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Streaming Media West Connect is This Week

Steve Nathans-Kelly (SNK): Today, I had the chance to speak with Streaming Media VP and editor in chief Eric Schumacher Rasmussen about our upcoming Streaming Media West Connect event. This is an online free webinars series that runs September 29 through October 2. Eric and I talked a little bit about who's going to be there, what some of the key topics are, and what attendees can expect to learn.

Let's talk first about a Streaming Media West Connect proper, the main conference we're doing. What are some of the highlights you can share now about that?

Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen (ESR): We've got some great speakers lined up for that. We're offering more sessions than we did for Streaming Media East Connect. We're covering our usual range of both technical and business and content topics. We've got Netflix, Disney, and Hulu talking about CMAF and the future of OTT. We've got Robert Reinhardt doing a presentation on WebRTC. So those are some of the geekier topics that we'll be covering. We've got a lot of sessions covering OTT business strategies. We've got a session on creating personalized OTT channels. HBO Max is going to be speaking on that. We'll be talking about OTT monetization with Roku and the streaming media reporter for Axios, Sara Fisher.

We've got CBS Interactive joining us. Comcast is on a couple of panels, sort of looking at OTT from all possible angles. So over the course of a week, attendees will really get a chance to mix and match the kind of sessions that they want to attend and get a good sense of the overall picture, as well as digging down deeper into some of the technical and business topics, if that's what they want to do.

SNK: And then we're doing a kind of opening session that's different from anything we've done before. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

ESR: Yeah, we are doing our second streaming media state of the streaming market survey. Tim Siglin from Help Me Stream, who's a Streaming Media contributing editor, and Unisphere Research and Streaming Media have teamed up to do that survey. [That survey has now closed -- Ed.]

At Streaming Media West Connect, we'll be opening with a keynote research presentation where I'll sit down with Tim and the sponsor of the survey, Zixi. And we'll be talking about the results and talking about what the state of the streaming market looks like. We did our first State of the Streaming Market report early in 2020. And that was pre-COVID. So now we'll really get some insights into how the market has changed in terms of live versus VOD, in terms of advertising and other business models since the COVID pandemic has changed things for all of us. So that'll be a really interesting sort of snapshot of where we are and where we've been over the last few months.

SNK: There's a closing keynote or closing session as well.

ESR: In fact, it's a session that we were hoping to present at Streaming Media East Connect, but circumstances prevented us from doing so. We're going to be talking about the lessons that we've all learned from the COVID-19 crisis. We're going to have Euan McLeod, a VP at HBO Max, talking about how HBO Max has been able to launch and, uh, and tailor its offerings in the face of COVID. And then we'll have John Giegengack from Hub Research and Michelle Abraham from S&P research talking about how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted both media and entertainment, streaming and consumption as well as enterprise and corporate streaming and consumption. So that'll be a great way to wrap things up on Friday.

SNK: Then the following Monday, October 5, back by popular demand, we're going to have a content delivery summit. So tell me a little bit about what people are going to see there.

ESR: Well Dom Robinson, once again is putting together Content Delivery Summit. We thought it was time to take sort of a revisit of what's going on in the content delivery world. And so Dom Robinson is pulling together speakers for that. We'll be talking about everything from edge and cache delivery to future content delivery models, talking a little bit about the greening of streaming, which is one of Dom's initiatives, looking at how streaming can become more energy efficient and environmentally conscious and also save money, which everyone wants to do. So that'll be a key part of the Content Delivery Summit and that's on Monday, October 5.

SNK: Then following that, you know, one of the most popular parts of our events have always been workshops. These are in-depth, hands-on, just really drilling down into a specific topic for a longer stretch of time. So, we've got a full slate of workshops coming up that week. Tell me about what we're going to have.

ESR: Robert Reinhardt is going to do an in-depth workshop on a WebRTC and building WebRTC applications. And then Jan Ozer is going to be presenting a two-part streaming media bootcamp. The morning session will be about encoding and transcoding and the afternoon session will be about live streaming. Now those are all paid workshops, $199 apiece, although I'm pretty sure people can find a discount code.

We'll also have a number of free workshops put on by some sponsors. Dolby is going to put on a workshop about optimizing content for every screen. Broadfield is going to put on a workshop with multiple speakers talking about different key technologies for live streaming, and then Bitmovin will be presenting a workshop as well. And the topic for that will be announced soon. All of those workshops are absolutely free to attend.

SNK: Anything else you think people should know at this point about the event?

ESR: No, I'm just really excited that we've got so much content available over two weeks, most of it free. The paid workshops are those deep dives that really for $199 each are a steal. And I'm excited about the speakers we've got and looking forward to presenting another Streaming Media virtual event.

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