S06E04: Game of Streams (That’s what friends are for)
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.
Returning from NAB after a reunion of the television and streaming industry. Great to meet all industry peers, some that you have not seen for quite some time and some that you only met online until now. And somehow you quickly adopted back to a world IRL.
Reflections from walking the floors of the new West Hall is that on a high level there are no real news. The products and services offered are slowly evolving towards being more API driven and the cloud adoption continues. The acceleration towards fully remote cloud environments created by the pandemic has slowed down. One notable reflection is the total absence of sustainability and more energy efficient workflows in the different stands. I thought that we had come further in that area.
The biggest announcement during the NAB week might have been that Google will start to offer media CDN services. With the experience from YouTube delivering video over the internet, Google should be well equipped to build out a delivery network. The new CDN will be separate from the YouTube delivery, and the pricing will be dependent on the total usage of GCP (Google Cloud Platform). A major step for Google to compete with AWS and Azure for the media customers.
The biggest discussion with the whole media and tech industry, apart from the Twitter acquisition by Elon Musk, is the latest earnings report from Netflix. In total, the numbers reported from Netflix are far from bad. But the fact that the subscriber growth is slowing down, or even declining depending on if you include the subscriber loss because of pulling out of Russia, seem to scare the market. At the same time as the competition grows, the one billion potential subscribers that has been the expectation might be further away that earlier predicted.
The measures taken by Netflix are quite expected. In Netflix own prediction, 100 million households share their password with someone outside of their home. “Sharing is caring” that was tweeted by Netflix a couple of years ago does not apply any longer. But the measures taken are fair in my view, open for an easy way to pay a bit extra to be able to share your account with a couple of friends.
To grow in India, Asia and Latin America Netflix, and all other global services need to look at other business models than a premium subscription. Therefore, Netflix now opens for an ad-funded version of their service, something they have earlier stated will not be option. However, I am sure that Netflix will base the coming steps on facts and proper analysis and maybe we never see ads on Netflix in Europe and the US.
Simplicity and cooperation
In a world with increasing competition, it is important to ensure that you focus on your core business and spend your effort where you differentiate. Few content owners can afford building a complete tech stack in-house. The technology choices, distribution methods and business model must be carefully selected. I believe that most content can attract its viewers but how it reaches the viewer must be adapted to the addressable market.
Strategic choices, partnership and simple business models will be key to survive in the battle for the viewers.
To watch out for the coming months…
Ticket sales is about to start for Streaming Tech Sweden 2022, that will take place this year on June 2nd. The conference has over the years established itself as one of the leading technical conferences in Europe for video streaming technology. The focus is technical, and the aim is to be educational in all presentations and without product presentations. STSWE usually gathers around 200 attendees and has attendance from all job titles from engineers, technical managers, and CTO’s.
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.