• Verizon Media Updates Platform for Video Delivery and Monetization

    Verizon Media announced a number of updates to its platform today to improve video delivery and monetization for its content provider customers.

    With monetization, Verizon has unveiled Verizon Media Smartplay Prebid, which better optimizes the value of content providers’ inventory. In a briefing last week, Darren Lepke, Head of Video Product Management, told me that the server-side integration will expose inventory to more demand partners and create more price transparency in the bidding process. Darren said turning it on is a simple checkbox in the platform UI. Verizon Media has also released enhanced advertising data and analytics tools to drive better performance.

    Darren also called out new content control and syndication capabilities that acknowledge the merging of TV and OTT teams occurring at large content providers. The Channel Scheduling feature give content providers the ability to leverage their VOD library, a live feed or a live event to curate virtual live linear channels. These streams can then be syndicated to social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Twitch, and soon to vMVPDs and other OTT platforms. They can also feed into recommendation engines for personalization.

    As a side note, with the current shelter-at-home guidelines, a variety of services including Roku, Amazon and others have created these types of virtual channel experiences from their video assets. For example, they appear central to Peacock’s user experience. During last week’s media call, Peacock highlighted 20+ virtual linear channels, forecasting growth to 75 during the year. They are intended to become editorially-driven, personalized 24/7 lean-back experiences, that can be updated throughout the day and ultimately drive a high percentage of overall Peacock streaming hours.

    As these virtual channels become a more popular way for viewers to engage with AVOD and SVOD services, Verizon Media’s Channel Schedule feature will be more valuable to content providers.

    Finally, Verizon Media announced enhanced ingest, encoding and CDN capabilities fo live streaming in 4K HDR, with successful testing of 10 million concurrent viewers. Additional features have been added to allow tagging moments of interest during live streams to be published with relevant metadata. Verizon Media also said it’s in beta with sub one-second latency live streaming.

    Verizon Media is holding an online OTT Innovation Showcase on May 7 explaining all of the above in greater detail.