Fresh results from the first Video Transformation Advisory Board (VTAB) survey show that next-generation TV services, OTT service delivery, profiling and advertising, and enabling technologies/infrastructure are the most important areas of innovation identified by our board members.
As promised in April, we have drawn together a group of the finest and most experienced minds in the video industry to create the Video Transformation Advisory Board. Board members were announced earlier today and, hot on the heels of that announcement, we can now share some findings from the first-ever survey of our board members. (See TT Launches Video Industry Advisory Board and Introducing the Video Transformation Advisory Board .)
The survey attempted to gauge board members' current priorities, asking what the most important video-related areas they were working on today. We found remarkable diversity among our members' primary responses, with every single member identifying a different focus area. These included developing OTT services, enhancing advertising capabilities, developing 4K services, improving recommendations, developing LTE Broadcast services and mobile streaming, among other topics.
This was somewhat surprising, given that many of our board members are large telecom operators. We had expected more consistent responses from a group of companies in a similar situation and industry. But it's far from a negative finding: It suggests that operators are following differentiated strategies, and likely leveraging their own strengths in their own markets. In fact, that's a very positive indication for their own success; and for consumers, who are more likely to benefit from a variety of services.
But we did find similarities once we got past their most important priority. When asked about other important areas they were working on, we identified four consistent themes among their responses.
Delivering the next generation of TV was important for a number of board members, so efforts involving 4K, UHD, HDR, High Frame Rate (HFR) and Wide Color Gamut (WCG) issues were high on their lists. One board member listed "consumer understanding of HDR and WCG in the context of UHD" as his main concern in the video arena.
Many of our members were also developing (or enhancing) online and mobile streaming services, though the stage of development and the priority attached to the initiative differed somewhat among them. According to one board member, "It is important to give new experiences to our customers, especially in the video area."
Creating an effective business model for OTT services was also important. Tracking and understanding usage behavior and using advertising effectively to then monetize it, were important issues for multiple board members. The specific focus differed across members, but if we broadly class initiatives in audience measurement, user profiling, recommendation engines and dynamic ad insertion into a broad category, there is considerable effort being invested in it by the board members.
Lastly, we found that enabling technologies and infrastructure remains a high priority. Initiatives including platform extension, third-party integration, cloud and CDN integration/development also emerged as important for board members. As one put it, We constantly face the challenge of trying to provide video services in the way that the new customer desires, while being saddled with old contractual obligations and old technology infrastructure.
This first-ever VTAB survey provides a useful snapshot into the current thinking of highly influential companies in the video industry, involved with shaping the video experiences of hundreds of millions of viewers worldwide. As such, the areas they are focused on will be important for the industry as a whole.
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation