In the beginning of this month we’ve travelled to Amsterdam to attend the biggest broadcast and media show in Europe: IBC.
With bags of team spirit we started IBC on Friday morning, Sept 9 at our brand new stand, all in lime green.
Talking to visitors and walking through the massive exhibition with 14 different halls we could definitely see some consistent themes:
Long live OTT
Broadcasters and video providers of all shapes and sizes are launching hybrid platforms with some element of OTT/streaming delivery, whether live or on-demand/catch-up.
Everyone wants to be close(r) to the consumer, which is driving the growth in OTT platforms. Combined with more mature technology and business models, direct-to-consumer services are proliferating, even though there are still many challenges to resolve.
It was apparent that OTT provides a great opportunity for broadcasters and multi-channel TV providers reach a broader audience who want to watch video on a wider and wider variety of devices. However, digital video has to be protected from piracy and theft. People visiting our stand were keen to know not only how to protect websites from incoming attacks, but also how to protect video streams from unauthorized use.
OTT providers know they need to reach the wide variety of devices that their audience use to consume content. Creating workflows to transcode video to all the necessary formats can be complex to configure and manage. Providers are looking to companies such as Limelight to simplify the transcoding and delivery of these necessary formats.
From speaking with other exhibitors, it appears there’s a continued lack of standardisation of video formats across multiple devices. This is not just a short term issue, but will continue to be relevant in the future. Solutions to challenge of transcoding (MMD-OD and MMD-Live) were positively well received by companies we spoke to.
There’s a movement by browsers to manage a slow deprecation of Flash. OTT providers who have used primarily Flash encoded videos are seeking out an alternative for their websites. An HTML5 player is the path forward for providers to deliver their content to all browsers and all devices.
It was hard to escape virtual and augmented reality and 360 degree video, both across most halls and especially in the Future Zone, where users strapped into VR glasses were screaming over excitedly at a rides simulator.
That said, trends like 8k, VR, Green Screen (specifically for Virtual Studios) were exciting to see, whereas the real buzz was around 4k and 360° videos.
And we must not forget to mention, our prize draw to win a GoPro camera, this got lots of attention: slip on one of our lime green T-shirts, smile and upload the photo to your Twitter account #LLNW. Yesterday we announced the lucky winner. He was thrilled and tweeted: “That smile was easy, facing the magnificent team of llnw!”
In total there were over 55,700 attendees over six IBC days from more than 160 countries. It was a new IBC record. The exhibition featured over 1,800 exhibitors, including 249 companies at their first IBC.
Our guys loved the show and we are already planning for next year.