Welcome back to Streaming Made Easy. I’m Marion & this is your weekly European take on the Global Streaming Video Business.
Every Friday, you get 1 analysis, 1 streamer snapshot & 1 content recommendation (→ previous editions).
Enjoy today’s read and don’t forget to comment or share.
This week brings a different format as we’re digging into IBC 2023 and my key takeaways for this edition.
But before I do that, let me tell you how my relationship with IBC started.
Prior to 2019, I had never set foot at IBC. The reason being that I’m more a Content & Distribution gal. Historically, my markets were MIP/MIPCOM, the Cannes Festival ✨
5 months into my tenure at Roku, my Communications Director put me on stage at IBC 2019.
Me 4 years younger, scared:
Here I was in this ocean of technology and filming gear. I made the most of the event but I admit it I hadn’t figured it out yet.
Was it the right forum for me at the time? I still ask myself this question every year but the event is growing on me. Here’s why:
- It’s free to attend
You can walk around the entire venue except the Conference forum which requires a premium pass.
Staying in Amsterdam isn’t cheap though.
- It’s diverse.
Well not in the way you think, it’s 99% male execs, 1% female execs. A shame. IBC and organisations like Riise are trying but ultimately we need more women in tech and in companies to see a diversity shift in the attendance.
It’s diverse as in you have:
- Technology vendors of course
- But also Content Companies, Telecom Operators, Smart TV Manufacturers/OS Providers, Broadcasters.
Why does it matter?
You can meet companies who wouldn’t have time for you at MIPCOM or at IFA for example.
- Demos, panels, talks
The Programme is solid on the Showfloor (Content Everywhere Stage, Innovation Stage) and in the Forum. Booths are also full of surprises in some cases but more on that later.
- It’s in Amsterdam
2 days of stunning sun, 2 days of typical rain but isn’t it an amazing setting for a work event?
To Content & Distribution folks out there, I hope this will motivate you to give it a go in 2024.
Now, let’s dig into my top highlights from this year’s edition of IBC:
I’m not here to give THE recap of the event. There’s so much to unpack and 43K visitors, each with their own take on things.
This is MY recap so take it with a grain of salt on what awaits our industry.
- Evan Shapiro
Perfect way to kick off IBC?
Have Evan telling us we’re a bunch of dinosaurs about to go extinct if we don’t transform radically.
- Maintaining a constant and deep relationship with your community (see how he uses the term community and not audience).
- Big tech alone cannot reign, content wears the crown. This begs the question of how we can build win-win relationships with big tech.
- This anecdote about how the NY Times hired product folks in their 20s / 30s and let them tweak the product as they please. It’s one way to go about it but what matters most is being close to what your customer wants from you (instead of making assumptions).
- FAST, FAST, FAST:
This year, the question wasn’t who is active in FAST but who is not.
Most booths in Hall 5 had a FAST value proposition in some shape or form.
- End-2-End Solutions were legion but if I were a tech buyer, would I buy it off the shelf or piece-meal my technology stack with the best of each vertical (channel creation & scheduling, playout, SSAI, monetisation, analytics)?
- Partnerships between companies like Broadpeak/OKAST, Amagi/ThinkAnalytics, Spideo/Broadpeak or Spideo/Harmonic, Frequency/Wurl lead me to believe that companies understand they can’t be the best at everything and partnerships are the path forward especially in a low margin business like FAST.
- Ad tech gives me a headache. It’s so damn complicated for non ad tech execs. I should have spent time with Paul Gubbins as my guide during the event.
- Spideo brings personalisation to FAST thanks to their savant mix of human and algorithmic recommendation.
- Whip Media wants to solve content performance tracking and revenue reporting in FAST and boy there’s work to do in such a fragmented and opaque ecosystem.
- Gracenote launched a FAST Program for metadata enrichment aimed at SMEs looking to grow globally.
- The TV OS landscape
ZEASN/Foxxum and Xperi/Tivo had booths which is no surprise since both have a busy Fall schedule ahead of them.
ZEASN/Foxxum came as one company for the 1st time and have big goals:
Xperi/Tivo are about to launch their OS on Sharp and Vestel TVs across Europe. I was impressed by the UI/UX they showed me especially the personalisation of the UI with your go to apps, a powerful universal search engine (in text and voice).
They have a Free streaming section of course.
The TV brand is front and centre (theirs is a discreet Tivo logo) showing it’s a partnership, not a takeover ☺️
Perfect segway into the next highlight.
- In car Entertainment
Xperi got us a car (one that is not even available for sale yet):
To showcase their in car entertainment platform:
Excited to see how they bring this solution to more models and more brands. Initial use cases include time spent waiting in your car and so instead of playing a game, a show or the news on your mobile, why not get a TV like experience.
I see a lot of potential for my streaming clients.
- Panels to catch up on
Besides running around from meeting to meeting, I had the opportunity to moderate 4 sessions:
- A panel on audience development and revenue growth with Valerio Motti (Fremantle"), Patrick Courtney (Fuse Media), Rachel Koehler (Tubi) and Stefan Van Engen (Xumo).
- A fireside chat with the FAST God, Olivier Jollet (Pluto TV).
- A panel on bringing the best video viewing experience on the devices that matter with Patrick Byrden (Xperi), Ajey Anand (Norigin Media) and Ali Diab (SEI Robotics).
- A fireside chat with Trent Wheeler (Gracenote) and Jorg Meyer (Zattoo) on the challenges and opportunities when going global in FAST.
I came out of these pretty excited about what the future holds as I witnessed companies looking to grow and adapt their businesses to the restless demand for video content.
All IBC panels are live here.
Finally, if you want a live version of this plus Maria Ingold’s take on IBC through the AI lens, join us here.