View from the Top 2021: Innovating to Make a Difference
Outside of health care and education—two sectors that are public and not corporate in most parts of the world, but that's another topic—no market has undergone as much transformation in the past 18 months as streaming media. When the pandemic shut down schools, doctor's offices, retail, and concert and sports venues, video stepped in to keep teaching, patient care, business, and entertainment going.
All of the companies in this year's Streaming Media 50 rose to that challenge. As others have written, 2020-2021 was the year that streaming video providers were put to the test, in a world where "virtual" became a synonym for "video," and video was often the only game in town. Live concert streams and online conference feeds were no longer secondary to "the real thing"—the were the real thing. And that changed the way we think about everything. The world we live in is more fragile than ever, and while video can never take the place of human contact, either intentional or serendipitous, it can bring us together when external circumstances keep us apart.
And while only a few of the entries in this year's View from the Top reference the pandemic directly, it's an undercurrent in each one of these executives' articles. While streaming video may not typically be a matter of life or death (though it can save lives, to be sure), there's an urgency in these writings that I've never seen before. A good executive puts people before profits, and the best executives understand that the two are inseparable. The executives who wrote these articles get it, and they know that it's true for both the people inside their organizations and the people who are their customers.
On its own, technological innovation is meaningless. After all, just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. Personalized advertising, low latency delivery, simplified OTT workflows, video quality metrics, content protection—all of these technologies serve people in different ways, but all of them make a real difference. The thirteen companies in View from the Top 2021 are prime examples of purposeful, meaningful innovation that improves people's lives. I urge you to take a look at all of these articles, and maybe don't start with the biggest company first. Each one of them has something valuable to say.
- Eric Iverson, AWS for Media & Entertainment
- Kevin Joyce, TAG Video Systems
- Martin Rogard, Dacast
- Ariff Sidi, Edgecast
- Alon Maor, Qwilt
- Dr. Abdul Rehman, SSIMWAVE
- John Wastcoat, Zixi
- Srinivasan KA, Amagi
- Olga Kornienko, EZDRM
- Matt McClure, Mux
- Roy Reichbach, Phenix
- George Bokuchava, Tulix
- Jon Samsel, Verimatrix
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Five solution areas are key for media and entertainment companies: content production, media supply chain & archive, broadcast, D2C & streaming, and data science and analytics
Elevating the consumer experience to the highest-level possible requires deep insight into quality, metrics and issues; data that was previously beyond the reach of operators. Thanks to TAG's Realtime Media Platform, however, that data is now accessible.
Dacast is expanding its highly scalable infrastructure to provide multi-CDN delivery to help deliver high-quality content to viewers worldwide, including in China.
Content will always be king, but user experience—from personalized streams to personalized advertising—is becoming nearly as important in attracting and retaining viewers
Qwilt is scaling fast, well on the way to reaching 200Tbps global capacity with its Open Edge Cloud, based on Open Caching, and customers like BT, Verizon, TIM Brazil, and Telecom Argentina are embracing the new content delivery model
Viewers have shown that they have huge appetites for content diversity. Success in delivery in the direct-to-consumer environment means being able to consistently meet viewer experience targets so that viewers keep tuning in and your business runs profitably.
Software-defined and virtualized workflows provide a degree of responsiveness that is impossible to replicate in any other manner. For that reason, we are seeing more and more large-scale media enterprises pivot towards increasingly end-to-end cloud-based workflows.
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This last year, video became a crucial component of every major business across the world, and even as things return to normal, development teams need to find easy, scalable, and rapidly deployable solutions.
The chatter around whether or not WebRTC can scale should now be less about "can" it scale, but rather can "your" company make it scale? At Phenix the answer is a resounding yes.
Live linear channels have grown in number, as has the video quality they are delivering. And advances in hardware and software have reduced the cost of launching channels significantly.
Due to the growth in scope, frequency, and severity of cyberthreats, today's media and entertainment industry needs more security, not less. This can present a difficult choice for some companies—compromise your creative vision, or lower your security standards? We believe you don't need to sacrifice innovation for security—you can have both.
Our annual Streaming Media 50 rounds up the most important, most interesting, and most innovative solutions providers in online video. You'll find names both familiar and unfamiliar here, as newer entrants join market veterans. So who made the list? Read on ...
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