19 Jun Perspective: Why the Media Industry Needs to Invest in Tomorrow, Today
As online video rapidly replaces traditional TV, none of us have a clear picture of what the future of video and advertising will look like. Investing in technology is a bit like sending drones into the deep end of the ocean – only we’re hoping to chart a path to video monetization and personalized viewing experiences. It’s a progressive, yet risky move, but the time to start is now. Here are a few technologies that forward-thinking companies are already putting resources toward in 2017, and why they’re worthy of more investment.
The personalized video revolution is here
In the linear TV past, viewers flipped through channels, hoping to catch programming they wanted to see. In today’s on-demand world, they have a lot more choice, but that choice can be overwhelming. As our devices become increasingly clogged with streaming apps and video channels, it’s important to understand that audiences don’t really want a million ways to find content: they want easy, one-stop solutions that have been personalized to them.
In this environment, mapping audience preferences to create personalized streaming channels is an obvious way forward. The last few years have seen a rise in video platforms targeted at specific audiences, like film buffs, comedy fans or millennials. These platforms serve traditional programming alongside short-form and viewer-generated content, rolling video of all types into an easily accessible, cross-device platform that feels viewer-specific. For those platforms that have already built an audience, the transition to fully personalized, one-to-one video streams will be a quick, easy hop, once the technology catches up.
Augmented and virtual reality are changing the way we interact with ads
One-to-one relationships with video audiences mean ads need to become hyper-relevant as well. Just as audiences have lost their patience with one-size-fits-all entertainment, they’re quickly becoming frustrated with ads they didn’t ask for from brands they have no interest in. Luckily, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies currently under development could battle ad fatigue by putting the user in charge of their own ad experience.
Using AR, viewers will be able to hover over featured products in a scene of a TV show to find out where they can buy that cool leather jacket or how that beautiful couch might look in their own home. This technology would also allow viewers to see ads without interrupting content, creating a more seamless and immersive viewing experience.
Networks need to invest in infrastructure to keep up
According to a recent Cisco report, more and more video traffic in the future will be carried by content delivery networks (CDNs). CDNs and content providers will need to continuously be upgrading their own systems if they don’t want to be overwhelmed by video traffic volume in the future. Since January 2014, Verizon Digital Media Services has boosted capacity on our Edgecast Content Delivery Network by a factor of almost 11, increasing it from 2.4 to almost 30 terabytes/second. We’ve also invested in a new content intelligence system that integrates rich metadata into content production workflows, bringing upstream and downstream services together in a way that sets the stage for future AR integration.
We’re only scratching the surface
Personalized streaming and truly interactive ad experiences may sound like science fiction right now, but brands who ignore these new possibilities may soon find themselves left in the dust.