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SMW 17: Deluxe's Rick Phelps Talks Full-Service Broadcast Content Delivery

Tim Siglin: Welcome back to Streaming Media West 2017. I’m Tim Siglin, contributing editor with Streaming Media Magazine and Media Strategy Principal at ReelSolver Incorporated. Today I have with me Rick Phelps from Deluxe. Rick, tell me your title and tell me a little bit about Deluxe.

Rick Phelps: My name's Rick Phelps, as you mentioned. I'm Senior Vice President of Broadcast Sales for Deluxe Entertainment based out of the New York office. Deluxe is one of the oldest film processing companies in America, if not the oldest, and now we do pretty much every service for studios and broadcasters around media services.

Tim Siglin: What's new about the way that Deluxe is focusing toward broadcast, because I think for you that's an area of focus?

Rick Phelps: Historically, Deluxe has done a lot of work with the studios upstream in content production creative services, and now we're putting a real focused effort on broadcasting, broadcasters, and the consumption of video content around the globe.

Tim Siglin: You all made an announcement today for a smart video engine that you'd acquired from Siemens. Is that part of a new technology group within Deluxe?

Rick Phelps: We have a new department called Deluxe Technologies. Deluxe had a lot of legacy technologies that ran to different businesses within Deluxe. Now we're combining that into one platform where anybody can give us content one time and we can provide it to any platform, any device, in any language around the globe now.

Tim Siglin: Are some of those technologies from the film industry that are rolling over into broadcast?

Rick Phelps: What we see is that whole kind of value chain within the production of content. You would typically have disparate systems where you would actually look at rushes, then send them to another system to create versions of those, then send it to another platform to distribute it, whether it be a VOD-delivered file or a stream to a cable affiliate. We see that as one workflow. So now as you give us that content immediately, we can give access to it at every stage along the path. Then manage that full service for somebody or let them manage it themselves.

Tim Siglin: So Deluxe is one of those companies that's been sort of a holistic end-to-end as you talked about. What's the benefit to your customer of that end-to-end scenario versus going to best-in-breed on a number of different companies?

Rick Phelps: I think the big benefit is you can give us your content once, your video content, your graphics content, your metadata. Just give that to us once in your mezzanine format and we'll handle all the complexities of getting it into the different types of platforms and the different types of specs that you need.

Tim Siglin: Do you partner with OVPs that do the delivery, or do you have CDN agreements with large CDNs?

Rick Phelps: We have our own CDN. We also partner with CDNs, but with the smart video engine product does from Siemens that we recently acquired, that gives us that whole consumer engagement part of the bit. Everything else we've done. That enables us to now do the full end-to-end where we're the actual OVP ourselves.

Tim Siglin: So this CDN that you have or this OVP that you have, is that a broadcast-focused delivery or is that for digital cinema and theaters, or where does that play?

Rick Phelps: It’s primarily focused for content owners broadcasters and platforms as well. So a platform could stop investing in their own infrastructure and just fully outsource their TV everywhere platform or their whole on-demand platform to us.

Tim Siglin: Wow. Okay. That's interesting. What kind of traction have you had with companies who say, “We're not really interested in continuing to put effort into our home grown solution”?

Rick Phelps: That's the big trend that you see across the board in our industry. It was first the Cloud. Now people are putting their content on the Cloud and they see the benefits of not having to reinvest into that equipment every year and run facilities. It's moving very rapidly in that direction.

Tim Siglin: What about security? I just did a panel with representatives from Brightcove, Concurrent, another couple other companies. Security seems to be especially important for premium content.

Rick Phelps: It is very important. At Deluxe we have the pedigree of being a highly secure partner with the studios. So we're trusted. Everywhere along the line we have a broadcast delivery network where we use the public internet to deliver streams and files and we're using high-grade military encryption on that. So everywhere through to process security is one of our number one components that we have in there. The key thing about that as well is now the speed to market that's required by people to get their content. Because the longer you wait after the original viewing window, the more tendency for piracy right? So now they're tricking those windows down. One platform can enable you to do that faster as well.

Tim Siglin: Isn't it interesting that years ago we were concerned about VHS cannibalizing theater viewing and it had the opposite effect. Then we were concerned about DVD doing that and it had the opposite effect. Now we actually seem to have something that is limiting the length of times movies are in theaters because we want to get it out to a broader audience across OTT platforms first.

Rick Phelps: You do see that more and more now.

Tim Siglin: That model has shifted significantly, and I applaud Deluxe for stepping from what it used to know into the way that the world is actually moving these days. Obviously, from your standpoint, for sales in broadcasts, it's incredibly important that customers understand not just that you are able to handle the studios in the old model, but that you're able to work with them and kind of pushing them forward into the new delivery model.

Rick Phelps: It's exciting. If you look at it, Deluxe does almost every aspect of the full workflow. We do languaging. We do compliance editing. We do access services. Really everything. We're global. There's really one company out there that can do every service and every area of the world and that's Deluxe.

Tim Siglin: Is your focus, as you go and look at broadcasters to go to shows like IBC and NAB, the streaming shows and finding new potential customers, or is it to go back to those existing customers like the studios and reassure them that you can handle the process?

Rick Phelps: I think it's both. We're going to these shows but we're also going to the MIPCOMs and those types of shows as well because the content owners they really just want to create content and market that content. We're there. We can be that partner that can just handle all the complexities of delivering that content for them.

Tim Siglin: Awesome. Once again, Rick Phelps from Deluxe. Rick, thank you for being with us today.

Rick Phelps: Thank you.

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