• Multiscreen Live Linear - Consumer Values and Perceptions

    Following is a contributed post by Mio Babic, who is the founder and CEO of iStreamPlanet, the leader in live linear streaming solutions including the soon to be released Aventus live video workflow solution.

    Multiscreen Live Linear - Consumer Values and Perceptions
    by Mio Babic

    Recently iStreamPlanet partnered with The Diffusion Group to better understand the opportunity in delivering a multiscreen live linear experience to multiple devices. As digital media innovators it’s easy for us to get excited about moving the technology forward, and while we see 24/7 live linear streaming as the next step in the OTT evolution, we wanted to verify that we are creating technology for an experience that consumers desire, and therefore profitable for our customers in the media industry.

    Multiscreen live linear streaming is a nascent technology with just a handful of pioneers providing a true TV everywhere (TVE) experience. But in our research we found that 75% of pay-TV subscribers are highly likely to use multiscreen live linear if offered by their operator, while 49% “definitely would use” the service.

    Positive Revenue Impact

    Through our research and in discussions with our customers we believe there’s tremendous revenue potential in providing live streaming content. Consumers responded that they are willing to pay an operator for this service, with over 60% of pay-TV subscribers saying they are likely to sign up for the service if it were offered for an additional $5 per month. With subscriber bases in the tens of millions for leading operators, this translates into hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenue, as well as increasing customer satisfaction by providing a highly desirable service.
    Accelerating Live Streaming Strategies

    There are three reasons why now is the time to accelerate live and live linear streaming channels as part of the TVE experience:

    1. Live linear access is widely perceived by consumers to have extremely high value, a service they would actually use on a regular basis.

    2. Providing live linear service offers the possibility of new revenue, both in terms of additional cost per month and in the form of digital advertising, and a much stickier service, among other benefits.

    3. The technology to distribute and support multiple live linear streaming channels both affordably and reliably is now coming to market.

    Overcoming Technical Challenges

    With so much upside potential, why hasn’t live linear streaming taken off already? It’s because live video streaming is complex, much more so than VOD, and scaling hardware infrastructure to accommodate 24/7 programming is complex and expensive.  Even with densities on hardware encoding boxes increasing each source or channel requires a dedicated input and a back-up in case of failure. In order to stand up more channels, you have to go and purchase more hardware, with the fear that you will rapidly outgrow the hardware’s capabilities.
    Moving the video workflow to the cloud eliminates expensive, dedicated hardware and provides a cost effective solution to scaling up to be able to deliver hundreds or thousands of channels, 24/7 to multiple screens.

    It’s always difficult to transition away from legacy environments. Racks of encoders are a big investment and understandably content providers want to get as much out of their technology investments, amortizing the costs down through the years. But as content owners and distributors realize the positive impact that live streaming brings to their businesses, they will look for scalable, less complex technology to help meet this growing opportunity. Software and public and/or private cloud-based solutions are the answer.

    If you’re interested in more findings from our multiscreen live linear research you can download the white paper here.