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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 Challenges in the TV & Streaming Space

Changing consumer habits have drastically impacted the TV and streaming industry for the past few years. On The Content & Media Matters Podcast we were joined by the Vice President of Strategy, Business Development & International at Sling TV, Liz Riemersma. Liz has a background in marketing and business development in a variety of sectors, and has spent the past seven years within the TV industry. These are her thoughts on the challenges currently facing the sector:

Over the past couple of years, many of the players in the industry have collectively forgotten what their DNA is. Prior to the rise of direct to consumer platforms, media companies were focused on making media, and content distribution companies were very focused on distribution, and platforms were really focused on what the end user was experiencing in terms of using their operating systems. Now we’re at a point where platforms are making content, distribution companies are making platforms, content companies are doing distribution, and some of them are dabbling in licensing platforms. It’s created a very confusing landscape. 

The reality is that all of those companies had a starting point with a financial structure that underpinned what their business was and was not. For example, we’re a distributor. We have no strength, history, or knowledge in making content. That’s a completely different cost structure and a different environment entirely. It would be pretty clear that we are not in the content business, right? We spend all of our money and effort on improving the end user experience via our technology, our distribution and the way we are reaching customers. 

If a media company comes into the space, and they say, ‘I’ve got all these investments in media and generating original content, but I’m also going to act as a distributor. I’m going to be marketing people directly. I’m going to be investing in technology and getting that pushed through to the end user.’ They’ve basically doubled their load financially. All the while they are pulling the rug out from their distributors. Your distributors are paying you $5 per sub and now you’re losing money on their platform. A lot of those decisions have been because people are seeing cord cutting coming online. There’s definitely fear around our revenue and ARPU. But, companies have underestimated the costs that are associated with moving from one business model to another. I don’t think that they were prepared to do it. Companies are loading up their business model with something that’s not necessarily their business.

Now that the incumbent media companies have all had some level of experience in going direct to direct to consumer, they understand the financial prospect of what that means. They’re going from a place where you’re free of any distribution costs with $5 per subscriber that you’re getting from your distributors to a negative $5 per consumer on their own platform. I do think that you will see a little bit more conservatism when it comes to the content they are keeping on live TV, because their money is coming from live TV. If they can’t supply that demand, they are being financially irrational.

To learn more about the state of the TV and streaming industry, tune into Episode 22 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.     

Changes in the Sport Media Sector

The sports media sector has been massively impacted by the changes in viewing patterns that have emerged across the Content & Media industry. On Episode 20 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we were joined by sport media veteran Ed Abis, who is the Managing Director at Dizplai. Ed has led an extensive career in the live sports and media space, having worked with Burnley FC and ITV, even helping Nike with their collaboration with Manchester United Soccer schools. Today Edie is focused on data visualisation solutions for the media and sports market. He shared his insights into the changing landscape of the sports media industry. 

What has had the most impact on the sports media space in terms of the evolution of technology and the way we consume sports since you joined the industry?

I worked for the Perform Group (now Stats Perform) when they were at the forefront of creating sports streaming. We were working with global sports durations, and helping them to develop their commercial story and effectively monetize their content. I’ve worked with other companies during this advising fever as well, helping organisations get accessibility to their live sports, because it was felt that the sports broadcasting world would only focus on the biggest sports. 

I was lucky enough to work with a great number of people and organisations where we were learning together and from each other. That was effectively a sports streaming revolution, because we were doing things that no one was doing before. Sometimes it went wrong, but not through having the fear. We innovated and I think immeasurably moved the industry forwards.

What would you say are the biggest challenges facing the sports media market today?

There is so much choice now. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens over the coming years in terms of what some entities will do. We’ve seen what’s happened with the merger between Discovery and BT Sport and there’s changes afoot there at a high level. I think it makes it difficult for consumers because they need to have so many subscriptions, because everyone in the house has a different preference. That is a challenge. But the opportunity as a consumer is to pick and choose what service I want to go and buy, which also means I have a choice that I’ve never had before. That’s exciting for consumers. I remember my days of working with The Equestrian Federation, which has a very niche audience, but they have a very high net worth and a very engaged audience as well. Their content won’t always be on the BBC or any other major broadcast because they’re not a major event supplier, but there are people who really want to watch it, and TEF can offer that simply and easily.

What are you most excited about for the future of sports media?

If certain things go to our competitors we all push each other. There are certain direct and indirect examples – one that we worked with is SkySports and their boxing, where we’ve worked with our product team and their product team to create an interactive boxing scorecard. That isn’t necessarily something new – there’s been some web based voting applications around for years – but what we’ve done is create an end to end solution so the audience feels a part of when they’re watching the boxing. They scan a QR code, and they are scoring the fight round by round. Producers understand that they need this payoff of saying to the audience, ‘This is how you are all voting for this fight right now’. I want to see more interactive innovations like that. 

To learn more about developments happening in the sports media sector, tune into Episode 20 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 2023!

IBC 2023 and its over 43,000 attendants were able to enjoy the ever-evolving landscape of the broadcast and media industry, with an increase of 16% when compared to last year. The neuco team itself has been growing, and our own Tegan Valeny participated in the DPP panel, discussing the impact of peak remote working.

Being my first ever trade show, I thoroughly enjoyed being able to see all the tech in person and getting to know industry experts, demonstrating the importance of building long-lasting relationships throughout the industry.

The most prominent conversations included talks of monetisation, sustainability, and, of course – AI! Throughout the industry, media organisations are not only honing in how to drive profitability but also how AI can be used to affect monetisation, through personalised advertising and user targeting.

As well as this, sustainability seemed to be a bigger topic than in previous years, with various companies engaging with this by making their video streaming platforms climate-conscious.

Not only was this my first time ever attending a trade show, but also Amsterdam – this was truly a trip of new beginnings! The architecture, canal and general atmosphere of Amsterdam was fantastic, as was the food and the laughs we shared throughout the neuco team.

As a whole, IBC 2023 was fantastic. Being a history fanatic, I am keen to see how IBC 2024 will be different, what topics will become more relevant, and to see how the industry will expand!

The State of the Content & Media Industry 

On Episode 19 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we were joined by Alan McLennan, the Founder and Global Head of M&E, Industry Strategy and Partnership at the PADEM Media Group. He talked us through his fascinating career in the content and media space, as well as his experience of co-authoring a book. He also shared his perspectives on the state of the content and media industry as a whole and told us what he sees for the future of the sector. Read on to hear what he had to say. 

We’ve unfortunately tipped into a marketplace that is now in television management. That is an inherently comfortable place for most networks and studios because it’s not what it was before. It used to be about the innovation of technology and the connection to the audience. Now it’s stepped back. Streaming television is an important aspect of building an audience. But it’s television. It’s what it always has been. Now it just so happens that you get a choice of what you want to watch, with attached advertising that matches your personality, your behaviour, your information etc, which is much more engaging than it used to be. 

The old statement about 50% of my advertising goes in and 50% doesn’t isn’t true anymore, because we have these identifiable points now.  That allows us to grow into lower social economic environments, and that’s really good. But there is a certain component of this that has a separation of classes. We’re starting to realise in the industry that subscription levels have pretty much levelled off, except in new markets where there’s new subscriber bases. As more countries around the world have enough disposable income to pay for our subscriptions, we’re expanding our markets. We’re able to offer up the second year, or even third year kind of programming on a fast basis. 

What’s driving the industry globally is the ability to tap into the creators that are in this economy. When it comes to production, those creators are producing and providing some of the best programming and content that we’ve ever seen. Before, when you went to gatherings, parties, whatever, people would talk about news or politics. Now it’s ‘What series are you watching?’ That’s where the quality of our work comes in. The first run is for theatrical releases, then it’s aimed towards people who can afford a subscription based programme. We’ve taken a number of steps forward, but we’ve also taken some steps back when it comes to our audiences. By taking those steps back, it puts the industry in a more comfortable position with their business through advertising and audience reach – and that’s good – but where the opportunity comes is from new distribution platforms. 

We’ve seen some things from the cable industries – or Comcast for example, who are talking about 10G. What about 5G? Didn’t that just come out? 5G is the fifth generation of distribution, not the technology. It’s the efficiency of that which is mind boggling. It’s 100 times faster and more powerful than 4G, so how powerful is 10G going to be? That’s going to require whole new infrastructures to support the capabilities it brings, which will need new types of distribution. Things like Edge Computers, cable plants, and providers will have to be built out. That is where we’re going. 

To learn more about the future of the industry, tune into 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.     

Inside Media Supply Chains

The Content and Media industry is a diverse and developing space. On Episode 18 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we spoke to Taylor Riese, Vice President of Strategic Sales for Signiant. With an impressive career at prominent companies such as Verizon Media, Taylor has a wealth of insights into the Content and Media industry. We spoke to him about the development of supply chains within the sector. 

What are your thoughts on why media supply chains have become more complex, and what does that mean for the industry?

The real question is should they have become more complex? We’ve been standardising supply chains, workflows, etc, but in the process we’ve accidentally made things unnecessarily complex. The art of the possible has been explored very well within the media industry. A lot of the time that leads to complex solutions rolling out – with good intentions, of course – which are not always suited to the industry as it is. That complexity creates diminishing returns and precludes you from doing other things. We have a lot of exciting technology at our fingertips, and sometimes it’s hard not to give it a try.

How do you see AI being used when it comes to the content exchange?

AI does such a good job of cataloguing what your content is, transcribing it and telling you what content sits where that you don’t even have to go in and watch the video. There are tons of other potential use cases where AI will be used to decipher or guesstimate what content will be useful for viewers in other regions or languages. In terms of content exchange, AI is going to be helpful for facilitating intercompany movement. We can go into meetings saying ‘We’ve indexed our entire back catalogue, and we’ve got this stuff that we think can be useful to your viewers’ and moving things that way. The same thing goes for the creation of new content, because AI can help you better understand your audience.

Data analytics and metadata are key talking points at the moment. What role do you think they will play when it comes to the media supply chain?

AI is analysing that metadata now. We’re constantly doing things to make metadata capture easier. It’s incredibly important. Having best practices in place for capturing and recording the metadata and making sure it gets put in the right places at the right times is essential. We’re almost forcing that behaviour to make things easier. Having that data will make things easier in 10-15 years, but it also makes things easier in the interim. It saves time and headaches. The more you can do on that side, the easier it is to establish what you have, know where it is and understand what to do with it.

To learn more about the content and media industry’s supply chains, tune into 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 Importance of Diverse Teams

Diversity is one of our core topics on The Content & Media Matters Podcast. On Episode 17 we were delighted to discuss it with Mark Billinge, who is a Technology & Operations Consultant with a background in the video and media industry. With nearly 30 years in the sector, Mark has a wealth of insights when it comes to how the industry has progressed in terms of diversity, which we explored on the podcast and here. 

How have you seen diversity and inclusion addressed over the course of your career, and why is it important for companies to get it right? 

In the Middle East we had huge diversity in our team. That was one of the things that really made it so fun and exciting, because the team was made up of people from different cultures and ethnicities all around the world. It was a really rich mix. Having many different voices, opinions and backgrounds in a team is a good thing, because different points of view give you a better understanding of a subject, so you can do better work. Having that diverse team helped us deliver. 

Is there anything you would still like to see change around diversity and inclusion?

I think a lot of progress has been made over the last few years, but there are still areas for improvement. One topic that’s been in the news for the last few weeks is the cost of childcare. It raises the question, how do you support young families and young mothers get back into work? There’s obviously an economic side to it, but it’d be great to see companies look at how they can support people with their childcare. That could mean offering daycare in the workplace or making it easier for mums to return to work after a career break. My wife took a long break after having the children, and she’d now like to get back into work. She’s finding it harder than we expected to get back in after an extended break. Companies need to consider people who have had extended breaks and the value they can bring. 

To learn more about diversity in the Content & Media industry, tune into 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.     

How AI is Changing Live Streaming 

Since the release of Chat GPT 3, there has been a surge of interest in what AI can do. On Episode 16 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we spoke to Ingo Hofacker, the CEO at movingimage, about how he sees this technology improving our industry. Here’s his take on how data, analytics and AI play a part in live streaming video solutions. 

There are two parts to these solutions. Initially it was more related to analytical AI’s potential for understanding how someone’s posture looks when they’re setting up the camera. The AI was able to provide feedback on ‘Is that a good posture? Is that underpinning your message at a medical level? Is it contradictory to your advice on wellness?’ 

I’m a big believer in this generative AI. I think it’s premature, but I certainly believe that in five years time we will see the applications of it for video. I think we’ll be able to take a boring text, and say, ‘Can you please make a fancy video out of this, with an avatar that looks like me?’ and that will be doable. 

I spoke to an artist last weekend, a sculptor actually, and he admitted that he didn’t see how generative AI could be a competitor to him. I do believe that there are programs out there who can write poems that very few people – if any – can really distinguish from a poem that comes from an actual writer. AI doesn’t have arms yet, so the sculptor might be a little safer, but there are other challenges for creatives. 

AI has capabilities that can be used for a lot of tasks, which from a business perspective makes a lot of sense. We have to keep an eye on it as it evolves. We are not currently running POCs on it, because the generation of videos that it’s currently creating don’t quite match the market, but they’re not far out. They’re not in the distant future.

We’ve got so many exciting things that AI is working on right now, and so are we. We’re preparing ourselves for that next round.

To learn more about how video streaming is changing, tune into Episode 16 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 Growth of Global Commerce in the Content & Media Industry 

Content is a rapidly expanding industry, with huge numbers of platforms and creators all vying for exposure. With vast amounts of money to be made, it’s no surprise that it’s such a popular industry. 

On The Content & Media Matters Podcast we were joined by Simon Miller, who until recently was the MD at Gracenote International Metadata for Product Sales. Simon is an energetic Newcastle United fan, who was previously the Global Director of Sports Specialisation for Grace Knight, CEO of Betfair TV, Head of International and Online Marketing for Ladbrokes e-gaming and the Commercial Executive Producer at Bloomberg TV Africa. 

With such an extensive career in the entertainment industry, we were keen to hear his perspectives on the growing global commerce that’s coming from the Content & Media industry. Here are his predictions for the coming years: 

In the betting industry – which is, in some ways, the ultimate example of commerce emerging from the back of content – if you can’t see it, you can’t bet on it. We relied on content to run our business. That’s why it’s essential to provide excellent video services to the major betting platforms, because it’s those videos that people can bet on. That video can be football, horse racing, table tennis… It can be all sorts of things, but the point is to get the videos in front of people who are interested in placing a bet. That’s an industry that’s often at the leading edge of commercialising content, and it will continue to be there. 

As the demand for profitability is becoming more and more prevalent, advertising and e-commerce becomes increasingly relevant. The industry has long considered this, and in some ways it’s not a new idea. Selling what Jennifer and friends were wearing after a piece of content was released is almost a cliche in the industry that goes back well over 20 years. 

When it comes to valuing the industry, there are a few things to consider. Look at what’s happening in China, where the e-commerce industry that’s been created off the back of content is worth in excess of $400 billion, compared to the US equivalent only being $40 billion. Now, some of that difference can be explained by some basic building block differences between the way the media and those two markets work. I’m not suggesting that you always compare like for like, but nevertheless, I think it’s a clue that many companies are looking at how they can replicate some of the e-commerce giants in China. 

Technology is always evolving the ability to push messages at people. Those messages can be information, they can enhance the viewer’s experience or they could be e-commerce messages. As more and more people watch video on small individual devices, which are naturally far more interactive, e-commerce can grow off the back of that content. What’s going to happen is that e-commerce platforms will learn the difference between different types of video format and the different needs that those videos fulfil, and understand that e-commerce is only relevant in some of those. I think that growth is going to happen, but not everywhere. The technology will enable it and grow it in really specific areas. 

To learn more about the growth of e-commerce off the back of content, tune into 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.     

How Technology and Automation are Transforming the Industry 

Cloud technology has been rapidly adopted by various industries, including Content & Media. On Episode 13 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we spoke to Steven Stewart, the Chief Operating Officer at Take 1, about how this technology is transforming the industry. Steven’s experience includes positions in the BBC, advisory board membership for Rise and serving as Vice Chair for the Royal Television Society, making him an ideal person to provide insights on the subject. 

What do you think it takes to make a transformational project successful?

I think it takes vision, and you need to know what you’re trying to transform to. It’s no use just saying, “We need to transform the business.” You have to work with your team at board level and an operational level. Taking people through the transformation is important, because people generally don’t like change. Usually when you automate a process, people worry that their job is on the line. Taking them through the transformation means assuring them that that’s not the case. People’s jobs become more interesting when you automate processes, so transformation becomes a process of bringing your team across to new departments where they do less mundane work, because the automations are doing that for them. It also allows the business to grow rapidly, which requires new people coming in, as well as keeping the old people. The key to successful transformation is having that vision and taking the team on the journey with you by giving them opportunities, and listening to what they’ve got to say, and doing things for the right reasons. 

Why do you think cloud and SaaS based platforms are so attractive and interesting to the broadcast and media industry?

The cloud isn’t really a thing, it’s just someone else’s datacenter. The reason why SaaS or other people’s software sitting on the cloud is so interesting for broadcasters is because things are changing so quickly. You used to build a broadcast centre, and you’d spend millions of pounds, but you’d have to write off the capital investment over five or 10 years. If you ask somebody nowadays, what their business will be doing in five years, they’ll throw their hands up in the air and say, “We don’t know what it will be doing next year, let alone in five years!” Being able to hire those services rather than paying out for something that won’t last is incredibly lucrative. 

For example, if you want to launch a live channel that’s going to last for six months, because it’s broadcasting a particular sport season for example, you can launch it, run it for six months, then you turn it off again. Then some other organisation will use that cloud technology for their project. Most big companies are not just brands, they’re media brands. They have YouTube channels, they are broadcasters, they’ve got content they need to distribute worldwide to both their customers and their stores. Cloud tech is enabling that distribution without the massive upfront costs. 

Are there limitations that mean it’s not right to do a big transformation or move over to a cloud or SaaS based system?

You need to look at the problem you’re trying to solve. Let’s use the BBC as an example. If they have 20 million viewers watching the terrestrial service all day every day, then that’s a really efficient way of distributing that content. That’s not the reality anymore. You might have the odd show that gets four or 5 million, 6 million like Traitors. But at three in the morning, you might only have 10,000 people watching stuff, but the transmitter power being used is exactly the same. They don’t turn the transmitters off anymore, they leave them on. Therein lies the problem. 

Sustainability is going to be the focus for a lot of companies. There’s obviously advancements like moving from 2k to 4k, then 8k or HDR etc. The quality is as good as it needs to be for what we’re doing at the moment, but there are some really scary statistics that between 1 and 2% of all the world’s energy is used for streaming TV. That’s the same as all the aviation industry around the world put together. That’s something that we need to change. There’s an organisation called Greening of Streaming who are doing some really cool work in that area. 

There’s another statistic that says around 90% of all the packets that are generated to make streaming TV work go unconsumed. That’s another big issue with old systems. We have to make the solutions to these issues into a business case. I would love Netflix to save the planet. Imagine if you had a big dial on your Netflix where you could turn down the quality and pay less for it. If I don’t want to watch Friends reruns in HD, I just want it at a lower bit rate, then I’m going to save money. If you turn that down, Netflix saves money on their data centre processing and you save money on your electricity bill too. Now there’s probably loads of different technical reasons why that can’t happen, but imagine if we as an industry started creating that kind of solution. It would change the world. 

What problems are we currently facing as an industry, and how are we creating solutions to them? 

The problems we have are around measurement and making the devices consumer aware.When you go to tech shows, you still see the latest big thing with all these LED volumes. And has anyone done the measurements of all the power it takes to run a studio of LED volumes? How does that compare with driving some trucks to the real location? Now, logically, you’d think the LED volumes must be more efficient, because you’ve got fewer people travelling around. But has anyone ever done the sums? People should focus on measuring that kind of thing. 

People like the BBC are setting up sustainability requirements for their providers. I think the big players are leading the way with consumption, which is going to change the market for these huge pieces of technology. At home, you don’t put all the lights on all the time and boil cyclicals in the driveway. As an industry though, we have been doing that just to drive quality. Let’s turn the lights off. There’s no downside to that. 

To hear more about improving the sustainability of technology in the broadcast industry, tune into 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 Experience of Being a Senior Woman Within the Technology Industry 

On The Content & Media Matters Podcast we spoke to Alaina Hall, the Vice President of Global Account Management at JW Player, about her experiences as a senior woman in the technology industry. Alaina’s career started at Z Media before progressing into media, where she has spent the past five years working her way up from a Senior Account Manager up to the Vice President of Global Account Management. She shared her experiences of progressing in the industry as a woman, and gave us advice about improving diversity in the sector. 

How have you experienced your career as a woman in technology? 

Over the years, it’s definitely gotten better. I was the first woman in our UK office, which isn’t a judgement, just a reflection of the time and the place. We were a very small presence here, so when I came over and became a leader, one of my main priorities was hiring other women to join my team. I focussed on helping the other sales leaders find the right talent that was also different. There are less women in leadership in tech, and that’s been an underlying thing throughout my career. I’ve tried not to let it prevent me from moving forward or wanting to do more, or take on new projects, etc. It’s always been an underlying fact that I’ve had to navigate. 

Why are there so few women in C level positions? 

It’s a chain of events that starts when you have less women in individual contributor positions. Your funnel gets smaller as people move up in their careers to become leaders. I also think there is sometimes a gap in women continuing along that leadership track when they have children and take that leave. It creates a gap when they come back into it, because they take so much time off. Maternity and paternity leaves can also be a factor in helping that person progress into leadership positions. The buzzword ‘imposter syndrome’ has some truth behind it, because sometimes women don’t think that they can get to that level in their career. It’s our job to encourage people who want to go down that path. 

Why should organisations address that imbalance and get women into leadership?

If you do have more different types of leaders, people from different backgrounds can look up to someone like them. They see that this company does support different types of leadership, so they will aspire to be in that position because they know that it is a possibility at that company. When people are interviewing, they look to see what kind of people the company has in leadership positions, and that encourages them to join a company.

Diversity, equity and inclusion is all about creating a safe space for these types of conversations. If companies create a space to have difficult conversations about why they don’t have women in leadership, that at least shows that they’re open to learning. We’re all just trying to do our best. We’re all leaning on each other to understand how we can do better.

How can companies get more women into leadership?

It all comes down to changing the culture of a company. You have to go through a process of educating people on why this is important, why you’re talking about it and how it is going to affect your company’s goals. Typically that’s because D&I helps companies retain and attract new employees. Start with small programmes. Bring those values into a review cycle. It’s not just on stats of how you’re doing against your targets, numbers and KPIs within your job. Are you also following company values and principles that are inclusive? Have more open conversations and learning labs so that people can understand what it means to be inclusive, what microaggressions look like in the workplace etc. Small things add up over time to change the way that the company culture evolves. 

Tying it back to the business is really helpful because programmes like DE&I get scrutinised from a budgeting and time perspective. Everyone knows it’s the right thing to do, but how do you justify spending your resources on it? If the company takes it on, they need to be able to tie it back to that return on investment. Understanding how D&I is going to make the company more profitable will help you justify that spending.

Do you have any advice for somebody who is a minority in the workplace? 

It sounds generic, but don’t give up on it. There’s always going to be setbacks or people who discourage you as someone in a minority. You might really like the product or the company that you’re working with, but there’s some other stuff that is prohibiting you from progressing. Keep pivoting and figuring out ways around those obstacles. Ask for help. There’s probably someone at the company who has been through something similar, who would be open to sharing advice on how they tackled that problem. Keep going and pursuing whatever next step or ambition you have.

To hear more about diversity in the industry, tune into 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.     

Maintaining Diversity in Media Companies

Diversity is an important topic for us as recruiters. We regularly talk to guests of The Content & Media Matters Podcast about diversity in the industry, but in this episode we got more in depth with our special guest, Laura Blaisdell. Laura is the Director of Talent Acquisition and champion of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Avid. For the last five years she’s been helping them secure top global talent and deliver on their commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

Alongside being a Director of Talent Acquisition, you’ve got diversity, equity and inclusion in your job title. What’s the motivation behind that?

Companies know that diversity matters, but most of them don’t understand what it means. It’s more than having something at the bottom of your job posting that says ‘we’re an equal opportunity employer’. At Avid, we really wanted to show that we’re a place that not only celebrates diversity, equity and inclusion, but is also focused on driving innovation and a high performance culture alongside that sense of belonging. 

We know that more diverse companies perform better; that’s the business case. Years ago, that’s what we had to sell to get programme funding, but now leaders and business partners understand that you have to mirror your customer base, and the media and entertainment industry is incredibly diverse. It’s a combination of wanting to make sure that we’re finding the most diverse talent with sourcing the best skills, experiences and perspectives that we can. It’s not just about how somebody identifies themselves, it’s diversity of thought. The best way to bring the top talent in is to create an environment of belonging. We’re putting our money where our mouth is. I’m leading that function because it’s tied to the talent attraction function. It’s given me the opportunity to partner with our leaders to infuse that sense of belonging and equity into everything we do, from our hiring process to our employee incentives, mentoring and succession programmes.

What changes have you seen in recent years for topics like diversity and inclusion? 

I see common themes surrounding branding, inclusivity and hiring processes being talked about in relation to diversity. There are very specific things that each organisation has to focus on depending on their niche as well. We’ve prioritised what we call our education forums, where we invite all employees to talk about things, and we schedule them in all of the different time zones to make people feel included. We’re focused on things like how we benchmark and identify what our goals and hiring stats are. This year, we’re really excited that we’ve kicked off a women in technology mentoring programme. Not only do we have women engineers in the company, but we’re enabling allies like male engineers to share their knowledge with a younger female in engineering or somebody like myself, who’s not an engineer, but I am a woman working in technology. That’s the kind of active and intentional change that we’re starting to see in companies now. 

What would you change about how the industry attracts and keeps diverse talent?

It really has to be a top down commitment. When I accepted my position we had a 100% male executive team. I agreed that I would come on board full time, as long as I could put in place programmes and policies that supported D&I efforts. By the end of the first year that I was in my role, which was 2018, we hired a female CMO and a female CHRO. We went from 0% to 40% females on the executive leadership team. That showed that it can be done – we don’t have to hire the first person that meets the requirements, we should be actively looking for diverse candidates to fill the roles. I told our leaders, we are not going to make a hiring decision until you have seen an inclusive slate of candidates. That’s my responsibility, while theirs is to choose the best candidate. 

It’s not enough to have an inclusive slate of candidates, you have to have an inclusive panel of interviewers as well. That’s steering the committee I’ve built for D&I. I’ve gathered about 15 people who are all committed to being part of the interview process, whether or not it’s their function, because they can provide diverse perspectives. If you’re a female interviewing with an all male team, then we’ll bring a female in from the DNI steering committee to talk about their experience with the company. Candidates have responded really well to that, and that’s what I want to see more of. 

To learn more about improving diversity in the industry, tune into 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.     

Sustainability in the Broadcast Industry 

As our world becomes increasingly reliant on technology, we have to consider the environmental impact of our consumption. On Episode 12 of The Content & Media Podcast we spoke to Kristan Bullett about how we can promote sustainability in our industry. Kristan is the Founder and CEO of Humans Not Robots; a remote-first startup developing an analytics and observability platform, which works to reduce the environmental impact of online video. 

As an industry, there’s a lack of awareness regarding energy consumption in streaming versus broadcast. How do you think we can change this?

Bodies like Green Streaming are doing a great job of raising awareness. They had an event at the House of Commons last year and a couple of good media interviews that offered an understanding of the significant environmental impacts of video. As consumers, we like to make sure our pockets are comfortable, but that often comes with an environmental cost. I’d like to see companies like Netflix showing that by going down the UHD subscription route, you’re having a negative effect on the environment, because of the additional encoding and CDN storage costs. They could offer packages that cost this much more, but are responsible for producing this much less carbon. It would be good to put cost side by side with the environmental impacts from a consumer perspective.

Why is it so important for workflow and analytics to be more sustainable throughout the broadcast media industry?

As an industry, we like to say that we’re very data-driven. I don’t think that’s the case. If we’re going to reduce our carbon footprint by 10% we have to stop doing some things. But, you need to be able to measure your impact to actually achieve those goals. My first point is to continue to advocate for a data-driven approach. I don’t think anyone’s really doing that. Loads of organisations jumped into the cloud, because they wanted to believe in the hype of reduced infrastructure costs and cheaper usage patterns, but they’ve had their fingers burned by it. People are moving back out of the cloud, because actually, for whatever their use case is, it didn’t make sense. Taking a data driven approach would have helped them wrap that understanding into a safety net before taking action. So I’m an advocate for data driven analytics rather than sustainability.

How can supply chains in your work be cleaner, faster and cheaper?

Everyone likes things cheaper, so there’s already a desire to pay less for things. The problem is that we’re focused on getting suppliers to charge us less, not optimising our processes so that we use less. We should do both of those things. In the usage based world though, where’s the incentive for a supplier to help you use less? There isn’t one. Lowering your own resource utilisation will save you money and use less resources, which is a win-win situation.

How do we turn these discussions into action?

There are a couple of pieces of legislation coming in the next year that penalise big companies if they don’t focus on their environmental impact. Unfortunately, that seems to work. If you hit them with a stick, they’ll try to do something about it. It would be brilliant if we could turn it the other way around. Wouldn’t it be great to have a top 100 Clean Companies list that people would try to get on? That would actively support companies who are working towards a cleaner future. 

To hear more about improving your environmental impact within the industry, tune into 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.     

How to Develop a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative in the Media Industry

Diversity is a regular topic on The Content & Media Matters Podcast. On Episode 10 we spoke to Megan Wagoner, the RVP of Media & Entertainment at Bitmovin, about how to develop a DEI initiative in your company. Meghan advocates for diversity and inclusion within the industry, and serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for Women in Streaming Media, making her the perfect person to speak to us about DEI in the Content & Media industry. 

Why is a diversity, equality and inclusion initiative still needed in 2023?

It’s still blatantly obvious that ours is not a diverse industry. The good news is that we’re starting to see more diversity, but we still have some ways to go.

As a hiring manager, I see a lot of resumes, and there are very few women that I have found that are qualified. The issue isn’t that we’re not picking women, it’s that they’re not being brought up to know that this is an option. We need advocacy at a much earlier stage. A good friend from my MBA class said, “I hire based on skill and who’s the right fit. Why does diversity have to come into it?” 

That made me realise that you have to have the right candidate pool. You need to have people who are willing and able to do the job. You can’t hire someone just to fill a diversity quota. If you do bring in a diverse candidate, they’re going to bring a new perspective and experience, which will result in a better company – but they need to bring in relevant skills and experience to the role as well. 

It’s so easy to stereotype when you’re looking at a resume. Just from a person’s name, you can make assumptions about their gender and nationality. It’s essential to strip away the stereotypes and remove that unconscious bias. Hiring should be skills-based, so it could be 100% anonymous. Instead of going on LinkedIn and identifying who a candidate is, you should look at their skill set instead. 

There have been so many women that I really wanted to hire because I could see their potential, but they weren’t the most qualified candidates. I knew we could coach them, but we didn’t have the time to do it. We need to get out there and talk to girls in high school and universities, and we need to be telling people, “Hey, this is a really fabulous industry, and it’s something that you can do anywhere.” Flexibility is a big thing. If you’re a lawyer in Australia, you can’t just move to another country, because the laws are very different. The content industry is almost universal, so it opens up this whole new world of opportunity. 

We will start to have a pool of rising talent that is able to get those C-level seats. I want to see women represented at the highest level. You see most female leadership in HR and marketing, but I want to see that in tech. Women are so smart with operations and analytical thinking, so they’ll be able to push the envelope in terms of what’s available for the next generation. 

What should a company leadership team be doing if they want to develop a Diversity and Inclusion Initiative? 

Social media advocacy is phenomenal. Liking and interacting with content is a great start, especially if you add your two cents and a comment. Not many companies have the resources or the budget to be able to allow somebody to do the DEI full time. Oftentimes, it’s a volunteer position within a company that you are adding to your current workload, without an additional payment. It’s another different hat to wear. 

If you’re in that position, know that you don’t have to do it all at once. You have to be able to take baby steps. Find a group of people within your company who are passionate about inclusion, and form a committee. You’ll need to strategize in a top-level way at first. Consider what you want the company to represent in terms of diversity. Do you want to make sure that everybody in your audience is represented? Do you want a diverse tech team? Look at the demographics of your company, and see if there’s a gap or difference in the ratio of gender, race, nationality, etc, then start by addressing that. It doesn’t have to happen overnight. 

It needs to start with recruiting. You don’t have to hire somebody because of their characteristics, but you do have to be open to it. Take those blinders off. It might mean that you take a little bit longer to recruit a new team member, because you’re looking for someone who is a great fit and brings a different perspective to the team, rather than just hiring the first great fit you find. You need to be able to see the candidates for who they are and who they can become. If women or minorities are underrepresented, you should be looking for another way to get them into the company. You should be hiring with the idea of parity between everybody.

To hear more about developing a diversity, equity and inclusion initiative in your company, listen to 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.     

How has VOD changed throughout your time in the industry?

We have been seeing a massive shift from linear to digital consumption over the last few years. On Episode 9 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we spoke to Julie Mitchelmore, the Vice President of Digital at A+E Networks UK, about how that shift is affecting the industry. Julie’s career began at Sky, where she moved from Presentation Scheduler to Head of On-Demand planning, giving her a depth of insight into our topic. 

How has VOD changed throughout your time in the industry?

It’s like moving from being a mistress to a wife. It’s a bit on the side. VOD was a side to the main event for years, but these days, digital streaming is becoming central to entertainment companies.Customers being able to watch what they want, when they want and where they want is changing how we’re all consuming content. What’s changed is the industry’s flexibility to satisfy those customers where their viewing needs are. 

Having spent your career working within this space, what’s your take on how attitudes have shifted when it comes to going from linear to digital?

It’s been a journey to bring it more into focus. It’s not about this massive shift or big upheaval, it’s really about diversification and making sure that we are hitting the customer touch points, wherever they are. Linear is still incredibly important, and you could argue that it’s having its own reinvention. It’s all about getting content where people are watching. It’s a shift. At the heart of things, you have your brands, your content, and your trusted customer touch points. It’s less about linear turning into digital and digital taking over the world, and more about being in the right places to get your content or brand where it matters.

How do you see the future of the nonlinear space changing?

Is such a big question, isn’t it? It’s the age old question of visits; are there going to be multiple entrances? Are things going to get merged together even more? Platforms like Sky are doing a fantastic job at bringing everything together under one roof for people who don’t want to pay for TV. There are also smaller companies who are forging their own path for those outside of the kind of paid TV industry. That’s a blend of aggregation versus the independent route, which is interesting to see. Discovery is still continuing their partnership with Sky, which I think is setting the tone for the industry. Everyone needs to look at partnerships, because they will be a focus going forwards to help businesses thrive and provide the broadest reach possible for customers. 

What’s your take on linear TV’s place in the industry?

I think this question really summarises what a lot of us have been talking about in the industry. I remember when I was at college, my media teacher said that the music charts were dead. It was changing in a very similar way to how linear is moving. The music industry is more vibrant today than it ever has been, because of the way it’s managed to diversify into the digital space and move from Top of the Pops to Spotify. Music at its core is as popular as ever. We need to find the evolution of making content available in different places and different ways. Linear is having that evolution, but it will always be a place for certain types of content. Whether it’s Love Island or sports, live TV will always have its place for people to come together for those water cooler moments.

To hear more about the changes happening in the Content & Media industry, listen to 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.     

Leading and Motivating Teams in the Content & Media Industry

Leadership is an essential part of any industry. On Episode 8 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we spoke with Lionel Bringuier, the EVP of Product & Engineering at Videon. Beginning his career as a software engineer, Lionel has since worked across various technical and product leadership roles. He shared his insights on how to be a good leader and get the most from your teams. 

What do you think it takes to become a successful leader of a team and more strategically?

I’m becoming a better manager every day. It’s not something that you can learn at school because you always have to adapt to the people you’re working with. When we’re talking about leadership, we tend to see more leaders as mentors. My job is not necessarily to lead the team, but to provide guidance for them. I’m there to eliminate all the blockers from anyone on my team so that they can be as efficient as possible. That means that they don’t get distracted or sidelined by things that don’t really matter, which allows them to be successful in their jobs. Leaders need to know the path forward and what problems are in the way, then make sure that the whole team is laser focused in that direction. 

It’s really important to have a diverse team too. It makes you a better leader if you have diverse opinions and ways of thinking on your team, because it’s always good to be challenged by people who have different experiences, backgrounds and cultures. That opens up new possibilities that you wouldn’t necessarily see if you were just thinking by yourself.

How do you motivate people to go the extra mile in a sustainable way?

When you’re working on something that is completely new or unique on the market, it’s extremely motivating and rewarding for the team. You’re making history, you’re changing things, you’re solving problems with out of the box thinking that nobody has explored before. I am an engineer at heart and I’m very motivated by technology. Because I’m leading technical teams, I tend to think that people on my teams are also motivated by new technology and doing something innovative that nobody else is doing. There are civil aspects – you can obviously have cultural problems or salary problems on a team – but if you work on something that is unique, that will motivate people by itself. If I’m spending 8-10 hours a day working on something, I have to be passionate about it. I have to wake up every morning looking forward to the day.

What would be the one piece of advice you would give to someone entering the industry today?

I would echo what Steve Jobs said; “be foolish, be hungry.” Never take things for granted, always try to do new things and be innovative. Think big, think long-term. When I started to work on voice over IP and video over IP, people said there was no point trying to sell services on something as unreliable as internet networks. When I was creating the first OTT origin server I thought that pitched-up delivery would be the future, but people said there was no point trying to do high quality content on IP. People said they’d never pay for Netflix because it was a DVD rental company at the time. Never be short-sighted or focussed on the current limits you have. Think big and be hungry for trying new things, because that’s what pays off. It’s more rewarding if you really believe in what you do.

To hear more about Lionel’s work leading in the industry, tune into Episode 8 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.     

Exploring the Metaverse

The Metaverse is a huge topic in the content and media industry. There are plenty of split opinions about its uses as a tool for socialising, entertaining and working in a virtual space. On Episode 7 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we were delighted to be joined by Marianne Carpentier, the Chief Innovation and Technologies Officer at Newen Studios. Marianne has spent her career working within the content and media sector in varying roles, such as a producer, sales manager, head of development and director of marketing, as well as spending a long period of time as an author. She told us about her recent experience of using the Metaverse in a professional setting, and shared the lessons she learned from that experiment. 

What are you most excited about in the future?

The future in my head is super cool. The challenges in our future came from the new tools we’re seeing now. NFTs, the Metaverse and Viettel stages are all beautiful things that could completely reinvent the way we work. At the same time, we’re humans living on a planet which is being destroyed, and we are more and more separated. I am trying to link human capabilities with our virtual spaces to help us reach that future. I want to see that happen.

What are your thoughts on the metaverse, and how do you think it will change the industry?

The metaverse could help us reinvent the way to work. We are working from different places in the world, so we need to find ways we can work together. Zoom, Teams or Meet are not the right tool, but virtual spaces could reinvent the way to work together. The Metaverse could be a new place to be creative, because you don’t have limits in there. You can invent anything you want in real time, whether it’s new tools, new products, new stories… even new images. 

The metaverse isn’t ready for the public yet, but it will get there. It’s very easy to figure out that you could watch a movie in VR, because you have super sound quality and a great image inside your goggles, so it could revolutionise cinema. It could reinvent the cinema and entertainment business, so I’m excited to see where that goes. 

On the business side, I’ve done some fascinating experiments in my last recruiting campaign. I was looking for a Metaverse project manager, so I did everything inside and Metaverse. What was surprising is that I followed how I felt about the candidates, because I completely forgot about their image. In that environment you focus on what they’re saying, their voice and how they make you feel. Your intuition is really important because you’re looking for someone you are going to work with for a long time. The conversation itself was completely different because these young candidates used to be shy or they followed a very strict process to present themselves. Now they were just asking questions about our projects and the company. We began to feel comfortable together. We were better in the virtual space than in person. 

Do you think Interviewing in the metaverse was a success? 

It was a success, but I don’t think it works for every kind of recruitment. I was recruiting for a Metaverse project, so it made sense. I was looking for someone who feels comfortable in a virtual universe, so meeting people in their avatars showed me how comfortable they were with the tool. Those 30 minutes together meant you could learn things about each other that you don’t have time for in the real world. When you think about diversity and inclusion as well, the Metaverse is a great tool because girls in the Metaverse are much more confident. In the Metaverse you don’t have things like posture and body language, but that’s the point. You have to focus on something different. It puts everybody on the same level. I would use it again. 

To hear more about how Marianne’s work is building towards the future of the industry, tune in to Episode 7 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.     

Changing Behaviour in Content Consumption

On Episode 6 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we were delighted to be joined by Emilia Kasper, the Chief Operating Officer at 3SS. Amelia began her career as an engineer, then moved into project management before taking on the role of COO. Being highly ambitious, Amelia now leads the delivery unit for 3SS and is really passionate about using her commercial and communicative skills with her technical background to provide outstanding services for her customers. We talked about how content consumption is changing the industry as we know it. 

How do you think that the introduction of IP video has impacted the industry?

When I joined the industry, TV was all about cable and terrestrial distribution. At the time, IPTV was rather new and was more like an add on, but now live stream IP is the norm. That’s influencing consumer behaviour. In the past, people were consuming TV channels, whereas now they’re using catch up or recordings of specific shows. Another aspect of IP is the scalability and the possibility of decentralised distribution. That has opened up a multitude of production and content spreading possibilities. Everybody can be a content creator now.

What do you think the growth of the automotive space will have on content owners?

Automotive is a subject which has a lot of attention at the moment. 3SS had its own car upholstery in front of IBC, and we are seriously looking into that area as a platform. Automotive offers us a new screen and new ecosystem. When we talk about that ecosystem, there are multiple aspects to look at from the content owners point of view. The first is the distribution channels. A lot of the automotive OEMs have their own app stores, so  as a content owner you need to make sure that you are on the respective stores, just as you are on TV or mobile app stores. 

Content owners also need to consider format, because content needs to be optimised for this new platform. Mobile data is still costly in some countries, so how will consumers be streaming? When you’re on the move there may also be connectivity issues, and the content format needs to be adapted to enable a good consumer experience on the move. With automotive you’re in the backseat of a car, so there’s noise, distraction and movement to compete with. Content owners need to consider the consumer’s attention span in this context. They tend to watch this bite or snack sized content which is 10-15 minutes long and easy to consume. Content owners have to consider all of that and adapt the content. 

Do you think that one approach will become dominant in the automotive space?

I think in reality it will be a mixture, because everyone will want to keep the users engaged in their ecosystems. It’s a question of agreement between content providers and operators on how much data is shared by the content owners. If you don’t know and understand user behaviour, you can’t understand their preferences, so your recommendations are meaningless. People won’t be engaged long-term, so you’ll lose them as consumers. Even the big players like Netflix or Disney will have to allow their content on the aggregation platforms if they want to keep up with the changes in consumer behaviour. 

To hear more about the impact of changing consumer behaviour in the Content & Media industry, listen to the whole podcast episode 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.     

How do you implement a culture of success through a set of shared values?

On Episode 5 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we sat down with Bob Lyons, CEO of Edgio. With over 20 years of senior leadership experience, Bob has worked to scale businesses across the enterprise, cybersecurity, and now media and entertainment industries. Outside of work Bob is the founder and chairman of the Willow Street Foundation, which supports disadvantaged children through the school system. Many of his colleagues describe him as a fantastic leader, great mentor and all-round good guy. Read on to find out what makes Bob such a successful leader. 

What do you think it takes to become a successful leader?

You have to really have a passion for what leadership is. Leadership and management are two very different things. Leadership comes with the responsibility of making tough decisions, giving tough feedback, but also being humble and giving other people credit for their work and bringing them on the company journey. It’s all those things. One of the questions you often hear about leadership is ‘are you born with it, or can you learn it?’ I think it’s a little of both. My job is 50% leadership, 50% whatever I’m doing at the time. I’ve got to be able to impute leadership across 1000s of people, and you can’t do that in one conversation. I’ve spent a lot of time on not only having one on one conversations and group conversations, but putting tools in place. 

We have five values in our company. They’re all focused on what good leadership looks like. Every one of our employees knows what those values are, they get trained on it from the day they walk in the company. We hire against them, we promote against them, we constructively give feedback against them. They’re the values that essentially are not just creating value for the company, but they’re also creating an ecosystem that we all want to be a part of, because we’re a leadership oriented culture.

How do you motivate people to go the extra mile?

The right people generally motivate themselves when they feel excited, encouraged and good. I try to motivate people by focusing on building a culture of empowerment, trust, and accountability. We give people the empowerment to go do things, be creative and use their whole brain. One of our values is ownership, so we empower people to make decisions. We trust them to take ownership of their work. With trust comes the belief that it’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you recognise them, and accountability comes with that. When you build a culture like that, people motivate themselves. It’s little things like your vacation policy. We had all kinds of bureaucratic stuff around it, and I said, ‘if we’re about trust and empowerment, why do we even have it? Why don’t we just tell people, if you need time off, take it off, just use your best judgement?’ If we’re truly about empowerment and trust, let’s do that. We abolished the policy and it was amazing. People love that flexibility. It’s little things like that, and it’s bigger things like letting them make big decisions on investments and so forth as well.

Think of your culture as a centrepiece and four legs of the table. The centrepiece is client obsessed. We wake up every day and ask the question, ‘are we doing the right thing for our clients?’ If you don’t solve for clients, you can’t solve for shareholders, and if you don’t solve for clients and shareholders, you can’t solve for employee value. 

The four legs are our values. The first is about our team. There’s communication, accountability and trust. Everybody has to do their part. We believe in feedback. We believe in collaboration. We believe in trust. That’s how our team functions.

Design thinking is another one. It’s always about stepping back, looking at the context and having some tough conversations about what adjustments and course corrections we need to make. 

Ownership is another really important one. There’s a set of behaviours that come with ownership that go above and beyond. We want to cultivate ownership behaviours to take the company to the next level. 

The last leg is performance. You have to know your numbers, drive the plan and measure your business. We want you to manage the details of plans, dates, names, KPIs and metrics. 

When you tie it all together you’re going to create a great culture where people work together and have that high performing culture. It’s amazing how much value you can create in any environment when you do those four things.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone entering the industry?

Find your own values. Be a constant learner, from people, situations, books, whatever. Be content with what you’ve got, that’s got to be enough. We live in a world where people are always judging, there’s always somebody that’s got a point of view on what you should or shouldn’t do. I think it’s driving some of the anxiety you see in kids today. We’ve got to find a way where people feel content, where they can say ‘I did enough and that’s good enough’. And I think if people can figure out those three things, you know, they’ll do well in life.

To hear more about Bob’s insights into the the Content & Media industry, listen to our fantastic conversation in Episode 5 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast

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.     

Getting into the Content & Media Industry

We love hearing from people within our industry. Recently on Episode 4 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we spoke to Rowan de Pomerai, who is CTO of the DPP and has an impressive 15+ years of experience in the industry. We talked to him about what got him into the industry and asked his advice for people who want to do the same.

How did you first get into the content and media industry?

It’s something I wanted to do for a long time. As a kid at school, I didn’t have a fixed idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I had a sense from pretty early on that TV and theatre and those sorts of disciplines were interesting to me. When I went to university, I ended up doing a degree in electronics and media engineering, but I got really into student TV, that’s what got me really enthused. When I left uni a possibility came up to join the graduate trainee scheme at BBC Research & Development that was right up my street, and I went for it. 

Is there a particular area of technology that you are interested in at the moment?

Cloud has been huge for the last few years. It became very tangible over the last three or four years, and is very much in the mainstream. At the DPP We’ve done a lot of thinking about integration and how different tools and technologies work together. I think data driven decision making and machine-learning AI are exciting too. Our members seem interested in it and tell us that they want to know about it, and I’m personally very interested in that space.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone entering the industry?

If you don’t ask, you don’t get. A number of times in my career, I’ve had conversations with the company or manager I’m working for about what I would like to achieve, work on and deliver, and the types of roles I’d like to work towards. 

I’d like to be very clear that a number of times the answer is no, but a remarkably frequent answer has been yes. I’ve literally sat in an organisation that’s going through a reorganisation, looked at the new structure, phoned up the manager of the team that I think looks most interesting and said, ‘I’d really be interested in coming and working in your team’. Following a coffee and a bit of chat, I was able to go and work in that team on things that I was really passionate about, just because I’d asked. 

You’ve got to have realistic expectations and a bit of humility, but also be thoughtful and be open and honest about what you want to achieve. It’s amazing how often you can take steps towards what you want when you ask. People won’t come and hand things to you on a plate if you don’t ask for it, so just see what happens.

To hear more about Rowan’s insights into the the Content & Media industry, listen to our fantastic conversation in Episode 4 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast

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.     

How Data Will Change Video Entertainment

On Episode 3 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast, we were delighted to be joined by Jerónimo Macanás Candilejo, the CEO, CTO and co-founder of JUMP Data-Driven Video. He has had more than 20 years of impressive experience in the industry, having worked all the way all the way up from product engineer to CEO, Jerónimo is a hands-on startup leader, who is helping businesses in the media and entertainment space utilise Big Data and artificial intelligence technologies. 

We asked him about how data will affect the future of video in the content and media industry. Read on for the highlights of that conversation!

What do you think is the most exciting thing happening at the moment within the broadcast media industry?

I would say that the most exciting thing is that the disruptors are being disrupted. Netflix, Amazon and all these people that pushed hard to change things for the better in terms of initial experience and how people want to be entertained are making things very competitive. The disruptors now need to defend against that. I think that’s the most interesting thing that is happening now. 

There is a second factor that everybody’s talking about, which is that the world is slowing down. There is some fear about the new model. Both the COVID pandemic and the war in Ukraine have created these new trends that we are living in with the socio political and geopolitical space, which have been accelerating a lot of consumption and waste of entertainment at a level that was probably something that we weren’t expecting until five years from now.  I’m a believer that the industry is very healthy. What is probably not healthy is the expectations companies had when they saw a pandemic and thought ‘We are gonna get a lot of revenues, money, growth, everything, very fast’. Changing people takes time, they need time to really assimilate new habits and all of that. The market is trying to balance again after all of those changes. Seeing how the industry handles those two factors is what I’m really excited about. 

What is it that makes data a differentiating factor for successful players in the industry? 

Data has been there for decades, so it’s nothing new for companies. What is new is that now they need to use it as a competitive advantage. In this increasingly competitive environment, you need to differentiate yourself. It doesn’t matter if it’s because of content or experience or verticals or whatever, you need to fully understand your audience. You can only do that if you use data. You need to make things very personal to your audience, otherwise they feel that they are another one in the basket, and people tend to go away and find another place where they can be treated more personally. We’re all different and we need to be treated differently, not just in consumption, but also in messaging and in channels. In many different aspects, that’s something you can only do with data. Data is going to become more of a key element in the centre of the strategy for media and entertainment. We’re seeing that customers and companies are thinking that data-driven strategies are optional or later stage activity, but they’re becoming more and more central in their strategies from day zero.

What do you think of players like Netflix going full circle in terms of subscriptions?

I think it’s a good movement, despite what everybody’s saying. There are target audiences for all these different tiers. We work in especially good freemium models as a starting point for this land-and-expand strategy. Once people are engaged and they really see the value of your service, they’ll move to a subscription model. You can monetise this content in your service for these people that otherwise wouldn’t be able to subscribe through ads. There will always be a percentage of people that are paying subscriptions now who will move to the freemium one, so you could lose certain people. At the same time, as you are acquiring a lot of other customers that you cannot sell to otherwise. There are not enough people in the world that can pay for six subscriptions, so giving people a taste of why yours is better is a good strategy. I think it’s a natural movement after all these different years, and people will move along tiers and services towards your premium ones. 

Do you think that the focus has shifted from trying to attract people to the platforms to trying to retain the people they’ve already got, and does that change what people want out of data analytics services like yours?

There are two angles on that. First of all, that decision needs to be linked with retention. If you attract the right audience to your service, the people that have the highest customer lifetime value, you’ll churn lower percentages. Retention starts with acquisition. Everybody has a limited budget for acquisition, so you need to use it in the right way. There are data-driven ways to really focus your budget in the right acquisition channels with the right segmentation and the right audience. Apart from really optimising the acquisition cost of your decision strategies, do make sure that you’re moving forward in the funnel, so you’ll have people less likely to churn and more likely to have a higher customer lifetime value. These two concepts need to be linked. 

Now more and more it’s not just about the first churn, because the consumption habits are going to be more about churning re-subscriptions. You need to manage that process as well. You need to really focus on reacquisition because more than ever there is an opportunity for these people to come back to your service. In the middle is the more traditional retention strategy; put people in front of the content they want to watch. That’s the bliss-maker, right? If you have the content they want to watch, and it’s enough content for you to sustain and maintain their entertainment expectations, people will keep it for the right price. Otherwise, you don’t need any strategy or retention study, you need to fix that price point. If you have all these checks, everything is about content and how you present it. The trick is in how you make people feel that there is always something for them to watch. 

To hear the rest of Jerónimo Macanás Candilejo’s opinions on the future of the industry, tune into the full episode 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.     

What Advice Would You Give Somebody Who Wanted to Enter the Industry but Who Felt They Didn’t Fit In?

On  Episode 2 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we sat down with Jill Porubovic, the Global Operations Leader for Take-Two Interactive Software. While some of her peers are winding down, Jill is still ramping up. Alongside her current role at Take-Two, Jill is also a board member for Tential Solutions and Rise, a group promoting gender diversity in media technology. Plus she has her own consulting business which enables people to work through times of change. 

With such an impressive professional history we were keen to hear her insights on how to enter the industry and thrive within it. Read on for the highlights of our conversation with her!

How have you seen attitudes towards diversity and inclusion change throughout your career?

I mean, I’m old! I’ve had 30 years in the industry, and I’ve seen some things. I would say I’m grateful for how things were in the past, because it taught me a lot about the need to be very loud and outspoken. I’m really more of an introvert than an extrovert. But you can’t be quiet, especially as a leader, so I’ve learned a lot about my own ability to be loud. From the companies’ side though, being more engaged and thinking about how to expand their workforce has changed. At Discovery we have a couple of programmes that really helped us leverage that. We partner with two-year schools locally to get students in who weren’t going to a four-year university, which allows us to get a more diverse workforce. We also partnered with a company called Broad Futures who support the neurodiverse workforce, and together we build internship programmes specifically for them. What was so amazing about that experience was my team’s desire to really dig in and understand where they were coming from and build a programme that was supportive of them. I sort of just handed it to them and said, ‘If you need me, I’m here, but I need you to build this programme so that they could learn’. It’s wonderful. Helping people access our industry is so important.

Why do you think mentorship is so important when it comes to encouraging a diverse workforce?

Because I didn’t have that growing up, at home as a young person or through my career. I always say you have the chalkboard of life, so as you’re going through your career and you’re learning, I really think it’s up to you to figure out what those key lessons are. The US has a lot of rules and regulations about compliance from a physical disability standpoint, but I always feel that we need to go above and beyond those things to really support people with diverse needs. 

We had an internet discovery person who was wheelchair bound and she was amazing. She actually graduated college and is a lawyer now, but when she started with us she was fully dependent on everybody else for support and assistance. We met with her and went through the entire building to talk about the things that weren’t easy for her, which was eye opening. Talking to those individuals who fall into those categories of need is so important. Getting our employee’s perspectives is amazing, because we were able to make some changes from that, and enable incredible people to perform to their full potential. 

What areas do you think we still need to change and improve when it comes to diversity and inclusion?

I think we just can’t stop. It’s always changing. It’s like an onion, right, you keep peeling back the layers, so you find more and more and more and more of the people that need to be supported. I supported the disabilities employee resource group, which I think are super smart. I also feel like they need to be supported by external resources that really know that area, so that you’re not limited by your internal knowledge base, you’re also getting that rich external knowledge that helps you grow.

How does impostor syndrome affect people today, and what can we do about it?

I don’t know many people that don’t have that. For the bulk of my career, probably until I was in my mid 40s, I had that. There’s a lot of personal things that you have to go through and do. If people externally are saying or doing things and you aren’t, it’s easy to be beaten down and put up that barrier and not allow all that external pressure to get to you. A lot of impostor syndrome is what you allow to get in your head. It really is ‘fake it till you make it’. Especially as a woman, a lot of it is your tone and your like your prep work – don’t go into any meeting without that prep and understanding. Act like you own the place. This is your money. This is your reputation. You have a seat at the table, you have something to say, even if you’re pretending. Eventually you’ll get to the other side and realise ‘Okay, I actually do know some things. I have a point of view that’s worthwhile’. Everybody has to go through their own personal journey.

What would you say to somebody who wanted to enter the industry, but felt that they didn’t fit in?

Fight for it. You really have to be tenacious and ambitious and not give up and not let any rejections stop you. Try to be positive about it. I know it can get really negative and feel like the world is against you, though. Whatever is against you, set that aside for a minute and instead turn it into ‘What do I need to do? What do I want to do in order to get this done?’ Go after it that way. Anything that you can’t change or is already in the past, put it on the shelf. You can’t reread that chapter, so move on to the next thing. Forgive yourself for whatever happened and don’t stop. Don’t let your mind just continue to think about it. You really do have to just keep moving.

To hear more from Jill’s incredible interview, listen to the full episode 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 Future of the Content & Media Industry

On the first episode of our brand-new Content & Media Matters Podcast, we were joined by Neale Foster, the CEO of 24i. Growing up, Neil always wanted to work in technology. As a child, he loved computers and electricity and found it incredible that something he couldn’t see was so powerful. Neil began his career working for British Aerospace as an engineer and is now the CEO of 24i, a role which he took on in March 2022. We talked about his experience of the industry and his insights into what might be coming next. 

How do you see the current state of the content and media industry?

I think it’s wonderful that Netflix, Disney, Amazon, Hulu, all of those companies have made it so that you can tell people what you do now. Before that, you’d say, ‘I work in the video space’ and they would look blankly at you. You could say ‘Sky stuff, or Virgin stuff’, but that would be the limit of the conversation. But now when you say, ‘Oh yeah, I’m in the world of video streaming where Netflix and Amazon are, they’re all ‘Well, I use Netflix or Amazon!’ We’ve got all these different devices like mobiles, TV, etc, so now it’s relevant. The really fascinating thing for me is that people now talk about operating systems, whether you’ve got Android or Apple iOS, whereas 20 years ago, if you mentioned the word operating system, people would look at you blankly. Yeah, I’m really happy that the general words that we use are actually relevant to people’s lives. 

Do you think that streaming will replace traditional broadcast and cable? And if so, when do you think that might happen?

That’s always an interesting question. There’s always a migration or transition, and people always kind of misunderstand that the Skys and Virgins and Comcasts and all the other cable and satellite and telcos are iterating their models all the time. The good news for the consumer is that there are a lot of different possibilities, and companies are fitting whatever kind of personal circumstances or cost point or niche you might be in. I think the biggest growth is that there are niche and genre specific services. Now you can actually decide how you’re going to get what you want delivered, rather than just saying, I’m going to have the cable operator, and I’ve just got what they offer me. You can now customise effectively. There’s lots of different interesting words for this, but you can choose what you want to watch and pay for what you want to watch, so I quite like that choice factor in the industry now.

What do you think some of the challenges are going to be for the industry over the next 12 months?

There’s quite a few challenges. I mean, obviously, the cost of living crisis is going to be happening with all the energy costs, and there’s clearly going to be some sort of recession. In many ways, the irony is that people watch more TV when they don’t go out. But this is still gonna show the value; it’s all about the value base. There’s a graph chart that came out – many people are saying there’s an enormous number of services that people were paying for, and how mind blowing it is. It’s a classic, you’ve got to show value for your service. In fact, one of the reasons we’ve done 24iQ is that data analytics works to give people recommendations and make sure people can find content, which is absolutely critical. It’s not just about having a big library. If you walked into a conventional library and just saw all the books there, and didn’t know where to go, you’d be lost. Content discovery is a huge problem.

We’re anticipating the hot topics to be around engagement and analytics and fast networks, and really how to cope with this rise in demand for streaming. What’s your take on some of these topics?

We’re quite unusual at 24i in that we’ve got both the new generation of video director that goes direct to consumer, people like Pure Flix that do a friends-and-family version of Netflix effectively and Sony Entertainment, who have done quite a clever thing with Crunchyroll and and others, creating this niche that’s genre specific to quite large subscriber bases. Alongside that we’ve also got the classic pay TV,  and cable satellite operators. It’s quite fascinating to see the competitive elements that are all going into the ecosystem. 

How do you get video streaming simple and easy for the consumer and for the operator? One of them is discovery. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got rails of content, and as we’ve just discussed, getting content easily discovered is a major problem, in fact there’s too much content usually. It’s either got to be done by discovery, or it’s got to be recommended to you that you should watch that. It reinforces that you’re paying for this service so you want to know that the content that you’re probably going to watch next is on there. Otherwise, you’re going to switch to a different service to give you that content. We’re showing all sorts of really quite clever algorithms that cluster and connect all the different types of consumers to content so that platforms can recommend the right stuff. It’s highly mathematical, which I personally enjoy, but from a consumer point of view you want to be simple. So it’s how you translate what’s actually complicated into a simple, fun and enjoyable user experience. It’s very visual. 

Who do you think is doing some exciting things in the industry at the moment?

I think Amagi are really quite fascinating. They’ve been identified as a unicorn. It’s not surprising that they have a true cloud. So much of it is about the cloud. Whoever’s got stuff going on at the cloud, clearly, if they’ve written code properly for the cloud, not just put their code on the servers, will be one to watch. I think it’s fascinating. Verimatrix is always fascinating too. Datto and other content protection companies are emerging now. Some of the content protection has a lot of security issues, so I’m interested to see how security develops. Whilst all these apps and devices seem great there’s a lot of data protection that needs to happen, because you’re dealing with consumer data. So I’m particularly interested to see how the security implications and content protection develops, alongside the pure models of how you connect the consumer to that content. 

To hear more of Neale Foster’s insights into the future of the content and media industry, listen to the full episode of The Content and 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.     

Diversity & Inclusion-what advice would you give to organizations when it comes to improving this?

In episode #76 of The Tech That Connects Us, we were so excited to be joined by Mark Johns, who is the Chief Executive Officer at Switch Media.

In this episode we spoke a lot about Diversity and Inclusion, and Mark was able to give us excellent insight from his tenure, as well as how organisations can boost D&I through better interview strategies and also being located in diverse cities. 

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it.

Diversity & Inclusion: what advice would you give to organizations when it comes to improving this?

How have you seen the issue surrounding diversity change over your career?

Over my career, it has absolutely changed, massively. I mean, we’re in a much better place now than we were when I started out in 1991! 

Everyone was a white, generally bearded male. Now, in the radio world – it’s just completely the opposite, there’s opportunities for everybody no matter who you are, or where you come from. It’s so fantastic in comparison from where it used to be. However, it took quite a long time to change. But, the rate of change the last 10 years has been a lot faster. 

And, being in a country like Australia, and a city like Sydney – diversity is everywhere. And, it’s actually one of the reasons that we decided to move back here. 

We did a for and against list! We were living in Cornwall, in the UK at the time which is obviously a beautiful part of the world, but absolutely no diversity at all. We thought to ourselves, we don’t want the children growing up, thinking that this is what the world looks like. So, Sydney is a little bit like London, but with more culture! The food is amazing. 

What ideas or advice would you have for the industry when it comes to improving that diverse talent?

I take one specific example, although it’s not actually my example. It’s one that I stole from being in somebody else’s office. But there was a lady who came for an interview, and she was from Iran – and hadn’t had any success at all.

She had incredible qualifications, a Microprocessor Engineer I think. And in their company, they had a policy of letting anyone interview (not just managers), and she was given no opportunity because of who she was. So, the interview process had to change to avoid bias and give individuals the best opportunity possible. 

How do we open that door for people?

There’s always the risk of confirmation bias, even from a skikllset point of view, or because someone resonates with you more. So, it’s all about opening up that interview process and giving others opportunities. It can only be a positive thing. We do it all the time – and it works for us. 

To listen to the full episode, click here.

Every Wednesday we sit down 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 Evolution of the live production space 

In episode #74 of The Tech That Connects Us, we sat down with Serge Van Herck, CEO at EVS

He has been a very visible figure in the media and communications world for over 20 years working as head of satellite service, sitting on boards, as well as holding C-Suite positions throughout his career. In 2019, he became CEO of EBS during one of the most rapidly evolving periods of live video production. 

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it. 

The live production space has been right at the centre of disruptions over the years with the pandemic, how have you seen the live production space evolve and adapt during that time? 

Well, it has dramatically evolved. And we already had some trends before on the evolution from SDI to IP, but more importantly, the evolution to remote production.  

Due to this pandemic, remote production has really accelerated a lot. I think we were lucky to launch in 2020 – I would say this was by coincidence. Being able  to have newer technology enabled us this evolution, which has accelerated our business and helped customers to adapt to a new reality. 

What products in particular and solutions that you’ve seen today really excite you? 

I think a lot of people are talking about the plants. In my opinion, the plant is just computers, which are not in your facility but elsewhere. But in my perspective, one of the most incredible technologies we are working heavily on is artificial intelligence. 

It’s amazing what you can do with it. And, if everywhere you look, you can use artificial intelligence in one way or another. Thanks to AI, we can further improve the replays by creating virtual images between real images, something that artificial intelligence and our implementation of artificial intelligence is doing remarkably well. So, that’s a nice example of how we are implementing artificial intelligence. 

What’s your read on the industry right now? 

I think that our industry is in transformation, but it’s arguably always been like that. I’ve been in the industry for more than 20 years, and things are always changing.  

But for me,  it’s making sure that we create new technologies that respond to the needs of our customers. And then they can do more with less, and that they can do that in the most reliable way. However transformation is definitely there.  

What sense are you getting from your customers in regards to their investment into new technologies and solutions?  

Well, we like to say our strategy is about customer intimacy. So it’s not just developing new technologies and for just pushing the boundaries of technology. Instead, what we really try to do is to understand the real needs of our customers and respond with the right technologies, the right integration, sometimes of building blocks, to offer them a good solution that they can fully rely upon.  

To listen to the full episode, click here.  

Every Wednesday we sit down 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.

The biggest change in the broadcast and media industry 

In episode #73 of The Tech That Connects Us, we sat down with the Srini Co-Founder and CRO of Amagi

He is a technology entrepreneur who began his career as a software engineer. Following this, he became the co-founder of Impulsesoft, a wireless audio company. And in 2008, he continued this entrepreneurial spirit and co-founded Amagi. You can often find him speaking at global industry events discussing how cloud technology can help solve problems and add value.  

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it. 

What do you think the biggest change has been in the broadcast and media industry? 

“I feel, you know, the two fundamental things that are happening in the industry, one in the backend, one in the front end. There is this massive shift that we all know, towards streaming, towards connected TV, where people are switching to a connected TV experience.   

As part of this, obviously, we are seeing some trends of subscription potentially moving a lot more to advertising. People are getting a mix of both on demand, and then traditional cable. So, we’re seeing a lot of sub-trends, but the broad trend is that there is a movement from traditional linear to streaming. 

At the backend, the broadcasters are saying, “Hey, I don’t know what the world is going to look like five years from now”. I mean, it’s changing dramatically, I have to be prepared for that. That means having that flexible technology infrastructure to be able to react quickly to changes. This means moving to the cloud, away from traditional on prem hardware-based infrastructure.  

I think these are massive transformations that are happening right now. But again, if you ask me, we are just taking the video that has been produced the same way that been produced for the last 50 years and just distributing it on the internet!” 

To listen to the full episode, click here.  

Every Wednesday we sit down 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.     

What advice would you give to someone entering the broadcast & media industry?

In episode #70 of The Tech That Connects Us, we were delighted to be joined by Christian Massman, MD and CSO of Qvest Group.  

Christian started his career within the world of banking before making the transition to the broadcast media industry. Fast-forward to today, Christian is now the executive board member, Managing Director and CSO for Qvest group. 

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it. 

So Christian, what is one piece of advice you would give to someone entering the industry? 

“What always led me through developing people and actually judging people in terms of doing performance reviews, and really coaching and mentoring people was down to a book I read at the end of the 90s. And this book, by Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, implemented the four E and one P methodology which I use.  

It has always helped me to identify the right talent for the right job, and then actually to develop people further in their careers so they can grow. 

And if you’re not familiar with it, the 4 E’s stand for energy, energise, edge, and execute. So, in terms of the attributes that you’re looking for, when it comes to developing talent in identifying top performers – the P stands for passion – and this, from my point of view, is the most important ingredient.  

Therefore, if you’re not doing what you’re doing with 100% commitment and passion, you’re maybe in the wrong job, and then look for something else. But it starts with being passionate about being hungry, really wanting to succeed or making a difference and so on.  

But energy, being able to have energy and being able to engage and energise others, of course, to take big decisions and execute on them is very, very important as well. But the P the passion is number one for me!” 

To listen to the full episode, click here.  

Every Wednesday we sit down 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, 3 years in the making!

With the cancellation of the shows in both 2020 and 2021 it was starting to feel like we would never get back to the lowlands for the biggest of the Broadcast trade shows IBC.

Apart from being the centrepiece show for much of the media tech space, IBC holds a special place for me as the first media show I ever went to, the first show where I realised that those shoes looked nice but were entirely impractical for 20k steps a day on the show floor, the first show where I found myself in a one-on-one with an SVP who clearly did not know who I was and wanted to know why I was taking up their time…ah memories.

IBC 2022 will be our first chance in years to meet some of our favourite people in the industry, host some networking events, and really immerse ourselves back into the media space (especially with those who could not make it out to Vegas for NAB). Since our last show in Amsterdam, neuco has doubled in size and we will have our biggest ever presence on the floor so if you want to talk about your plans for the future or just to catch up with us, now is the best time to get in touch with us so we can book in a meeting.

Outside of the show itself, it is always wonderful to have an excuse to stay in Amsterdam and I would encourage anyone attending to book their flight home a few days later than planned so you have the chance to explore and take in some of the things that have made the city a hotspot for European travellers.

What are these things you ask? Come on, we all know what I’m talking about…it’s well developed cycling infrastructure of course! If you think I’m not serious then you have never experienced the joy of cycling round a major city without once being nearly sideswiped by a taxi or crushed to a fine paste by a bus at a junction, it must be experienced.

Not convinced, well OK there are other things to enjoy there, things a bit more enticing than bicycles. Yes, you guessed it, trams. Trams are the best kind of city mass transit and I will not hear a word said against them. How did this train sneak on to this road? I’m not sure but I’m not complaining.

Oh, oh yes and the art and culture and food and music and so on, but mainly trams and separate bike lanes.

See you at the show!

Every Wednesday we sit down 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.     

neuco’s Hot Companies to Watch in the Content and Media Space

If you are wondering which companies to keep your eye on within the Content & Media industries, then look no further!  

We have taken a look at the Analytics & Measurement, Broadcasters, Content Distribution/Production/Protection, Front End, Multi-Platform, OVP & TV Platforms, System integrators and Video Processing categories and collated the exciting companies trailblazing the industry right now. 

Analytics & Measurement 

We have found that companies are no longer looking for new users, but putting effort into retaining the users they already have an understanding how end users are engaging with content is more important than ever.  

Measuring end user engagement throughout the streaming media ecosystem is becoming front and centre for many organisations. Analytics are the cornerstone for success as video intelligence becomes a vital part of what broadcasters, OTT Platforms and Content Creators require for success. 

Broadcasters 

Broadcasters are constantly reformulating their work and relaunching to try and get it right. More and more broadcasters are adding OTT platforms, continuing to diversify to try and make it in the OTT world.  

These household names are seeking to recreate themselves, continue to push boundaries and bring high-quality entertainment to our homes. 

Content Distribution  

Content would be meaningless if we couldn’t transport it!  

We searched for the top companies in the Content Distribution space working hard on getting content from A to B in the most efficient, affordable and reliable way possible. Working hard, these companies are providing continuous innovations with Edge Content Delivery, promising faster and more efficient, agile and reliable delivery.  

These are the companies that empower the largest media brands in the world to be successful. 

Content Production 

With production being more remote and flexible than ever, we’ve hunted down the top companies within the Content Production space who are proving themselves.  

Covid-19 had a huge impact on many industries but gave the Content Production industry a shove out of necessity however, many companies are finding more flexible solutions integral to their continued growth. 

Video Production Solutions, MAM, Graphics, Virtual Solutions, Playout tools, Video Editing and much more, are all playing their part to bring sports and entertainment experiences to life.  

Take a look at the companies making strides in this area.  

Content Protection 

We believe your content is worthless if it is not secure.  

With security being at the height of importance due to video content needing to be stored and delivered across the globe, every innovation in security is met with innovation in piracy. 

These companies are proving they deserve their spot as a company to watch. 

Front End 

All your hard work is going to waste if your content does not have good discovery. In addition, users are not going to continue to interact with bad interfaces in this day and age!  

Your users being able to find and engage with your content across multiple devices is what every streaming and VoD provider aims for.  

Meet the companies working to provide the best interfaces and solutions to help your users engage with your content.  

Multi Platform 

Fibre and 5G are transforming our video, broadband and mobile connectivity and there are many companies thriving in this part of the ecosystem. 

These are some of the most ubiquitous companies around, providing TV, internet and communication services for almost every one of us. 

OVP & TV Platforms 

The industry is transforming from legacy and On-Prem to cloud and SaaS models, giving opportunity for these companies to grow and develop but, SaaS and cloud-based solutions are no longer the innovation – they are the standard! 

With more and more video experiences being powered by the Cloud, with FAST and SaaS here to stay, this part of the industry is dynamic and growing fast, with these companies being at the top of their game.  

System integrators 

With so many great solutions out there, sometimes you just need someone to bring it all together for you. Systems integrators provide you with the best-of-breed solutions to solve your problems. 

More and more systems integrators and vendors can be the same people and are providing a mixture of first and third-part solutions. With such a complex technical landscape, a trusted partner that provides technical solutions and advice is key. 

Powering sports streaming platforms, MPUs, Newsrooms and media centres around the globe, and enabling service providers to deliver live content to the end user, these companies are pushing this industry forward.  

Video Processing 

Efficient, high-quality video encoding may not be the most exciting of topics, but it is a fundamental pillar of the ecosystem. 

There will always be capacity limitations, so moving video data more efficiently is often the way. 

Production and distribution workflows, monetisation of content, growing audiences and putting video workflows onto the cloud, these companies are innovative and changing the way the ecosystem operates. 

Do you think we have missed any out? Or are you thinking that your business should be on our list? Then get in touch! 

The Current State of the Video Industry

In episode #67 of The Tech That Connects Us, we were excited to be joined by Wolfgang Zeller. He has worked for some of the biggest names in European Telecommunications and broadcast from senior infrastructure roles with UPC to working as VP of service engineering for Vodafone Group

He’s held key roles in video technology for over 20 years, and he now heads up Vodafone’s Video Centre of Excellence.

We covered so much in this episode, from the state of the industry through to how he sees video progressing and changing over the coming years.

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it.

Are you excited by the current state of the industry?

Yes, of course! The ecosystem is changing, and different players are taking more important roles in the past. But, at the end of the day, we still have to deliver video to our subscribers, no matter what. You will meet different partners in the ecosystem with different roles, but it’s going to stay as it is – I’m certain.

But what do you think is the biggest lesson that the video industry can take away from this period of disruption?

I think if you look at it, everybody was very unhappy with their TV subscription model, and now, everybody is using third-party apps. 

So, I think we’re going to see a cost optimization exercise driven by our customer base. I think the idea is that you go direct to the consumer as the big provider and make loads of money – But I think it comes to an end slowly. And you can see it a little bit with Netflix already. 

Where do you see the biggest potential for content consumption?

Okay, so this might be a little far-fetched. But I’m really favouring if the self-driving cars – you can do a lot in them. 

You’re going to read the newspaper – and now people will watch a video. Maybe, another video device, with a different type of video – augmented reality, additional information, and so on and so forth. 

So, I think that’s what it is. And I break this all this down. What does it mean for us being in technology? It means “yeah, there’s going to be new devices and new types of infrastructures” – but, we need to make sure we deliver high video quality and it will have a myriad of new encoding technologies, too. 

So, there’s always something that’s a potential, especially if it motivates and drives people to consume video. 

What do you think will be the biggest challenge that it’s going to face the industry?

I think the challenge will be that you need to get the content to the people, and it will require a tremendous amount of bandwidth and capacity in any type of network. 

So, you have always these reports showing that consumption is peaking, and those reports haven’t changed over the last five to ten years. 

And, we’ll keep predicting, and people still building networks and consumers are still consuming the bandwidth and consuming a lot of video content. So, that’s going to be the challenge. And then, of course, you can be smart with encoding technologies, the way you deal with video.

You can listen to the full episode here.

Every Wednesday we sit down 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.     

How can the Content & Media sector be more sustainable?  

We were recently joined for another interesting episode of The Tech That Connects Us by Allan Delaurier, CEO at GLOOKAST, a company that develops tools to simplify digital media workflows by offering solutions to today’s most critical aspects of content productions and distribution.

How do you think leadership ought to look in the current state of the broadcast media industry? 

Everyone has their own individual talents and capabilities, but teamwork is the key. No one person can do everything. The focus should be on teamwork and an effort to want to succeed together.

What are the biggest challenges facing the industry today? 

A lot of players in the industry have downsized. The technical knowledge has dwindled; there aren’t a lot of people coming into the industry nowadays. Here in Canada, for example, schools would teach students about broadcast media and media entertainment, but all that is dwindling away. Which means a lot of graduates aren’t educated in how to get into the industry and the onus is transferred to manufacturers who like ourselves, to help guide clients through the difficult challenges and changes.

 What is it about your new role that really excites you? 

Cloud capability – the engine that’s driving progress. At GLOOKAST, we’re working to decide: Ok, where are we going to go, how are we going to get there, and how are we going to succeed? And because we’re software oriented, we’re transitioning very quickly into that type of business model. 

What do you think the future holds for content production and distribution? 

What excites me is the IP, the technology behind the capabilities. As we know, in the past, it transitioned from analogue to SD to HD and now 4K etc. But what’s happening is baseband is becoming less relevant, and IP is becoming more relevant. So, for example, say a football game is filed on a camera at 1080p that gets 3GB per second. But at home, a viewer isn’t watching at 3GB, they’re watching anywhere between 5 and 20MB   per second. So the quality is being compressed. In theory, the 3GB quality is good, but at home, you’re not seeing that. 

So, now you’ve got transport streams like NDI and STR with ingest-type capabilities, not just for playout. When I started in the industry 20 years ago, IP was just a management control solution, and it was primitive. Now the control of management is all IP that’s transporting over to the signal that we’re transporting on an IP as well. 

We’re going through a transition where we have the capabilities to run the NDI, the SRTs over IP. We know a lot of manufacturers out there already starting; companies in the camera industry are getting outputs in an IP contribution, for example. 

Nowadays we have cameras, even on our phones, that are good enough to record high quality content. What we need to figure out is how to get that content into our system, and that’s where GLOOKAST comes in; we’re solving the workflow puzzle by taking those different types of formats and different types of cameras and putting them into the workflow. 

How can the sector focus on being more sustainable? 

Power consumption is one area where it’s economically sustainable. Nowadays you can run more processes and do more capabilities on a single processing unit, you don’t have to buy a single purpose hardware unit to do one job. Whereas you can have one piece of hardware doing multiple jobs, which consumes less electricity. So, that’s an area where we’re all working towards sustainability. 

You can listen to the full episode here. 

Every Wednesday we sit down 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 industry was back to ‘NAB’​ some Business

Finally…the industry was back out and meeting face-to-face for the NAB show, after almost two years away & hearing all about it over Zoom, we saw 52,468 + attendees make the journey to Vegas representing 155 countries!

 This was my first year in attendance and I must say, it certainly exceeded my expectations.

I thought I’d start this trip off with a bang, so we decided to do a Sky Dive in the desert, jumping 15,000 ft into the sand!! After ensuring Tegan went first, I was able to see the fear on John’s face before I was flung out into a 45-second free fall. (PS this is now a yearly tradition so all are welcome for 2023)

About 12 hours later, it was time for the show to begin…

 There was certainly a buzz in the air as 9:00 AM hit and individuals entered the West Hall, it was clear everyone was ecstatic & relieved to be back, team neuco included!

 Whilst I am not an engineer, It was brilliant to have a front-row seat to the technology which is fundamental to this industry, and begin to learn exactly how different companies utilise their tech stack, whether that be traditional hardware Cameras right through to learning about IP & Cloud solutions for Video & Content Management.

Topics of conversation which were hot amongst the West Hall were focused on Cloud technology, what Private Cloud looks like, and how can Cloud solutions help accelerate your business to the next level. Whether that is companies finally making the transition to becoming fully cloud-dependent or taking this one step further and beginning to pivot towards using a private cloud.

Furthermore, talking to individuals, it was clear that the industry is on its way to being fully recovered from the pandemic, as there are large amounts of widespread growth, from a sales, new product & hiring perspective.

It was really excellent to hear the importance placed on improving Diversity & Inclusion within this industry, but also the reasoning behind the lack of it. It’s no secret that this is a male-dominated industry-the men’s toilet queue is the best sign of this. So being able to hear about the solutions to tackle this from a grassroots standpoint, was incredibly insightful. I was particularly pleased to hear first-hand and learn more about how the Rise Group is advocating for this and creating new opportunities for Female broadcast professionals.

Growth!!! This was something which from a hiring perspective, is widespread throughout the industry. There is a real focus on strong commercial & engineering talent. This is split between smaller organisations now wanting to break into the US market or US companies wanting to tackle Europe or APAC as their new region of choice.

What does this look like from a hiring point of view?

Due to this high demand for excellent talent, it’s arguably more important than ever to ensure seamless and effective hiring processes. Speaking with companies it was interesting to hear how this has been a struggle across the last 18 months, as candidates are involved in multiple processes and have had more than one offer on the table.

A personal highlight for me was being able to meet face to face, with some of the brilliant clients & candidates whom I’ve worked with across the past 9 months. Being able to see the change I’ve made by placing individuals into a new organisation is incredibly motivating. Equally as fantastic, was all of the new relationships made with both clients and candidates!

Bring on IBC!!!!

Every Wednesday we sit down 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.     

Changes in the Content & Media Industry with Krishnan Nair

In another insightful episode of The Tech That Connects Us, we’re joined by the VP of Data Integrations at Conviva, Krishnan Nair. Conviva is a census, continuous measurement and engagement platform for streaming media, enabling advertisers, tech operators, engineers and customer care teams to acquire, engage, monetize, and retain their audiences.  

As the VP of a platform that processes close to 2 trillion streaming events daily and supports over 500 million unique viewers, Nair gives us his take on the changes in the content and media industry.  

How and why did you get into the media industry, and particularly, the streaming industry?  

I came to the US in 2008 to study my master’s at Boston University. And, despite the difficult job market in 2009-2010, I was fortunate enough to secure an internship at Samsung, in what was essentially an analyst role in the product solutions group. We were exploring ways in which smart TVs could be more than just a great screen. And it was my boss who came up with the idea of having apps on a TV just as you have on phones.  

Throughout my internship, I produced a report highlighting the things that were working well in the industry, the things that should work and shouldn’t work etc. Then once I graduated, I e-mailed my former boss to ask if they had any openings at Samsung, and he told me the report I had completed was actually in production, they had built an app store, and asked me whether I wanted to join them on the team.  

Of course, I said absolutely. I was very focused on liaising with content partners like Netflix Hulu, and other media providers. So, that’s where it all began.   

What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the Smart TV space?  

When we started this journey, trying to build apps on Divi was just a side-project. Back then, it was seen as just a hobby. At Accedo, we worked with some of the largest TV publishers in the world, building some of the apps that are familiar today. And as the industry matured, a lot of that work was done in-house as it became a more predominant part of the business.  

As apps became more popular, they were spread across all devices. And people began to get fatigued by so many devices. Data became really important, not just for improving content programming, but people’s overall application and video experience.  

Now it’s down to around seven or eight devices that have really captured the market, by using data to ensure their customers are having the best viewing experience. And the next steps is going to be very interesting for the media and entertainment industry because of web3, though I won’t get into detail.

And what technologies do you think have had the biggest impact on the streaming space?  

Data. In the past, it was very difficult to get information to publishers quickly. So, this has made a huge impact. Front a front-end standpoint, application development has become much easier too thanks to tools like React js and so forth; you no longer need to build a separate app for web TV, Android TV, or Samsung TV.  

And given the upheaval of the past few years, what do you think the upheaval has been in the streaming space more generally?  
 

We’ve been relatively blessed in the media industry; when people were stuck at home, the was a surge in the number of people streaming TV. So, in that sense the pandemic had a positive effect on the industry, at least for the bigger players. 

Also, if you look at the industry over the last few years, there’s been a lot of consolidation in the industry. A lot of companies buying each other out and forming large conglomerates. We think it’s a fight for content; at the end of the day, everyone wants to provide their consumers with the best experience. More consolidation means the best content will live on one, or at least fewer platforms. From a technological standpoint, things are evolving too; everything’s just getting faster.  
 

And what does Conviva have planned for this year?  

Well, we started off as a company focused on quality of experience and measurement analytics. Fast forward to today, we’re a technology company with a primary focus on analytics and streaming. So, our focus moving forward is on the messaging of our vision, to showcase the fact that we’re a streaming measurement partner for some of the largest publishers and articulating how best to work with Conviva to obtain accurate data.   

We’re really excited about NAB coming up this April. What are you looking forward to for NAB 22?  

NAB has always been looking at the evolution of what we’ve seen in the media space, but it’s becoming even more media centric. And I’m excited about all aspects, from the evolution from a technical standpoint to the things happening in the content space.  

What do you think the impact of the return of in-person events will be for the industry? 

It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to gather at large events, so people are excited to socialize and catch up with folks in the industry.  

What advice would you give to anybody attending NAB for the first time this year?  

Go with an open mind. Check out what’s happening. I like to spend some time in competitors’ booths to learn about some of the things that are happening and the new innovations.  

You can catch the full episode here.

Every Wednesday we sit down 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 future of Content & Media

In episode #58 of The Tech That Connects Us, we were thrilled to be joined by Andy Hooper, who is the VP of Platform and Product management at Agile Content. Andy started his career in Accenture on their graduate programme later moving into the video space with Motorola.

We touched on his career so far, as well as his views and aspirations for the future both professionally and personally.

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did recording it.

High quality content: What’s the reality of it? And, what’s the future of it? 

“The reality is that for a huge number of operators, there is space in the market for well delivered, well constructive high-quality TV and video viewing experiences, and that’s going to remain for a very long time.

I’m going to stick my neck out and say, a segment of people’s time will always be spent doing that and consuming it passively on a bigger screen, that’s and that’s not going to go away in the next 50 years. 

So admittedly, a lot of the attention will go away from that, but that’s fundamentally going to stay there. 

We tend to sometimes over-focus on the selling side of the technology in this industry on particular capabilities. But for a lot of customers, it’s still very important to have partners that are reliable and, and can execute and  be trustworthy.”

On a more personal level, in your career, are there any big goals or targets you have that you’d still like to achieve?

“Most of my life, I spent a lot of time removing stuff from my life, whether it’s clutter, or gadgets that I don’t need, and I resist buying gadgets that I’m unlikely to use very much anymore. That was something that I’ve learned. So, my ambitions don’t need to be driven by material possessions as much as they perhaps used to. 

I want to be able to say that I’ve created something from scratch. That’s the one thing that I think I’ve always been quite successful in. 

One thing that I’d like to achieve would be to find a moment that’s right, from a family and personal perspective, to start from scratch and take something from zero to something; and provide some honest employment for some good people on the way.”

You can catch the full episode here.

Every Wednesday we sit down 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.     

Content & Media Key Trends. neuco’s annual 2022 key trends report.

What’s in store for the Content & Media industry?

2022, where’s it going to go, what does it have in store?

We’ve collated key trends from some of the influential figures across the 4 sectors we recruit into – Cyber Security, Connectivity, Content & Media and Satellite & NewSpace.

We’ve spoken to experts from companies such as Sky, Amagi, Xite, and more!

If you want to find out what we think will be the key trends for cyber security this year, then just click the link below to download now!

Click here to download now.

How can the Broadcast Media Industry have a positive impact on the Environment?

Joining us on episode 48 of The Tech That Connects Us was Darren Long Group Operations Transformation Design CT&I for Sky. Darren has been working for Sky for the past 32 years across News, Sports Entertainment and Production, as a director in a range of different capacities, such as Group Content Processing, Production and Services and Operations.

Darren joined Tegan Valeny and Henry Johnson where they discussed diversity, inspiring a healthy culture, the future of content creation and the importance of owning a dog.

One question Tegan and Henry put to Darren was ‘How can the broadcast media industry have a positive impact on the environment?’ Here’s what he had to say.

“At Sky, we’re now committed to becoming carbon neutral. Last weekend we did our first carbon-neutral football match in conjunction with Tottenham and the supporting staff and infrastructure. 

If we look at these opportunities, we’ve got an important role to play. We are a broadcaster, and all broadcasters need to ensure that we lead by example. That’s something that Sky has always wanted to do and we’re very lucky because we own the whole supply chain, everything from the customer buying the equipment through to making and distributing the programmes. This gives us a unique opportunity to own that whole customer journey from an environmentally friendly perspective. So we can ensure that from a carbon-neutral point of view we tick every single box along the journey. 

We took a really strong lead on this and Jeremy Darroch was instrumental in ensuring that everything we do going forward is “do we reduce our carbon footprint?”. From the packaging, we use to the way we recycle our equipment. Traditionally people would hold on to the equipment and never give it back, so of course, it went to landfills and various other things. Now, technically, you never own that equipment personally, it’s owned by Sky so that means once your contract finishes and you no longer want it then we take that back and recycle. 

 Everything we do going forward will be about actually how can we minimise the environmental impact. All the Sports we’re at, we ensure that the people who are working on the sports are doing so in a way that’s very economical and reducing the carbon footprint. From how they get to the venues, all the way through to the distribution platform minimising the power that we’re using. 

The key thing we can do is sending the message around why this is important and making sure that message is strong. So every single day we have a climate report which is on Sky News. It’s about educating people, not just preaching, but trying to give people an understanding of why we’re doing this. We believe in this wholeheartedly, and from an industry point of view if you look at all these productions now that whether they be for Sky or other companies they are trying to measure every single part of the impact of those productions. Traditionally you’d build sets and then destroy them, you’d use plastic cups and all those things. So whilst some of these things are very small, you know what? From small things grow large trees. 

 Sky is not just doing this as a tick box exercise, we really do believe in what we’re doing 100% and everything we do going forward around the way that we deliver our services and the way we recycle our services is going to be measured. That in itself is important, people should hold us accountable for our actions. It’s important that when products arrive that customers know that packaging isn’t just thrown in the bin but can be brought back to Sky, recycled and used again. 

 From an industry point of view, it’s time for us to lead the charge. There are lots of good broadcasters, filmmakers, and TV production crews who are doing this now. So we have a responsibility to keep doing this, keep improving and keep supporting companies and industries that bring innovation in this area as well.” 

Every Wednesday we sit down 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.     

What are the biggest challenges to the TV industry and video industry moving forward?

On episode 43 of The Tech That Connects Us John Clifton and Tim Meredith were joined by Nuno Sanches, General Manager for Telecom and Media at Kaltura.

When it comes to the TV and video industry there are a lot of challenges as we move forward, here’s what Nuno thinks are the biggest.

“In the media and professional TV industry, the biggest challenge we currently have is understanding the role of each of the agents and players. The structure of the industry itself is not settled. 

 It’s not clear if there’s market potential for a distributed content model, where we’ll have many providers providing content directly to many customers, or if we’re going to see the reaggregation of the intermediary where you then have half a dozen large aggregators that intermediate with a larger group of customers. 

 
This is the biggest risk but also the biggest opportunity, the winners and losers of each of these two configurations are dramatically different. Right now the question that will shape the industry is, can people be successful and meet the needs of the customer but reach them directly and profitably without having to be aggregated as it used to be. The question itself is still open, but we have a very interesting data point with Netflix in the fact that Netflix itself has stopped growing. Which has put all the projections about what the industry can be into an upheaval. 

 
We now have three or four players who could legitimately be at an equivalent scale in a couple of years that starts to make it clear that the winner takes all model doesn’t exist. But it still has not eliminated the fact that you could go back to essentially a US media company driven half by media and half by tech and have five giants who then consolidate everything like back in the days of paid TV. 

 
It’ll be fascinating to see whether this new world will emerge or if the old world of content aggregation will come back under a new banner of Video on Demand and non-linear content. 

 
For video, the biggest challenge will come from privacy. People do not understand the full impact of the videofied world we live in. This is why we’re only now starting to process the enormous implications of fake news and social media. We’re starting to grasp with personal exposure, if you’re putting up pictures of your kids or you out drinking then that’s something that could potentially come back to haunt you when it comes to a job interview. We’re only now understanding these implications. We’re starting to grapple with all this but the regulations around this have come afterwards. 

 
For example, does an employer have a right to record a meeting whilst you’re working from home? We’ve decided that this is now acceptable for everyone. So something could happen in the background and it’s ok for your employers to be recording it even though that’s in your home. We’ve made these decisions without fully understanding the implications.  

 
Over at Netflix, someone got fired due to some comments which were critical of the management team but on a channel they thought was private. If you’re adding video to these situations due to the depth of information you can get for a video the number of things that can go wrong goes through the roof. 

 
So a huge challenge for the video application world is how privacy will work, and we need to know the implications of these situations. One question we should be asking is how can machine learning and AI be used not for exposing your privacy but for protecting it? Can we use blockchain to make sure we control our own video feeds and keep the rights to them as if it was an NFT for example?  

 
If something happened that you didn’t want to be recorded then you’d have the ability to correct it in the master distributed file. These are important topics that may not come today because we’re all at home and privileged just to be talking to each other. But tomorrow they will come and they’re important discussions and the biggest challenge around video for the next decade.”

Every Wednesday we sit down 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.     

What’s in Store for Television Studios and Live Audiences?

On Episode 40 of The Tech That Connects Us John Clifton and William Trenchard were joined by Andrew Moultrie CEO at BBC Studioworks

A hugely passionate individual, Andrew has taken a different path to many in his journey to the top of the Content & Media industry but it’s no surprise to see him there. 

In this conversation, William asks Andrew about the future of studios and live audiences within studios. Here’s what he had to say. 

“The biggest itch I want to scratch about the future, in general, is sustainability. How can we create sustainable studios that are purpose-built?

Because historically you’d find an old space and then you’d hate it later. But now we have the ability to build locations or reconfigure them with a focus on the long term. So the way I’m looking into the future is the three P’s People, Planet and Profit. Profitability is not my driver. It’s one of the things which we need in order for us to employ people but it’s not the only thing. 

So for the future of studios, it’s going to be looking at the circular nature, and virtuous circle that is a studio. So where you get your renewable energies from, to the materials you build with to how you’re utilising water. We also need to be educating people within the facilities and giving them a sustainable mindset, because I do think in order to attract people to your organisations in the future you need to be aware of the planet. I think the youth of today, the alphas, the gen z and the Millenials all have the planet at the top of their agenda, whereas for the gen x’s and the baby boomers it’s been something we’ve kind of been aware of but it’s not been at our core. 

So the next evolution of production companies or broadcasters that want to use the facilities will be asking, ok what are your sustainability credentials, because the whole industry needs to get there on that basis? The biggest consumer of energies in the production cycle and light entertainment are the facilities so the onus is going to be on us. Historically we used to make money by burning energy and charging it back to the client, that can’t be the way of the future. 

From an audience perspective, it’s how you keep bringing audiences in and ensuring the audience is diverse and eclectic. So they’re representative of a modern Britain, not just based on the postcode you’re operating in and doing that in a way that’s safe and drives engagement. 

What we have found and it was really clear when we did virtual audiences was that you lose the chemistry of the show. Because social interaction is an energy, you’ve seen it in the football or at Wimbledon having a crowd there just changes things, compared to having a load of monitors where you don’t know where to look. Having that energy in the room really steps up the performance of individuals, it also steps up the interactivity and openness and also can affect the crews that are delivering as they feed off the audience too.  

So I think audiences will still be vitally important but it’s also how you integrate them more and more using technology as we go through different evolutions of the pandemic and as we bring live audiences back in. 

Technology will also help transform the interaction and the delivery of content. Technology is always changing, as the pipes get thicker there’ll be an increased ability to create different levels of engagement whether it’s participating live, or watching from home and interacting virtually. 

There’s so much, whether it be the potential to beam people into the studios virtually or use VR but that’s all to come and it’s exciting.”

Every Wednesday we sit down 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.     

What is the Future of Broadcasting?

On episode 38 of The Tech That Connects Us Podcast John Clifton interviewed Mohammed Akhlaq, Chief Technology Officer, ITN. 

In his storied career, Mohammed played a key role in launching news giant Al Jazeera‘s US studio and channel, so we had to ask such a passionate industry veteran what his thoughts were on the future of broadcasting, and Mohammed’s answer was very interesting. 

What are you most excited about for the future of the broadcasters themselves? 

I think it’s a difficult question to answer, because a lot of broadcasters have legacy infrastructure, workflows, and traditional ways of doing things. Content isn’t produced the same way it was produced 20 years ago, it’s started to change slightly, but that part didn’t change.  

What’s really changed is the distribution of content. Rather than using the UHF transmitters, etc, you now have, streaming platforms, OTT platforms, VOD platforms, content on mobile phones or tablets.  It’s now more accessible, and that’s the area that has really moved forward quite considerably, with more production being the next phase. And we’ll move very quickly into it, into a more agile and more dynamic, scalable workspace.  

And the third phase would be how content is produced. Although that is yet to come, it will come, and it will be a fundamental change to the way that we produce content and consume content. And this probably will be the biggest threat to any broadcaster, because it’s taken away the crown jewels of what they are known for, and what they do really well.  

In the media landscape as a whole, the remote production and distribution elements of it make it much easier as an entry point for new start-ups to come into the market without having baggage of legacy. And therefore, they can be far more reactive, far more agile, far more dynamic, far more forward thinking and can change very quickly based on audience feedback.  

An example of this is eSports. Who would think that eSports would be a spectator event? It’s those niche markets that we’ll see from new startups within the broadcast sector. These areas that tier one broadcasters are just not interested in, because of the demographic or because the audiences are geared towards a particular type of genre programming.  

That’s where the new markets are going to be and it’s going to create some great opportunities for new startups to take advantage of. Because it’s a niche market that the broadcasters are just not interested in, but these guys can actually leverage that growing market. How many times have you seen kids watching YouTube channels? watching someone play Fortnight? Surely it would be more fun you playing it, but actually there’s a market for streaming games. 

Every Wednesday we sit down 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.     

Augmented Reality and Full 360 are the future of Content

On episode 37 of The Tech That Connects Us Podcast John Clifton interviewed Pedro Bandeira, Vice President Product and New Business, Europe, Deutsche Telekom

A dedicated individual on a professional quest to make the ultimate content experience, Pedro has been at the forefront of most modern time development in the Content & Media industry, so it was only natural to query him on the future of the industry and the consumption of content, something he had very a very clear prediction on: 

Which technologies do you think are going to have the biggest impact on the future of the industry? 

“If we look the medium to long run, 5-7 years. Something that’s not coming anytime soon, but which I am a firm believer in, is augmented reality. So, if you can use your full visual space to not only consume content, but also be able to see in real time additional information associated with that content. If you bring everything together in terms of the full VR & Full 360 experience, you’re going to have a lot of potential for creating something very immersive. 

But it’s not yet here, it still needs to mature, but it’s going to happen. Because the same the same statement that I made regarding the 1990s in the digitalization of video also applies to this.  And when it does happen it will be a great experience in terms of content experience.  

When we take that full 360 VR video alongside augmented information associated with content, it’s going to change the way we fundamentally connect with content, not just personally but as a group; it’s going to offer a whole new way of interacting with content.  

But, before that, we still have a lot to do. It’s really thinking about the 4k market and what’s coming after 4k, it’s still not 100% mass market, it still requires us to push this to our customers as mass market. And I think the most important thing that we need to push is this dream of ‘All content everywhere’. If we can deliver on this vision, in which I can at any time access any content free or paid, (if it is paid, of course I need to pay) but I have the ability to access it from any device at any time.  

If we’re able to deliver on that alongside the right discovery plane on top of it, that’s what users want. They want the ability to find quickly what they want and consume it at any time. And that’s the bridge that we still need to cross in the next five years until we get go to the next level of content interaction with full 360 VR and augmented content experiences.” 

Every Wednesday we sit down 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 Future of Content is AI & Metadata

On Episode 31 of The Tech That Connects Us John Clifton and Will Trenchard sat down with the passionate Matt Westrup, VP Technology & Operation, A+E Networks UK and really delved deep into content, metadata, 5G and much more.  

A particular section of the conversion caught our attention as Matt expressed some interesting thoughts on the future and opportunities in the industry, especially when it comes to content and streaming, we caught that little soundbite and did a small write up, read more below: 

What do you think the future holds for the technology and consumer experience? 

I think AI and metadata will be the future. The idea of discoverability and personalization will become ever more a focus and will evolve very quickly, giving the chance for the consumption of content to feedback into the production of content, which is quite an interesting idea, and something people are going to have to find a balance around is creativity versus insights.  

5G is another future for consumer experience, this technology suddenly gives the consumer a whole different experience, especially with streaming and mobile use. These are the two technologies that will absolutely make a commercial difference. 

And where do you see the greatest opportunities in terms of the service? 

The ability to with confidence deliver content to a mass of people with the knowledge that they will absolutely love it and they’re appreciative that it ended up with them will be a big opportunity in the industry. But also, the different ways of partnering for distributions, the traditional lines of the ‘supply chain’ are being smashed, rebuilt and rerouted. And this change causes an initial lack of certainty on where your audience are on the supply chain, which is a big opportunity to innovate. 

And when it comes to the younger demographic, thoughts of short form video and gaming come to mind, do you think this has a role to play? 

Totally. And going back to metadata and AI, there are all sorts of businesses that are constantly producing new content, and that’s going to be having to be thought of very differently for those platforms, to be relevant, because we know the competition is there.  

But also, these extraordinary archives that many, many companies assessing how to we surface the data to be able to understand what value that could have? And what imagination can we apply to that to create something new out of it? So really there’s two kind of dynamics going on there. 

Every Wednesday we sit down 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.