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Roberta Cambio

By Roberta Cambio

Senior Product Marketing Manager at Brightcove

Benefits of Linear Channels for O&O Sites


Linear Channels on O&O Sites

As cloud scheduling and playout capabilities achieve parity with traditional broadcast technologies, linear channels are growing exponentially. However, the growth goes beyond FAST distributors, as noted by Robert Ambrose, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Caretta Research:

“There’s a notable increase in the proportion of viewing from streaming from the two big UK broadcasters, each of which has a clear super-app strategy. The BBC is up from 7% to 11%, ITV has risen from 3% to 8%.”

Super-apps are an evolution of broadcasters’ owned and operated apps and are key in their quest to pivot from linear ad sales to addressable digital advertising. Linear channels have already demonstrated their value on platforms such Samsung TV Plus, The Roku Channel, Pluto TV, and Tubi. But they also bring a number of unique benefits to owned properties.

Engage Your Audience

Choice fatigue is real. According to Nielsen, audiences spend over 10 minutes on average looking for something to watch. Why not present curated channels on your homepage and grab your viewers’ attention immediately?

You could also build on the hype of a major sporting event and spin up a pop-up channel. It could show previous editions of the event or shoulder content that feeds the fans’ interest in the time leading to a major final. For example, ITV has found success with their Rugby World Cup pop-up channel on ITVX as well as their seasonal Christmas channel.

Control Your Monetization

While FAST platforms offer different monetization models for linear channels, the options are limited. Some own all of the advertising inventory and pay content owners a revenue share. Others accept ad tags from content owners and give them an inventory share.

In contrast, when you use your O&O sites, you fully control monetization through a vendor or your own ad tech team. You can also leverage hybrid monetization models and use a linear channel to share previews of a new series on your subscription service.

Brightcove provides a number of options to give you control of your advertising. If you don’t have an ad tech team, our Ad Monetization solution can support you with a managed service that maximizes your ad revenue. You can also leverage it for unsold ad inventory and ensure you don’t leave money on the table. We also have hybrid ad insertion capabilities like client-side pre-roll with live SSAI, offering a high-quality live experience with the real-time control of CSAI.

Own Your Analytics

Content owners need data about their content and audience, but some FAST platforms act like walled gardens. Further, aggregating and reconciling data across multiple platforms can make identifying actionable insights challenging.

If you offer linear channels on your O&O sites, you fully own your analytics. For example, your data might uncover an opportunity to launch a new channel or help you adjust your schedule with sought-after content at peak times. It could also allow you to address Quality of Experience (QoE) impairments affecting your viewing experience.

Brightcove’s family of Insights products has everything you need to harmonize all of your data and extract actionable insights. You can dive deep into audience composition and assess engagement levels. You can correlate audience engagement with content dimensions to identify hidden gems as well as blockbusters. And you can see how your audience reacts to changes in your QoE.

Set Your Scheduling

While FAST platforms may make scheduling demands based on their own goals, O&O sites enable you to adjust your program lineup as you see fit. You can test different content lineups or brand new assets and collect immediate feedback that over time can inform your content production or purchase decisions.

In addition to Brightcove’s robust lineup of media products, Cloud Playout 2.0 introduces a simple scheduling UI. Along with several key features, the linear scheduler makes linear channels easy to launch and manage.

  • Search for and add VOD assets and playlists or live content
  • Perform single and bulk actions (such as copy/paste, move, and delete)
  • Automatically identify conflicts and gaps, with actions available to resolve them
  • Add pre- or post-roll bumpers and set ad breaks and durations with a rundown editor
  • Monitor the program lineup ahead of publishing in draft mode

Alongside a channel, Cloud Playout also outputs an Electronic Program Guide (EPG). The EPG communicates the timestamps for each piece of content to the front-end experience, so viewers can decide what to watch and when.

Centralize Your Assets

As Robert Ambrose at Caretta Research said, “Backend tech needs to evolve from a catchup VOD focus to infrastructure equally able to deliver low-latency live, plus automated FAST channels.” Therefore, it’s key for content owners to work with vendors that support VOD, live, and linear in a single platform.

When all content and necessary metadata sit in the same hub, workflows are streamlined and time and resources are optimized. With Cloud Playout 2.0, Brightcove adds a strong offering for linear channels to its established streaming capabilities. We can support all your streaming needs—from VOD to live to linear—and we can elevate your viewer experience on your O&O sites and apps.

Learn more in Caretta Research’s e-book, “The Rise of Super-Apps.”