The Current State of "True Live" OTT Platforms
Learn more about "true live" streaming at scale at Streaming Media East 2022.
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Jonathan Barbato: I understand in the streaming universe, there's the platform technology and the content, but then there's also the actual stream technology. People like Amagi and Wurl delivering those streams. Are we close, or is it happening? Tubi announced earlier this year that there'll be bringing some of the Fox Sports live. What do you guys know about what's happening out there in the industry? Is this something that we can expect tomorrow the next day or years from now?
Patrick Bradley: I'll just start off 'cause it's really outside of my wheelhouse, right? So in the new world of live streaming and monetization of live stream, there's the platform--so TIXR in this case is the platform. Then there's the production group, the cameras and the switcher software and everything that's live event producing. So Barry in the comedy club example, there's a team there, there's a few cameras. We work with comedy clubs and music clubs that now are installing that to have it full time. And then once that all comes together, there's the stream key or the RTMP feed that then goes somewhere, right. In our case, it's to TIXR and worldwide fans can purchase. So I'm not as familiar with Wurl and these other kind of FASDT channel technology platform partners, but I would assume it's just another plug in at that point. I just don't know if they're ready. Barry?
Barry Gordon: Patrick, it's interesting. And it's the perfect question. And yes, the reason that we couldn't do this this year is because it really wasn't ready to be seamless. There are a few moving parts, and besides Wurl being able to deliver it out into the Wurl network, if you will, you have to be able--to your point, whether you're doing a 26-camera shoot with a live line cut, sending it over--it's really, it's a box. And the reason that we've done some extra work--at which I laugh and I say on the ground and in the cloud--is in addition to the production company that we'll have shooting live multicam, we do have a support team that will be available. That'll be sort of that middle company, if you will, that'll be doing the middleware into Wurl that also used to do all the live playback for people like ESPN.
Full disclosure, these folks actually built some of those systems, so they're excited about taking what they've built over the years and doing live sports broadcasts and not bringing that into the digital environment. And yes, essentially it's a box, and it's a box that deals with expanded signals and reducing latency, and also the ability to then put in the dynamic ads, 'cause then you could build the ads in during the setup of the show.
But it's literally just using a live on-site graphics package for the line cut, very much like you do with your big events scaled down to four or five-camera shoot with with the tech team in the middle, making certain that it's a good proper stream into Wurl. We do have a company on the ground that would be needed to supply that box and that extra expertise to come from both playout and digital.
If the story of 2020 and 2021 was largely of pandemic-propelled streamer growth, then 2022 and beyond is shaping up to be a period in which the industry has to adapt to a more complex ecosystem.