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What Is Real-Time Engagement?

See Brad's full Tech Talk from Streaming Media East Connect.

Learn more about viewer engagement at Streaming Media West 2021.

Brad Altfest: Imagine, until now, the viewing experience has been one way, one-to-many, the "lean-back experience" as we call it. And how many new lean-back experiences can we really have at this point? Key players in the industry are struggling to play catch-up to just having their own OTT channels. But the reality is there is so much more that is technically possible than is currently being exploited industry-wide.

This is a tech talk, but this isn't a delivery conversation. So think of this as the anti-CDN. Real-time engagement (RTE) is providing an immersive user experience where the viewer becomes a part of the production. Global trends we're seeing out in the market already include co-watching parties. We've all tried doing this during COVID. You're on your Zoom with your buddies. You have your primary TV. Everybody queues up the movie or the TV show we're all going to watch together and then, "Hey, everybody play!"

Well, that's not exactly a very integrated experience. And now there's a way to synchronize the primary viewing experience in a real way, and have companion audio, video, and text chat available to interact during the show. Further, virtual concerts provide opportunities for the viewer to have a shared audio experience, and even with video walls, become a part of the theatrical process itself.

RT also supports remote and real-time cloud-based production gambling, gamification of content, virtual tipping, live shopping. The possibilities are endless.

Today we're going to talk about some of the underlying technologies that make all of this possible, a few trends studies from the RTE landscape and a bit of a discussion about how you can bring these same immersive social audio, and video experiences into a variety of applications and platforms. There are a variety of verticals, which are an obvious pair for RTE online education, and e-learning telemedicine online finance in addition to synchronization in real-time to like a Bloomberg terminal. Imagine the value-add of getting tips and tricks from the experts at the same time. Talk about smart investing, right?

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