In Ovum's 2016 ICT Enterprise Insights survey, 44% of media enterprises identified enhancing digital audience engagement as a priority for the next 18 months. In a competitive digital media business environment, lifetime online user engagement is fast becoming the core challenge for media enterprises, resulting in investment in building video repositories. Video is a richer and more immediate way to engage with customers, because the human brain can process visual content far more quickly than text. As media enterprises embark on the journey of executing a robust "audience-first" strategy, delivering real-time video content on multiple devices is pivotal to manage audience churn and drive incremental multiscreen monetization revenues.
In the past few months, IBM has purchased Clearleap and Ustream, both cloud-based video services providers, to expand its digital engagement portfolio across multiple industries. Ovum believes that Ustream not only adds live video streaming capabilities, but also complements IBM's cloud-based video transformation and engagement vision.
In the connected devices era, video consumption is highly fragmented, with digital audiences demanding both live streaming and on-demand feeds. The management and distribution of horizontally diversified rich media (live and on-demand) on a real-time basis is highly complex for internal and external stakeholders. Therefore, to enhance digital audience engagement, enterprises including media companies need the following:
an auto-scalable (peak and non-peak traffic adjustments) video infrastructure, from ingestion to distribution
a horizontally differentiated video ingestion capability managing both live streaming and video-on-demand feeds
a modular video platform delivering enterprise-wide video content (for internal and external stakeholders)
flexible integration of video into the digital audience engagement workflow via APIs, irrespective of business operations (media, education institutions, or healthcare).
Although Ustream's core competency lies in cloud-based live-streaming video services (such as encoding, webcasting, and ad insertion), its add-on value reaches across the entire enterprise video content management supply chain. The enterprise video content management system is slowly becoming essential for enterprises that are being driven toward video audience engagement transformation. This encompasses scalable, agile, and secure internal (employee) and external (audience) video engagement platforms that are tightly integrated with content workflows (from ingestion to production and distribution). Ustream's horizontally integrated enterprise video content management modules (i.e., Pro, Align, and Demand) can help enterprises to
enhance their live events–based rich media repositories (trade shows, exhibition coverage, short- and long-form news)
improve their internal content marketing and employee training video catalogue
use remote location-based, industry-specific engagement services such as patient and student consultation, along with surveillance.
Clearleap and Ustream provide highly diverse service offerings that allow enterprises embarking on an audience-first strategy to seamlessly integrate multiple platform video engagement workflows. IBM's acquisition also highlights that cloud video-centric service providers will be at the center of large-scale digital transformation projects in the next couple of years.
Kedar Mohite, Senior Analyst, Media & Broadcast Technology Services
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