IABM organized an OTT conference on 9th May 2018 in Dubai, to examine the tools currently available to provide the viewer experience that will accelerate the growth of OTT in the MEA region. The conference was sponsored by IABM members Ateme, Dolby and Interra Systems.
As Media consumption steadily shifts from conventional linear TV to the Internet, OTT and multi-platform delivery continue to disrupt traditional broadcasting. OTT offerings are on the rise as broadcasters and Media companies are increasingly launching direct-to-consumer services worldwide.
In the MEA region, OTT penetration is still at low level due to limitations in broadband quality and poor payment infrastructure. It is however clear that OTT will grow in the region both as standalone offering and as part of a Pay TV platform.
A large turnout of Middle East broadcasters at the event showed how keenly the regional industry is interested in learning about OTT and multi-platform delivery of content.
The conference included a number of presentations which were followed by an interview with a regional media company who has recently launched their OTT platform. The presentations were delivered by IABM, Ateme, Interra Systems and Dolby.
IABM presented an update of the latest market data covering consumer viewing trends, media business trends and buying trends from IABM’s most recent survey conducted prior to the NAB exhibition. The IABM presentation concluded with data about the worldwide OTT offerings.
Ateme’s presentation covered the application of Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning to optimise OTT delivery. Ateme developed their own video quality assessment which lead to the definition of a perceptual video quality metric called the AQI or ATEME Quality Index, based on machine learning. The information collected by the system is used by the machine-learning engine to predict and analyse data.
Interra Systems presented guidelines for ensuring accurate, reliable and quantifiable QoE for OTT services. Market data clearly indicate that, for OTT services, a high quality experience is a key factor for success. The quality of the viewing experience is crucial to grow the number of subscribers and encourage loyalty. The quality of the content should be monitored at every stage of its lifecycle from acquisition, to preparation, to distribution and finally to consumption by the viewer.
Dolby presented their approach to enabling new consumer experiences over OTT. Dolby highlighted the Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos technologies which are embedded in consumer devices including TVs, smart phones, tablets, game consoles, etc. With HDR ready to usher in a new era of high quality viewing experiences, Dolby is positioning to set the standard in HDR with Dolby Vision.
The final part of the event included an interview with Tony Saab, VP Products & Content, Intigral. Intigral have recently launched their OTT service called Jawwy TV across the MENA region. Tony outlined the main reasons for starting their OTT service as a platform which will allow content from various providers to be streamed on their service. Intigral currently has a large number of subscribers through their association with STC, the Saudi Telecom provider, and they intend to use the new service to reach viewers in other countries of the GCC and MENA region.
Tony pointed out the generational differences between the viewers of traditional broadcast services and the viewers of OTT services. Young viewers are watching more media on the internet than on conventional broadcast TV and most of these viewers don’t even own televisions. It’s hard to keep up with the many devices and apps people now use to watch shows and OTT platforms are the best way to reach these young viewers.
Tony explained the decisions behind the solution chosen by Intigral and the business model they will apply to generate revenue.
Hassan Ghoul, Regional Director of IABM said, “More than 50 delegates attended the OTT conference. The feedback received from the delegates as well as the sponsors was very positive. The event was interactive and created a good opportunity for the members to network with the customers. In particular, the interview with Tony Saab was very interesting and resulted in several follow up questions from the audience.”