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TVU Networks: 2017 Online Video Industry Predictions

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With so many people watching different types of video on mobile devices, there's a simultaneous demand for lower cost production and more content. When there were fewer choices of what to watch and viewers were limited, broadcasters could command high advertising rates and had greater control over content and distribution. But with people streaming individualized programming on their own devices, that model has changed drastically.

We've already seen an uptick in live reality, event, and niche sports programming. As we move into the new year, not only will we continue to watch the rise of video content being distributed on CDNs and social media platforms like Facebook Live, but we'll also continue to pay attention to streaming in non-traditional areas like security, emergency services, law enforcement, government, and corporations. With the technology available now, the potential for content creation is truly only limited by your imagination. Anyone can create content and deliver from a phone, but to do it professionally, you need to look at solutions and equipment that allow you to do full traditional video production from a remote device.

2017 is going to be the year of experimentation for live video on social platforms. Facebook Live came out swinging at the back half of 2016, and now several other platforms are catching up. 2017 is going to be the year of evolution and exploring these new forms of creation and distribution.

See below the video for a full transcript of our interview with Paul Shen. See the rest of the 2017 Streaming Media Executive Predictions in the related articles below, or download the entire batch here.

Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen: Hi, I'm Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen-Rasmussen and I'm talking today with Paul Shen, who is the CEO of TVU Networks. We're talking a little bit about the executive predictions article he wrote for the January/February issue of Streaming Media magazine. Welcome Paul, how are you doing?

Paul Shen: Good, thank you Eric.

Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen: Good! Maybe you can start, for those of our viewers who don't know, by telling us what TVU Networks does.

Paul Shen: Right. TVU was founded in 2005. We have foreseen the viewer behavior changing. The whole TV industry is changing. So what we look at is what's needed for the TV station to be more relevant in the future IP of the world. We recognize it's very important how we can can produce the tools and the solutions to help those TV stations. Moving from traditional broadcaster to a more accounting creator and a media company serving those audiences which they want to serve.

As of today, we have over 140 employees in over ten countries. We are very big global company, but we are very much rooted in the US. In fact, all of our products are manufactured in the U.S. Our customer base is actually very global. We have about 1,500 TV stations in over 85 countries. as of today, over a million hours of live video in the past year, 2016 flows through our system transmitted with TVU equipment. We've become a very integral part of their operation.

Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen: Well that's terrific. In your executive predictions article you write about to simultaneous demands that you see going on right now. On one hand, there's a demand for low-cost production. On the other hand, there's a demand for more and more content, right? Are those two demands kind of at odds with each other?

Paul Shen: Yes and that's why TV stations need the new solutions. If you look at traditional TV production its very much a similar operation. There are a lot of computers in the process, but every stage of the process humans do get involved. And as you know very well, today the younger generation don't watch TV. They don't spend time together watching TV. They watch what they want, at the time they want it, on the device they have. The consequence is much more content needs to be produced and we recognize people want high quality content. The only way to do that is to automate the process. That's the way to adjust that. A lot of people talk about IP. The reality of what IP would enable is automation. If we look at the traditional production process its very much like an assembly line. This is part of why each stage of the process is very defined. Once it is IP-based we can transform this and a lot of the stages of the process can be automated.

Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen: As we know social steaming and particularly Facebook Live was kind of the big story of 2016. Looking forward to the rest of 2017 what trends do you see happening in that social platform streaming space?

Paul Shen: Yes, lots of our customers are on Facebook live. The more and more content on there, the first reaction to that is monetization. That is the next phase. Now people are recognizing that a lot of our customers are on Facebook Live using our equipment and monetization will be a critical part. If you look at traditional TV broadcasting, in fact Facebook Live is very interesting in that too, is that its not preroll/postroll, it's interstitials, and in fact all our equipment was designed with that in mind. We recognize the cue tone, the whole technology very well, in fact we embed all the signals into our video transmitter. The consequence of that is our customers are ready for interstitials. They are ready for monetization. I think in 2017 our monetization will be the quickest part. Monetization is why people put the content on Facebook Live, or even YouTube Live, anywhere. Its because of monetization.

Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen: Now, social might get all the headlines, but obviously there's been and explosion in stream in security, law enforcement, government enterprise. Any sector you can imagine there's been growth in live streaming there. What are the key things to watch for in those kinds of markets in the non entertainment streaming world?

Paul Shen: We have been working with a lot of our customers, such as, NYPD and others. We recognize very well more and more live streaming happen. What we are now looking at is simply enabling live streaming. Once you have more live, real content, humans are no longer able to manage that content. What you need is automation. You need the AI, you need the facial recognition. And all of those demand a lot of the integration and also much higher quality transmission. In the past people always said, 'Oh, in video surveillance we don't need the HD quality.' That is not the case today. We have seen a lot of demand to increase the quality of the transmission, now the machine can recognize and use that information. So, a lot of the transformation will move toward HD or even 4K, and a lot of the transformation will be integrated with the AI.

Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen: Getting back to TVU Networks specifically, what can we look forward to from TVU in the next twelve months or so?

Paul Shen: We always in introduce new and exciting products and we may have a lot of interesting products being introduced. More importantly we have a very large number of customers, we are already integrated into their work flow. We will begin focusing on expanding our ecosystem so we can make their work flow seamless and introduce more automation into their process and continue to help them reduce their operation cost.

Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen: Sounds great. I look forward to seeing what you've got at NAB.

Paul Shen: Yes, look forward to seeing you there.

Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen: All right. Thanks, Paul.

Paul Shen: Thank you.

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