Note: This post is supporting component #3 of Experience and Economics: Brightcove’s Manifesto for Media in 2017. Download the full manifesto as a PDF here.
Transcoding, Storage and Bandwidth Savings with Dynamic Media Delivery. Driven by the growing diversity of content types, content destinations and business models of Brightcove customers, we have been witnessing growth in the number and complexity of siloed workflows that they are managing. Operating components of most workflows in isolation from one another means compromising on efficiency, and often quality. Siloed approaches to video workflow are no exception. It wasn’t long ago that when we would facilitate a customer’s delivery of content to a multitude of platforms and devices, we would have to work with various silos — Flash HTTP Dynamic Streaming for a few browsers or devices, Smooth Streaming for the Xbox 360, HLS for iOS and macOS, and so on. The end result may have been a successful media experience for our customer’s audience but at the expense of extra storage, CDN delivery cost, and a management challenge for of all those assets.
Today, the game has changed. We have been hard at work on some foundational elements of video workflow and packaging that will measurably benefit our customers in 2017. We have long since fixed the format problem and can deliver the properly conditioned stream to each platform requesting one, delivered in the prevalent formats today—HLS and DASH (as well as a number of other formats, too). This is more than simple encoding and transcoding.
Modern media workflows now require many different types of content processing; tasks like the application of digital rights management (DRM), the markup and preparation of video files for ad insertion or their distribution to social networks like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Maybe a customer requires the tagging of content for ease of management in the context of the different subscription packages that comprise its OTT service. At their core, these workflows must be able to properly process and package each individual stream for the appropriate user and platform. This is often referred to as stream conditioning. At Brightcove, we call our ability to do this Dynamic Media Delivery. This innovation will fundamentally change a number of things for our customers - most favorably in their cost of operation, through not having to manage disparate elements that perform these functions separately and with additional, per solution costs. Customers delivering premium content with DRM and targeting multiple devices will see the most dramatic benefits as we reduce the number of renditions of each video required from as many as 50-100 down to fewer than 10, slashing costs associated with transcoding and storage. Additionally, publishers will spend less time and effort managing siloed workflows. Dynamic Media Delivery incorporates all of these functions and many more in one powerful processing engine that we are excited to roll out in 2017.
Efficient Social Video Publishing. Another area of workflow efficiency that we are providing to our customers is social video publishing. Media companies want to scalably reach the massive audiences on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. In recent years, we had discovered our customers doing labor-intensive and time-consuming things like downloading videos out of Video Cloud, saving them somewhere, and then re-uploading them to Facebook to apply tags and be sure that the videos would play back natively. Or, sometimes they would be paying a third-party vendor for a solution to manage all the clips for social distribution and analytics purposes.
When we launched Brightcove Social in 2016, we enabled streamlined, simultaneous (if desired), native publishing across Facebook, YouTube and Twitter right from Video Cloud. The process became fast, simple and inexpensive, especially for those who had been paying for extra tech for this workflow. The 2017 roadmap for Social has a slew of features to increase the initial efficiencies our customers have discovered.
Bandwidth and Storage Cost Savings with Dynamic Profiles. Today Brightcove’s Video On Demand (VOD) customers use a set of predetermined video delivery profiles, which contain static bitrate specifications regardless of asset type, to deliver their video content to consumers. We view this as being less than efficient. In fact, we believe that doing so creates inefficiencies that result in 30% to 40% higher storage and delivery costs than necessary, decreased viewer engagement and device reach, as well as a higher degree of complexity for those customers who try to create their own sets of custom delivery profiles.
We are implementing the next major improvement in this area, something we are calling Dynamic Profiles. Using this technology, we can fully analyze our customers’ videos and use machine learning to inform a better, more effective way of processing the content. We are excited at the potential that Dynamic Profiles can deliver and the cost savings we will pass on to our customers. We expect to drive an average cost savings associated with CDN Delivery in the range of 25-50% for our media customers using Dynamic Profiles.
Faster, Lower Cost OTT. For our customers delivering new OTT Services on devices (e.g. iOS, Android, FireTV, Roku, AppleTV...), we also introduced a new solution in 2016 that we think will still have a large impact in cost reduction for media companies launching new services in 2017. Had you asked about this type of solution just two years ago, we would have had to architect and deliver it as a custom engagement. Today, we have Brightcove OTT Flow powered by Accedo — a robust product that reduces time-to-market for launching an out-of-the-box OTT Service. OTT Flow offers a single point of contact for the entire solution, rapid prototyping, and real-time revisions that integrate with the industry-leading platforms. There are no upfront development expenses, and new multi-platform services with exceptional quality video can go live in weeks. Costs are transparent and predictable and can be at an order of magnitude lower than typical OTT development and operational costs — in certain cases providing viability to offerings that serve more niche audiences.
The sum of these items is market-shifting. In 2017, we will enable customers to reduce silos, eliminate custom work and cumbersome integration projects, lower storage and delivery costs, and shorten time-to-market.
I invite you to read more here about how reducing our customers’ video operations and delivery costs by 50% fits in with the rest of Brightcove’s Manifesto for Media and our plans for 2017.