VidTech

Top 5 Player Learnings from IBC and Bitmovin’s Outlook for 2023

- Bitmovin

It’s been two very long years since IBC had its last in-person event, which has now come and gone with over 37,000 attendees and over 1,000 exhibitors. It was a great show, but I’m biased since it was my first IBC since entering the streaming world six long years ago. The halls were packed to the brim, especially in hall 5 (we’ll be there again next year), where I got the luxury of attending the show with the Bitmovin team. As a Product Marketing Manager for the Bitmovin Player and other solutions, it was a great time as there was a lot of interest from people in the industry. From those conversations, it was apparent that many had the same items on their minds regarding video players & playback. Additionally, I was able to speak with other companies in the space, which helped confirm the trends we were all hearing.

So what were the trends showcased at IBC, and how has Bitmovin prepared for them for the rest of 2022 and 2023?

1. The simplification of streaming workflows

The biggest item on the list I was hearing from both partners and platforms looking to consolidate their workflows was how they were pushing to have one solution provide the complete package. Of course, this could include multiple partners, but they wanted to have 1 area where they could control each piece without having anything siloed. At every booth, I’m sure one of the significant things you heard from service providers was how they integrated with this company and that product to deliver the whole end-to-end workflow. With this approach, even some of our biggest competitors have become partners.

How Bitmovin is moving in this space:

At Bitmovin, we’ve been seeing where the market’s headed, which is why for IBC, we launched our Partner Innovation Network to focus on our existing integrations and recently introduced Streams (read the blog), which is our latest solution built to simplify streaming workflows & help platforms get to market quickly. Streams enables platforms to upload, store and encode video content, embed our Player, stream everywhere with our Global CDN partner and optimize and improve the viewer experience through actionable analytic insights.

2. FAST Channels

Many companies spoke about free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) to give viewers the chance to experience a new platform without needing to pay for another subscription or at a reduced price, which is especially beneficial in today’s economic environment. It was a hot topic and one that will continue to grow, as even Variety said back in July that by 2026 they expect the ad market for FAST to be valued at 6 billion.

How Bitmovin is moving in this space:

As our solutions have grown, we have focused a lot on our services, ads capabilities, and performance tracking. For example, for the Bitmovin Player, we’ve built a dedicated ad module with support for custom ad interactions and integrations with major SSAI ad platform providers (Yospace, Google, etc.). Additionally, to give further accuracy for ads, we’ve even enabled the open measurement SDK to use with our Player.

Some useful links:

3. SSAI

While still on the subject of ads, SSAI was another hot topic mentioned to monetize workflows, but instead of being about FAST, it was mentioned quite a bit for AVOD workflows. So why not CSAI, you may be asking? Well, that is because the benefits around playback and ads seen for SSAI outweigh the cost and complexity for certain platforms, as SSAI isn’t affected by ad blockers.

How Bitmovin is moving in this space:

As a reminder, our robust Ads capabilities include SSAI for a smoother playback experience with ad metadata events and handling to ensure AVOD services provide a great viewing experience.

You can also check out specifics around SSAI and the Bitmovin Player here:

4. Testing as a service

At many booths, testing was a vital topic everyone was pushing or interested in. Many of the providers on the market today focus primarily on application testing and how applications use on devices. However, few include playback testing on devices, specifically the stream, and instead require deployment in viewer endpoints.

How Bitmovin is moving in this space:

Back at NAB earlier this year, we launched Stream Lab, our latest player feature that enables companies to test their actual streams in the cloud. It allows companies to experiment with pre-built test cases on real devices and covers over 24 device and platform types, ranging from old to newly released Smart TV (Samsung Tizen, LG WebOS + more), Game Consoles (Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 coming soon),  and browsers. This ultimately helps them save on supporting devices before they need to and don’t have to buy real devices as they have access to them through Stream Lab. Read more about it on our Stream Lab Datasheet.

5. Content Protection

From DRM to watermarking and concurrent device limits, content protection was always relevant and a focus for everyone that attended and wanted to protect their streams. With piracy on the rise and costing providers 11.6 billion in revenue, as reported by Fierce video, it’s no wonder this would be a topic of choice for many platforms as they look to expand their content offerings and locations where they stream.

How Bitmovin is moving in this space:

Bitmovin’s Player provides capabilities for multi-DRM playback across all devices and integrates with the top DRM providers as part of the Innovators Network. Additional content protection measures, including token-based authentication and DRM for offline playback, are fully supported.

- Bitmovin

Conclusion

These top 5 Player topics were the most commonly heard on the exhibit floor, and they continue to come up in our conversations in Q4 with an outlook for the coming year. Regarding the Player, Bitmovin is consistently deploying the latest features to stay up to date with the market, which is why IBC 2022 was a success, and we are excited for IBC in 2023. It was great to attend, and I can’t wait to hear about changes in the market and showcase our industry-leading Player next year.

There is a lot of great work happening at Bitmovin, and if you want to test Bitmovin’s solutions for yourself, sign up for a free 30-day trial.

Adam Massaro is the Product Marketing Manager at Bitmovin, focusing on everything related to the Bitmovin Player and the Streams products. He’s been in the industry for over six years and drives Go To Market efforts across the Player, Streams, and many more of our solutions.

Read more by Adam

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