The world's most influential media, entertainment & technology show was a great place to learn about growth opportunities for Communication Service Providers in the Media software space.
Below we take a look at a few industry trends that were popular topics at IBC 2018, and pose some questions for the future.
Operator Media services need to have a stronger quality of service and experience as compared to non-operator-based media services. One way that operators can differentiate their services is by utilizing an intuitive and searchable user interface that pulls content from disparate sources. By providing access to Netflix, Live TV and Service Provider DVR content, you can differentiate your content from the Hulu’s and Amazon Prime’s of the world. The user experience does not stop with content though, and service providers can also overlay their entire home experience platform onto your media viewing experience.
This is a trend that we are seeing within the Volaris Group of companies right now. Incognito Software, a Volaris Group portfolio company is starting to manage much of the Digital Home Experience so that service providers can control their customer’s end-to-end experience (see www.digitalhomeexperience.com to learn more).
Service delivery is also key. Though it may be acceptable for your Netflix app to crash or buffer, it is far less acceptable to require a reboot of your Set Top Box because the service has failed.
By excelling in these areas, operator services can be best in class and mitigate a loss of subscribers.
Just days prior to IBC, Volaris Group was excited to announce our deal with Nokia (click here to learn more). This is our first deal announcement in the media software space and represents the culmination of many years familiarizing ourselves with the space. Velocix, the newly formed entity within Volaris Group, will also serve as a platform for future acquisitions into the media software space. Velocix continues to be led by Paul Larbey, who will be joining Volaris Group from Nokia.
Nokia was one of a few notable vendors to exit their interest in the media software space as Cisco & Ericsson also announced they were spinning out their video business units. This industry trend is underpinned by a fragmented media market, and business models which differ from what these networking vendors are used to. Cisco is focused on business lines which generate Billions of dollars in revenue, which their media unit struggled to deliver. The market will continue to watch and view what type of investment Synamedia makes into the product and market moving forward. Ericsson’s core business has gone through public challenges and leadership decided it best to (partially) divest their business unit to improve profitability under new joint ownership.
With more than 1,700 vendors represented at IBC, the market is dynamically expanding and evolving. The shift from a hardware to software centric environment, new business models and industry consolidation all remain present in the space. How will vendors, already struggling with the rapid shift to software paradigms, react to an accelerated all-digital landscape? How will service providers respond to new platforms like AndroidTv?
Questions like these will dominate the next 12 months. When we descend on Amsterdam for IBC 2019, we will look for these answers as well as new and exciting questions that come from a dynamically changing market.
Elliot Yunger serves as the Communications & Media Portfolio Business Development Lead. Before joining Volaris Group, Elliot worked for Cyhawk Ventures, a Tel Aviv based Venture Capital firm in sales organization for multiple businesses. Once returning to Toronto, he joined up with the Volaris Group to help accelerate growth across multiple verticals before specializing within the Communications & Media portfolio. Elliot has helped to lead multiple acquisitions and integrations for Volaris Group and has worked in Singapore, India and Tel Aviv.