S06E07: Game of Streams (Keep it open)
Our Media Solution Specialist, Magnus Svensson, is sharing his reflections on the online streaming industry in this post. This is part of a monthly series so make sure to follow us here if you do not want to miss an episode.
It has been some interesting weeks in the streaming industry. The global economy in combination with a taste of saturation in the number of streaming services available has reflected on the Q2 earnings. Even if Netflix reported a loss of subscribers, they lost less than expected and the whole market breathed a sigh of relief. After Netflix reported their Q2 result we have seen both ups and downs from other companies in the industry.
Apple and Amazon both reported solid quarterly results and expressed optimism moving forward. Comcast and Verizon reports accelerated cord-cutting and loss of TV subscribers (Comcast reported that Peacock paid subscribers stayed flat). Device manufactures Samsung and Roku reports significant slowdown.
So how would we interpret all this? That the tech giants are well-positioned, that the cord-cutting keep accelerating and thereby the traditional TV distributors continue to grasp for new business models, and that device manufactures face the headwind of the macro economy.
Keep it open
With the increased competition for the viewers time, it is even more important that you run an efficient tech stack. Content might still be king with engagement a close runner up. But you still need a cost-efficient way to reach your viewers and customers.
“In real open source, you have the right to control your own destiny “, stated by Linus Torvalds. If you build your tech stack based on open standards and open-source components, you remain in control and keep flexibility. This should not mean that you need to develop everything in-house and maintain your own tech stack. Unless you have unique requirements and have the budget to maintain a development organization, I would rather recommend the opposite. But keep it open.
Proprietary technology and protocols are in my view an old way of thinking with the sole purpose of a lock-in. And if a vendor needs to hide behind these walls, maybe the technology isn’t that great? The best way to drive innovation and evolve technology is to publish interfaces and protocols open and public, for the industry to evolve together.
Open standards and open source do not need to come as a pair, but it could. Building your infrastructure and streaming solution on open standard, open-source or not, makes it possible to replace parts of the solution without the need to replace the complete solution.
Cloud services based on open APIs
With a few exceptions, the most efficient deployment is to run services in the cloud. The complete video workflows are now running in the cloud and the cloud ensure scalability and redundancy needed for business-critical services. Figures from Akamai reveal that 71% of the delivery by Akamai CDN origins from the cloud, with AWS as the dominant vendor. And cloud workflows go hand in hand with open APIs.
Building video workflows with cloud based open APIs creates the flexibility and scale that is needed by small start-ups as well as large global streaming services.
To watch out for the coming months…
IBC is coming up in September. This is the first large in-person event in Europe in more than two years and the expectations are building up. I will be in Amsterdam during IBC so please reach out if you would like to meet up.
Magnus Svensson is a Media Solution Specialist and partner at Eyevinn Technology. Eyevinn Technology is the leading independent consulting company specializing in video technology and media distribution.