Highlights from OTTCON
The who’s who of the over-the-top (OTT) video community met in San Jose a few weeks ago, at a trade show called OTTCON. Missed it? Me too. But I did dispatch Sara Dirkse, who runs our OTT video lab (and blogs on this web site.)
Luckily for us, she takes great notes. Here’s the highlights:
– Backhanded compliment of the year: “Dinosaurs with lasers” was applied to cable as a descriptor. “The dinosaurs are getting more advanced, so we can’t really call them that anymore,” said Jeremy Toeman, CEO of Digit Media.
– The words “1970s cable TV” came up repeatedly, as participants likened the current state of OTT to the programming heyday of yore.
– “Long form video” now means anything over 10 minutes. (!)
– When asked how many had seen every episode of the Netflix original series “House of Cards,” a third of the audience raised hands. (Every episode.)
– “Syndicated metadata” popped up regularly at OTTCON. It’s a way for content owners to ensure that no matter what app people use to get to their content, their metadata persists, so that the experience is rich and consistent.
– People with Apple products watch twice as much video on their phones and tablets than people with Android-based gadgets.
– If 10% of cable’s audience cut the cord, it would double the load on CDN (content delivery network) providers like Akamai, which is already moving just under 10 Terabits per second.
– The last mile network is not where the major congestion is occurring, said Will Law, principle architect for Akamai’s Media Division. “It’s like widening your driveway and expecting to reduce your commute time.”
– Making TVs into phones is a bad idea, said Digit Media’s Toeman. Skype on a tablet trumps.
– Watch for more original content from non-traditional brands (Red Bull, Funny or Die) and brands (Netflix, Hulu.) It won’t replace cable, but we’ll see a lot more of it.
– More than 850 display devices use Netflix’s API (application program interface.)
– Netflix is developing 4K streaming content. Which weighs 17 Mbps, if compressed with the best technique in the market today (H.264/MPEG-4.) With HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding), that’ll halve to 8.5 Mbps – but is still more than 2x the heft of today’s HD streams, compressed with H.264/MPEG-4.
Bottom line: Netflix doing 4K will seriously tweak that already tweaked 50% CAGR in broadband usage.
So, dinosaurs with lasers: That’s what the new kids are up to. Onward!
This column originally appeared in the Platforms section of Multichannel News.