Apple has added a new screen recording feature in iOS11 that makes it easy for users to record a video playing on an iOS device. This feature includes enabling recording of audio and video during playback, no matter what video player you’re using, when not using DRM encryption. 
 
While this feature has been well received by consumers for its general utility, it has created a lot of concerns and headaches for publishers.
 
So what can you do?
 
We are in communication with Apple about the issue and remedies, but unfortunately options are somewhat limited today. 
 
Currently, the only remedy that effectively blocks recording of video content is to utilize FairPlay DRM on videos that play on iOS devices. This is only applicable however with native iOS applications, as the Safari Mobile browser does not support DRM.
 
If adding DRM is not possible, here are your current options:
 
iOS Applications: While there is no way to prevent screen recording on iOS 11 native apps, there are new APIs on UIScreen for native iOS applications that can be used to detect when the screen is being captured. You can then take appropriate steps to prevent recording, whether that’s stopping playback and notifying viewers or simply logging that a recording took place.
 
Mobile Web: For playback on Safari Mobile, there does not appear to be a way to block the iOS 11 feature for recording video playback, nor is there a method for programmatically detecting that screen recording is occurring within a web page. We will continue to look for a solution here. As noted above, FairPlay DRM is not supported on Safari Mobile so there are currently no DRM options to block recording of video in the Safari Mobile environment.
 
If you’d like more information, please see our Ooyala Community post. We will keep you updated as we learn more.
 
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The latest update to Ooyala Flex offers features that add more depth to how you can create and manage metadata.
Ooyala continues to lead in the field of Media Logistics because we understand how important metadata is to the modern media producer and distributor. If you’re not convinced of that importance, check out our recent whitepaper Metadata: The Future of Video from Concept to Consumer.
 
The latest update to Ooyala Flex offers features that add more depth to how you can create and manage metadata, specifically the new Temporal Metadata and Dynamic Timelines features. 
 
  • Temporal Metadata enables you to mark an event when it occurs during a video and enter metadata to describe that event. For example, if you have a video of a soccer match, every time a goal is scored you could place a marker or range on the timeline that contains metadata to describe the details of the goal such as the player who scored it, the goalkeeper, the team, and so on. 

  • With Dynamic Timelines, you can configure multiple timelines for any given asset category. Each timeline can represent specific metadata captured as part of an asset's lifecycle, such as a visual/audio event, scene descriptors, soundtrack, product placement, legal, etc. Related timelines can also be grouped, so they appear as a single track when exposed in the MAM. 

  • A further metadata enhancement in this release is the ability to make changes to the Object Hierarchy Management from within the Ooyala Flex MAM application. This allows users to manage user defined hierarchical structures and view, navigate, and create metadata instances that reflect data structures in a visual/interactive panel for advanced business reporting.

 
In addition to the metadata improvements, there are several new plugins and extensions available that make it easier to manage and publish your content. 
 
  • We now give you access to the full breadth of the cloud based encoding features of the Standard Media Encoder within Azure Media Services.
  • With the new Replace Content Plugin you are to replace assets in Ooyala Flex more easily, the process overwrites the existing asset maintaining metadata that you have already applied, and updates with new technical metadata from the updated asset as a seamless process.
  • The new End of Review plugin enables you to customize the status buttons for the end of the review session. These buttons can move beyond Review/Approve to allow you have custom statuses like ‘Approve,' ‘Reject,' ‘Publish to Social’, or ‘Archive.' This allows for much more control and automation of the review process, saving your team’s valuable time.
  • With the DIVArchive Video Restore plugin, you can either restore a whole video or perform a partial restore on a video that is currently in your DIVArchive directly from Ooyala Flex.
  • And finally, the new Publish/Unpublish to Twitter plugin (as the name suggests) enables you to publish or unpublish a video with its associated Tweet to Twitter.
 
With this latest update you can see how Ooyala Flex continues to allow you to build even more powerful metadata sets that can drive your entire content pipeline. The new Temporal Metadata and Dynamic Timelines along with the many new plugins ensure that your media assets work for you.  
 
To find out how Ooyala Flex can help your organization, schedule a meeting with us at IBC or contact us directly at sales@ooyala.com.
 
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Ooyala’s Video Index: Consumers spend more time with long content on all devices

Well, there was a big surprise in this quarters Global Video Index (Q2 2017, you can download it here): Overall the global growth of viewing on mobile devices stalled, growing less than one percent.

After 22 quarters of growth that was – for a dozen quarters – double-digit, Q2 saw mobile squeeze out just a 0.4% gain over Q1, growing to 56.7% of all video views. Smartphone views saw a slight decline while tablets grew to their highest share ever, 10.6%

Mobile views barely topped 50% in North America, but they hit an all-time high in Asia Pacific, more than 72% or all views there were on mobile devices, primarily smartphones. Both EMEA (57.7%) and LatAm (56%) saw mobile video views grow modestly.

The increased share for tablets globally likely reflects the mild rebound sales saw in Q2, led by Apple’s iPad. While tablet replacement cycles appear to be getting longer, there’s little doubt their penetration into household around the world makes them a serious consideration for content owners looking to increase engagement. Tablets continue to be introduced to younger children in schools, helping to insure potential audience growth.

We’ll see a similar bump in smartphone video viewing as more new devices come on line. Samsung new Galaxy and Apple’s trio of new iPhones – the X, 8 and 8 Plus – all have upgraded screens and will provide additional fuel to mobile video consumption.

I’m sticking with my forecast earlier this year that we’ll see mobile video plays reach 60% of all plays by the end of this year, especially as iPhone and Galaxy shipments kick in.

The Video Index also found that the world’s love of long-form content – content longer than 20 minutes – remained an all-device affair for the second consecutive quarter. Smartphones, tablets, PCs and connected TVs all saw long-form time watched exceed 50%. Time watched on smartphones and desktops was at 53%, long form on tablets claimed 82% of all time watched and, of course, nearly all (96%) of time watched on connected TVs was long form.

That growing long-form share is being driven by an increasing amount of premium content coming online from content owners looking to connect with Millennials. A byproduct of that content rush is that users in all demographics have begun to adopt the “closest screen is the primary screen” philosophy… especially if it’s mobile.

It also, obviously, is being driven by the cord-cutting phenomenon that is prevalent in North America and on the upswing in EMEA.

Between tablets, PCs and smartphones, meanwhile, the longest average time watched with long form video was 44 minutes, about the length of an hour-long television episode (sans commercials). Smartphones saw averages of 38.5 minutes and PCs just 25.3 minutes… a trend we’ve seen developing for the past several quarters as desktop and laptop computers slowly see a role change in online video.

Increasingly, short-form (0-5 minutes) is being watched on PCs (35%) and smartphones (36%), although the share on smartphones has plummeted from 55% just a year ago.

While long-form content has seen growing consumption trends across the world, on a regional basis, it’s interesting to note its preponderance on mobile devices, where it’s watched between 2.4 and 3.3 times more than on PCs.

There’s little doubt demand for content over-the-top continues to accelerate. While Netflix and Amazon are expected to continue spending massively on content – Netflix is on track to introduce 126 new titles this year – there’s a heck of a lot of activity elsewhere, too.

Content creators are being pressed to roll out titles at an ever quickening pace. As the OTT industry continues to expand its ability to offer Global entertainment channels, those titles often have to be crafted for consumption in multiple languages and to match up with local mores and, sometimes, disparate government regulation on content.

Those needs underline the impact software that can be used to automate segments of the process (and also reduce time to market) can have on the bottom line. Look for the boom in content demand to continue.

Interested in hearing more about this quarters Global Video Index? We’ll be hosting a pair of webinars Sept. 26.

Session 1 will be at 8 a.m. PDT.

Session 2 will be at 4 p.m. PDT.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Principal Analyst and Strategic Media Consultant for Ooyala. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn

football field, 50-yard line
Live sports is the most valuable — and expensive — digital content today, industry experts say. In many cases, it’s the core factor that’s keeping audiences (and advertisers) from abandoning linear broadcast and pay TV outright. 
 
Ooyala’s new white paper, IVPs are the Future: The New Era of Sports Broadcasting, explores how integrated video platforms (IVPs™) are helping sports content producers and providers manage the complex and profitable world of sports broadcasting. The competition is tough: In a recent Digital TV Europe survey of TV professionals cited by eMarketer, nearly 70% said the ability to live stream sports and other time-sensitive content was a differentiating factor for VOD services. 
 
The expansion of content rights deals to OTT, shifting audience habits, and growth of devices and advanced technologies are converging to make sports broadcasters re-think their production and delivery strategies. IVPs support these efforts in many ways, such as:
 
Streamline production and publishing workflows

Serve up live video and highlights more effectively 

Track all the action via metadata for later reuse

Deliver content rapidly to every partner, platform and fan
 
The white paper also includes examples of how Ooyala Flex and the Ooyala Video Platform work together as IVPs to help companies make the most of their sports content and workflows.
 
For more insights, download the white paper here.
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metadata image
Metadata — information about all of the elements that make up a piece of video — is now competing to lead the industry into the future. It’s playing an increasingly powerful role in video, alongside the creative and finished product itself.
 
Metadata: The Future of Video from Concept to Consumer is Ooyala’s new white paper that explores the critical role metadata plays in driving integration and optimization of video content throughout its lifecycle. Metadata helps producers and distributors move assets through production and delivery faster, create more relevant experiences for consumers, maximize their content investments and much more.
 
The industry’s realization of the importance and value of metadata has been growing: A recent Pay-TV Innovation Forum 2017 survey of pay-TV providers found that the majority of pay-TV executives believed data and analytics would be crucial to the direction of pay-TV over the next five years. 
 
The paper reviews the different types of metadata that exist, looks at advances to come, and walks through how metadata is used at each point in workflows:
 
Ingest, import, validate and manage 

Transcode, package, distribute and archive
Publish, discover, personalize and monetize 

Report and analyze 

 
Ooyala’s Integrated Video Platform (IVP™) solutions work together to harness metadata — making production and distribution workflows more efficient, adding intelligence to video, personalizing consumption and affording greater returns on content investment. 
 
For more insights, download the white paper here.
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The NFL has been eager to get its game in front of viewers globally for years; that was the reason behind its Yahoo trial two years ago, its brief flirtation with Twitter last year and it’s estimated $50 million deal for Thursday Night Football with Amazon Prime this season.

Audiencewise, the Yahoo and Twitter deals were just probes, testing the waters and the technology.

This year, the NFL is playing for real. It’s Amazon deal has the potential to reach a huge audience used to paying for games on pay-TV.

It’s just-announced deal with Tencent Sports, meanwhile, will give it access to an estimated 19 million Chinese consumers who’ve expressed interest in the NFL, streaming games to mobile and desktop devices for free. The NFL expects most games to be consumed on mobile devices because of the time difference between the two countries.

The exclusive deal includes live and on-demand preseason games, Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football games, as well as some Sunday afternoon games, the playoffs, the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl for the next three years.

“Our capability in production, content distribution and fans engagement will help NFL expand its audience profile and elevate the popularity of American football in China,” said Tencent VP Caitlyn Chen in a release.

Tencent Sports also has brought other big names to Chinese consumers, including global sports leagues and tournaments, basketball, soccer, tennis, winter sports and American football, among others.

“We will continue to maximize the value of the sports right owners via the partnership and enhance the digital entertainment experience for Chinese users. We are committed to contributing to the growth of China’s sports industry,” said Chen.

While just 19 million consumers will initially be targeted, Tencent reaches as estimated 960 million monthly active users via its social platforms Weixin and WeChat.

The NFL is hoping its product will be exportable, as ratings and interest in the sport has lagged over the past couple of years. Last year ratings were off 8% Y/Y, with the major issues being an audience that is aging, market saturation and an inability to attract Millennials.

This isn’t the first time the NFL has looked to China longingly … games and highlights have been available through nearly 20 satellite channels for several years since the 2009.

Even though the odds are long, the NFL sees the chance at gaining a toe hold in China as too good to pass up. Acquiring even a sliver of the addressable audience will help make up for lost eyeballs elsewhere.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Principal Analyst and Strategic Media Consultant for Ooyala. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn

Globally, subscription video on-demand (SVOD) is on a rocket trajectory and Latin America is deeply in the mix. While Netflix, Amazon and Hulu have been the leaders of subscription video on-demand growth, an increasing array of subscription services – there are more than 100 in the U.S. and Canada alone – are seeing fast subscriber growth and adoption across demographic groups.

The combined number of subscribers worldwide to “other” SVOD services vastly outnumbers the number of subscribers to the “Big 3” in the U.S. market. That gap is expected to widen as SVOD become the norm in the market.

In Latin America, a recent report from Digital TV Research posits that SVOD will dominate the over-the-top movie and TV episode segment (OTT), with an expected 62% share worth $2.86 billion by 2022, more than double what it was a year ago. The overall OTT market is pegged at $4.6 billion. The report forecasts the region to have 32.5 million SVOD subscribers, up from 17.1 million in 2016.

Brazil’s SVOD share of SVOD subs is expected to be 34%, with Mexico second at 28%.

As in the rest of the world, Netflix will have a major piece of the subscriber pie, but it’s expected to decline in share to 50% (16.32 million) versus the 64% (11 million) it saw in 2016. Amazon Prime Video which is just beginning to solidify its LatAm rollout plans, is expected to climb to 3.68 million, Blim could hit 3.04 million, Claro Video 2.79 million and HBO 1.07 million.

In Mexico, the region’s second-largest economy after Brazil, OTT is booming.

A recent report from the country’s Competitive Intelligence Unit (CIU) said OTT is the fastest-growing segment of the video entertainment industry in Mexico with streaming platforms now being used by 7 million users. While satellite pay-TV (11.2 million) and cable (8.6 million) subscribers remain dominant, the CIU said OTT grew 24% Y/Y in Q1, compared to satellite (up 3.7%) and cable (up 1.1%).

“Exclusive content available to be consumed everywhere on-demand has boosted OTT subscriptions. OTT’s market share is of 24.4%, nearing cable TV’s (31%),” the report said.

Mexico’s telecom authority, the IFT, last quarter said rising pay-TV prices have driven a burst of cord cutting, with operators in the first quarter losing virtually all their subscriber gains from 2016. The result has been more subscribers to SVOD services where more options “can deliver the same experience as pay-TV,” said Analyst and former IFT member Abel Hibert.


Mobile delivery will be a major driver

Mobile services are expected to play a larger role in the expansion of SVOD services than they do in more developed markets. In Brazil, for example, smartphone penetration is the highest in the region, with more than 65.7 million devices on networks.

Overall Internet penetration sits near just 60% in Latin America, but more than three-quarters of Latin Americans who are connected to the Internet watch content online. Reports say more than half watch via a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet.

Ooyala found in its 2017 Q1 Global Video Index – which interprets more than 2 billion anonymized data points from its customers to paint a picture of what’s happening in the online video industry – that more than 56% of all video views globally are on mobile devices.

Latin America, during the quarter, was in line with the rest of the globe in terms of videos watched on mobile devices matching the world’s 56% figure, a big jump from the 46% witnessed a year earlier.

Again, mobile network expansion will be the driver of expansion to new audiences. Wireless carriers are leveraging the relative low-cost of mobile network expansion, which is far less expensive than trying to run fiber to the home (FTTH), coax or copper (DSL).

In the first quarter of 2017, fiber accounted for roughly 10% of fixed broadband connections in Latin America, about 68.11 million households and DSL remained dominant at 51%.

But, by 2020, it’s expected the region will see 150 million new mobile Internet subscribers, far overshadowing fixed Internet expansion.

One example: Samsung Electronics and America Movil announced this week said they would partner to bring 4.5G mobile network to Mexico and other Latin American countries.

Ooyala, in its Q1 2017 Video Index, also found that long-form content, for the first time ever, made up the majority of time watched on all devices, connected TVs, computers, tablets and even smartphones. That shift is a huge opportunity for providers, especially in regions like Latin America where wireless infrastructure expansion is accelerating.

The migration of longer-form content to mobile devices also means that content providers need to be sure that the experience they offer on smaller screens is at least as good as the experience they offer on traditional screens, especially when you consider that the most avid consumers of that content are young and will be customers for a very long time.

Original content will be key

Original content continues to be a major selling point for consumers looking to turn away from traditional pay TV and more broadcasters and content owners are looking to stream content direct to consumers, eschewing pay-TV middlemen, creating a market that will give consumers multiple sources of content in an a la carte setting, a “create your own” bundle that’s likely to include live sports and other live events.

Again, niche content will have a significant role in the ecosystem with smaller studios and content owners gaining access to an increasingly willing-to-stream audience.

But content creation and distribution can be both difficult and expensive, especially if companies hope to leverage regional (even country-by-country) differences. Assuring the highest return on investment will require a technology solution that helps by compressing time-to-market, reduces overhead through automation and tracks content as it goes from concept to production to distribution.

What do you need to not just survive, but thrive in a booming SVOD marketplace??

The key is engagement and loyalty, delivering an experience that’s enjoyable enough to keep your subscribers coming back for more.

The ability to deliver a smooth, TV-like experience to your users that includes great recommendation and discovery, easy navigation, regularly refreshed content and the willingness to treat streaming video as a new business with a new business model. Now is not the time to reach back to your old business model for “new” ideas.

And remember, if you don’t act now, someone else will.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Principal Analyst and Strategic Media Consultant for Ooyala. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn

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IP will lead the way.
 
The Top 5 Video Trends in an IP-based World is Ooyala’s new white paper from leading research firm Parks Associates. It looks at the key macro trends that will shape the future as IP-based video increases. 
 
Today’s content companies face a lot of uncertainty and — surprise! — opportunities they’ve never had. The impact of increased viewing on connected devices, emerging OTT services, and unprecedented content demands is being felt at every stage. Here’s what will separate the winning companies from the rest: Being able to deliver new types of engaging content quickly and to pivot on a dime as further market shifts emerge.
 
In this environment, producers, broadcasters, distributors and media companies are evaluating and planning for their changing future. These include the potential benefits that new technologies like Ooyala Flex can provide for storytelling, user experience, and control over the content creation and delivery process.
 
Several macro trends will shape the future of the global video marketplace:
 
Live TV is not dying; it is shifting to connected devices

Users expect opportunities to interact with their content

Artificial Intelligence will play a key role in the success of video services

 
Video industry players should consider these patterns as they assess their future technology and strategy options. 
 
The white paper also looks at benefits companies are getting by moving to IP workflows, along with top factors for success going forward.
 
For more insights, download the white paper here.
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PPV UFC 214 comes to Sling TV. Will it drive subscriptions?

Sling TV is planning to offer its first-ever pay-per-view (PPV) event, the much anticipated UFC grudge match that features a pair of light heavyweights. UFC 214: Cormier v. Jones 2 features current champ Daniel Cormier against ex-champ Jon Jones who last met in 2015 at UFC 182.

Although the event will draw a decent following, it’s not likely to strain Sling TVs delivery technology, which has withstood tougher tests during March Madness, the NCAA Men’s basketball championship tournament. The fight’s pricetag -- $60 – also may reduce demand. It’s available to Sling TV subscribers at any tier.

But, the PPV play is a first and will potentially open up Sling TV to more opportunities down the road, which could be crucial to its growth. Sling TV is estimated to have about 1.7 million subscribers, far fewer than parent company Dish Network has lost over the past several years. In Q1 2015, the company had 13.84 million pay-TV subs. In Q1 2017, it was down to 12.17 million and roughly 1.36 million Sling TV subs.

Still, PPV on Sling could drive some additional viewers to sign up.

“Since we launched in 2015, we have focused on putting customers first, while pushing boundaries no other live OTT service has gone near,” said Roger Lynch, CEO of Sling TV. “Integrating UFC 214 directly into the Sling TV experience is the next step in Sling TV becoming a true cable replacement.”

Sling TV has had a busy week. In addition to the PPV bout, it also has added EPIX Drive-In – a repository of classic films and documentaries – to Sling Orange and Sling Blue; introduced a EPIX – an add-on that costs $5 per month to customers who subscribe to a base service and includes movies and original series like “Graves,” “Berlin Station” and more; and added Reelz, available in Hollywood Extra for Sling Orange and Sling Blue customers, REELZ brings more movies, specials and shows like “The Kennedys” and Autopsy: The Last Hours Of” to Sling TV.

Sling TV currently is the biggest player in the virtual MVPD space, a space that still remains significantly behind the SVOD space in terms of popularity with consumers.  

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Principal Analyst and Strategic Media Consultant for Ooyala. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn

Data? A growing, critical resource for the pay-TV and OTT industry

Earlier this year, a survey of pay-TV providers by the Pay-TV Innovation Forum 2017 found that the majority of pay-TV execs believed data and analytics will be critical to pay TV direction over the next five years.

That April survey pointed to the growing adoption of OTT services by younger audiences as a driving force behind operators examining changing business models. Operators are adapting products, bundles and prices to a new generation of consumers and they’re increasingly using advanced analytics to help them avoid pitfalls created by the major disruption the industry is undergoing.

“This year’s research program shows that the North American industry is moving forward, developing and extending product and service portfolios and addressing new opportunities,” said Jon Watts, managing partner of researcher MTM.

More research out this week points to the crucial role data and analytics play and says the market for pay-TV analytics is expected to more than double by 2022 to $3.7 billion globally, up from $1.8 billion in 2017. The driving force, it says: A need by content providers to find ways to separate from the crowd, making use, for example, of artificial intelligence to provide more relevant video experiences to their customers.

ABI Research’s Analytics Opportunity in Video Services points out that companies using siloed solutions for individual business units will begin to follow the examples set by best-in-class OTT companies, building unified data platforms that centralize data, but also make it available to all segments of the business.

As ABI said, offering an analytics dashboard increasingly is table stakes for technology companies offering any component of a video distribution service.

The differentiator is being able to take that descriptive data and turn it into predictive data that help develop insights into a business’s operations, helping to hone product offerings, better engage with customers and to increase ROI.

Jim O’Neill is Principal Analyst and Strategic Media Consultant for Ooyala. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn

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