Unpacking Content Delivery Networks 

Content delivery is a huge part of the content and media industry. On Episode 24 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we sat down with Gautier Demond, the Vice President of Sales for Content Publishers North America at Qwilt, to talk about the different ways we can deliver content to consumers. Gautier has led a varied career across sales, engineering and architecture, giving him a range of perspectives. Read on to hear what he had to say about content delivery networks. 

Qwilt is a leader in open caching technology, which is a different way of doing CDN. Traditionally, CDNs have relied on big pops from all over the globe, that then leverage peering to get access to the eyeball network and deliver content. That has been working, but over the last few years we’ve seen bottlenecks appear either on capacity or that access to the eyeball networks. When it’s a Tuesday and you have an iOS update and Microsoft Update and the Champions League streaming at the same time, you’ll see serious congestion on the networks. That’s a problem. 

The way open caching changes that is by partnering with the ISPs and deploying caching architecture at a density and granularity never seen before inside the ISP network. We’re able to bypass those traditional bottlenecks. So why are companies allowing us to deploy within their networks? The second part is the business aspect of open caching, which is our revenue sharing model, where we share a percentage of our revenue with the ISPs that provided the deployment. 

In traditional CDNs you have three major players who are constantly bumping heads – you’ve got the content creators, the CDN and the ISPs. There’s always been tension between the CDN and the ISPs, because you send all that traffic to their network, but they’re not seeing any revenue from it to be able to invest into growing their network. Open caching allows us to share revenue with them so it benefits everyone. Instead of being in an adversarial relationship, you’re gonna be in a partnership. They’re getting engineering assistance, support, data… It allows us all to perform better. Working together allows for high density, which results in tremendous performances. It’s not rocket science. 

In the CDN world, we’re all subject to the algorithm. Over the last few years there has been a transition towards the contract side to accommodate that ability to switch traffic without incurring any financial penalties for the customer. Also, the platforms that perform the best are going to get the most traffic. The way we are judged is by our performance, which is measured on the client’s device, and that decides if your company or your relationship with the content provider is successful or not. So data is something we use daily, because we need to know what to improve and focus on. Everything is definitely data. 

To learn more about content delivery networks, tune into Episode 24 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The Benefits of Diverse Teams 

On Episode 23 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we spoke to Martin Sebelius, the SVP and General Manager of EMEA and LatAm at Accedo.tv, about the importance of diversity in the sector. Here’s what he had to say on the topic: 

Diversity is challenging for us. We’re not exclusively recruiting from schools that we already have recruited from, or settling for posting our job ads on the usual job boards – we’re trying to look further. Also, it’s not only where you look, it’s how you look, how you explain a position and what the company does. We probably do it in a man’s way, so we’re limiting ourselves in a very bad way. 

We need to make sure that we have a work environment that is equally inspiring and engaging for both men and women. We’re working on finding out what those parameters are, and how to improve them for the people that we already have. The big question is ‘How can we provide equal opportunities to grow as individuals and grow careers at Accedo?’. 

The benefit of improving cognitive diversity is that we do better business when more perspectives have gone into something. It’s a better outcome. Why is that? Well, if you have a team that wants to or needs to achieve something, and that team is homogenous, it’s probably easier as a project manager or leader to achieve that goal in the short term. But in the long run, yes, it’s stable, but it’s probably also stagnating. You won’t innovate without different ideas. 

Another benefit of diversity is that when you bring in different backgrounds, perspectives, views, ideas and inspirations, it stirs things up in a good way. It impacts the quality of what Accedo delivers, which is an experience. So who’s the subject of that experience? Well, that’s a diverse set of human beings. How can you pretend to bring optimal value in that setting if you don’t have diverse teams? You can’t.


To learn more about Martin’s work at Aceedo.tv, tune into Episode 23 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

The Impact of AI on Sports Content

AI is nothing new now. We’ve all seen it taking over people’s posts on LinkedIn, generating blogs and featuring in a plethora of panel discussions. What’s new is the impact it’s having on the sports media industry. On Episode 21 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we were joined by Meghna Krishna, the Chief Revenue Officer at VideoVerse, to discuss the changes that she’s seeing AI make in the sports space. 

How do you see AI changing content creation and OTT streaming moving forward?

A lot of the customers that we’re working with have created automated highlights using AI. Obviously there’s a human in the loop and there are constant feedback cycles being developed too, but there’s so much requirement in terms of content, data and analysis, and interactivity that it’s humanly impossible to meet those requirements as they grow. AI will become a big part of providing those services. I would say that anyone who’s not using AI for video analysis currently needs to catch up quickly, because it’s the only way you’ll be able to generate the volume and quality of content that your competitors are producing at the speed with which they’re doing it. 

Personalisation is another area that AI is helping us develop. I’m more interested in watching the content that appeals to me instantly – I don’t want to be scrolling through 500 pieces of content to find the one thing that I’m interested in. An individual understanding of your customers is going to be an essential part of meeting their content requirements – hence the need for AI. Advertising, merchandising, clickable ads and shoppable videos are all going to be serviced with technology and AI too. Football is not only watched in 50 countries, it’s watched across the word, and the commentary translation is being done by AI now too. AI is becoming all encompassing. It’s not just in one or two places, it’s everywhere you look.

How is AI improving the experience of sports fans across the globe?

Personalised videos and ads that I can connect with are changing how people interact with content. With personalisation comes interactivity. The NBA had this place in the Metaverse where you could actually go in and be a part of the game which was an immersive experience that you can have while sitting at home. That gives fans the opportunity to feel like they’re getting the same experience as being in a stadium. 

There have been a lot of other smaller changes, such as more people watching games on social media. 52% of the younger generation is saying they’re watching sports on social media rather than broadcasts. Because these games and highlights are being published in real time it’s easier for people to do that. If you put a layer of AI generated data and analysis over that stream it completes the experience for the user without the need for live TV. 

How does AI help with the monetization of content?

If you’re serving personalised ads, the customer is seeing what they want to see, and not something that’s irrelevant. If they’re more likely to see it, they’re more likely to interact with it and you’re more likely to get monetization out of it. With AI you can actually get the highlights to the sports fans earlier, so they’re more likely to watch it. The value of a game goes down every minute after it’s over, so if your recaps are happening in real time you can monetise it far more effectively. 

We are seeing that a lot of youth sports teams that were not anywhere online are now coming onto social media because there are viewers for them there. We’ve had a recent youth organisation that publishes their games on social media and their app, and their views go up from 25,000 to 300,000 within a matter of months, because they were able to publish highlights quickly. That is a huge monetisation opportunity right there.

Want to hear more from Meghna? Tune in to Episode 21 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

IBC 2022

IBC 2022, saw the industry back together and relatively back to normal with over 1000 exhibitors and 37,071 people in attendance from 170 countries. And with nine of us in attendance from neuco, we were back in full force too!

After 3 years away, there was such a positive atmosphere with everyone so relieved to be meeting face-to-face in Amsterdam again. And while I was told attendance was down around 30% from 2019, it certainly felt busy and thriving on the floor to me.

There was an obvious underlying theme to the first day conversations, with everyone comparing their various travel delays – neuco being no exception! My first lesson of the show was definitely to book an earlier flight into Schiphol, although I’m not sure whether after our three and half hour’s stint in Gatwick’s Wagamama’s we will be welcome back…

Despite the travel disruption everyone was up early and ready to go on Friday, and you could feel the buzz of everyone so excited to be back at the RAI Amsterdam again. As my first trade show experience and just a month in to joining neuco, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect but I couldn’t have been more overwhelmed by how welcoming everyone was. I truly feel blessed to have met so many incredible individuals!

Being able to meet in person and surrounded by the latest cutting-edge tech, was not only incredible for building my industry understanding. But also proved how invaluable events like IBC are for building and maintaining those long-term relationships that are so essential for everything we do at neuco.

It was interesting to see the areas experiencing significant growth, in particular the CDN space, FAST network’s and subscription VOD were not showing any signs of slowing down. Hot topics on the floor remained focused on adoption of Cloud technology, as well as the importance of data analysis for understanding your end users and creating a more personalised service. It was great to see that accessibility was a key focus too with many discussions around how AI could be used to make tech more accessible and immersive.

As a woman joining the industry it was really welcomed to hear discussions around Diversion and Inclusion and especially what is being done to encourage continued improvements in these areas. Having just come from the Veterinary Medicine field, which is on the opposite end of the scale, it was a slight shock to the system stepping into such a male dominated field! If you are a woman in the space be sure to check out the Rise Group if you haven’t already. They are doing incredible work supporting, mentoring and advocating for women joining the media technology sector.

In the recruitment world it was incredible to see how many companies were growing, both in terms of expanding current teams and breaking into new markets. Not just is this great for us at neuco, with so many potential opportunities discussed, but also is such a promising sign that the industry is recovering from the challenges of the last few years. If nothing else, it was evident how highly in demand engineering talent is!

And beyond the business it was just incredible to be out in Amsterdam, we really made the most of our evenings socialising with our amazing partners at Ovyo and eating some delicious food. Plus, Tim couldn’t have been more excited to show us newbies the extensive cycling infrastructure…

In summary, I couldn’t have asked for a more jam-packed and exciting first trade-show experience. There really is nothing that can beat face-to-face interactions and I can’t wait for next year where I should have even more familiar faces to see.