MAD Perspectives Blog

Where's Waldo? Or, Where the H@%# is my Content?

Peggy Dau - Thursday, June 30, 2016

Where's Waldo? Or more aptly, where's the content i want to watch, when i want to watch it?  As the number of options for consuming TV content continues to expand, the ability to find the programs we want is like Waldo - sometimes you just get lucky. While Pay TV operators tweak their electronic program guides to make it easier for subscribers to find content, that content is limited to the library for which they have obtained licenses.  Nor do these outdated EPG's reflect the on-demand availability of the Pay TV Operator's linear content. Netflix, who has raised the bar for content discovery and recommendations, still only facilitates search for content provided by their service.

Content Discovery is a burning issue for both TV content providers and subscribers. It can single handedly drive subscriber acquisition and subscriber engagement while reducing churn (that ugly term for loss of subscribers).  The importance of content discovery is reflected by the rise in merger & acquisition activity in 2016.  Ericsson acquired FYI Television, the premier entertainment metadata and rich media content supplier, in January.  Rovi, provider of cloud-based TV analytics & metadata, announced it's acquisition of Tivo in April.  This acquisition is much about Tivo's knowing what subscribers are watching as its about Tivo's ownership of DigitalSmiths, a cloud-based provider of content discovery solutions.

These acquisitions follow ComScore's acquisition of Rentrak last fall, which signaled the importance of digital audience measurement. Understanding a subscriber's intent is the foundation for providing targeted advertising and personalized content recommendations. Whether it is Pay TV Operators (e.g., Comcast, Verizon, Dish), OTT providers (e.g., Netflix, Amazon, Hulu) or streaming sticks (e.g., Chromecast, Roku, AppleTV), leveraging content metadata is the key content monetization. Analysis of content discovery, recommendation and consumption provides insight driving advertising, EPG layout, content licensing, marketing programs and business models.

There is no holistic content discovery solution today. For subscribers, access to a universal listing is highly appealing, however the reality is likely years away due to exclusive content licensing deals. However, the power of the subscriber should not be under estimated. As the TV continues to evolve with Pay TV Operators adding OTT channels or cord-cutters choosing to consumer content via alternate channels, content discovery will be at the heart of the evolution.  The providers that win will be those that can improve the subscriber experience and help them find Waldo.

What's your perspective?



The New Reality is Virtual

Peggy Dau - Friday, April 01, 2016


Earlier this year i claimed that the buzz word for 2016 would be the term "immersive". It's still too early to tell, but Virtual Reality is certainly garnering a lot of attention. With front page images from Mobile World Congress in February to this week's reviews of Occulus Rift - Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are front and center. A simple definition of VR says that it results from a combination of computing power and audio/visual optics to create a sensory experience for the enduser. 

A VR experience requires a unique device such as Google Cardboard (on the low end) and Occulus Rift (on the high end) plus some type of computing device such as a smartphone, laptop or gaming device.  VR got its start in the military as a method of providing combat training while the bio-tech industry has used forms of virtual reality to enhance research. The emergence of immersive experiences into the mainstream, opens a completely new reality for enjoying entertainment, training emergency response teams or enhancing 3D modeling.

Research firm TrendForce predicts 16 million virtual reality devices will be sold in 2016.  Deloitte, predicts 2016 revenue of $700M in hardware and $300M in content. While the entertainment sector will lead the way in the adoption of VR related to gaming, sports and music, industrial segments such as automotive, aviation or architecture will benefit from the ability to replace physical prototypes and models with virtual reality.  Even tech evangelist Kevin Spacey (yes, that Kevin Spacey) is enamored of VR. in a 2016 interview in Davos, he proclaimed the virtues of virtual reality (around minute 18). He recognized the value of the 3D experience of for entertainment, but also for education.  

The hurdles to widespread adoption of Virtual Reality are not insignificant, but like other emerging technology, these barriers will lessen over time. The primary challenges for consumer oriented services are:

     - Development of VR content -  While this a boon for the computer generated graphics (CGI) industry, creation of relevant, engaging content requires are variety of talent, skills and technology tools.

     - Content files are BIG - requiring bandwidth and PC processing power (which could be why Occulus Rift requires a PC not a smartphone). PC vendors will benefit as wireless devices do not yet have the processing power, nor do wireless networks have the necessary bandwidth (LTE Broadcast or 5G networks may help, but they are not widespread at this time).

     - Hardware is expensive - unique headsets are required and they are currently quite expensive. But like all technology, they will only improve in form, feature, functionality and price as time goes by.

While virtual reality is an immersive experience where early growth will be driven by consumer applications, the long term benefit and value will be achieved by enterprises using virtual reality to lower the cost of product development, improve the delivery of healthcare solutions and energizing robotics developments. Are you ready for the new reality?

What's your perspective?



TV As We Knew It - Changed Forever

Peggy Dau - Monday, January 04, 2016

2015 may well be remembered as the year when mainstream media finally embraced the relevance and importance of OTT (over the top or internet streamed) video. Content owners/producers (e.g., HBO, CBS) and TV Provides (e.g., Comcast) announced, pursued and launched OTT services to complement their "traditional" ad or subscription supported TV services. Of course, the new OTT model is still ad or subscription funded, but is the consumption model that has changed dramatically.

Just look at your tweens, teens and twenty-somethings. How are they enjoying television content? On the TV? Nope. It's more likely you will find them upside down in a chair or scrunched up in their beds with their eyes glued to their smartphone or tablet - enjoying their preferred content (which may or may not be produced by a big name studio or network). And, it's not just the kids. We adults have quickly realized the benefits of binging or consuming our favorite programs when our schedules allow - NOT when the networks deem it most advantageous. 

While it may be argued that TV was the greatest invention of the 20th century, the most dramatic change to the television industry is happening in the 21st century. Business models are being turned upside down. Content aggregators are becoming producers (yes, that's a call out to Netflix, Amazon and YouTube). Advertising technology is now a major investment area. The result is some really great content.

Greater competition for eyeballs has upped the game for broadcast, cable and streaming networks. It also presents incremental monetization opportunities. Content IS STILL King! None of these viewing alternatives would have evolved if the consumer did not enjoy the content.  Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Transparent, The Walking Dead, Scandal. Each of these series enjoys a rabid fan base which drives advertising or subscription revenue.

And now, just as we are adjusting to seeking content on the variety of Subscription VOD (SVOD) or Advertising VOD (AVOD) services available to us, we can consider the appification of TV. This is what Apple announced in September, but what has already been happening in a small way. This is the presence of apps on your internet-connected Smart TV.

Whether it is an app for Netflix, HBONow, CBS All Access or MLB.TV, it is the concept that you will pay for internet access, a service or device such as Apple TV, Sling TV or Google Chromecast, plus the monthly or annual app subscription (e.g., $9.99/month for Netflix; $129.99/year for MLB.TV). It's not necessarily cheaper, but perhaps it is easier. These models address consumer desire for on-demand viewing on the device of choice - which may or may not include the device called TV.

TV as we knew it has changed, but we still crave the experience it provides.

What's your perspective?



Recognizing the Signals

Peggy Dau - Monday, June 29, 2015

A fast paced world requires the ability to recognize the signals. Like Native American smoke signals, Morse code, or even a baseball managers swiping the rim of his hat, signals guide and alert us. Various forms of technology represent today’s signals. Whether they are social media, wearables, apps or platforms designed to monitor and measure – we are seeking signals to warn us of potential failures and to identify opportunities. This is why Big Data is so omnipresent – it is perceived as one method of identifying signals.

Broadband penetration in the U.S. has grown from 20% in 2004 to 79% in 2014 (Leichtman Research Group 2014), while broadband connection speeds have increased from 56Kbps in 2003 to and average of 11.1Mbps in 2015 (Akamai State of the Internet Report, May 2015).

Many a start-up will tell you that their foundation was based on spotting a gap (aka opportunity) in the market that they knew they could fill. The ability to create a new reality is called progress. Look at the adoption of social media. The grand daddy of social media, Facebook, has 1.44B monthly active users (MAU) based on their April 2015 earnings report.  That’s larger than the population of China. 70% of that MAU is mobile. That’s a signal.

When it comes to video, the power is shifting. YouTube was and still is the king of online video. Before YouTube online video was proprietary with inconsistent performance. The broadcast and cable industry did not consider online video a challenge or an opportunity. However, YouTube changed that by providing a user-friendly ability to upload AND view user-generated content. That’s a signal.

Facebook has entered the online video segment and is challenging YouTube for the all important ad dollars. The popularity of both platforms is not in question. The challenge will be who can better optimize the video experience, for both uploads and viewing, for the mobile audience. BTW, I’m defining the mobile audience as users viewing content on a tablet or smartphone via a Wi-Fi or 4G/LTE connection. Ooyala says that mobile now accounts for 42% of all online video viewing. That’s a signal.

What’s the next step in the progress of sharing and viewing video? For sure it is mobile? But what does that look like. What signals are we seeing from device manufacturers? Are you ready to watch TV on your smart watch?

What are the signals in your industry? How will financial services capitalize on tweets? Will railroads improve safety and optimize routes using communications and Internet of Things technologies? Will your car not only tell you that you need gas, but also the location of the closes gas station?  By paying attention to the signals that are shared every day, perhaps you can identify the next big idea!

What’s your perspective?




Clouds Taking Shape For Broadcast & Cable

Peggy Dau - Monday, June 08, 2015

Clouds are a good thing. Really. They are. Especially when they bring opportunity, flexibility and innovation. 

Cloud solutions are making the news on an increasingly regular basis. The M&A activity related to cloud technology is hot as companies throughout the media lifecycle look to the cloud to drive new business models. Whether it is in post-production, the newsroom or cable head-end, cloud is the word. Cloud computing has been the talk of the IT industry for almost 20 years, but it is thanks to Google and Amazon that the terminology, and the technology, is now part of our everyday conversation. Clouds, you remember them - those white fluffy things up in the sky, are flexible and ever shifting. This is the premise behind cloud computing - on demand access to technology resources.

As the media industry increasing adopts IP and IT technology to enable media workflows, live broadcast and content distribution, cloud provides opportunities. In all cases, the consideration of cloud is driven by the need for flexibility without incurring unnecessary cost. Examples of cloud solutions changing the shape of the broadcast and cable industries:

  • Workflows - From content ingest, to transcode, edit, QC, review, and syndication, cloud solutions enable production and post-production teams to collaborate without geographic boundary. Solutions, from vendors such as NativAframe and Forscene, deliver flexibility in orchestrating tasks, resources and people. They simplify upload of footage and stories from remote locations, accelerate the editing process,and improve collaboration. They integrate with established editing solutions, while also forcing those solutions to transition to the cloud themselves.

  • Newsroom - The fast pace of live news requires solutions that allow field reporters to easily upload footage, incorporate user generated content, capture social perspectives. Established newsroom vendors such as Avid and Dalet are now using the cloud to capture real-time content, share and modify rundowns and allow reporters to do what they do best - discover and tell the story.

Distribution - It could be said that the distribution and delivery of content is the original cloud solution. Back in the 1990's content delivery networks emerged to enable digital delivery of media content across IP networks. Akamai emerged as the kind of CDNs enabling services for a variety of online video providers such as Brightcove and media companies such as NBC, MTV and Discovery. However, CDN itself is changing as vendors such as Scality bring the combination of object storage and cloud together to address the storage demands of CDN origin and edge servers. Offloading the storage demands from the CDN to the cloud provides increased storage scalability and economic flexibility as content libraries grow.

Consumption - Cable operators recognize the demand from consumers to enjoy content when, where and how they want. The set-top box has long been the hub which controlled how consumers could watch content on-demand. However, Charter is changing the game with its stake in ActiveVideo. By pushing DVR functionality into the cloud, they increase storage capacity, unify processing functions and eliminate silos of technology specific to ingest, transcode and streaming. They can simplify content discovery and personalize EPGs without concern for the STB hardware. 

Across the media supply chain, vendors are changing the strategies to capitalize upon the cloud. Ericsson is a primary example of a traditional network equipment provider recognizing the future of TV. Through acquisition and R&D, Ericsson enables cloud solutions for: media processing and contribution; delivery of TV content with MediaFirst a software-defined, media-optimized platform enabling the next generation of PAY TV operators; time-shifting and viewing on any device with cloud DVR. 

Cloud computing, for media, offers opportunities to innovate and bring great stories to market more quickly. It provides greater flexibility in serving content as consumers demand it. And, most importantly it enables innovation and flexibility in cost-effective model. Cloud reduces hardware acquisition challenges while improving scalability, turns capital expenses into operating expenses, and frees up time to create service differentiation.

What's your perspective?

 



Data at the Root of OTT Services

Peggy Dau - Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Video is entertaining. Video is memorable. Video is sharable. And, video is consumed across an increasing number of distribution channels, platforms and devices. Whether it is professional or user-generated, video is inescapable. While much data is captured, analyzed and shared about how and where we consume video, none of this would be possible without the underlying network technology.

As noted by Nielsen, our behavior shifts depending on individual circumstances. The flexibility we now take for granted is dependent on the underlying distribution and delivery networks. It is dependent on network bandwidth to deliver sufficient data throughput to ensure an satisfactory consumer experience. With all the noise around big data - seemingly defined as that data that can be captured in tabular form and visualized in infographics, it is possible to forget about other perspectives on data. 

Network operators have been advancing their capabilities to deliver content via broadband, WiFi or wireless (e.g., 4G, LTE, 5G) networks. These core networks are often overlaid with incremental content delivery technology which applies complex algorithms to determine the most efficient and effective path to deliver content to endusers. The rise of OTT video services is a boon for these content delivery network (CDN) providers. For CDNs, data is representative of network bandwidth. For them, the data of the network has never been so important.

It's a double edged sword. On one side it's about enabling bandwidth to move volumes of data traffic. For example, it has been reported that Netflix represented nearly 1/3 of all internet traffic in the U.S. in 2014. Network specialist, Ciena, sponsored research from ACG Research in 2014, which reveals that the shift to OTT viewing will increase annual household bandwidth requirements by 31%. Yet, even as we anticipate the arrival of even higher quality content in the form of 4K, a recent report from Akamai indicates that the U.S. is lagging the rest of the world in its ability to offer consumers sustained broadband speeds of at least 15Mbps. In fact, while U.S. leads the Americas region in average connection speeds, it is not even in the top 10 countries globally. Enjoying OTT content is all about the data throughput of both broadband and mobile networks.

Without the underlying network infrastructure we cannot binge, we cannot download, stream or upload videos. Network intelligence has long been big business in the telecommunications industry. The ability to monitor and predict network performance is critical for even the most basic of services - voice. However, when it comes to video delivery, network capacity is just one piece of the puzzle. Other pieces include technologies to compress content into smaller packages thus requiring less bandwidth for delivery; to guarantee in-order delivery of all those data packets and avoid a degraded consumer experience; or to protect both the network itself and the content against unwanted intrusion - these are all data centric solutions. 

Tablets, smartphones, connected TVs - these are the devices driving increased bandwidth consumption. These are the alternatives to traditional TV viewing. They increase demand for bandwidth on all types of networks. Our expectation for video consumption is persistent regardless of place or device.

OTT is here to stay, but it has only been welcomed thanks to the capacity of the underlying networks. Millennials and Gen-X'ers have never known the challenges of the AOL dial-up tone. Or, the massive re-buffering of early streaming media solutions. They have the same expectations of OTT as they do of TV - when they turn it on, it works, regardless of which type of network they use for accessing content. Content delivery happens thanks to the continuous investment in network technology to support anticipated data throughput. Worried about your mobile data plan now? Just imagine what it will look like in 5 years.

What's your perspective?




AOL's Pivot Results in a Match with Verizon

Peggy Dau - Monday, May 18, 2015


The big news last week was Verizon's acquisition of AOL. It's a little bit funny how one of the original Internet stalwarts has been punted around the media and telecom sector. Even as we remember that AOL inspired a movie based on a service that is considered irrelevant by some, many have forgotten that AOL still exists. Since AOL's spin-off from their disastrous merger with Time Warner, it has been focused on content and advertising.

Is there any other way, other than content, to be relevant and influence audience in these days of content everywhere? AOL made the decision to focus on content through acquisitions (TechCrunch, HuffPo), technology (adap.tv, Convertro) and community (20,000 bloggers). They've invested in content development, mobile platforms, video technology. As a result they have reach, influence and...data.

Why is all this interesting for Verizon? Verizon has been an enabler of content delivery to its subscribers for 20+ years. However, they've stepped up their game in recent years through their Digital Media Services group. Their capabilities help customers to prepare and manage video content for delivery to subscribers on broadband, WiFi or wireless networks. They provide the infrastructure that we all take for granted that delivers voice, data and TV services to our devices wherever they may be. But, Verizon doesn't own content. Some of their competitors do (e.g., Comcast, Cablevision). Verizon has the ability to reach it's customers in ways that these competitors cannot - they are a mobile network operator. Mobile is the future. And the future of mobile is content, whether it is informational, entertainment, or advertising.

Moreover, the benefit of mobile is increased volumes of contextual data. Verizon has a view of its subscribers through the data gleaned from subscription plans as well as user behavior while consuming content across TVs, tablets and smartphones. The content and ad technologies that come with the AOL acquisition are complementary to Verizon's Digital Media Services. They provide Verizon with the potential for creating original content, increase advertising revenue through multi-platform ad tech and enhanced data to define further revenue opportunities. The mobile data provides perspective on where and what an individual may be doing as they engage with content and ads on their mobile device. The appeal to brands is evident. Verizon is definitely growing its capabilities beyond being a mere pipe.

While AOL still offers email services, its original business of connecting consumers to the Internet is long dead. In fact, that service was displaced by companies like Verizon. However, AOL was savvy enough, over time, to adapt and pivot. They recognized the value of compelling content and the opportunity to monetize its consumption across multiple channels. As a result they've become highly attractive 

What's your perspective?




Data is the Legendary Needle in the Media's Haystack

Peggy Dau - Monday, May 11, 2015

Obtaining volumes of data can be a double edged sword. The media industry is embracing data, particularly consumer data, as the basis for validating investments and business models. Vendors at all stages of the media workflow are collecting data and emphasizing its value to their customers. But, collecting data without an understanding of how it will be used creates new problems, the least of which is storing all that data. The bigger challenge is figuring what they really want to learn from the data and then drive real, measurable value from it.

Imagine all the devices that now provide data: set-top boxes, tablets, smartphones, network routers, servers, storage....and more. Then consider all the data that is already surrounding any piece of media: descriptive metadata, licenses, contracts, schedules, algorithms...and more. And, we haven't even brought up the related social or digital data or the insights that are important to advertisers. There is data everywhere with just as many the vendors ready to help you collect it. And, they all directly or indirectly reference the all important consumer experience.

Even focusing on the consumer alone, means aggregating, correlating, and analyzing data from a plethora of resources. It's not enough to collect data from set-top boxes that reveals when and what a subscriber consumed. It's now a priority to assess their method and frequency of engagement with and around video. Content protection vendors will provide you with data to reinforce that derived from distribution channels. Did the subscriber start watching on one device and finish watching on another devices? How did they authenticate their access to content on their device of choice? How did this impact their level of engagement? The answers to these questions influence content production, scheduling, marketing, and advertising. Oh, and did I mention monetization?

Understanding preferred methods of engagement, will drive advertising models. What works on TV, does not work on a tablet nor on a smartphone. Yet, content must be monetized. It takes more than demographics to understand how to derive revenue for programming targeting the 18-24 year old audience. How does this audience respond to ad-supported content versus subscriptions? How do they discover the video programming?  As the saying goes, "it takes a village" to capture data from a variety of sources and develop conclusions that subsequently drive future actions. It may start with demographics, but the process quickly incorporates analysis of a variety of stimuli and resulting actions. What happened that caused a viewer to engage or disengage?

Defining what is needed from the data is critical. Is it about audience engagement or customer experience? Is it about content quality? Network performance? Ad buying? The more specific the goal, the better understanding of the right vendor to provide that data; and the more effective the data collection and analysis. Making sense of data can be like looking for a needle in the haystack. Is that how you want to define your strategy? Big data has the potential to help shape the future of the media industry, let's not forget that it's about more than simple data collection.

What's your perspective?



IP is the Future for Broadcast

Peggy Dau - Monday, May 04, 2015

My blogs the past few weeks have been discussing why big data matters and IP in the broadcast industry. The connection between these topics may not be obvious, but the point is that all data is critical to the ongoing success of the broadcast business, at every step throughout the creative, management, distribution and consumptions processes. The adoption of IP in the broadcast workflow is critical to obtaining data that will influence business decisions. Internet Protocol based networks provide a volume of data that informs and complements data obtained from other sources.

The use of IP is about more than delivery of content to the consumer home, it's about migrating the operational infrastructure for broadcast. This migration will take years, and broadcasters will likely deploy IP alongside existing SDI components until this components no longer function. However, like the telecommunications industry before it, the broadcast industry will benefit from the flexibility and insight provided by IP networks. These networks have been utilized, for years, to enable creative collaboration amongst editing teams, to interconnect business solutions to manage resources, supply chain, and facilitate the management of rights, licenses and contracts. But, IP did not penetrate the broadcast control room. It was acceptable behind the scenes, but it was not deemed reliable enough for live broadcast. 

Like all technologies, IP has evolved. The pressure is on for broadcasters to create more with less. The TV industry at large is going through monumental changes as an increasing volume of content is consumed online. This does mean that TV dead, merely that the business model is changing. As a result, broadcasters must become more nimble. This means adopting technology that is more cost effective and allows greater flexibility. IP networking is one element. Network providers like Cisco, have been penetrating the media value chain for years. They have long had a presence in cable head-ends. Now their opportunity expands to broadcast operations. Cisco was omnipresent at the recent NAB show with demos and announcements with Grass Valley, EVS, MLBAM, Imagine Communications, Globo, Adobe, Elemental, Signiant, Interra and Snell - reinforcing the relevance of IP to the future of broadcasting.

And, what about data? Well, solutions have long existed to monitor, manage and analyze IP networks and whatever devices are resident within them or attached to them. The introduction of IP networks into control rooms opens the door wider for software based solutions running on industry standard hardware. IP networks contain volumes of data about the effectiveness and efficiency of operational environments. IP networks are already providing audience insight with data about consumer behavior. They are also at the heart of analytics solutions capturing data from traffic systems, advertising platforms or rights management solutions. IP is at the heart of monetization strategies from enablement of workflows to the delivery of content to the aggregation of data. 

The roadmap for broadcast must include IP if only for the flexibility and scalability that it enables. But equally importantly for the interoperability it enables between creative, operational and distribution platforms - providing a true end-to-end perspective through the data aggregated at every point of the media supply chain.

What's your perspective?



Enjoyment at the Intersection of Broadcast, IT and IP

Peggy Dau - Monday, April 27, 2015



Complementing broadcast content with IP delivery and relevant data is the name of the game for audience engagement. Nowhere was this more evident than at the EVS booth at NAB this year. I first checked out EVS's adoption of IP a few years, when they launched C-Cast. This cloud based platform allows live content producers to expand the reach and relevance of their content by enabling delivery to any device, while enriching the broadcast content with data, social updates and graphics.

This year EVS took a big step forward with its focus on the #ReturnOnEmotion and a related developer contest. EVS itself has leveraged C-Cast in its FanCast solution which changes the in-stadium experience. Wherever fans are in the stadium, in their seats, seeking refreshments or in hospitality suites, they are able to enjoy live or near-live content on big screens or small screens.

Prior to NAB, EVS launched a contest inviting developers to augment C-Cast capabilities. The contest prize - the ability to demo their capabilities at NAB in the EVS booth. Brilliant marketing by EVS. Not only did they enhance their solution portfolio, but they enabled developers who otherwise would not be able to afford a presence at NAB, the opportunity to showcase their solutions.

Each solution reflected innovation at the intersection of broadcast, IT and IP. The foundation, is C-Cast, which EVS. All of the solutions leverage C-Cast capabilities to provide fun and engaging sports experiences.  

1. LiveLike - developed an blended live sport with virtual reality allowing viewers to step "into" the game with the ability to select different camera angles. For the sports fan who cannot be at the stadium, this is a truly engaging experience. I admit it was my first VR experience and I'm a fan! I can easily imagine avid fans adopting VR goggles and services to bring a new dimension to viewing their favorite teams. Honestly, I know kids who would have been fighting to use this technology during last years FIFA World Cup!

2. ChirpVision - brings mobile to life for in-stadium fans. Their fault-tolerant video streaming, with a less than 1 second delay, sets the stage for live or on-demand viewing of the sporting event. A clean, mobile-friendly, user interface, allows users to select camera angles, check social network activity, and enjoy VOD functionality such as rewind, pause and fast-forward. But, for ChirpVision, it's also about providing brands with a new channel for reaching fans. Their solution allows monetization of the video streams through display and video ad insertion.

3. Playrz - developed by Intellicore, is a fan centric app aggregating data and social content to augment live and on-demand video streams. Fans can find data pertinent to the real-time activity on the field. They can review and compare stats about teams and players, replay plays from different camera angles and interact with other fans. Already utilized at the FIBA (International Basketball Association) World Cup last year, Playrz gives the sports fan easy access to the information they crave during a game.

Seeing this intersection of technologies was compelling. Sports often leads the way in adopting and validating emerging broadcast technologies. And, EVS has long been engaged in delivery broadcast solutions to the sports market. However, they are taking their efforts to a new level by acknowledging the demands of the fans whether they are at home or in the stadium. By enabling content to be repurposed, in real-time, for consumption on IP enabled devices, with the added value provided by integration of statistical data and social feeds, EVS and their partners are helping sports teams, leagues and brands create richer fan experiences.  What fun!

What's your perspective?