Delivering news in a multi-platform, multi-format video world

Technology has reshaped the way content is created and consumed. A recent report from GroupM predicted that consumer viewing time spent on online media channels such as Facebook and Twitter will overtake time spent with linear TV for the first time globally this year. These changes are putting pressure on broadcasters to not only deliver news increasingly in real time, but to deliver all content to a wider range of devices.

In early-2009, Rory Cellan-Jones of BBC News observed that the famous US Airways flight 1549 crash into New York City’s Hudson River, which saw all passengers and crew survive, was first reported on Twitter. A woman on a ferry passing by was the first to post a photo of the crash on Twitpic, which was eventually picked up by news networks all over the world and received nearly 100,000 views. Such examples show how the media landscape has changed. Now many journalists frequently film content on the go or use footage from members of the public who were on the scene to supplement their own reporting.

And not only is news happening and being reported on in real time, but there is also more content that broadcasters are required to process. News production now entails live and on-demand content development and delivery for mobiles and tablets among other devices, as well as on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Periscope and YouTube. For broadcasters, this means filtering through to find and deliver the appropriate content, in the right format, at the right time.

Video owners and distributors are no longer constrained to packaging and delivering a piece of content to fit a pre-determined linear slot. Therefore, a one-size-fits-all approach does not work when it comes to multi-platform and multi-format content delivery.

With more content on more platforms and a growing consumer demand for higher content quality and accessibility, broadcasters need to adapt

Consumers are happy to accept different levels of quality on different platforms. For the FA Cup Final, for example, Twitter users want to know when a goal is scored in real time, as immediacy is the important factor. Those paying a premium Pay-TV subscription to watch the match live will expect a high-quality picture, crystal-clear audio, real-time scrolling news updates, complementary overlay graphics and other intuitive features, which give them a more immersive and compelling viewing experience.

Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) are making delivering multi-platform, multi-format content easier and quicker. AI can be used to retrieve intricate speech and facial-recognition data to identify and aggregate important information, which feeds into the coverage of news stories and sports matches. The cloud is also aiding the faster delivery of content by enabling journalists around the world to upload large videos that can be easily accessed from different studios. Furthermore, with popularity of new formats such as 360 video on the horizon, there is a growing demand for solutions that are able to handle varying video formats dynamically.

The growing availability of content and the ability to build online audiences has given rise to a disaggregation of content delivery. Content owners of any size are now able to launch their own over-the-top (OTT) internet services, giving them more control over when their content can be broadcast, rather than having to compete for linear slots. With more OTT services entering the marketplace, traditional broadcasters have more competition for viewer attention. Being able to push content to the right channels quickly, at the right time to meet viewer expectations, is even more paramount as is finding ways to achieve this cost effectively.

With more content on more platforms and a growing consumer demand for higher content quality and accessibility, broadcasters need to adapt. Responding to these market changes by packaging and delivering content at the appropriate time, on the appropriate platform and in the appropriate format is critical. The right technology and tools can make this possible, while also creating new monetisation potential for each piece of content.