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Can Broadcasters Keep Pace with Demand for Video Streaming?

At IABM Conference, Telestream CEO calls for renewed focus on cost-effective streaming workflows & collaboration on radical new solutions

Nevada City, California(04 Dec 2019)

This year more than any other, video streaming - both live and on-demand – has gained a foothold in mainstream consumer viewing. One streaming technology pioneer, Telestream, is responding to these seismic changes within the broadcast and electronic media industries with a renewed emphasis on multiplatform and multiscreen content delivery. 

But are broadcasters keeping pace with market drivers? Telestream’s CEO, Scott Puopolo, sounds a cautionary tone as he prepares to contribute to the IABM Annual Conference 2019 in London. “The evidence is irrefutable,” states Puopolo. “Research shows that for the increasingly influential post-millennial consumer audience (or Generation Z), 24 percent of viewing takes place on a TV set, down from 48 percent in 2015. Over the same period, viewing on mobile devices has jumped from 19 to 36 percent of all TV viewing among teens*.”

“Some commentators suggest that new streaming services are costing their parent companies dearly, but to us the risk and potential cost to broadcasters of not embracing streaming workflows in a whole-hearted and ambitious way is far higher,” stated Scott Puopolo.

While making these observations, Puopolo accepts that there is a fundamental need for technology companies to work with broadcasters to develop new infrastructure and business models. “In this environment, tech firms need to be international beacons to shine a light on knowledge and ideas in the broadcasting world irrespective of the channel of delivery, and yet there is one over-riding issue that is being overlooked by many broadcasters,” stated Scott Puopolo. 

“If you plot the rate at which new media viewing platforms are being created and look at the cost of illuminating those platforms with broadcasters’ rich content, then only the companies that radically alter their streaming workflow strategies can afford to stay in business,” he stated. “At Telestream, we are working with many linear multi-channel broadcasters that seek to create an OTT network that is directly comparable with linear television in terms of quality of service and experience. The transition from OTT being a novelty to having the same consumer expectations as the linear TV experience in your living room is massive.”  

So, does Puopolo believe that broadcasters really understand the potential offered by video streaming technology today?  “Some do, but others don't,” he responded. “In fairness it isn’t purely a technology challenge but one of business models too. More smartphones are sold every year than PCs, TVs and cars - there is a lot of change to understand and absorb as networks get faster and devices smarter,” Puopolo observed. 

“Until we acknowledge this revolutionary change in post-millennial consumer preferences and adopt a very different approach to multi-platform delivery workflows, there is a danger that broadcasters will let the most tremendous opportunity of our generation slip through their fingers,” Puopolo commented.

“At Telestream, we can make it very straightforward to publish more content. Assuming our customers have content of a quality they can monetize, their impediment is the ability to get it to their audience without having to capitalize their infrastructure in order to do this. This is Telestream’s OptiQ story. We need to create thousands, or even tens of thousands of narrowly focused channels that people are prepared to pay to view. How can we democratize content and the viewing experience – that’s the OptiQ challenge,” Scott Puopolo concluded.