are an innumerable amount of variations and choices on the market. It’s not so much which specific technologies are popular, but that each company has their unique set of solutions that work for them. And, yes, they’re effective, but to a point. As TV consumption moves online, and content syndication broadens to more online platforms and even regions, the inherent lack of connection and collaboration between these broadcast technologies is slowing down production teams, and costing them more in time and resources. To be truly effective, there are new solutions emerging – we call it media logistics – that help connect tools to give production teams and broadcasters full visibility into their operations, a single source of truth, so they can see where there are bottlenecks, which systems are inefficient and where every asset is in the production cycle at any given time. It’s all about taking your preferred technologies and making them work together and be more effective, not finding popular systems.

Aale Raza, Managing Director, Whiteways Systems

The broadcast industry is in the middle of a disruption – new business models, new transmission technologies, new production / post production techniques and so on.

Charles Sevior, Chief Technology Officer, Dell EMC

Many industry experts are calling out the rapid development of Virtual Reality. I see that technology as being more significant in the fields of gaming, training, design, simulation and social media than “broadcasting” or entertainment as such. I don’t think we will see a repeat of the 3D television failure. The continual improvement and reduction in cost of home & mobile broadband is offering improved VOD, live-streaming and Catch-Up TV that are creating the most impact (and opportunity) on traditional business models.

Ian Trow, Senior Director Emerging Technology and Strategy, Harmonic

The barriers to entry for those wishing to distribute content and the nature of material capturing viewers’ attention are challenging linear programming. The main restriction has been the IP media over which such services are distributed. At CES 2017 there was a lot of emphasis on video optimization to improve the use of bandwidth and improve player-based performance.

Dave Frederick, Senior Director, Media & Entertainment, Quantum

As the cloud becomes more prevalent and the costs of computing, networking and high-performance storage continue to drop, infrastructure is becoming more and more commoditized. Everyone knows, or can figure out, how much it costs to capture, process, and store media on a terabyte-by-terabyte basis if needed. The real value proposition for the industry going forward will be data management and data intelligence. This is where companies can gain insight and derive more value from their work, rather than just cutting costs on hardware. We will see strong interest in systems that are “media aware”. Systems that understand the personality of the content and can act intelligently when constant human interaction isn’t needed. We’re already seeing this in the areas of search and metadata driven advertising and content management. Eventually we will see it in media aware networking that can route content more efficiently and proactively.

Danny Wilson, Founder & CEO, Torque Video Systems

It depends on what “the broadcast space” is. Is it the manufacturers of broadcast equipment, or is it the operators producing television content?

For the manufacturers, the move to IP is a major change to which they must adapt or perish.

For the operators, the move to IP and ever declining equipment costs mean that making technically high quality content is within the reach of almost anyone. Just look at the high production values of many YouTube channels these days. So in that environment, traditional operators must create artistically high quality content to maintain market shares.

3. What do you think about the popularity of hybrid models, newcasting and sportscasting today?

Fintan Mc Kiernan, CEO, Ideal Systems

We are heavily involved with newscasting and sports casting, in the past we have built studios for Fox Sports in Singapore and newsroom systems for CNN Indonesia and we are currently on site doing the HD refresh at Metro TV in Indonesia, alongside our studio and systems business our Ideal-Live service for bonded cellular rental with Dejero has continued to grow, not just in South East Asia bust all across the APAC region. The cost effectiveness and ease of use of bonded cellular over Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG) is leading to massive increase in the amount of live productions in the region, this is also being supported by better 4G telecoms infrastructure and a need for existing broadcasters to do more live local shows to compete against the increased competition for eyeballs from OTT.

Steve Davis, Vice President and General Manager, APJ, Ooyala

Hybrid models are a trend we’re seeing throughout markets as there is no golden goose when it comes to video monetization. It’s different for everyone based on their content and their audience, and it requires a bit of exploration and experimentation in order to find the best model. We’re beginning to see more companies deploying AVOD models on top of existing SVOD or TVOD models and vice versa. A few examples include Malaysia’s Media Prima’s tonton service. They have both AVOD and SVOD services as they’ve found there are two massive audiences, one that prefers a freemium model and are OK with the transaction of sitting through ads, and another audience that would rather pay to forego advertising altogether. It works for them and their audience. Another in the US is Vudu, Walmart’s digital entertainment business. They were traditionally a TVOD service (one of the top three in the US) and recently launched Vudu Movies on Us that is a pure AVOD model. It’s all in the name of identifying new revenue streams and maximizing audiences. Both customers find great value in Ooyala as we have the OTT and advertising technologies to help launch any business model, and, more importantly, the analytics to show which is best for you, your audience and your bottom line.

Aale Raza, Managing Director, Whiteways Systems

Their popularity and availability is driven by 3 factors : faster smart phone adoption, faster GSM bandwidth (4G/5G) and adaptability of the broadcaster to the small screen.

Charles Sevior, Chief Technology Officer, Dell EMC

Dynamic news and sports casting leveraging mobile OTT will evolve rapidly – going beyond the twitter updates and Facebook clips of today into a “live now” hybrid model of mobile first delivery linking directly to broadcast for scale and quality.

Ian Trow, Senior Director Emerging Technology and Strategy, Harmonic

I think adopting a hybrid model for news and sports is essential to retain viewership. The audience is now fragmented across a wide variety of platforms, so adapting to these needs is key.

Danny Wilson, Founder & CEO, Torque Video Systems

It is inevitable and a logical progression of the decoupling of creation and distribution. In the “good old days” of television, the creation and production were so intimately tied that separating them was impossible. Now content creators often have no investment in the distribution of their content. This will only deepen.

4. Is content important or are delivery systems important? What’s your take on this?

Fintan Mc Kiernan, CEO, Ideal Systems

As delivery systems become cheaper and the financial barriers to entry for new entrant broadcasters come tumbling down there will be a plethora of new channels, broadcasters and content. This is the point that I think of Bruce Springsteen’s 1992 hits song “57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)” except we can add a zero or two to that number now. Hence compelling content is more vital than ever to ensure viewer numbers. Oh, and by the way, if you never saw the video for this song, look it up, it’s a classic!

Steve Davis, Vice President and General Manager, APJ, Ooyala

The cliché answer is content is king or consumer is king. The fact is they both are. Consumers won’t watch if the content doesn’t match their interests and you can make appealing content without knowing your audience. That’s why analytics is so important. Frankly there are so many options, channels, apps and variety today that OTT services have to be laser focused on who they’re targeting and make the best experience possible. Gone are the days of audience sampling and one-to-many distribution models. Analytics have to be one-to-one, the more granular the better. It translates into more personalization, and more insight so you can buy, license or produce the right content for your viewers, and, in turn, they get the best experience.

Aale Raza, Managing Director, Whiteways Systems

Content remains the king. No one wants to see bad / outdated / poorly shot content. Delivery systems are important only if the content is good. So – first content quality and then delivery systems.

Charles Sevior, Chief Technology Officer, Dell EMC

Great content is always the key to attracting viewer interest and retaining those viewers for extended time (that is the business model after all). But viewers are very quickly turned off by poor quality delivery – so heavily compressed TV broadcast channels and dropouts and buffering on OTT / mobile delivery must be avoided. Through good engineering, it is possible today to build solutions designed from the ground up to cost-efficiently address both broadcast and streaming content delivery with great viewer experience.

Ian Trow, Senior Director Emerging Technology and Strategy, Harmonic

Content will always be king. Sure, the appeal of a new delivery mechanism or App helps considerably in placing such content, but at the end of the day the material is the draw.

Dave Frederick, Senior Director, Media & Entertainment, Quantum

If you look at the big picture, delivery systems come and go—content is king. To paraphrase an old English proverb, “Content is the Mother of Invention.”

Danny Wilson, Founder & CEO, Torque Video Systems

So is it the chicken that is important or is it the egg? The two are a symbiotic ecosystem – the two cannot live separately. Make no mistake, both are changing in dramatic ways: content is being created in different ways and that content is certainly being distributed in different ways.

5. Lastly, what would you like to say to your peers about BroadcastAsia International Summit?

Fintan Mc Kiernan, CEO, Ideal Systems

There are many broadcast technology and media shows each year across South East Asia and due to our regional spread we participate in many of these regional shows to support our regional offices, but Broadcast Asia is the hub that glues the broadcast and media calendar together, from networking to technology it’s the only one stop shop in region.

Steve Davis, Vice President and General Manager, APJ, Ooyala

Video production, launching OTT services and (or) maximizing revenue for every asset everytime doesn’t have to be hard. Come find me at the show! I’d love to tell you why.

Aale Raza, Managing Director, Whiteways Systems

That the industry is in a disruption. You – the broadcaster can either be a disruptee or a disruptor. We, as a system integrator play a key role in helping you to adapt to the disruption and making you a disruptor. Technology is a weapon. We have the technology.

Charles Sevior, Chief Technology Officer, Dell EMC

Broadcast Asia is a great opportunity to get a full industry update on technical and creative solutions for the media industry, without the inconvenience and crowds of NAB Las Vegas. Take the time to engage with your peers and challenge with your requirements.

Ian Trow, Senior Director Emerging Technology and Strategy, Harmonic

Broadcasting is becoming more mainstream and the market is reliant on BroadcastAsia to put the continual evolution of service provision into regional perspective.

Dave Frederick, Senior Director, Media & Entertainment, Quantum

I’ve been to many Broadcast Asia conferences and I’ve always been impressed by the crossroads-of-the-world aspect of the event. The show draws such a diverse range of people and companies, all with their unique challenges and opportunities. I always leave with new ideas about how to address new challenges and how to leverage the experience of others to help our customers.

Danny Wilson, Founder & CEO, Torque Video Systems

Firstly, I appreciate the opportunity to share views with other professionals in the space. Overall it is an excellent forum across a wide range of topics and points of view.

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