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Five Questions for Content Owners

media-1The Super Bowl was streamed live online for the second year in a row last week. What’s more, millions of viewers were given some new features to play with, such as a DVR-like capability to rewind and even pause the action. Not to mention, fans were able to watch those all-important Super Bowl commercials on-demand after they aired. CBS Sports also provided a “Fan Choice” camera option that enabled viewers to see even more camera angles offer by the traditional TV broadcast. Live streaming is now a mainstream reality, and expectations for quality run high. The technology that goes into making live and on-demand video possible is constantly evolving – and rapidly.

When we rolled out Publisher back in October, our goal was simple: offer a powerful and all-inclusive online video publishing solution that combines the best live video streaming services with the best video on demand features. Transcoding audio and video files in the cloud, recording and playing back live events, monitoring ingress and egress video streams – all wrapped into one solution. All of these backend features are part of the process today, and it’s what makes the difference between a smooth live feed and one that constantly loads and buffers. Today’s viewers don’t have the patience for that, nor do the news media and entertainment organizations that supply the content.

media-2As more and more networks provide live online feeds of sporting events and other broadcast content, at one point or another many organizations will face some growing pains. Coupled with today’s second-screen reality, media organizations have to get it right or risk losing coveted viewership and ratings.

So what are some of the obvious roadblocks that content owners need to know about in order to avoid problems with your online live and on-demand feeds before they arise? Here are five simple questions to ask yourself to get the ball rolling:

  • Bandwidth: Ask yourself this: What are my internal bandwidth limitations? Can our current infrastructure handle an expanding demand for multimedia capacity and market reach?
  • Management: Check out the balance sheets. What is my average spend on management expenses for system maintenance?
  • Multi-screen Delivery: Are my viewers able to access high quality content on multiple screens? If not, what’s standing in the way of making this possible?
  • Transcoding: When content owners transcode video, it means that multiple embed codes are automatically generated for delivering the videos to smartphones, tablets and desktops. Ask yourself, is my content transcoded?
  • Analytics: Content owners that understand how their content is being consumed have the obvious competitive advantage. Do I have a user-friendly dashboard that provides detailed user-viewing activity and trend analysis reports?

As a content owner, asking yourself these initial questions can mean the difference between evolving with the times or risk being lost in the crowd. Major events like the Super Bowl, and the networks that broadcast them, will continue searching for new ways to deliver content that meets viewers how, when and where they prefer to consume it.