Today, theres a wide range of opportunities for content discovery on digital platforms, whether its through over-the-top services or media companies, further empowering viewers to consume what they want, when they want, and how they want it. This is especially true in the Middle East, where 3G/4G handheld device adoption is growing at breakneck pace. […]
Today, theres a wide range of opportunities for content discovery on digital platforms, whether its through over-the-top services or media companies, further empowering viewers to consume what they want, when they want, and how they want it.
This is especially true in the Middle East, where 3G/4G handheld device adoption is growing at breakneck pace. In tandem, content consumption is exploding. More than 14 million hours of content is consumed on YouTube every day in the MENA region, second only to the US in terms of average viewing time per viewer.
Ericssons recent ConsumerLab TV & Media UAE Report shows that 37% of consumers in the UAE want to be able to watch content on any device they choose. The research states that UAE residents watch an average of 4.7 hours of video content on their smartphones per week at home.
Media companies have begun leveraging the web to distribute original or syndicated content with services such as OSN Play and icflix, and in doing this the lines between content producers, distributors, broadcasters and technology companies have been blurred. Companies that deliver content are now producing it. Production companies are getting into delivery. And pure technology companies want to be distributors. One thing is clear, however: media companies have to continue pushing content to people in order to maintain market share. Doing this sustainably over the long term requires flexible and scalable integrated solutions. For this, media companies need to work with a specialised partner.
To be able to address a growing global audience, media companies have to work with partners that offer the full gamut of distribution services, including premium video delivery services over fibre, satellite broadcasting and video-focused content delivery networks (CDN). These partners also need to enable media companies to transfer large volumes of media from production locations to remote facilities, distribute digital assets, offer a selection of proven distribution channels, be able to assist them in addressing multi-screen delivery requirements and be able to integrate with and broadcast live events. It is imperative to make content available in multiple formats, in a digital repository such as a private, public or hybrid cloud thats accessible globally, anytime, anywhere.
The ability to quickly deliver quality content, whether in the current HD/full HD format or next-generation 4K format, is critical to media companies. In the past, satellites were the go-to choice for video, and while they still work well in certain scenarios, there are still latency and weather-related quality issues. Its no surprise that content owners have been looking for alternative distribution channels, with high-speed terrestrial fibre networks emerging as a solid choice.
Several regional players have established video connect partnerships with telecom providers in the Middle East to enable them to keep pace with their broadcast requirements. These partnerships allow content providers to outsource the distribution of digital content through the internet and cloud services.
Working closely with local telecom providers and establishing video connect nodes hosted in the region will help broadcasters, studios and production houses deliver video content flexibly and cost-effectively to media hotspots worldwide. With on-demand and customisation capabilities, media personnel can deploy specialised feeds based on location and time zone.
Content management, delivery and broadcasting in todays dynamic technology-driven world is a challenge, but it is one that can be overcome with the right infrastructure, the right delivery platform and state-of-the-art solutions.
Radwan Moussalli is Senior Vice President Middle East, Central Asia and Africa at Tata Communications.