Long reads


Q&A: Steve Oetegenn, Verimatrix

Steve Oetegenn, President of Verimatrix, talks about the benefits of cloud technology and a connected content distribution platform for content providers and operators.

To what extent is the potential of the cloud to make content creation and distribution more efficient still untapped?

The cloud helps deliver a radically new economic model for the infrastructure itself, reducing upfront hardware and software investments. On the hardware side, operators can convert up front capital costs into more efficient operating costs. The software-as-a-service (SaaS) model exploits similar factors to cut costs by converting licenses to ongoing service agreements in which operators only pay for what they use.
But the largest untapped efficiencies come from the fact that the infrastructure is virtualised so that functionality is dissociated from location, which opens up the ecosystem to new operational benefits not previously possible. Third-party ecosystems can be connected or accessed very easily just by relocating content using pointers.

To what extent are the interests of content providers and service operators aligned in relation to the use of cloud technology to make their businesses more efficient?

They both share a need to streamline and secure distribution of their video assets. While content providers wish to broaden and accelerate the monetisation of assets, they need new tools to ensure content security, enforce distribution windows and downstream playback policies, and obtain usage reporting. Video service operators, on the other hand, desire easier and faster access to compelling content, combined with a reduction in cost and distribution complexity from the point of origination to the viewers.

By centralising the content and security workflows via a common cloud platform with a single point of integration, both content providers and video service operators gain significant distribution efficiencies through reduced and streamlined workflow processes.

What might a connected content distribution platform look like in practice and what additional benefits would it bring to content providers and operators?

Our new platform, called Viewthority, provides unparalleled connectivity between content providers and video service operators. This innovative approach, delivered as a platform-as-a-service (PaaS), streamlines end-to-end workflows and automates video analytics and reporting. The platform is designed to reduce the cost and complexity of the current content delivery processes, resulting in improved competitiveness and enabling new business models.

Viewthority is an end-to-end platform built upon proven Verimatrix technologies that:

• Avoids duplicate workflows by using a common cloud platform based on the AWS infrastructure.

• Centralises management and control of content licensing terms, distribution windows, playback policies and business rules via a defined rights management interface, which has been integrated with the MediaMorph Content Value Management Platform.
• Offers improved distribution efficiency by encrypting content just once with decryption keys and playback policies distributed separately and securely via Verimatrix RightsConnex for final end-device playout.

• Provides higher visibility into the process on a level not available before through automated viewership reporting and QoE analytics based on the functionality available from Verspective Analytics.

• Eliminates revenue leaks from premium content and provides anti-piracy protection from a trusted Verimatrix security envelope around the entire platform.

By efficiently and securely connecting a centralised content library to a network of global video service operators, Viewthority ultimately creates a collaborative and transparent environment that opens up new markets, new viewers, and new revenue streams.

How central is data and analytics to the vision of a connected platform and what benefits can this deliver to participants?

The ability to have unprecedented access to real-time data and analytics is a major advantage of integrating content distribution functionality into a single platform. Granular content usage, royalty reports and consumption analytics data, delivered on a timely basis, not only increases contract compliance efficiency, but also provides viewer insights, which enable content and services to become more compelling and engaging over time.

As the content industry expands and fragments, it becomes harder to conduct trade in the traditional way involving direct negotiation over rights, bitrates and formats. This new approach, armed with timely and streamlined reporting, provides an automated platform where content discovery and negotiation, as well as secure transmission, all take place digitally.

How can a connected platform deliver more efficient ways of managing security and what commercial advantages could this provide to content owners and distributors alike?

While the cloud brings cost savings and new opportunities it also raises challenges, not least because of the radical changes in the workflows and in the apparent exposure to risk. The security threat surface expands given the transparency and ubiquitous connectivity of the cloud, while for the same reasons concerns over privacy multiply.

Advanced security is imperative for this type of distribution model. Content providers and operators must inherently trust that the platform is secure. Given the deep expertise Verimatrix brings as a revenue security provider, content providers and video service operators can be confident that Viewthority is secured with the most advanced protection techniques.

Visit Verimatrix at IBC, stand is 5.A59 or visit www.verimatrix.com/viewthority