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Digital Video Playout, audio, VOD, Live, ott
Audio-only content… Who cares?
Monday, January 14, 2019
You're a seasoned video content creator and publisher looking to keep your audiences engaged anytime, anywhere. Have you considered… audio? 
The media production and broadcast industry has a long-standing, but shortsighted, emphasis on the properties of video: video quality, video technology, video creativity. When audio properties are enhanced (e.g. Dolby 5.1 or VR 360 or Spatial Audio), this is often aimed at augmenting the video experience. In my decades in this industry, I’ve heard many times (usually from video editors) the terrifying statement: “Who cares? It’s only audio." Gasp! 
But if you take a deeper look at ways to engage and monetize, audio sans video can bring handsome returns. 
Imagine you're watching (and listening to!) the live stream of that hugely exciting boxing match, but you must make a trip to the store rather soon. The game reaches halftime, but you really want to catch the analysis. That is this the perfect time to switch the stream to audio, bringing you hands-free multitasking. Good news: your content provider is using OoyalaLIVE, so you can simply continue to listen to the stream with the audio-only player on your mobile device, while driving safely. 
Using the same Ooyala platform that you already deploy for VOD and Live, you can now offer audio-only content of your entire existing video catalogue. These audio-only experiences will help you reach and retain viewers, who now become listeners as well. 
Back to that boxing match: This a great opportunity to keep fans engaged post-game with an audio-only analysis discussion. Ears stay glued to speakers, and your production costs are significantly less when video is removed. 
If audio is already your primary content, you can leverage OoyalaPLAY (for VOD) and OoyalaLIVE (for live streaming) audio-only players. In this ever-connected world, there are (thankfully) still many opportunities to remain offline - and this is where you can provide offline listening via podcasting, with a range of monetization models to increase revenue.
The best way to win in today’s competitive media and entertainment landscape is to offer more ways to keep eyes and ears engaged. As a consumer, I prefer holistic OTT offerings that bring me a one-stop shop for all my video and audio favorites (VOD, radio, podcasts, live streams…), at home or across web and mobile.
The beauty of audio content is that it doesn't demand high engagement from listeners. I like to multi-task, so if content providers want to consume two of my major senses at once, they'd better have amazing content. Audio-only, however, is not so demanding: I can listen as I drive, exercise or cook.  I have much more time in my busy life for audio-only content than for video - and I'm hardly unique.
So yes, you should care about audio, because your audience does. (Just see what they do if audio fails as they stream the final of your country's most-watched talent show.) Why not also offer them audio-only experiences to follow the show even when they can't watch? It's simply the smart move. 
Want to know more? Contact us. Let's talk about how to enhance experiences for your whole audience. We’ll be glad to set up an in-depth demo of our audio-only player. 
Bea Alonso
Bea Alonso is the Director of Global Product Marketing at Ooyala. She is responsible for the go-to-market strategy and positioning for Ooyala’s Flex Media Platform and other solutions, to ensure they meet the needs of today’s broadcast and media industry.
Bea is passionate about solutions that increase efficiencies through workflow orchestration, providing visibility into the media production process, and speeding up time to market. In her view, now is the perfect time to harness the tsunami of change that the media and entertainment industry is undergoing, as this presents tremendous business opportunities for technology providers, and content creators and distributors alike.
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