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Streaming Media West Preview: Cloud Graphics Are the Future!

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If you’ve spent decades innovating in media, you’ve seen the ebb and flow of crazy waves. Some turn into tsunamis, others peter out. Some do both, but for different use cases. Personalization, livestreaming, chat, device-shifting, interactivity, digital goods—and who can forget second-screen? The fact is another wave is gathering momentum. Will it stick? Who knows, but here’s my bull case for this unusual slice of under-covered streaming tech.

BlogFirst, my wife hates the ticker when we watch baseball. Me? I love it. Personalized graphics over live streams is a no brainer. Clippers Courtvision has shown the way.

Second, what about virtual channels? Take your VOD, replays, and bonus content, string them together, and freshen it up with live data and social feeds. Voila! Simulated live, or Simulive. Easy, low-cost 24x7 channels for everyone.

Third, eSports much? The exploding video game and Twitch-style influencer economy—what with its live chats and virtual goods—has high heat. Obvi.

Fourth, hold yourself together on this: Second-screen gamification, audience engagement, and interactivity is back with a vengeance! Sports betting and predict-the-play type fantasy is now officially in landgrab mode. (Check your local app store.) Content is king? Nah. Data viz is king. Call it AR.

Fifth, cloud, free, and open source. Chromium is open, mature, widely implemented software with a powerful yet deceptively simple proposition. And there are other ways to do this, too! Cloud graphics tech feels under-appreciated to me relative to its obvious value in the future of streaming TV.

Finally, a counter-argument: While cloud graphics aren’t “high-end” production values per se, the history of digital proves a thriving high-end does not preclude a thriving low-end/long-tail. The value of the democratized, aggregated long-tail can dwarf the high-end. Moreover, given the pace of innovation driven by advanced clouds and hyperscalers, we may see progress ahead that solves for this challenge, too.

So there it is. Six rock solid reasons why you need to know everything about cloud graphics and digital/interactive overlays.

Oh, good news! I’m giving a special talk at Streaming Media West on November 19. It’s called, Everything you Need to Know About Cloud Graphics and Digital Overlays.

It’ll feature content from a diverse range of innovators including Bee-On from Never.No, Crowdpurr, Promethean, Stream Elements, Maestro, Singular.Live, Flowics, Sparx (formerly iPowow,) Unpause, Skreens, and SuperFly.tv as well as pioneers formerly at Vidpresso (acquired by Facebook in 2018.)

Are you a cloud graphics pioneer? Reach out to me on LinkedIn or Twitter and I’ll add you to the list.

For everyone else? See ya there!

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