No question—IBC 2016 was a fantastic show. Not only was there record-breaking attendance (more than 55,000 people over six days), there were outstanding speakers, a focus on IP interoperability and some cool new technologies. It was great to see so many partners, customers and potential partners and customers. It was also great to connect with other industry leaders on key trends we’re seeing.
A few key trends we noted at the show will impact the industry in the coming years – namely, consumer preferences dictating OTT growth; delivery of live events; and apps versus devices.
Over-the-top television (OTT) growth was a hot topic at the show. Opera TV has been a pioneer in the OTT industry since 2005, and the changes we’ve seen are continuing to play out. For example, one topic at the show was how consumer viewing habits and consumption are changing. That started a few years ago with consumer “cord cutting” in favor of streaming options and it is picking up momentum. Consumer preferences and demand are also driving the industry to streamline the customer experience, presenting unified and seamless interfaces to access all content in one place.
The delivery of live events will become a hotter topic as content providers work through the best ways to provide live event coverage to viewers. Live coverage can be a challenge at times for existing, experienced broadcasters—so newer players will have to innovate to find the solution (or solutions). We have no doubt they will find ways to meet that need with OTT being one of viable and affordable option.
Apps vs Devices
There’s a divide between providing apps to deliver content and offering products to deliver content. Some in the industry believe apps are the way to reach the most consumers with the customized content they desire. Some believe hardware and devices with integrated players and access to content are the way to go. It will be interesting to watch this play out, as consumers will have the final say and dictate where the industry ends up.
Meanwhile, back at the booth, the Opera TV team was busier than ever. We hosted thousands of visitors who were interested in viewing demos and chatting about the industry. Our focus at the show spanned the entire eco-system, including demonstrating our next-generation platform and our OTT app generator, and discussing our new certification program. Opera TV 2.0, our HTML5-based application platform, provides tailored OTT viewing experiences and is available with hardware from multiple vendors. Opera TV Snap 3.0 is a complete end-to-end OTT app generator for broadcasters, content providers and video-on-demand services. Combined, this platform suite enables service providers, OEMs and content providers to distribute content directly to consumers on the largest screen in the home. In addition, just prior to the conference we announced our certification program which simplifies app development efforts and makes it easier to bring OTT services to multiple ecosystems of platforms and devices. Now a single app can span the entire ecosystem, saving time and money from development and ensuring consumers receive the same great experience on all of their devices.
It was a great show overall, and we look forward to seeing what next year’s show will deliver. Happy viewing!