The live streaming market has matured dramatically over the past decade. The past 24 months have been particularly significant in terms of advances in consumer adoption of tools to create, consume and distribute live programming. At the same time the professional market has evolved from “nice to have“ to “essential“ support of second screen for audience engagement in and out of venues.
Leading demand in live experiences is nothing new in the evolution of programming. Sports and News have always been significant drivers of innovation in program development packaging and distribution from the early days of television through the Internet and now in mobile revolutions.
What’s different this time around is that the audience has more control. They know what they want and they know how to get it. They are used to creating Live events on their action cameras and consuming live content through the plethora of Live Broadcast solutions available as apps on their smartphones. They want what they want any time and anywhere. And when they can’t get it – often due to archaic infrastructure that limits their access to content – they’re fast to complain about it.
While all of this change is happening at an accelerated rate, some things remain constant or slow to change and improve. This is especially true in the complexity of the capture & contribution systems. Cameras remain disconnected islands typically writing content to disks or at best transporting video over expensive, inflexible point to point networks.
These Venue networks, while currently being upgraded, are still typically incapable of adapting to muli-format packet based content that is typical outside of venues through IP networks. Further complicating the “first mile” are the growing needs to support data and also audience driven traffic all at the same time without congestion or latency.
You cannot go to a concert, a game or a race without seeing the majority of the audience communicating with their peers, sharing content with their circles or just capturing the moments on the devices in their pockets. There is more compute power in a venue today then their was in most sophisticated data centers even a few years ago.
Unfortunately all of this usage from cameras to production systems to data, commerce, security and more without a common operating or management system is breaking the backs of our contribution networks. Have you tried to send or get a call from one of these venues today?
The next generation of “first mile” and “contribution systems” in venues big or small must meet all of these demands while generating more and more complex content that has to be structured for varying uses from entertainment to information to commerce and merchandising.Ret
We are in the age where contributing devices can no longer be stranded assets but active, aware participants in a complex ecosystem. The age of the intelligent, content and network aware devices is already upon us. Those that build the systems that participate in a frictionless way will flourish, those that continue to develop those proprietary and stranded assets meed to plan, adapt or perish.
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