3 Trends Guaranteed to Make a Big Impact on OTT in 2018


In light of last week’s announcement of VOS™ SW Cluster, the next evolution of Harmonic’s VOS offerings for IPTV and OTT deployments, now is the perfect time to look at some of the key trends for OTT this year. As a comprehensive software application that embeds market-leading media processing, including ingest, playout, compression, encryption, packaging, and origin, with support for both cloud and bare metal compute environments, we expect VOS SW Cluster to make a major impact on OTT service delivery. And now, onto those OTT trends…

Low Latency Streaming

According to Phenix’ Streaming Wars: Sports Report, over 70 percent of viewers who stream live sports expect “bad service,” which consists of buffering, latency, poor picture quality and actual loss of service. The impact of this to the bottom line (and survival) of your streaming business is clear, as nearly two out of three sports viewers are reluctant to sign up or re-subscribe to live sports streaming services in 2018.

Video quality matters on every screen today, from phones to 4K TVs — and for streaming services that means low latency and pristine video quality, without any loss of service. Especially during live sporting events, quality is critical. Viewers cannot miss a second of the action. A lapse in video quality might cause viewers to change channels or seek service from another provider. This is the year latency issues that have afflicted live streaming can be resolved. One way the industry is working on reducing OTT latency is by adopting the Common Media Application Format (CMAF). With CMAF and other advancements, like content-aware encoding solutions, OTT service providers can deliver a video quality of experience (QoE) that matches traditional cable and satellite offerings.

Broad Adoption of Cloud Media Processing

As OTT service providers look to increase operational efficiencies, flexibility and scalability, 2018 will be the year that cloud-based video processing and delivery models are deployed in mass. With cloud-based SaaS solutions, OTT providers can launch and scale their services rapidly. Service providers can use flexible cloud architectures to distribute geo-targeted content, make ad replacements and provide UHD-HDR in order to boost monetization. Until recently, the business model for OTT services was still murky for traditional providers. Cloud-based video processing and delivery clear up the monetization angle by supporting these next-gen capabilities.

Going Local

One of the challenges that national streaming services have faced is how to ingest, prepare and distribute OTT-ready local broadcast channels to MVPDs. The cloud is helping in this area too, and we at Harmonic anticipate that distributing local or regional channels via OTT is going to be a major trend this year. Cloud-based broadcast affiliate aggregation and distribution solutions allow broadcasters to seamlessly create schedules and manage content rights, ensuring exceptional video quality via the internet and cloud.

You can keep track of these trends and more on our blog. Harmonic will highlight the latest innovations in OTT video delivery, including our EyeQ™ content-aware encoding and VOS™ SaaS family at upcoming tradeshows around the globe, including:

Convergence India, March 7 – 9, New Delhi, Hall 12A Stand E1
CCBN, March 22 – 24, Beijing, Hall 2 Stand 2201
2018 NAB Show, April 9 – 12, Las Vegas, Stand N424

– Eric Armstrong, Vice President SaaS Solutions at Harmonic

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