FX Digital’s co-founders Matthew Duhig & Tom Smith decided to make the short venture across the Channel for the agency’s first appearance at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam. Matt gives us his thoughts on the future of OTT Connected TV Experiences and his big takeaways from the conference.
Day 1: Vimeo’s OTT expansion
Upon arriving at the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre, the sheer scale of IBC2019 struck me. The map listed no less than 15 halls and over 1,700 exhibitors. It wasn’t until I arrived that I really got a feel for the magnitude of the conference. After picking up my badge from the Suitest team, my journey began.
My first day was spent in Hall 14 – home to the likes of industry giants Google and Facebook, but also a significant number of TV application providers, such as Accedo, You.i and 24i.
I took this opportunity to ask around about my chosen subject and what became clear was just how fast the OTT market- in particular Connected TV – has grown and continues to do so. Even some of the big web players have woken up to the potential market value of Connected TV in recent times, with Vimeo and Brightcove amongst those traditional web and mobile providers that now also offer an end-to-end TV solution.
Vimeo’s approach is perhaps the most intriguing, as they now offer a Vimeo OTT plan that frees Vimeo users from the constraints of publishing their content solely on the web, enabling them to publish their content to Smart TVs too. Not only does this platform give Vimeo an opportunity to capitalise on their existing userbase by now offering publication on TV, but it also allows them to capture some of YouTube’s market share, who are yet to truly offer such a service. Instead, YouTube opt to keep video delivery in their YouTube TV Application. What seems like a great platform comes at a price, with subscriptions starting from $1 per user and swiftly scaling from there to an undisclosed fee for typical TV requirements such as AVOD and DRM.
After an insightful first day, it was time to relax and enjoy some great events hosted by Bitmovin and 24i. Tomorrow was another day, and an opportunity to probe deeper into the industry opinions on TV video playback.
Day 3: The best of the rest
On the third and final day, I decided to do some more general exploration into the emerging technologies on display. Particular highlights here included some of the great work the BBC and others have been doing to enable streaming of AR experiences across 5G, and also the sheer amount of innovative broadcasting hardware on show.