Intelligence for the media & entertainment industry
JULY / AUGUST 2018
JULY / AUGUST 2018
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BREVITY IS THE SOUL OF WIT, JUST NOT ON AN EPG
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n a previous role, I wrote and signed off content for EPG programme descriptions. Writing an EPG is an acquired skill, you have to encapsulate the episode’s story in order to gain the audience’s attention, usually within 240 characters. There’s definitely a fine art to it. With the huge amounts of content available to viewers, EPG descriptions are even more important in the fight for eyes on screen. They’re often a key part of how a viewer decides what to watch - the traditional TV listings magazines are not as popular as they once were, so many viewers decide what to watch by looking at the EPG. Recently, I was browsing through the channels on my pay-TV service, looking for something to watch when I found an episode
with more available to the viewer than ever before. But if we can’t get such fundamental things as a programme description on an EPG right, how are we going to entice those viewers to watch all that content? Talking of a golden age, what a summer we’ve been having! Football almost came home, the sun wouldn’t stop shining, and linear TV celebrated its best ratings in six years (at least in the UK). As our thoughts start to turn towards September and Amsterdam, this month TVBEurope is focusing on one of the key issues within the TV and content industry: piracy. Autumn is traditionally a key season for content; the football leagues kick off again across Europe, many TV channels launch their biggest shows of the year, and it’s the start of
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‘If we can’t get such fundamental things as a programme description on an EPG right, how are we going to entice viewers to watch all that content?’
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of ER. I had a look at the description: “bomb at women’s clinic.” That was it. Literally. The b in bomb wasn’t even capitalised. Immediately my editing skills kicked in, who allowed that description to appear on screen? Why wasn’t it subbed properly? How did anyone think a four word description would entice a viewer to watch that episode? Then I thought about it a bit more. That episode of ER is over 20 years old. Has that programme description always been so short, or is it an instance of today’s use of keywords, metadata or even machine learning? And if that’s the case, I’m not totally sure it’s a good move for the industry. We spend so much of our time talking about how the TV industry is in a golden age of content,
awards season in the film industry. So I felt this was the issue where we should really focus in on where we are as an industry and how we can continue to fight the issue of piracy. We hear from those working on behalf of the content owners and creators such as FACT, the DPP and EBU, as well as vendors operating within the security and piracy space. It’s an important issue for our industry, one I believe we’ll all be discussing when the RAI opens its doors in September.
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JENNY PRIESTLEY, EDITOR
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IN THIS ISSUE
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Opting for the big screen Limelight Networks’ Andrew Gray discusses what VoD means for how broadcasters distribute content
10 Tackling Piracy Imagen’s Ian Mottashed on why we all make mistakes when it comes to content security
12 Moving and Shaking Colby Ramsey hears from two IHS Markit execs about the broadcast industry’s spiralling M&A activity
18 Data, data and more data We comprehensively review this year’s annual MediaTech 360 event which took place in early June
28 Going beyond the screen
Jenny Priestley talks to the team at Beyond Seen Screen, a new app that aims to be a disruptive force in the space between content and advertisers
30 The sheriff of cyber town George Jarrett speak to Adi Kouadio, senior project manager of the EBU’s Cyber Security Project
36 Taking the fight to the pirates Jenny Priestley talks to FACT CEO Keiron Sharp about their work on behalf of broadcasters and rights holders in the fight against piracy
46 Following the castaways onto The Island with Bear Grylls Why Shine TV opted to use Canon XF205 camcorders for the castaways to document their experiences
52 How do you film a ferret? The team from Brown Bob Productions take Jenny Priestley Inside the Vets
64 Protect what matters
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TVBEurope invited a number of vendors from the global entertainment space to a security and anti-piracy roundtable session
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OPINION AND ANALYSIS
What does VoD mean for how broadcasters distribute content? By Andrew Gray, marketing director, EMEA, Limelight Networks
he proliferation of Smart TVs, connected set top boxes and other connected devices – such as Amazon’s Firestick – has predicated a surge in the number of people swapping their tablets, laptops and mobiles for their television, with seven in ten viewers now opting for the big screen when it comes to watching Broadcast Video on Demand (BVoD). As the divide between traditional broadcast TV and internet-delivered services blurs, broadcasters may find that one of their biggest challenges isn’t just technical, but psychological too. When was the last time your television signal was interrupted? Probably a long time ago. As consumers, we’ve become accustomed to seamlessly viewing content in high definition as a matter of course, which raises our expectations for other services experienced through our televisions. Compounding this, according to the State of Online Video report, 21.6 per cent of people abandon an online video after the first rebuffer. As such, broadcasters need to ensure that their VoD content is being delivered with, as seamlessly as possible, low latency. This can be achieved through chunking or the use of new technologies such as WebRTC, which leverages the user datagram protocol to deliver sub-second latency even for major live events in high definition quality. In an era when content is king, competition to show the next watercooler moment original series or own the rights to the biggest sporting events in the world is fierce. The value of this content cannot be understated, bringing with it loyal viewers willing to opt for value added services in return for access to their favourite programmes. As such, this content is an incredibly lucrative target for cyber criminals who would look to host it on illegal streams for their own gain. Broadcasters need to be able to deliver their content to users on all devices whilst protecting it against theft, which typically means embarking on the costly task of formatting and encrypting each individual piece of content for
each device type. Content delivery networks can assist with this, allowing broadcasters to store a single version of their content, which is automatically converted into the correct device format and encrypted, ensuring it is protected against theft. Cyber attacks pose an enormous threat to all businesses on the internet, not least broadcasters. Attacks such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) are becoming more and more commonplace, aiming to flood a targeted system with an overwhelming level of traffic and cause a service outage, resulting in damaged reputations and loss of revenues. DDoS attacks represent a major threat to broadcasters’ VoD services and they know it, in a survey conducted by Limelight Networks of over 100 CDN customers including broadcasters, 46 per cent of participants cited DDoS attacks as their top concern. Using a cloud-based CDN not only provides sufficient capacity to fight even the largest of attacks, it also allows broadcasters to deploy a web application firewall (WAF) between their content delivery network and the web application infrastructure. The upshot of this is that only requests for content that have not previously been cached need to be inspected by the firewall, thus optimising overall content delivery performance whilst ensuring that cyber attacks aimed at stealing information are blocked. The growing popularity of VoD is here to stay and how broadcasters react to this will be critical for their success or failure. Indeed, for some traditional Public Service Broadcasters VoD services are seen as critical to their future existence, allowing them to generate revenues from foreign markets that allow them to compete with their more digitally native SVoD and OTT disruptors. One thing is for sure, users have no time for poor viewing experiences, not least within their own homes, and so it will be critical that broadcasters deliver the seamless viewing experiences online that people expect from their core, non-VoD services. n
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OPINION AND ANALYSIS
Generating more editorial content on a budget to deliver increased value By Ed Tischler, managing director, Gearhouse Broadcast UK
he way content is being consumed has drastically shifted as new platforms and technologies emerge. Live and on-demand OTT services are now staples alongside traditional television, helping to feed an expanded appetite for programming. Today’s audiences expect quality storytelling, which places greater pressure than ever before on content creators and broadcasters. Nowhere is this more apparent than with live sports. The battle to win viewers is often as intense as the onfield action, so giving audiences access to the best events is a powerful tactic to keep viewers engaged and grow a fan base. However, with the cost of securing rights to these events often being so high, savings have to be found elsewhere to make the project financially viable. As a result, production budgets tend to shrink. But with such fierce competition, and an audience that’s increasingly aware of new technology trends that enhance overall production values and viewing experiences, cutting quality, ambition or scale from a production is just not an option. This is where innovation is now focused, with manufacturers working tirelessly to design solutions that help productions deliver more for less. IP networks, remote production, automation, AI-powered workflows and multi-platform delivery methods have all been developed to bring about efficiencies. When combined with the right expertise on-site, they can provide real value and help to deliver a higher quality output. With rights holders paying vast sums just to be able to broadcast premium sports titles, rights owners are increasingly focusing on expanding the amount of quality editorial content being produced to maximise the return on investment in their property. And it doesn’t just have to be the high-profile events. Not everything warrants a full level OB, but there is value to be found in capturing the action from smaller games or events because there is always a passionate fan-base that wants to watch. Technologies such as flyaways and single-operator systems are now widely available and deliver
a quality production that remains consistent with a broadcaster’s more mainstream output - but doing so on a more manageable budget. Take a tennis tournament for example, the main show courts tend to be covered from all angles, but there’s a lot of newsworthy action that happens on the outer courts, or even during qualifying. By having supporting facilities in place, the rights owner can deliver more editorial content that mirrors the quality of the coverage on the main courts. It does not require a full production infrastructure, but by deploying certain solutions, technologies and expertise, fans can get a better picture of the tournament with the help of replays and player reactions. These extra assets are also particularly useful when it comes to promoting an event, player or contest on social media, with bite-sized video clips proving very popular on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. A gut-busting rally, inch-perfect lob or unfortunate ball boy stumble that may have otherwise gone unseen can go viral, helping to promote the sport, event, sponsors and broadcaster’s coverage. And for events that move location, such as motorsports, a fresh approach to storytelling, empowered by a suitable production infrastructure can help make a championship more appealing to a broadcaster and its audience. Mobile solutions such as flyaways ensure consistency of production and give crews more creative freedom to cover a race, bringing in live analysis to better present data such as speed and position to those new to the sport. For a broadcaster with a remit to entertain, this approach can provide real value, and help boost both viewing figures, and overall engagement in a series. Creating value through additional editorial content is something we’re being asked to do more and more. Technology advancements mean that what once went unseen by those outside of the venue, can now be captured and shared, helping to generate further return on investment. n
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OPINION AND ANALYSIS
Coming up next on your TV: context driven design By Fabian Birgfeld, director and co-founder, W12 Studios
umour has it that TV is about to enter a new era. While the definition of television has become a bit blurry, everybody would agree that the essence of TV is shows, films, sports and news. Content is king. Broadcasters line up content they think the audience will tune into. This is how it has been for a long time and until recently everybody seemed to be perfectly happy with it. Digital has increased choice. Linear and on demand content from many providers and creators comes to the audience on their terms, anywhere and anytime. But it is probably fair to say that the transition to digital has been bumpy, as menus and rails have come between the audience and their desired content. TV is less simple than it used to be and viewers express their frustration with finding the right shows and movies to watch from the millions of titles to choose from. It would therefore be tempting to think that the best TV user interface to make TV simple again is no user interface. The right content magically appears at exactly the right time to a delighted audience. Technology brings with it a promise to make this magic a reality. Good user experience translates to a user’s shortest path to content. Just like good design in airports guide people to their gates. Problem solved? Not quite. There are plenty of reasons why designing for TV is different than for airports. Often, audiences are not sure what they want to watch. Content providers may know who is watching but they don’t know what mood they are in. The remote is not an intuitive device to navigate today’s breadth and depth of content. Brands struggle to connect to the audience as programmes, channels and advertisers compete for the attention of whoever is watching. Many of the currently available online video solutions prove the point. Screens tend to be filled with so much content. This creates a sensory overload of colour, image and text that complicates what should be an entertaining and enjoyable experience. In short, today’s TV experience does not stand
up to the audience’s expectations. Designing for the big screen is a real challenge and it’s something we approach every day at W12 Studios. Our guiding design principles stem from our days at the BBC where we designed the early version of BBC’s iconic iPlayer and the digital experience for London 2012 Olympics. We believe that content leads to content because TV is continuous. Audiences want uninterrupted entertainment. Content comes to you - the audience, TV as a lean back experience. Curation matters because we all want advice that actually makes life easier. It would be misleading to consider discovery and consumption separately when designing for TV. They are inherently connected. Discovery can be thought of as an extension or another mode of consumption. The audience seamlessly explores and consumes content using a similar vocabulary. The opportunity for TV is to go beyond merging live and on demand. The industry needs to start innovating around new content and ad formats. It’s time to leverage the wealth of data to feed intelligent algorithms, to fully integrate voice to control the user interface and to build on virtual reality to add depth to the experience. A user experience that is conversational in nature engages the audience in new and meaningful ways. It can be surprising, delightful and informative. It can break down the dichotomy of discovery and consumption. Online TV will be more than TV has ever been when it was just on the screen in the living room. Technology, digital and the entertainment industry will continue to evolve in symbiosis. Developing a design language native to TV and considering the audience’s context has the potential to return the TV experience back to a more sophisticated simplicity. An adaptive interface blurring the lines between what people want to watch and how they discover it. We believe that this context driven design approach will shape the next era of TV that is about to come. Stay tuned! n
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OPINION AND ANALYSIS
We all make mistakes By Ian Mottashed, VP Marketing, Imagen Ltd
ithout mistakes you would probably never have heard of the film Khali the Killer. Or had the brief opportunity to watch it for free when Sony Pictures Entertainment inadvertently posted the full film instead of the trailer on YouTube at the beginning of July. The video has since been removed, and while social media lit up with Smart Aleks gloating they had seen a movie they weren’t supposed to (and let’s be honest probably never intended to), it does highlight a major problem within the media and entertainment industry. Whether it’s a blockbuster movie, a TV show or an advert produced by a creative agency, new content needs circulation at some point - for review or sign off by stake holders, production teams or clients during the production phase or when the project is ready for delivery – to broadcasters, reviewers, cinemas or clients. Distribution is a major challenge for studios and media companies as they attempt to coordinate secure delivery of valuable or commercially sensitive content to hundreds, sometimes tens of thousands of recipients. Sony Entertainment’s slip is an interesting new twist on a series of high profile leaks and hacks which have caused embarrassment, and financial loss throughout the industry. Promotional screeners, in particular, introduce huge vulnerability into the distribution chain. Screeners are low resolution preview copies sent out to journalists to generate publicity ahead of a general release. Or to award-judging panels – who have the good fortune to receive the very best pre-release movie entertainment before anyone else – on DVD. Far be it from me to make accusations but… According to Deadline.com, in December 2017 pirated copies of four major Oscar-contending films were leaked online by a group calling itself Hive-CM8. I Tonya, Lady Bird, Call Me By Your Name and Last Flag Flying were all available to either watch or download with an excuse note that read: “Don´t forget watching a screener is not like the real thing, you should still all go to the cinema and support the producers.”
It’s also likely the group were the source of leaked versions of other Oscar nominated films, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, The Revenant and Hateful Eight which were also made available online ahead of theatrical release. The theft of content can obviously result in reduced viewership and product sales. In Carnegie Mellons’ wonderfully titled An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Pre-Release Movie Piracy on Box- Office Revenue their research leads them to conclude that a leak before a movies’ release can cause box-office takings to be 19.1 per cent lower than a leak that occurs post release. It’s good to have the science to back up the claim, but you don’t need to be a genius to work out that content piracy harms business reputations and revenues. The source of the leaks? We can’t be sure, but it’s staggering to think that so many of the screeners sent to generate publicity ahead of release or for review by judging panels - are still sent as DVDs. For all the 21st century advances in video streaming and security, the world’s most valuable media property is still being distributed in a 20th century format. Piracy in the entertainment industry makes the headlines, but it’s a common theme throughout the digital industries. Millions of euros/dollars/pounds are sunk into producing eye watering media, which is uploaded to YouTube for sign off, sent for review in the post on 10 cent disc or delivered as file via a free transfer service. There is a clear need for media production companies to address the screener problem. The technology is out there to keep the content secure and make access auditable, but more importantly it will provide a much better experience for the journalists, judging panels or clients. Banging heads in the loft looking for the DVD player will only put them in a bad mood – leaving you with poor reviews, cancelled contracts and films failing to pick up Oscar nominations. Meanwhile, if the industry wants to keep on making the same mistakes, - can it leak something I actually want to watch? I mean Khali the Killer.., bit short on LOLs probably. n
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MOVING AND SHAKING Colby Ramsey hears from two IHS Markit execs about the broadcast industry’s spiralling M&A activity
nalysis and information provider IHS Markit revealed earlier this year that mergers and acquisitions between TV content producers had more than doubled between 2013 and 2017. The report found that activity grew at a 19.4 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), increasing from 42 deals in 2013 to 102 deals in 2017. It also discovered that the UK was the most active market, despite the US and China leading the chart in terms of market value. What is driving this increased activity amongst the big players in the broadcast space? And, is the prevalence of live streaming and OTT offerings having a knock on effect? Tim Westcott, IHS Markit’s research director, channels & programming, sees a common theme running through the current wave of mergers, with fierce competition between the new media giants. He says that in the case of AT&T-Time Warner, the former sees owning the channels, production and programming libraries of the latter as vital to the growth of its distribution networks. “The Murdoch family decided that even a company as big as 21st Century Fox was too small to thrive,
looking to close a deal first with Time Warner and now with Walt Disney to gain more scale,” says Westcott. “Now Comcast, having successfully absorbed NBC in 2011, is looking to add Sky, Fox or both to its empire.” Fear of the ‘FAANG’ companies (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google) is said to be one of the primary factors driving M&A among media and telecoms companies, motivating expansion as traditional media players seek to compete with the global scale of the tech giants. Yet the financial motives behind M&A activity should not be overlooked, with market saturation also partly to blame. Companies are under increasing pressure to realise efficiencies and create new revenue streams by combining with other groups in complementary areas, all while extending into new businesses and markets and creating a direct relationship with consumers. Looking at the sheer scale of the new media players, Westcott believes the defensive motivations are clear: “Facebook made $39.9 billion from advertising last year, more than the top ten US cable network companies combined, while Netflix has grown fast and made $10.9 billion from subscriptions last year,” he reveals. “Only Walt Disney, Fox and NBC Universal were ahead of the online platform on this measure.” Ted Hall, director of research and analysis, service providers & platforms, IHS Markit, sees telcos ramping up their convergence strategies and seeking to make mass-market quad-play a reality: “Vodafone’s acquisition of Liberty Global’s cable assets in four European markets is the most recent high-profile example of convergence-driven M&A, building on the mobile operator’s cable acquisitions in Germany (Kabel Deutschland) and Spain (Ono),” he observes. So what is it about Europe that is attractive? The continent continues to provide attractive M&A opportunities because it is home to some high-value media and telecoms businesses that are still achieving growth. On the cable front for instance, many operators are expanding their broadband businesses
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to compensate for the loss of TV subscribers, “and cable TV subscriber declines are not indicative of cord-cutting in Europe, with rival satellite and IPTV platforms continuing to attract subscribers,” says Hall. “Unlike in the US, the growth of Netflix and other online video services has not come at the expense of pay TV, which typically provides good value for consumers, who are in many cases supplementing their subscriptions with SVoD services.” According to IHS Markit, the European pay-TV market was worth €37.4 billion in 2017, up 2.2 per cent year-on-year. (See image, right) Sky, while being an M&A target, is also looking to expand into other countries, not by launching a conventional linear business but by going online, direct to consumers, similarly to what Disney is doing with ESPN+ and its planned worldwide SVoD service next year. “For these kinds of ventures, ownership of compelling content becomes more important than owning distribution, because what Netflix has shown is that if you have a strong content offer, you can build scale very rapidly,” says Westcott. “In terms of M&A, Netflix has only made one very small deal with the acquisition of Millarworld.” How much more activity are we likely to see in the near future? Hall believes the trend towards consolidation to create a smaller number of panregional/international multiplay providers is set to continue. “There is certainly room for more fixedmobile convergence, with Liberty Global lacking a significant mobile presence in some of its remaining markets, such as Ireland, Poland and Switzerland,” Hall predicts. “Sky, too, is yet to make a significant venture
into mobile in any of its markets (save for a nascent MVNO offering in the UK), and only operates as a multiplay provider in the UK.” “This leaves room for convergence-driven M&A activity for the operator in the future, after a potential acquisition by Disney-Fox or Comcast.” What this all means for consumers and the wider industry is yet to be fully realised however. Hall belives the concentration of market power among a smaller number of players as a result of M&A can have negative consequences for consumers, with reduced competition meaning less pressure on pricing and less pressure to innovate. “However, this is unlikely to be the case in the evolving media landscape, with the growing threat of the FAANG companies forcing operators to respond by working towards truly converged product offerings,” he concludes. “This encompasses both compelling high-end services and more flexible offerings that cater to the lower-end of the market, which is driving much of the growth in subscription video.” n
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WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOUR MULTIBILLION DOLLAR SPORTS NETWORK HAS BEEN STOLEN? By Richard Brandon, chief marketing officer, Edgeware
his was the question posed by the New York Times in the article The Brazen Bootlegging of a MultibillionDollar Sports Network. It revealed that an operation called beoutQ had seemingly stolen beIN SPORTS’ entire network output and was rebroadcasting it under its own brand with just a 10-second delay. The article alluded to political forces at play as part of a wider campaign within the Middle East against Qatar. It also suggested that despite its immense wealth, there was very little that beIN SPORTS (or Qatar) could actually do to stop it. The Qatar-based broadcast giant had only recently announced it was to show the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia to its subscribers in 24 countries across North Africa and Middle East. What made the deal even more important was that for the first time, four Arab nations (Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia) played at the tournament, generating a huge level of interest throughout the region. While there’s a far bigger story at play in terms of international relations, this situation does highlight the growing value of content - particularly access to premium sporting events - and the lengths that people or organisations will go to get their hands on it. And it further reinforces the need to do everything possible to protect content and the huge investments made in producing programming or securing the rights to screen it. Research carried out by YouGov on behalf of Edgeware recently found that 39 per cent of viewers questioned are likely to watch pirated content on-demand by downloading
or streaming illegally shared versions of popular films and TV. Of the 4000 people surveyed globally, more than one fifth (21 per cent) said they would view live events – like sports broadcasts – from unsolicited online sources. However, deterrents can make people think twice before searching out illegal content. The research, which was carried out in December 2017, found that 50 per cent of viewers would be unlikely to watch pirated content if they knew it was watermarked. While traditional manifest-watermarking techniques help, they can be overridden relatively easily. However, Edgeware’s forensic watermarking solution integrates directly into its TV CDN technology. It inserts information into the video bitstream in an intelligent way that makes it invisible to the viewer yet is robust enough to withstand video transformations such as recompression and cropping. Built on ContentArmor’s bitstream-based watermarking system, the visual code can be tracked to each individual user and is far more robust than traditional techniques. While this technology would not help if the beIN SPORTS feed came from a satellite link, if it was an OTT service faced with this type of situation they could both watermark their content, and upon detection of a leak, cut off the pirated source stream within a few minutes – killing the illegal service. As pirates become more advanced and brazen in their attempts to access and share premium content, distributors and content owners must increase their efforts to deter them and protect their valuable assets. n
“50 per cent of viewers would be unlikely to watch pirated content if they knew it was watermarked”
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DATA, DATA AND MORE DATA In early June, the media and entertainment industry came together for MediaTech 360, our annual event dealing with themes of challenge and opportunity within the sector. Over the coming pages, we review the panels, presentations and case studies from the two days. We begin with a review of the event from this year’s chair, Christy King.
never thought I’d write the words “fascinating” and “database” in the same sentence, but the evolution of the media industry is happening at a rate that leaves many participants marveling at new realities every day. This second annual MediaTech 360 event opened up by touching on a wide variety of what I would call “media distribution issues.” Several presentations touched on absorbing sport-specific business concepts, many that will likely make their way into the rest of the media business as the months go by. From there each presentation and panel extended those ideas to a deep dive into data issues – from consumer data to metadata to ad data – we hosted a wide variety of media professionals discussing issues related to the gathering of data, storing, organising, using and sharing data. This, of course, is an incredibly hot topic at the moment with governments and companies figuring out how to gather, integrate, and use, the data they have today. It is clear that today’s consumers are viewing and sharing more video content than ever before, and that use provides media businesses with a trove of data that can serve as a treasure – if used well. We learned that the challenge for the media industry isn’t gathering data, but rather connecting with a huge variety of data sources, integrating that information, and analysing data to glean actionable insights. It quickly became evident that media companies have moved far past fear and
have become excited by the opportunities that various kinds of data offer in everything from guiding preference in content acquisition and development, improving advertising relevance, and reducing subscription churn. We have moved beyond the challenges of collecting data and are squarely in the throes of figuring out how best to take advantage of all that available information. In fact, several speakers gave fascinating examples of their work that showed clear proof of value. I think we all ended up with a sense of excitement for the possibilities ever-improving data analysis will afford in future media business efforts. Sports companies are typically at the forefront of media technology innovation, and our speakers from sports businesses provided an interesting look at some of the things they have learned from consumer habits, transaction data, and advertising relevance data. It was clear that the valuable lesson is that everyone in the media business has to figure out how to identify effective sources of data – and not just from customers – but including publishers, artists, producers, and content creators. Our session on AI and Machine Learning could have easily held all of our attention for several hours of discussion, as those two topics alone are huge, fascinating, and evolving at high speed. It led directly into a wrap up session where another creative and interesting group of professionals could have
entertained the MediaTech 360 audience with their predictions of where the market is going for the rest of the evening. While both panels touched on an intriguing variety of media and data ideas, it is clear that we are experiencing an unprecedented rate of change in an industry that is booming with possibility. I, for one, can’t wait for the next TVBEurope event to find out what new and exciting media business opportunities people are tackling in businesses across the industry.
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THE SHIFT FROM THE TACTICAL TO THE STRATEGIC The impact of cloud on the media and entertainment industry
n a discussion about cloud, looking at cost, collaboration and creativity, marketing consultant Robert Ambrose told MediaTech 360: “Agility is the keyword when talking about cloud. A broadcaster’s move to cloud has to be done with eyes wide open or it can come with cost complications.” The panel discussed whether companies looking for cloud solutions are driven more by creative needs or by the need for speed. Equinix’s Rory Murphy said he considers creative and performance go “hand in hand.” Sundog Media Toolkit’s Saul Mahoney told the audience, “It depends on sector. Different content owners want different things, efficiency and scalability are big wins.” “Cloud is offering new vendors,” explained Marina Kalkanis of M2A Media. “Broadcasters want to be able to explore opportunities as they arise. To me that’s one of the key points, it allows lots of vendors to collaborate.” “It’s about the shift from the tactical to the strategic,” added Murphy. The discussion moved on to what broadcasters need to be aware of as they move processes to the cloud. “It shouldn’t be taken as a given that you can move software or applications to the cloud and everything is going to be alright,” warned Mahoney. “You need to think strategically over the next five to 10 years as skills shift over. If a broadcaster is planning to grow globally do they need separate cloud
platforms? There needs to be a serious integration now, to prepare for the future.” According to Ambrose, companies need to have the right skills in their team and staff who can work in the cloud. Lots of different industries are looking to adopt cloud, and so the media and entertainment industry needs to “make sure we’re appealing to developers and cloud experts so that we get them coming into our industry.” He added there are “many good reasons for adopting cloud, but not necessarily to save money.” He warned he had heard of “cases of people ‘forklifting’ legacy application into cloud and getting a huge bill afterwards.” “Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should do it,” concluded Mahoney.
“There needs to be a serious integration now, to prepare for the future.” SAUL MAHONEY
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MAKING SENSE OF AD TECH How broadcasters can push the boundaries to capitalise on engaged captive audiences
n a discussion about ad technology, the next frontier for digital advertising, and how technology is creating inventory for broadcasters, Justin Gupta, Google’s head of UK broadcast and entertainment, global partnerships, told MediaTech 360 that he sees HBBTV bringing a degree of addressability to linear channels. In radio, he observed the same shift, with digital monetisation being driven by the emergence of smart speakers and digitally enabled channels. “Traditionally, with TV and radio, everything has been traded in bulk. This has got to change,” said Gupta. “It’s a question of scale. The exciting thing is to be able to create industry out of nothing. Any experience where someone has their phone could be an AR advertising opportunity. “It may be about increasing the value of the experience or making it more relevant,” he continued. “The monetisation will follow. Leading with this wont drive the scale adoption we need for it to take off.” Jonathan Acton, head of creative delivery at Clear Channel, sees the ad tech industry moving at a good pace, and believes there are some exciting opportunities: “It’s a question of how do we engage households with content through smart speakers for example and continue that communication. Out-of-home and radio ads are key in progressing the user journey. “Budgets are going down however and creators are expected to do more with less. Advertising needs to be more of an application and fit into people’s lives.” Duncan Snowden, head of platforms
and technology, Gravity Road, said that the main challenge is the single source view of reaching people through mediums and being able to properly measure it. “Within the culture of the advertising industry, there’s a perception that there’s fewer cross platform ideas and campaigns taking place these days,” he said. “The capability that the likes of Facebook and Google have provided lets people move further along the consumer journey.” Gupta added that fragmented media is something that needs to change, while simplifying distribution also needs to happen on the advertising side. “We’re looking to enable omni-channel campaigns to allow people to buy across all media in one-place programmatically rather than trading in bulk,” he revealed. Snowden went on to highlight some of
the more creative opportunities of ad tech, and mentioned that while augmented reality (AR) can help drive engagement, it is currently undercapitalised. He also mentioned that while personalisation is crucial, it puts a lot of pressure on talent in the creative industry in terms of keeping them motivated: “The advertising industry needs to be more attractive to young people and work on its ageism,” he said. Gupta added that broadcasters have been sitting on a huge amount of data throughout the years: “With digital distribution they can get data points they’ve never had before,” he concluded. “There’s going to be opportunities with agencies from adjacent industries, for example Amazon might find a way to integrate data into the advertising tech landscape.”
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PERSONALISING THE FUTURE USER EXPERIENCE How can data be used to drive value for audiences?
uring a panel discussion focussing on the use of data as an enabler of personalised user experiences, Christina Sarraille, senior strategist, We Are Social, told MediaTech 360 it is sometimes difficult for agencies to own the data they require, and instead they rely on what the client provides them: “We need to look at data opportunities and discover the cultural setup around them so that we can turn it into exciting stories for brands,” she said. “Around 70-80 per cent of conversations happens on social, and these are things that you can’t track,” Sarraille continued. “So we used this as a starting point for a new project that was created with Adidas. We got involved and we turned super engaged individuals into a young football team, driving further engagement and lots of excitement around the project.” But is there such thing as too much data? Matt Bryan, YouView’s head of data and insight, thinks not, “but there’s a fuzzy line
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about what’s OK on other platforms,” he said. For Alvin Hussey, brand partnerships director, The Hook, the majority of collected data is focused around comedy: “We try to put up as many original videos as possible so we can harness them and understand how they’re being received, because next week it might not be as popular as this week,” he told the panel. “We’re focusing on original series formats for a number of platforms and are really using data to work out what we should put our time and effort into. It’s about this process of constant feedback and making it a core part of our business. Delivering the right content at the wrong time can make it irrelevant.” Sarraille added that because the roles of the media and consumers have changed, people are engaged yet very critical: “Society is changing around them and if you don’t have that data you wont be enable to create something exciting and meaningful for them. If you can’t do that then
personalisation becomes a pointless affair. “If there’s a creative idea behind something and you really know your audience, you can tell a better story across all the platforms. Nowadays it’s not good enough to have a great idea; you need to understand how people are going to embrace this idea and have a reaction to it.” Mic Conetta, head of CRM at Arsenal FC, agreed that data is the currency that really drives value for the business, and helps to build a proposition that is attractive to commercial partners: “It depends on demographic, and the younger generation are more aware of the value their data has,” he observed. “It’s going to be interesting to identify the balance between the generation who are fearful or wary of data harvesting, and the generation who really want to see something in return for their data. “For example, changing gambling laws in the US are opening up the market, and we’re seeing technology driving these changes in the law.”
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CREATING A DIGITAL CULTURE AT THE HEART OF BBC SPORT How is the broadcaster responding to the challenges of digital disruption?
BC executive product manager Oliver Thompson took to the stage to discuss how the organisation is redefining free-to-air sports coverage for the digital age. Thompson highlighted how crucial younger audiences are for the BBC, and how sport is the key to focusing on and engaging with them. Reaching younger audiences has always been a challenge however, as Thompson explained: “The 16-24 demographic is generally less loyal to content providers, simply because they have so much more choice. “We’ve done a lot of work over the last three to four years to work out the true purpose of the BBC’s digital offering,” said Thompson. “The key thing is making sure everyone throughout the organisation is thinking the same way, trying to understand the same problems and how to solve them.” He went on to mention how big sporting events like the FIFA World Cup provide a map of how and where technology in sports is going, and provides BBC Sport with a big opportunity providing it focuses on the distribution of content. “The BBC has standardised its proposition for live events,” added Thompson. “We’re looking at cloud-based live video and using existing metadata. We expect it to take a lot of the cost out, enable wider coverage and convenience for consumers.” Thompson also mentioned the ways in which BBC Sport is looking to maximise its USPs during these big live sporting events with tools like the Player Rater, along with video push notifications within the BBC
Sport app. “We’re creating a digital culture at the heart of BBC Sport, and we’re in a much better place than we were,” Thompson said. “Now, TV, radio and digital are equal partners, and we’re aiming to provide the same experience across all platforms.” He also said that while many have grown up with digital journalism, it is important for product and editorial to maintain a symbiotic relationship. “It’s flipped too much to the other side now, and there’s engineers out there who haven’t got a respect for content,” he said.
“The key thing is making sure everyone throughout the orgnisation is thinking the same way.” OLIVER THOMPSON
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STRIKING A BALANCE FOR OTT BROADCASTERS AND SPORTS Could focusing too much on delivering live events be detrimental?
hat the future holds for OTT broadcasters and sports rights holders was on everyone’s minds at
MediaTech 360. Big rights packages are still critical for engagement, and digital content is being put out by individual federations and clubs that just would not have been available five years ago, according to Rowan de Pomerai, professional services director EMEA, Ooyala. “One of the most significant things that Netflix has done is global rights deals, which sports has not achieved yet,” he said. “With the increase of sports rights, manufacturers need better storytelling tools and the ecosystem needs to be understood better,” added Jerome Wauthoz, vice president – products, Tedial. “Big networks have an interest in increasing rights; through personalised content, you can enrich the brand of a particular player, but I don’t see this shifting the way rights are distributed.” However, Jeff Nathanson, managing director of the Whistle Sports Network, believes there’s a perception problem: “Focusing too much on delivering live can be detrimental,” he said. “Tools have to support a story first. We focus too much on the delivery of the end product rather than considering what happens along the way. End users demand technology and better experiences as soon as possible. “We have to look at other sports other than the big ones. WWE have the rights for their athletes, a stratified structure with
a subscription service, and the biggest social following, while esports continues to cause uncertainty within the traditional sports industry.” Nathanson added that US sports are very interesting on the rights side, because they distribute across three or four broadcasters as well as producing their own OTT offering, making them future-proof. “The bigger the audience and the bigger the event, the bigger the right packages,” observed Casper Choffat, manager R&D and lead system architect, NEP. “Metadata is key, and rights are a key part of this. You have to focus on the end user experience and adjust the technology accordingly. It makes our lives interesting and the challenges bring on our new technologies.” Nathanson added: “We need to focus right now on simple, fast delivery and navigation, simplifying the rights and end user experience, and telling the user about it.” Asked if there is such thing as too much data, de Pomerai replied: “If you have the right technology and right understanding then no. You can create your own data from AI, and this is key with interacting with the consumer. “If you can’t find a story within the data that can improve business or improve the user experience then it’s useless. It’s about experimentation with technology and how it can be monetised.”
“You have to focus on the end user experience and adjust the technology accordingly.” CASPER CHOFFAT
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WHY ECOMMERCE IS THE MOST DIRECT FORM OF BRANDED CONTENT ALEX CONNOCK, managing director at Missile, delivered a presentation asking: what’s the best video approach to ecommerce? He told the audience that while the long term direction of TV advertising is down, the market for ecommerce is on its way up. Connock stressed that what is in the video matters just as much as technology and analytics. The length of the video is also key; it should be long if the consumer doesn’t know the product (so a new launch), and short if they do. “Branded content does better with viewers than the hard sell,” Connock said. Connock also told the audience that the key central point to ecommerce video is that it is “not a small game. People who win at this game (Amazon) will make a lot of money.” “Big ecommerce companies are content producers in a big way,” he continued. “They are superb content producers – using sites like Instagram. Driving customers with video, using social distribution tools as their platform.”
“The eagerness to use this technology is running way ahead of what we’re capable of doing right now.” STEVE SHARMAN
“Branded content does better with viewers than the hard sell.” ALEX CONNOCK
AI IN BROADCAST: RUNNING BEFORE IT CAN WALK? ONE of the key panels during MediaTech 360 posed the question, where does artificial intelligence go next? According to AI expert Muki Kulhan, in the broadcasting world “it’s about how do we create content that’s going to be interesting for a fan? It’s beyond the Alexas and the Watsons.” “It’s easy to get hung up on industry terminology and jargon,” said the BBC’s Noriko Matsuoka. “We’re looking at the value proposition. It’s easy to run it into these worlds but when you look at it properly it’s a huge job, a lot more complicated than you think. It needs a lot of training. How well is it going to be received? We don’t know. At the BBC we can’t invest lots of money for it not to work.” According to SMPTE’s Yvonne Thomas, metadata is the key that unlocks everything. “There are studies that an editor spends 50-60 per cent of their time searching for the right content,” she said. “If we invest in AI up front, the search is much faster and therefore reduces the time an editor spends searching for content and then doing their job.” “On the distribution side it’s tricky too,” added Steve Sharman from Hackthorn Innovation. “There’s this adage that the more metadata you have the better. But I can’t get per second tagging on to an EPG, I don’t even have the back end infrastructure to store that now. There’s a lot more thinking that needs to be done around that. The eagerness to use this technology is running way ahead of what we’re capable of doing right now.” “I think it’s all about the value add proposition and it needs to be carefully considered,” added Matsuoka. “It’s not just the quality but also about the ethics.” Sharman had the final word: “The reality is, this is really exciting. It’s not quite as exciting as the bullshit being quoted about it. But it is transformative if we apply it correctly.”
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THE IMPACT OF EVOLUTION ON TV AND VIDEO CONSUMPTION FUTURESOURCE Consulting’s David Sidebottom offered some insight into the current state of the SVoD market and the rise of voice control in a keynote presentation. Key takeaways from Sidebottom’s presentation include: Total households with video subscriptions will hit 19 million this year, with a strong overlap between pay-TV and SVoD. The growth in video subscribers is driving a thirst for content as well as expectation from the viewer. The search and discovery evolution continues – voice interaction will become mainstream.
PUTTING THE VIEWER AT THE CENTRE OF A SPHERE IN his presentation on 360 video, Ericsson Media Services’ Olie Baumann said if 360 video is to succeed it needs to be available to everybody with the technology they already have – smartphones and tablets. How do you do that? “Put the encoder in the viewer’s loop so it personalises what they’re looking at,” said Baumann. “Ericsson’s Viewport Adaptive streaming takes an 8K image, puts it into a rectangular frame, splits it up into tiles, encodes each tile separately and places them onto a server. “That means the viewer’s device only downloads tiles that are in the field that the viewer is looking at – it reduces data and bandwidth issues. The device will have a decoder in it that will be able to process that image. When the viewer moves their head there’s a whole new set of tiles to download – so Ericsson also encodes a lo-res/low bandwidth back drop.”
BETTER INSIGHTS, GREATER TRANSPARENCY THIS year’s MediaTech 360 closed with a panel gazing into their crystal ball to predict how the industry landscape will look in 2020. “Organisations are going through a big consolidation process,” said Tony Jones from Ericsson Media Solutions. “The topology of the industry is going to be very different, it’s all very siloed and it’s going to change how things are done.” “The second screen and how we use data to navigate our consumers is much more interesting,” said UKTV’s Sinead Greenaway. “We’re much more open. We’re much better at talking about how to change the market, harnessing the cloud and IP etc to keep up that pace.” “The democratisation, the access, the idea that we can move at pace now is very exciting,” she added. According to strategic advisor Múirne Laffan, the “game” now is to build a better relationship with the audience. “It’s about value creation as opposed to taking value. That’s how you can compete and build a robust business.” “A lot of useful things have happened that have educated users on the importance of their data,” agreed Greenaway. “But that has also sparked businesses into thinking about their proposition too. Working together with partners and operating as a complete supply chain together has been really important for us.” “From a people perspective it’s about more real collaboration,” concluded Vilo Consulting’s Lorna Baines. “There’s a whole shift around collaborating with people who aren’t like me. There’s a shift more towards proper collaboration. Technology is making that possible.” n
“The democratisation, the access, the idea that we can move at pace now is very exciting.” SINEAD GREENAWAY
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GOING BEYOND THE SCREEN Jenny Priestley talks to the team at Beyond Seen Screen, a new app that aims to be a disruptive force in the space between content and advertisers
ave you ever watched a film or TV series and thought ‘I wonder where that character’s watch is from’ or you’re watching a music video and you want to get tickets to see that artist. Well if you have, there’s now an app for that. Beyond Seen Screen is a Croatian company aiming to change the way viewers watch content. Their aim is to bridge the gap between the first and second screen - giving content producers and advertisers the opportunity to link information to video content. Viewers will no longer passively consume content, instead they can interact and engage with it. The team at Beyond Seen Screen got together when co-founders Mario Drevenšek, Miroslav Zarić and Krešimir Puljić first met back in 2016. Zarić was looking at how to connect augmented reality to film, and began discussing the idea of creating additional content from what viewers see on television with the his colleagues. “Krešimir said he would research whether it would be possible. We managed to actually create a platform that does that, it gives you information about what you’re watching,” explains Zarić. “We said ‘wow, this could actually be a marketing platform as well’. Because right now, you get let’s say a product placement in a James Bond movie but you don’t actually know what’s there,” he continues. “You might know that Bond is wearing a Tom Ford suit, or an Omega watch, because the camera might focus on it. So we thought, if you could use your phone to scan the screen during the movie and there’s an application that gives you the information about the actors, director etc, why not get additional information? So, there’s an Aston Martin. Where’s your local Aston Martin dealer? Where you can go and take one out for a test drive? Or, where can you buy an Omega watch, for example.” The app works on content that has been imported
into Beyond Seen Screen’s database. “We’re not trying to break any copyright laws,” says Zarić, “but if there is a marketing company or a production company working with someone like Gordon Ramsay for example, his TV show is usually 22 minutes long and he usually covers around six recipes. His company can come to us and say they want to have additional content which is accessible through our application. “We give them access to our platform, our customer portal. They can post the video there themselves, or we can provide them with an application. We don’t take the whole video, instead we take information that we call indexes. So for example, if we have an episode that’s 20 minutes long it can be around a hundred gigabytes big. Instead, we take information that’s around two maybe five megabytes and that’s what we use in our database. When we have the indexes of that video, the customer can then decide what information to include. Do they want the same information for the whole 22 minutes? Do they want segments, so maybe six parts because there are six recipes.” The application can also help promote additional content around the video – so going back to Zarić’s Gordon Ramsay example, the app could also be used to promote a book or cooking courses – the Beyond Seen Screen client can add that information into the database in order for it to be pushed to the viewer as they’re watching a video. “We like to say the app can unleash the creativity of the companies that are willing to include the additional data in their videos,” says Zarić. “For example, a production company can say ‘we just want to include one recipe.’ So when the viewer scans the screen they get a link to that particular recipe. They don’t have to search for it on Google or whatever. Or a supermarket can work with the production
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company so when the viewer scans the screen they get the recipe as well as the ability to buy the ingredients from that grocery store that is in this partnership programme with us. So it can generate extra revenue for the production company.” The app will be free worldwide to viewers although it is currently only available for Android. There are plans to develop it further post-launch to include premium content such as films where the client might want to attach special promotions to the content. Zarić says the team at Beyond Seen Screen are talking to companies around the world – from Singapore to the US, Ireland and the UK. In fact, Beyond Seen Screen has already signed a deal with Croatia’s Discovery Film&Video to create a pilot programme. It will see
Discovery’s two TV channels integrate the Beyond Seen Screen platform with their video library of 500 documentaries and movies which are available to more than 20 million potential viewers in Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Albania. Igor Rakonić, director of Discovery Film&Video says the first time he saw Beyond Seen Screen his interest was immediately piqued: “This technology can easily work on VHS, Blu-ray, TV, or with any video medium for that matter. That is why we are going to use this service. It will tie additional information to assets playing on our TV channels, creating a more immersive experience for our viewers.” The test project is set to go live on 1st October. n
PICTURED ABOVE: Miroslav Zarić
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COMMITTED TO SECURITY George Jarrett talks to the Digital Production Partnership about their work with vendors to protect premium content
ertifications and independent audits that demonstrate an honest commitment to security are a must boast thing for both device and service vendors, and true to its hugely respected work on a number of important technology fronts the DPP‘s Committed to Security initiative with accompanying Mark was a big attraction from the moment it launched at IBC 2017. At last count, 26 companies had been awarded the DPP Mark. One of the companies accredited to the program, Piksel, saw the DPP program as “a relatively stringent process” and is now on its way to seeking a Trusted Partner Network Certification from the MPAA/CDSA, because multiple certifications are better than one. Joint MD Kristan Bullett says: “I have seen multiple issues with security when people lose content owned by major owners, and that never reflects well on anybody in the industry. We think what the DPP is doing is both important and unique.” To track how the matched DPP cyber security initiatives have progressed since launch at IBC17, TVBEurope spoke to DPP program delivery manager Abdul Hakim. COVERING THE WHOLE MEDIA SUPPLY CHAIN Hakim was at the critical stage of bedding down the requisite processes behind the project, with the assistance of Eurofins Digital Testing. He says: “We have not actually issued a new version of the checklist, but once we get the checklists and responses audited, that’s part of issuing the Mark. We are currently identifying areas where we could include new controls or provide additional guidance. “What is starting to become apparent for large enterprises that go through the process is that it is a lot more challenging for them because of the way they are structured,” he adds.
What he has in mind is a multi-product basis with a product manager per line who is also responsible for the security aspects. “They may not have all the different security controls applicable to each product, so it becomes more difficult for them to complete our check list. Providing guidance around how to treat that issue is one of the things we are considering when we update the guide,” says Hakim. “Other areas of the media supply chain – for example the carriage of content over IP networks especially for distribution and transmission - have started to take an interest in our Committed to Security program. “In principle our check list covers the whole media supply chain, but one of the areas of growing concern for the broadcasting industry is the distribution and transmission side of protecting IP streams,” adds Hakim. “There are potential specific issues and additional requirements that broadcasters may need to address.” This infers that the DPP will issue versions as issues arise. How has Hakim related to the many other bodies working on cyber attack protection? “We welcome all the other initiatives because they tackle either specific industry concerns for a segment of the media supply chain or they are a bit more general and cover enterprise overall. Our program is complementary to all the other projects.” The Trusted Partner Network for example is specifically designed for companies that service the studio world and high-end productions, and does not accommodate product level. “Our checklist covers both,” says Hakim. “It addresses specific concerns around enterprise level information security management, and works at the product level.” The DPP also differentiates between the security functionality offered to customers and the security
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FEATURE structures required internally. “We see it as a whole,” Hakim continues. “If you don’t have sensible practices within your own organisation, how can users expect you to build products that would have sensible security functionality? “To make it easier for people to complete our check lists we have done mappings of the different schemes, so if someone is already ISO certified, for example, then it’s not so complicated to get our paperwork done,” he adds. The DPP does applied diligence because it expects its checklists to be completed truthfully and honestly. This gives the program itself considerable integrity. “To support that we have an audio function which has been supported by our partner Eurofins. This is in development,” explains Hakim. UNIFORM ACROSS ALL SECTORS The DPP’s audits are done through Eurofins. “What we will do is randomly select three companies per year to go through the audit, and once audited they won’t be done again for a few years,” says Hakim. Has the DPP supported a majority of vendors specialising in any one area? “At this stage it is mostly traditional cyber security as opposed to content protection, which is to do with privacy and DRM. Lots of other companies have engaged with us, and we are open to including anti-piracy specialists. We would encourage them to become part of the program.” DPP has strong links to the North American Broadcasters Association (NABA), so has there been a cross fertilisation process on cyber security? “Yes. Our broadcast checklist, which is effectively the minimum requirements a broadcast buyer would expect in terms of addressing security concerns, was originally developed by NABA. What we did was partner with them and use those minimum
considerations. We then developed them into controls you could actually self assess against,” says Hakim. “Fundamentally, with cyber security, most of it is general and it does not matter what sector you are in,” he adds. “The best practices you have are uniform across all sectors. There are some nuances and special cases within media where you are focused on particular controls within actual devices, but that kind of thing also exists in the factual automation world or in other sectors. Often you hear people say security is just security. This is just being pragmatic because it applies across all sectors.” The concerns that we have in the UK are broadly the same as the ones that dog the market in the USA, but there will be special cases when particular high profile targets wish to strengthen their protection resilience. It is partly reassuring though that all basic security controls are the same – even if nothing phases the cyber crime syndicates or the covert cyber activities seemingly conducted by rogue states. “There was a time when the hackers wanted to score a political point or target something for animal welfare causes. That seems to have quietened down, and it has moved towards blatant criminal attacks,” says Hakim. “They are becoming increasingly sophisticated and it is purely to do with getting financial reward off the back of it. “The whole set of ransomware attacks that we witnessed last year and in 2016 were purely to collect funds; they were profiteering,” he continues. “There is a genuine undertone where the criminal organisations are committing sophisticated attacks quite often.” HACKING BANKS EXIST EVERYWHERE A lot of industry and government voices around the world have pointed endlessly at Russia as a conglomerate cyber threat.
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DPP program delivery manager Abdul Hakim
“There are Russian based cyber crime organisations, but they are not necessarily the government. There are multiple organisations that are extremely sophisticated cyber attackers, and quite often a lot of systems will have been compromised, but have not yet been exploited,” says Hakim. “Vulnerability in this instance is that they may have deployed a piece of malware that makes the machine or device ready for subsequent exploitation.” This sounds like the house building industry and its notorious land banks. “The criminals have a massive arsenal of devices that are just waiting for the committing of a new round of attacks. What quite often happens is that a machine (specialist IT devices and older computers being software patched) is compromised and it is left there until it is needed for a massive denial of service attack,” Hakim explains. “They have access to so many different resources, and that is the scary thing.” The reason why it is shockingly scary is that cyber crime is easy to commit. It does require sophistication in terms of the logistics and the amount of software engineering initially required. These skills come into play when the criminal wants to compromise a particular target, and the evolution of the software has made it very easy. No wonder then that the Dark Web is flourishing. Does the DPP use any role models? The BBC is under perpetual attack, so must offer some lessons to share. “Yes we would. The BBC is a role model but there is a perception that because it is license-funded it has the funds to defend itself. It is being attacked on almost a daily basis, but it is something we cannot
really use because of that special case,” says Hakim. “ITV and Channel 4 have relatively smaller teams and they have as much vulnerability as any other broadcaster. And they are managing to protect themselves. Even if you don’t have funds available, there are important things you can do.” WHERE THE DPP DRIVE WOULD HELP This involves actions like being aware of fishing attacks and trying to avoid falling for them. “All the basic things go a long way towards protection. What some of the broadcasters are good at is communicating when training internal staff, and getting the security message across. Communications is their business so they are good at it, but other companies may struggle in terms of doing the internal staff training,” says Hakim. “That is where the DPP drive would help. There are lots of resources online just to communicate the basic measures you could adopt.” The DPP knows that broadcasters have understood that they must expect an attack one day. “You need to have plans in place for the eventuality of being compromised. First up, how would you get your business up and running quickly? It does take resources to think about all of that,” says Hakim. “For a small company this is challenging but they cannot defer on it because it puts them at risk. Not serving your customers for a day or two would have a huge impact on your brand reputation and the ability to continue the business. “It is all about allocating the time, effort and resources for coming up with a plan to cover what would happen in the event of being breached.” n
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UPCONVERTING CONTENT By Paola Hobson, managing director, InSync Technology
hen it comes to repurposing HD material for integration into UHD projects (or SD into HD), attention to detail makes all the difference. Picture quality must be preserved at every step because even the smallest error introduced early in the process will propagate, resulting in highly visible defects down the line. What you do with the content at the earliest stages of conversion ensures you’ll get the high-quality results you want in the end. Whether modifying international or film-rate content for use in another country, on another platform, or both, the increasing demand for repurposed assets can be a significant and repeating revenue stream for owners of content libraries. In addition, many programme genres — such as documentaries and music videos — call for material originally produced in HD to be displayed in highquality UHD so viewers remain satisfied with their UHD viewing experience. High quality format conversion is fundamental to the monetisation of content assets. As the number of productions shot in UHD increases, maintaining the picture quality of the assets during the conversion process is critical. After all, you’re effectively creating a master copy in the new format.
‘What you do with the content at the earliest stages of conversion ensures you’ll get the high-quality results you want in the end.’
The process involved in repurposing SD material into HD projects, or HD into UHD, consists of three stages: deinterlacing, aspect ratio conversion (ARC), and upconversion from lower resolution to higher. Deinterlacing is the process of removing the twofield structure of interlaced video and producing a frame-based progressive structure. As deinterlacing is the first step in the conversion, it is essential that this process is flawless. Since any later rescaling to a higher resolution will magnify even the smallest of picture defects, introducing undesirable effects at this stage will often have a huge impact on the visual quality of the output. The deinterlacer must therefore preserve the maximum possible picture resolution and introduce a minimal level of artifacts. Aspect Ratio Conversion (ARC) — Content originally sourced with an aspect ratio of 4:3 does not fit naturally in a 16:9 display. Simply expanding the original image to fit the 16:9 frame is not acceptable because it only distorts (widens) the picture. ARC overcomes this barrier. The usual methods for providing an acceptable image are either to zoom the picture to fill the 16:9 display, with the image being cropped top and bottom, or to add black bands at either side of the original image (‘pillarboxing’). The actual method to be used is a matter of the producer’s artistic choice. Upconversion is the process by which the number of pixels and lines per frame are increased without changing the frame rate. Typically, content owners use upconversion to convert material from one display resolution to another, such as from HD resolution (1920 × 1080 pixels) to UHD (3840 x 2160). SOFTWARE AND THE HD-TO-UHD WORKFLOW The benefits of using software tools are widely known. Software provides a great way to incorporate bestin-class solutions into any segment of the workflow
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without investing money and time into capital equipment, maintenance, and upgrades. But all software tools are not created equal, and frame-rate conversion software is no exception. That’s why InSync Technology’s FrameFormer software warrants a closer look. Its software provides high-quality, motioncompensated upconversions for any content of any format, from SD to HD to UHD and beyond. One important distinction between FrameFormer and typical conversion software is that FrameFormer uses proprietary, finely-tuned algorithms for motion detection and motion vector estimation. Those algorithms help ensure greater accuracy and fewer defects, especially in video with repetitive detail or fast motion. Unlike typical conversion software that only runs on specific or proprietary hardware — and hijacks GPUs in the process — FrameFormer doesn’t depend on GPUs to do the work. Instead, its unique CPU-only architecture can process files effortlessly without needing GPU hardware — leaving GPUs free to perform other functions, such as graphics or encoding. Removing GPUs from the process enables complete flexibility and scalability in deployment, with conversion speed dependent only on the number of CPUs you choose to use. This benefit makes it is easy to implement FrameFormer’s upconversion process in render farms and cloud-based deployments alike. In a recent project, Platinum Films used the FrameFormer plug-in for Final Cut Pro X. “FrameFormer performed extremely well for us” explains Emma McQuillen, post production supervisor
at Platinum Films. “We needed a high-quality software solution that we could integrate into our workflow, and FrameFormer met our requirements. The conversion process was easy, and InSync were on hand for any help and advice.” FrameFormer is available as a plug-in for popular edit software such as Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere Pro, on platforms such as Imagine Communications’ SelenioFlex™ File, or as a standalone application that can also be customised for integration into your bespoke workflow. FrameFormer lets you apply decades of industry leading standards conversion knowledge and experience to your content, whatever your workflow or budget. n
PICTURED ABOVE: FrameFormer in a typical upconversion workflow
PICTURED BELOW: Entertainment production company Platinum Films integrated FrameFormer into its Final Cut Pro X workflow
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TAKING THE FIGHT TO THE PIRATES Jenny Priestley talks to FACT CEO Keiron Sharp about their work on behalf of broadcasters and rights holders in the fight against piracy
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igital piracy is one of the biggest challenges facing Europe’s creative industries. From illegal streaming of football matches, to figures showing Game of Thrones has been watched illegally over a million times worldwide, piracy is a major issue for the industry. But the issue is often misunderstood by the general public, who seem to see stealing content as a faceless crime almost as if “if no-one gets hurt then it doesn’t matter”. But of course it does. The vast majority of viewers do not watch or download illegally pirated material online, such as movies, TV shows or footage of live sporting events. The most recent stats show that 75 per cent of Brits who look at content online abide by the law and don’t download or stream it illegally – up from 70 per cent in 2013. However, that still leaves 25 per cent who do access material illegally. FACT has been working with British broadcasters for over 30 years in the fight against intellectual property crime. It provides organisations with a wide range of services including online investigations, intelligence gathering and legal advice and support. While its main focus is the UK, Keiron Sharp, FACT’s CEO, says that as piracy is an international problem, they don’t restrict themselves to just one country. “Europe has the best connectivity in terms of broadband and so of course that just makes the problem worse,” he explains. “It is very widespread. It’s difficult to put into numbers. There are studies that say 10 per cent of the population have done illegal streaming, and others will say there seems to be some shift towards families doing it now, due to the availability of streaming devices such as IPTV or Kodi boxes so that the whole family are streaming because it’s connected to the family television. “It’s very difficult to say who are the worst arbitrators, we’ve always thoughts 16-25 year olds are our biggest problem but of course now it seems to have become a more family orientated problem.” As stated above, for a lot of viewers illegally watching content is seen as a faceless crime because in their view, no-one gets hurt. Sharp obviously sees this very differently, “You get some people who say they weren’t aware, but it’s a kind of wilful blindness really.” “Pay-TV has been around in the UK for 25 years or more now and people know that you have to pay for things and if you’re paying a one-off fee or subscription to get these services illegally, you can’t be under any misunderstanding that it’s not legal,” Sharp continues. “I think you get those who do know and they make excuses like no-one gets hurt, and then you have those
who don’t acknowledge it or just make excuses.” Sharp says that he thinks in general, viewers believe there are no real sanctions involved in watching content illegally. While viewers could get caught up in a case when FACT prosecutes an IPTV provider, he believes illegal viewers still regard what they’re doing as “not hurting anybody.” “If I’m watching an illegal stream, I’m probably not the one that faces prosecution, it’s the person that is giving me the access to that illegal stream,” he explains. “But everybody is liable. The people that are giving you access through the internet where that material has already been stolen and made available, they’re aiding and abetting the crime, and the same thing applies to the person viewing. People watching the content are committing copyright infringement at the very least. Everybody is in the frame. “Our investigations focus as far up the chain as we can go, so the suppliers, the retailers, people who make the content available, and that’s where it has to be really to try and stem the tide by going after those who make it available.” Another issue that viewers don’t necessarily view as illegal is password sharing. Is that also against the law? “Yes, that is also illegal because they will have signed a contract with somebody like Sky or whoever and it will be explicit in the terms of that contract that you can not password share,” explains Sharp. “Password sharing is very common and that’s something we’ve been dealing with and are still dealing with on behalf of our clients. It’s actually becoming less of an issue because there are other ways of getting the content but password sharing is popular amongst some.” How much of an impact would Sharp say digital viewing has had on the levels of piracy? Those of us of a certain age can remember dodgy market stalls selling pirated videos. But now, viewers don’t even have to pay in order to watch pirated content. “I’d say from the time the BBC introduced iPlayer, viewers have got used to having on tap whatever they want to watch,” says Sharp. “You can have legal streaming across your
PICTURED ABOVE: Keiron Sharp
“There’s more content viewed legally than ever before, and therefore consquentially an uplift in illegal viewing as well.”
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PICTURED ABOVE: Game of Thrones has been streamed illegally over a million times worldwide
laptop or tablet or phone or whatever. “That convenience has gone two ways,” Sharp continues. “Firstly, technology makes it easier for people who steal it and offer it illegally and then to make money out of it. Then for the consumer they’ve become used to having it when they want it, you don’t have to rush home to see a football match now or catch the latest episode. There’s more content viewed than ever before legally, and therefore consequently there’s an uplift in illegal viewing as well. To say there’s more illegal viewing now than in the days of the VHS is probably true but I would say there’s a corresponding uplift in legal viewing as well because of the availability.” FACT counts the likes of the Premier League, Sky, BT Sport and Virgin Media among its clients as it works with a mix of both the rights holders and the broadcasters. It means that when they prosecute someone illegally operating an IPTV or Kodi box, they have to gather witness or victim statements for all of the organisations involved. So, with the Game of Thrones example, would FACT work with HBO, Sky and all of the broadcasters in Europe who show it?
“We don’t have to have them all but basically we have to have somebody who says I am the rights holder,” explains Sharp. “HBO create it and that’s fairly straightforward. The reason we do that is because there is an impact of this person’s action that has caused a certain amount of loss or harm to the organisation. It’s usually to do with economic loss.” Once FACT has discovered a person or company operating illegally, they pursue them through the courts – be that criminal or civil. “We tend to pursue cases through the criminal courts because it’s quicker and cheaper,” Sharp explains. “If you were to look at some of the cases we’ve had recently where we’ve had police raids on effectively criminal enterprises, so people running a business selling IPTV on boxes or streaming devices or whatever, even pleading guilty they’re going to prison for four years or so. They’re making so much money out of this business of fraud and the courts are duty bound to follow certain sentencing guidelines on crime cases. From that perspective it’s a very effective way of punishing those who are offending and sending a deterrent message
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FEATURE to others.” “But you can of course take civil action against any of these people,” he continues. “For instance, Sky have been taking civil actions against some of their customers who allow or make available the restreaming of their service. So the pirates sign up to Sky and they rebroadcast or restream the content, it happens with things like boxing matches, they will put it out on Twitter or Facebook. There is a lot of work behind the scenes when there are live broadcasts going on to block and prevent the content being obtained illegally.” While it’s often a criminal business that’s illegally pirating or streaming content, Sharp says there are those individuals who don’t make any money out of it at all. “They just do it, I don’t know why,” he says. “There will always be people who want to make everything available to everybody for free or because they want to make money out of advertising or some other means. There are plenty of individuals out there, in the same way there are plenty of individuals running illegal websites and still continue to run illegal websites.” Is there an argument to say that pay-TV companies are pricing people out of being able to pay for this content and therefore that’s why they’re going online to find it free? For example, if you’re a UK football fan, you don’t just have to pay for both Sky and BT Sport, but since the latest round of Premier League rights were announced, you could have to pay for an Amazon Prime subscription as well. The viewer is having to spend more and more money to watch this content and therefore why shouldn’t they just go and look and see if they can find it for free? “If the viewer goes looking for paid content that they find for free, then that money’s not going back to those who provide it,” states Sharp. “Game of Thrones
is an expensive series to make. It’s not necessarily about paying the actors, it’s about paying all the people in production who are just regular people with regular jobs relying on that as their living. All the content that we enjoy whether it’s sports or TV shows or whatever, all the things that we want to consume so badly at the moment just won’t be there because there won’t be the money behind it. There is a huge cost to all of these things. “In terms of whether it’s too costly or not. I think that will always go on even if it was cheap. It’s difficult for some viewers who really want to watch certain content and they’re not in a well-paid job or whatever. I think times have changed so much in terms of quality of the content which has a lot to do with the cost of it, it’s the premium quality television really that you get nowadays and so that has a lot to do with the cost. “Is it too expensive? I don’t know, I think everything is too expensive,” concedes Sharp. “We’ve had this before with the price of CDs so I think that argument will probably always rage. But that isn’t an excuse for then going and taking it for nothing.” Finally, in Sharp’s opinion, what is the greatest security or piracy threat at the moment? Is it Kodi boxes, illegal streams or VPN? “Well they’re all pretty much the same thing,” he admits. “A Kodi box wouldn’t work without an illegal stream. Kodi is just a form of software that enables the stream through a device whether that be a corrupted Amazon Fire stick or an IPTV box. The VPNs are generally used for ways of getting around site blocking where particular sites are blocked in certain countries by the ISPs. So the VPN is used to circumvent that sort of blocking. They’re not as prevalent as they once because of the way Kodi boxes and streaming devices have developed.” n
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SOUND AND VISION Jenny Priestley talks to DPA Microphones’ managing director Kalle Hvidt Nielsen about the company’s plans for the future
enmark’s DPA Microphones has over six decades of sound quality experience. And sound quality is at the heart of what they do. As someone once said, “You can’t make great TV without great sound.” DPA operates across multiple genres, from live events to studio recording, the pro audio industry to broadcast and TV. Earlier this year at NAB, it showcased its recently launched ‘CORE by DPA’ amplifier technology that powers its line of d:screet miniature lavalier, d:fine headset and now d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones, to create an even clearer sound by lowering overall distortion and expanding the dynamic range. CORE by DPA has been embraced by users in the broadcast and film world. Sound engineers and designers say they are able to record even more natural sound from the miniature-sized microphones, with some even reporting they find it hard to distinguish
the miniatures’ sound from larger-sized studio mics. According to Kalle Hvidt Nielsen, DPA’s managing director, broadcast makes up about a fifth of the company’s business. “The majority of our broadcast microphones are used for TV, and some radio companies use our 4011 cardioid microphones and those kind of products for their studios,” he explains. “We do not have the traditional ‘beer can’ studio microphone, but we do believe that we have acoustical solutions that are superior to that.” Being based in Denmark obviously means DPA has a large presence in Europe, but Hvidt Nielsen says the company has a global focus: “If we look at DPA from a sales perspective, our biggest client base is in North America, and then comes Europea and Asia. “I think that also fairly well reflects the market potential,” he continues. “There’s a very good potential in Asia obviously, but as those economies grow, the focus will go from lower quality products to the very highest quality. For example, when Xi Jinping, the party leader in China, spoke at their convention last year he used DPA microphones, which as far as we know were the only non-Chinese microphone at the whole event. For us, that’s a strong sign of DPA’s position in the very high end market in China.” At last year’s IBC, DPA launched their digital audio interface, d:vice MMA-A, a dual-channel microphone preamplifier which aims to give users studio–quality audio on the go, or even provide high-quality sound for podcasters. How has it been received by the broadcast market? “We have had a very positive response. It’s not our biggest selling product, which we didn’t expect it to be, but we see that it is picking up and it’s been tested in many places,” admits Hvidt Nielsen. “Most likely we will see over the next five to 10 years a significant development in that market area.” One of the areas the interface has seen traction is in mobile journalism. Hvidt Nielsen says the product
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FEATURE is somewhat targeted towards that market, and the feedback he’s had from broadcasters has been very positive: “Many of them are considering equipping their journalists so that they can become their own camera crew using a mobile phone,” he says. “Actually, recently someone showed me a clip from a report on the refugee crisis where the refugees had walked along the motorways in Europe, through Germany and Denmark to Sweden, and it was filmed on a mobile phone and you couldn’t see the difference. You could not see that it was made by a mobile phone or maybe an expert could but the typical viewer could not,” he laughs. “We know from when we have discussions with those guys that when they have technical complaints, nine out of 10 has to do with sound. And that’s where we think there’s a great opportunity for the digital audio interface, it’s an area that could be very exciting.” Having launched both CORE by DPA and the d:vice MMA-A Digital Audio Interface over the past 12 months, what does DPA have planned for the next 12? “First of all I think we’ll stick to what is dearest to our hearts, namely the sound quality,” explains Hvidt Nielsen. “There’s no doubt that we’ll still be focusing on that and
it’s going to be our top priority no matter what. “Secondly, we’re busy investing more in our development. We have also invested more in technology platforms like CORE by DPA and d:vice Digital Audio Interface. We expect to see the technology platforms that we have already launched, and those that we may launch in the future, will be used in many products for different applications. We’ll continue with the high intensive development of new platforms. We expect there to be a wealth of products and solutions coming up within all our high end microphones applications.” n
“We do not have the traditional ‘beer can’ studio microphone, but we do believe that we have acoustical solutions that are superior to that.” KALLE HVIDT NIELSEN
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To find out what the EBU has discovered and done we spoke to Adi Kouadio, the Senior Project Manager of the EBU’s high-level Cyber Security Project.
THE SHERIFF OF CYBER TOWN George Jarrett speak to Adi Kouadio, senior project manager of the EBU’s Cyber Security Project
yber security has become a $1 trillion business, and the healthcare industry has been the prime attack target to date. There are several players, IBM being one, that take revenues of $2 billion plus from their share of a cyber security market that is growing at double digit pace due to so many points of vulnerability for criminal enterprises to exploit, across so many industries. In the content creation and delivery market we have recently seen the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Content Delivery and Security Association (CDSA) team up and announce the Trusted Partner Network, for protecting works from script to screen where third-party operations come into play. Entertainment vendors will have to convince content owners that they match the highest levels of security, and then some. Everywhere you look there are things like the SECO cyber security and governance certification program, and in the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) we have our own quality and fast maturing initiative that the broadcast market has focused on enthusiastically.
FLEXIBILITY COMES WITH AN OPEN DOOR The EBU mission is to make the whole media industry (both services and devices) more secure. “Every project rolled out by media companies and every media device purchased should meet at least a minimum set of security requirements,” says Kouadio. Migrating to IP for the flexibility of the IP protocol comes with potential threats. “These are very well known by the IT community but unfortunately they are seldom known, or even mostly ignored, by the broadcast community,” Kouadio explains. “Adopting those standards for bi-directional video and audio flows is one thing, but then securing these media flows and ensuring the same quality of service as with SDI is definitely a new challenge. The media community is now trying to feed all of the IT cyber security best practices into media specific requirements.” This means quality of service and responsiveness while not enforcing too many tools and policies that then make the workflow more complex. “This is the reason why security comes back on top of all the common concerns, because we are getting into a realm where flexibility comes with an open door to threats. Cyber security is cross-discipline; it concerns the media aspect, plus production, finishing, distribution and contribution as well. It also concerns the daily operation of a company or corporation because the entry point might not be a media feed.” Facebook and email accounts might be an attack route in, so it is best to assume vulnerability encompasses every working function? Have entertainment hackers transitioned into criminal enterprises? “I agree they have, but there is even more to consider. Cyber attacks have become more professional and demonstrate much more skill. Today you can simply pay for a specialist attack towards a computer or a certain IP address, on the Web on-demand, and you don’t need to know how the attack works,” says Kouadio. On top of the pyramid there are hundreds of professional groups that have increased their strength and capabilities. “Successful attacks in the past involved ransomware which created the funding to create even more technical and spurious codes, and to build more infrastructure to perform more intelligent and impactful attacks. This professional side of cyber crime existed before, and it is now just a bit more visible because everyone is connected,” says Kouadio. “Cyber threats have been democratised. Anyone can order
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FEATURE an attack of some sort towards either an enemy or anonymous person.” PROTECTING THE BRAND Anyone who knows Google well can download a script and write their own crime. The EBU Cyber Security group has been working hard for four years already, and consists of executives from 17 EBU members. “They are not just security analysts. They are chief informational security officers, and not only do they have the technical knowledge they also have the responsibility and authority to enforce recommendations and policies. We exchange on best practices, and discuss issues common to all broadcasters,” explains Kouadio. “We have created a highly trusted platform, and second we have identified the holes in the available standards. They were very broad and wide so we had to create tailor-made recommendations that fill the purposes of media/broadcast companies,” he adds. This involved work around securing media companies and their services, and on governance in terms of the structure of cyber protection within a media organisation. Look for the EBU recommendations on secure infrastructure, cloud services, and minimum testing for network media devices. The next advance for the JTNM Roadmap will involve the assessment of devices as ‘Interop’ tests. The EBU cyber security group has been in discussion with the Digital Production Partnership (DPP) for some time, but works mainly with the North American Broadcast Association (NABA), and with the World Broadcast Union (WBU) for more collegiate type recommendations. Looking at other trade bodies, Kouadio says: “Each organisation tends to do the same, and some of them just jump into the cyber security boat for marketing purposes; they find a new way to re-brand themselves. That’s actually the truth. “Some organisations are focused only on one specific aspect of cyber security. The MPAA initiative for instance is really about content protection, which is the core of its business,” he adds. “But for the EBU and its members it is not only about protecting content. It is also protecting the brand, protecting the services, and it also encompasses every single aspect, every tool you are using in producing media, from the devices you buy from vendors to the launch of new services and the development of new software codes.” HACKING THE DEVICE The joint recommendation EBU R143 (security
requirements for vendor systems) involved the EBU, AIB and WBU working together. Another EBU group is looking at 50+ broadcaster new build projects, many being green field sites. In transition are these sites more vulnerable than the public cloud? “Adopting IP and virtualisation opens the door to potential cyber threats but the project managers are very aware of this security issue,” says Kouadio. “They are the prime users of our recommendations, and ask for new specification processes because they are trying to make sure that every protocol they select for their next workflow, and their next infrastructures, are minimally secured. “But you cannot be 100 per cent secure all of the time. There will always be a way to hack you so you just need to be aware and not make it easy for attackers to hack your services,” he adds. “Counter measures should include an incident response team that reacts as soon as you detect a potential penetration.” Cyber security is not a one-stop shop or one tick in a box type thing. Kouadio moves on to differentiating between the vendors offering watermarking and fingerprinting protection for content via OTT, and the broadcast world: “Broadcasters do have their own online platform as well, but the other side of the issue is the vendor devices used to stream, encode, edit content, and to play out. Are they secured? Pirating content is one thing but hacking the device that stores the content or plays it out is completely different. It has a different and devastating impact on the brand. The French TV5 disaster and many other attacks have focused on servers used to stream, edit and play out, servers hosting web sites, and VoD. What exactly is the EBU fighting? Kouadio says: “We are trying to bring everyone together with our recommendation R 143. How can you assure the user that a device or cloud service you are selling to him is actually secured? The more we go towards cloud and cloud services, even public cloud services, the more these issues become relevant.” The EBU created the recommendation R-146 for cloud media services. This is where the Cloud Security Alliance comes into the picture; this body runs the CSA STAR certification, a way of creating a list of security features that should be enforced - via a rigorous third-party assessment of the security of a cloud service provider. Kouadio, who describes the CSA and its ratings system as ‘nice’, says: “This is another organisation that will become more relevant to our domain in the future. If you tap into the cloud and you need to have some kind of harmonised security level there may be room for some EBU work there too.” n
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A NEW VISION Jenny Priestley talks to Nova Group’s Dimitar Radev about the Bulgarian broadcaster’s recent buyout and what that means for the future
n February of this year, Modern Times Group announced the sale of Nova Group, its Bulgarian broadcaster. Nova is Bulgaria’s largest commercial media group and comprises seven TV channels and 19 online businesses. Nova’s head of content distribution, Dimitar Radev is responsible for the sales of all of the broadcaster’s channels to its partners, including cable, satellite and IPTV. He is also responsible for all new platform development, including Nova’s OTT and digital initiatives.
MTG acquired Nova Broadcasting Group in 2008 just before the global financial crisis as part of their strategy of expanding into central and eastern Europe. But gradually they have decided to withdraw from those emerging markets and focus back on their core Nordic business and on some new directions for content such as esports, hence the decision to divest certain parts of the business one by one. Bulgaria was the last one left standing, so it was no surprise when they announced earlier this year that they have reached an agreement with the Czech investment group PPP. “The interesting thing is that this is the first media investment for the new owners so obviously they have seen something attractive in the company,” says Radev. The final approval of the buyout is expected any day, so what does Radev see in Nova’s future postcompletion? “We are the market leader in the broadcast advertising market and we have very strong distribution partnerships across Bulgaria. So I don’t see a dramatic change of direction,” he says. “The big challenges for us are not coming from the ownership side, they’re coming from the business side, the transformation of the TV business is dramatic. We have our own set of challenges in a market like Bulgaria where, from my perspective on distribution, there is a highly fragmented market.” “Another challenge is that now we’re emerging as an OTT platform provider, you also have to deal with the set price expectations of the consumer,” Radev adds. “Because if the consumer is paying €5 for basic cable a month, and getting 250 channels, that sets the price expectations also for any OTT service. It’s probably one of the reasons why in Bulgaria, Netflix hasn’t been able to grab any significant market share. We also have to deal with the on-going technology transformation, the transformation of how we buy content, how we package and sell content to consumers.” Radev says there are a “couple of drivers” that define
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the market landscape in Bulgaria. One is that the country has a very high penetration of broadband, in urban areas it’s close to 100 per cent fibre. However, as a consequence of this, piracy and illegal streaming is on the rise: “Piracy is a big problem in Bulgaria,” he says. “It tends to be content across the board, Nova is the biggest provider of sports content as we have the rights to Bulgarian football, English Premiership, FA Cup, NBA, Formula 1. It’s all part of our portfolio and we do have issues with piracy. “It starts on the broadcast side, there’s still a lot of pirated broadcast content, but streaming is becoming a more popular way of getting access to content without paying. That is the challenge,” Radev admits. “In terms of the infrastructure and how delivery is organised in Bulgaria, it’s not really cloud based,” he continues. “IPTV at the moment is probably the dominant technology for delivering to the home. Everything else is over the air, wireless, internet, mobile data. Pretty much every operator has created their own app where they try to stream. It’s a bit of a jungle.” Radev has already mentioned that Netflix is finding it hard to generate market share in Bulgaria due to the proliferation of high quality broadband. But that is unlikely to stop the streamer aiming to become a threat. Radev says he believes Nova’s own mobile applications and web applications are at a level of delivery over mobile and on the web that is as good as anybody who might enter the market whether that’s Netflix on the VoD side or something like the recently launched Formula 1 app on the sports side. “I definitely think we’re on par with them,” he adds. “I think in terms of something like the new Formula 1 app, we have an advantage because we localise the content by using our established names and journalists who do the commentary for every race. I think that’s a stronger advantage. “I also think the reason why we’re not so worried is that OTT transactional buying is very slow in a market like Bulgaria. There are a couple of reasons for that: credit cards are not a popular payment method, only about five to 10 per cent of the population would use a card for payment. Then the propensity to use a card for online payments is even lower. Obviously we have to reflect on the fact that companies like Netflix are in the market place alongside us as we negotiate broadcast rights. But we’re not afraid of competition from the OTT platforms.” n
Dimitar Radev was among the speakers at TV Connect in May.
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FOLLOWING THE CASTAWAYS ONTO THE ISLAND WITH BEAR GRYLLS Why Shine TV opted to use Canon XF205 camcorders for the islanders to document their experiences
hine TV, part of Endemol Shine Group, came up with the initial concept for the Channel 4 survival series The Island with Bear Grylls as an experiment to see how people react when they are taken outside of everyday environments and away from all the material things they have at home – removing all connection to the outside world for five weeks. To film this accurately the castaways couldn’t have the distraction of a camera crew, so they had to become the camera crew as well as the contributors. The Shine TV production team are behind all the planning and logistics down to the last detail including the fundamental selection of the contributors from a rigorous casting process. This also applied to a small number of embedded
camera operators that have professional broadcast equipment and face the same daily challenges that the rest of the castaways have to deal with. To best capture the emotional experiences of 14 castaways on The Island with Bear Grylls, camera trainer Jeremy Humphries from Skills2Film was tasked with teaching the contributors - most of whom had no professional camera experience - how to record their journeys for primetime viewing. As well as documenting their own personal stories, the castaways had to find their own food and water in order to survive the adventure. BEHIND THE ISLAND “Training people with no broadcast experience to shoot broadcast quality footage so quickly is no easy
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feat,” explains Humphries. “With the castaways facing constant jeopardy, an easy to use camera is key to the production. And with almost all the footage being shot handheld, size and weight is crucial, not least when everyone is low in energy.’’ The Canon XF205 was used on an automatic setting, as the castaways didn’t have the time or capacity to use the camera on a manual setting. “The camera itself is very simple to use, and really holds auto focus and exposure well,” says Humphries. “In many of the series, the castaways have to go hunting for food, and the camera’s small and versatile aesthetics really made this easy to document.” CAPTURING THE NIGHT As the production is filmed 24 hours a day, a camera that is equipped with night vision is vital to the
programme. From diary cam footage to events at night, a large part of the footage is shot in the dark. ALTERING THE VIEW To film their own diary entries, the cast can turn the XF205’s LCD viewfinder 180-degrees to frame up on themselves. “This ability to capture their own raw emotions is crucial to the show’s success,” explains Humphries. “It offers a direct insight into their innermost thoughts and feelings towards the events on the island and the other castaways.” ‘’One of the successes of the hard work of the production is having access to professional gear that is versatile and easy to use. And the XF205 is a camera that makes the transition easy for people who have never filmed before.” n
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AVID BRINGS THE 2018 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS TO LIFE
n live sports coverage, the use of real-time graphics has become increasingly important to engage viewers and establish an authentic visual identity for sporting bodies. The inaugural European Championships needed to do both captivate an international TV audience expected to reach more than a billion viewers and build a unique identity of its own. By bringing together some of the continent’s leading sports every four years, the European Championships looked to immerse viewers at the heart of the sporting action through engaging 3D graphics. A state-of-theart Avid broadcast graphics solution was selected to help the inaugural multi-sport event deliver an unrivalled viewing experience and exceed fan and viewer expectations. This summer, 2– 12 August, 4,500 elite European athletes from 52 participating countries will compete in a range of sports in Scotland and Berlin. Glasgow will host six sports (aquatics, cycling, golf, gymnastics, rowing and the triathlon) across 12 venues in partnership with the city of Berlin, which will host the athletics competitions. Avid is the Official Broadcast Graphics Platform Supporter of the event, providing its industry-leading graphics tools and workflow solutions. It’s a role the company knows well, as it has an extensive track record supporting a preeminent customer community at high-profile sporting events such as NBC’s broadcast of the Olympic Games, Fox Sports’ Super Bowl coverage and Chinese National Games broadcasts.
European Championships Management (ECM), the management company behind the event, and Glasgow 2018 selected Avid’s Maestro | Designer for its unrivalled visual storytelling capabilities. With its robust and flexible engine, the real-time graphics creation tool is designed for the most demanding live broadcast environments and will ensure that the Championships shine on the world stage. “Instead of staging separate Championships for each sport, the event uniquely unifies them all under one brand,” says Paul Bristow, managing director of European Championships Management. “We wanted the European Championships to embody the vast diversity and scope that sport offers, and by doing so, generate the same euphoric buzz as the world’s biggest sporting events both at the venues and in viewers’ homes. We are incredibly excited to team up with one of the world’s leading media technology providers. Avid’s experience providing broadcast graphics solutions to major sports broadcasters worldwide will help guarantee a fantastic viewing experience.” Avid’s broadcast graphics solutions will become the backbone of the Championships’ visuals by delivering hundreds of on-air 3D graphics. Powered by MediaCentral, Avid Maestro | Designer and Avid’s underlying HDVG rendering platform will give the tournament’s production teams unprecedented creative power and speed to design and deliver data-driven graphics straight from the venue. Users can easily design customised user interfaces to accommodate the specific needs of each sporting
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discipline and remain highly reactive to the action as it unfolds. For the most engaging viewing experiences, production teams can interface and display clocking and scoring data with Maestro, as well as historic data from archives, quickly and efficiently. “Powerful visuals are critical to building a compelling brand and attracting viewers,” says Jason Cowan, business development manager for Sports and Graphics at Avid. “Our partnership with the European Championships puts the spotlight on Avid’s graphics capability which, in turn, not only helps establish our graphics footprint in the European broadcasting arena but also helps to consolidate the Championships’ brand as one of the world’s top sporting events within the competitive sports media landscape.” To ensure a high-quality viewing experience across multiple digital platforms, Avid will work closely with the Championships’ timing, scoring and results providers to create graphics in real time. With Maestro | Designer, the Championships’ production teams can achieve optimal productivity – easily creating and delivering eye-catching 3D graphics, timely news updates, and other captivating visual content – all while manifesting the European Championships’ visual brand. The 11-day celebration of this world-class sport event will be packed into a 10-day broadcast schedule. All the events are managed by the individual sports federations within a coordinated television schedule designed to generate the widest possible exposure across free-to-air broadcasters.
The media rights partner for the event is Eurovision, with more than 40 individual broadcast partners televising the Championships. “The original proposal for broadcasters asked for a commitment of three hours per day and five hours on weekends, but demand was there for more extensive coverage of the whole event, which is effectively about 10 hours a day from the start to the end,” explains Bristow. “We have received a very positive reaction to the concept, and it is excellent to see the major broadcasters investing in such comprehensive coverage.” In the UK, the BBC will provide extensive daily coverage of the European Championships from 2 – 12 August 2018. n
“We have received a very positive reaction to the concept, and it is excellent to see the major broadcasters investing in such comprehensive coverage.” PAUL BRISTOW
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GOING INSIDE THE EDIT Avid’s creative editing course aims to encourage the next generation of editors
astering the art of editing at a professional level requires years of hard work, dedication and unlimited creativity. The art of a great edit goes beyond the software; it lies solely in the art form of editing. To think like an editor is to have the magic ability to take raw footage and craft it into something that can be watched and loved by millions of people. Helping today’s and tomorrow’s media professionals master the art of narrative editing and maximise their employment opportunities is The Creative Editing Course from Inside the Edit—the industry’s first professional editing course that concentrates on the art form of editing rather than learning software. The e-learning training program is available through Avid, giving professional and aspiring editors – as well as broadcasters, production companies and educational institutions – access to a wealth of exclusive tutorials to help hone their craft on Avid’s media creation tools and workflow solutions. “Our collaboration with Inside the Edit emphasises the importance of sharing trailblazing educational resources within the Avid community and reflects our vision to help aspiring editors learn the skills to edit for multiple genres at a professional level,” says Jason Plews, director global education, global services delivery and customer support at Avid. Avid’s collaboration with Inside the Edit opens up new possibilities for developing the next-generation of editors by giving up-and-coming talent the practical skills and tools to help them succeed in the industry. The partnership helps media educators to incorporate real-world
materials and practical assignments into their curriculum to give students an engaging experience that prepares them for real-world media environments. “Inside the Edit is the only resource that is dedicated to the art of the craft and as such it is absolutely unique. When we rolled out this fabulous resource to our students it was like having an extra person on staff,” explains Greg Loftin, co-course leader editing and post production at Ravensbourne University. Offering an unparalleled number of creative tutorials that cover every aspect of professional editing, Inside the Edit’s course includes more than 35 hours of raw footage from a primetime television show, as well as 2,000 music tracks from Universal Production Music that can be used copyright free for show reels, Vimeo, and YouTube channels to attract potential clients and employers. Paddy Bird founded and developed the self-paced e-learning program after 20 years editing some of the world’s most renowned television shows, including The X Factor, Big
Brother and Wife Swap, as well as dozens of high-end political, historical and science shows. Through the success of Inside the Edit, Bird has taught advanced editing concepts and techniques to thousands of producers, directors, cameramen, video engineers, and professional editors from production companies and broadcasters around the world. “The Creative Editing Course takes students through hundreds of creative techniques, structural theories and stylisation principles that pro editors use every day, from the very basic to the highly advanced creative tasks to practice and sharpen their skills as their abilities grow,” says Bird. Many of the industry’s most respected broadcasters and media companies— including Sky, Discovery, Viacom, Vice, AMC and The Guardian—have signed up with Inside the Edit to provide elite training for their in-house editors. Several leading media universities and film schools in the UK and US have also rolled out creative editing courses based around the core values of Inside the Edit. n
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HOW DO YOU FILM
A FERRET? The team from Brown Bob Productions take Jenny Priestley Inside the Vets
aving already taken viewers of UKTV’s entertainment channel W Inside the Ambulance, the team at production company Brown Bob Production have now turned their attention, and cameras, to a vets’ practice in Ashford, Kent. Inside the Vets aims to give viewers a unique perspective into how a working vets’ practice works on a day-to-day basis. According to Inside the Vets’ series producer Audrey Neil, the new series differs from Ambulance in terms of the sheer scale of the production: “With Inside the Ambulance, it’s one ambulance that’s rigged with two paramedics wearing cameras. With Inside the Vets it’s a much bigger space, multiple rooms - consulting rooms, operating theatres - many more contributors and then there’s animals as well so it’s a much bigger scale of operation.” “With both of the programmes, because of the way we shoot them, you get the same kind of intimate feeling that you’re part of the action,” continues Neil. “Obviously the big difference is that with Vets we had a gallery where we could monitor what was going on, but with Ambulance we’re just recording what’s happening and we’re able to see it later.” “With Vets we have the luxury of being in a stationary environment so we’re not always on the move,” adds production manager Jessica Hamilton. “The biggest struggle was really the scale of things, and by scale I mean the amount of media that we were recording and the amount of rooms we needed to cover.” The old adage goes, never work with children or animals. Having worked with kids in Ambulance,
how did the Brown Bob team cope with the change of species? “We used little body cams and head cams on the vets and we were always trying to second guess what the animal was going to do,” laughs Neil. “It would depend on what kind of animal we were working with as to which cameras would give the best shot, and they give you really unique shots. We’d be sat thinking ‘how do you film a ferret?’. We were second guessing that all the time, and sometimes we got it right.” The team used GoPro cameras throughout production, employing GoPro Session for the head and GoPro Hero 4 as chest cams. Because of the sheer amount of footage filmed every day, the production team chose not to shoot in 4K or UHD, “We film in ProRes LT,” explains Hamilton. “We simply couldn’t film in 4K because we couldn’t handle the amount of footage. We wanted to film Inside the Vets in the same way as Ambulance, where we film everything, record all of the cameras and then we make decisions of what we want to use in the edit. ProRes LT gave us the quality we needed and the ability to wrangle and turnaround all of our hard drives, cards, and SSDs and deal with the backup in the same 24 hours so that we’re ready to go again the next day.” The Brown Bob team filmed at the vets for 35 days, recording 2300 hours of footage over the 15-episode series, which works out at 153 hours of footage per episode. The team took all of the media into the edit, but made decisions throughout production as to which consultations they would shoot, so to keep the total media down. “Because we had multiple cameras all over the vets all day, we needed to decide who we
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PICTURED ABOVE: Filming Inside the Vets
were following,” explains Neil. “Those are the kind of decisions that are made there: do we want to film in this room? Then we would turn that room on and film from that room. If everything was recorded all the time we just couldn’t cope. Nobody could cope with that amount of content.” Brown Bob used the Pulse unit from Timecode Systems to distribute timecode to the rig, with each Go Pro having a Syncbac pro attached. Once filming had ended, and all footage had been backed up, it was ingested into Avid and a sync map created for each day – it’s from those maps that we then decided which of the stories would make it into each episode.
“Normally you would archive your rushes at the end of the production, we archived our master rushes on site immediately.” JESSICA HAMILTON
“Because of the interaction between the stories that are playing out, we need to ingest all of our footage so that we can capture the whole holistic feel of the place,” she says. Seven editors were then tasked with following & cutting down each pet’s journey within the vets practice. “The practice sees 30-40 people a day come through the door so there’s a lot more content to capture every day compared to when we’re working on Ambulance where you might only have five or six stories to follow each day,” Neil continues. “It makes sense to ingest all of that content because then we can see those patients interacting with each other in the environment as well as with the vets.” With such huge volumes of content being shot and wrangled every day, how did the team store it all? Was the cloud a consideration? “We had just over 100 terabytes of content for the series and we were wrangling four terabytes a day, that adds up so quickly,” says Hamilton. “We had lots of conversations about whether we could put all that content in the cloud, but it just wasn’t feasible. “We had Ki Pros that would record to SSD, we had Apollos that were recorded to SSD and then we had
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all of the micro SD cards from the Zaxcom audio recorders and GoPros. We would wrangle everything to two G-SPEED Shuttle drives with Thunderbolt 3. They do about a thousand megabits per second, as long as the computer, cable and memory card are up to it,” she continues. “We would wrangle the two of those during the day so that we’d have double back up of everything and we’d be doing that constantly during the day instead of just waiting until the end. We’d wrangle after every story and we’d wrangle the waiting room every two hours. After the footage had been wrangled to the drives, the team would then set one of them off to back up to LTO tape overnight. “So we’d almost skip a step,” explains Hamilton. “Normally you would archive your rushes at the end of the production, we archived our master rushes on site immediately. It provided us with a decent back up master option within the time frame that we needed and also on budget. Otherwise we would have had to buy terabytes and terabytes of drives which is terribly expensive. It also meant we could bring the LTO tapes back so that we didn’t have two copies of media on site. They’re much easier to move than the really heavy hard drives.” Working with animals can’t make recording that easy. You can’t stick a mic on a Labrador, or Iguana. The Brown Bob production team used COS-11 microphones linked up to Zaxcom recorders for the vets and owners, with boundary mics for additional sound. “We had boundary mics in each of the rooms that picked up lots of things to give us that extra coverage, especially in the waiting room where you want chat and stories that you might not even be following and the people in there might not have mics on them,” says Hamilton. “Yappy dogs were a problem,” laughs Neil. “There’s a lot of yapping, it’s a noisy, noisy place. It does add to the comedy at times because you can’t tell a dog to shush.” Having dealt with the complications of taking on such a huge shoot, and the issues of yappy dogs, would the Brown Bob team be willing to return to the vets? “I would love to do another series of Inside the Vets!” says Neil. “I love it. The stories are great, the people are great, the unique coverage you get with the head cams is fabulous. There are so many weird places you can stick cameras: inside snake containers, inside parrot cages. It’s just great fun. And it gives you a lovely look at a world that we’re all interested in.” n Inside the Ambulance airs on W from 23rd July.
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A GAME CHANGER FOR SPORTS TV An explosion of new OTT services has meant many new ways for consumers to watch TV, including sports. Broadcasters and sports clubs alike are recognising the value of technology innovation and new opportunities to get closer to fans. Thilo Herbst, partner at software development specialists 3SS, explains.
F PICTURED BELOW: FC St. Pauli TV
ootball is big business. It captivates the imagination and in part commands a lot of attention due to the staggering sums which pay-TV providers are willing to invest to secure live TV rights. In recent times, Amazon has joined the fray. With more bidders for rights, the higher the prices soar. For the clubs themselves, especially those not in Europe’s premier leagues, this can often mean they need to be creative if they want to keep building everstronger bonds with their fans via direct relationships in addition to enticing them through the turnstiles. In a highly fragmented environment, there is also a trend to disintermediation – cutting out the middle man or broker in the brand-consumer relationship. Publishers, TV channels and other content owners are seeking to bypass traditional pay-TV platforms to engage directly with their target audiences. Furthermore, the impulse toward direct vertical
integration is a strong one: the potential for revenue retention, perceived control over distribution channels, and cost reduction have proven too seductive to resist for some. As a result of these economic and market forces, traditional business models are being challenged. Sports clubs are among these potential market ‘disruptors’. This is somewhat ironic, given that the clubs themselves are the original fountainheads of the rights as creators of the content. But when these rights have been signed over to national associations, some lateral thinking is required on the part of the clubs if they aim to get another bite of the cherry. To reap extra rewards somewhere else in the value chain, clubs increasingly realise they need to get smart with whatever rights they still have. In parallel, the substantial growth of online viewing and OTT has fundamentally changed the broadcasting ecosystem, and transformed how consumers think about TV. Increasingly, people - and not just the millennials - are getting used to watching their favourite content on tablets and smartphones. Rapidly evolving streaming delivery technology has enabled democracy for would-be service providers, thanks to our increasingly multiscreen world. Importantly, technology innovation has delivered new possibilities for sports organisations, clubs and others to consider themselves to be content owners, able to enhance bonds with fans in new ways, and generate revenues. St. Pauli is a district of Hamburg and in 2010 their men’s professional football team joined the Big League. Since the 2011-12 season, FC St. Pauli have played in 2. Bundesliga, the second-highest division in Germany. But like its compatriots, it does not have live TV broadcasting rights.
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PRODUCTION AND POST The club had an established basic ‘fan TV’ service, but started thinking about what kinds of new technology innovations could help build more traction and better strengthen engagement with fans. They turned to Hamburg-based design and technology consultants TeraVolt to explore how the club’s online viewing rights could be leveraged. The result was the April 2018 launch of an online offering for fans enriched with a wide array of content all about the team, performance data and statistics and a ground-breaking video-like interactive experience for fans to enjoy live matches. FC St. Pauli TV is powered by Jupiter, an end-to-end online video platform which TeraVolt developed in partnership with fellow German software development house 3SS. Jupiter enables FC St. Pauli fans to benefit from an array of informative, live-generated onscreen data to enhance live matches. Fans can experience a video-like broadcast which captures the match excitement and delivers insights and analysis as the game progresses. Additionally, for FC St. Pauli TV’s monthly subscription of €4.95 per month, with a 12-month
subscription for €44.95, fans can access dynamically updated player profiles, online video interviews with players and managers, highlight-clips from matches, and they can watch the entire match the next day. At Jupiter’s core is a custom designed data engine which is fed with a variety of information captured from the action on the pitch to create multiple feeds that enhance viewing online. By combining and modulating the data, using AI technology, the data engine enables viewers to benefit from a diverse range of visually displayed data and value-adding functionality. Jupiter’s backend analyses video and the supplementary data to create a whole new sports viewing experience. Jupiter’s automatic scene detection capability gives the user easy access to a wide array of scenes from the game, like corner kicks, fouls, yellow/red cards, scoring attempts, substitutions and of course goal scenes. In addition, the viewer can rewind the game quickly or slowly, they can select and watch all video of a particular player in a particular game or across a whole season. Another key Jupiter-enabled feature maximises FC St. Pauli’s dedicated online radio stream by adding
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PICTURED ABOVE: Thilo Herbst
onscreen animation, showing player positions, movement and ball trajectory in the form of computer generated video content. This turns rolling text-based ticker information into a video event and enables fans to easily share it via social media. Within the data engine and the visualisation software created by TeraVolt and 3SS, machine learning and artificial intelligence play key roles. By combining and modulating the data being generated and collected dynamically from the action on the pitch, using AI technology, the data engine at the heart of the app enables viewers to benefit from engaging and distinctive live on-screen analysis of the teams’ performance indicators, such as dominance, ball possession, and scoring probability. The app provides individual live-updated ratings for each player on the field, based on position and performance. For the front end, FC St. Pauli is benefitting from the 3READY multiscreen product from 3SS which enables service providers to speedily launch customised, branded services, and to nimbly make service adjustments based on A/B testing. The intuitive user interface displays all the live generated data so as to complement the onscreen content depicting the live action, making accessing data smooth, in as little as
one click. These data-enabled features all combine for extra, more granular live match analysis for better engagement and appeal for viewers. Moreover, all of the benefits Jupiter enables will prove valuable to any sports team wishing to broadcast directly to fans, but not in possession of live TV rights. The FC Pauli deployment is not the first TeraVolt3SS collaboration. The pair first collaborated three years ago to deliver an analytics-rich interactive TV application to enhance the worldwide Red Bull Air Race series. They developed a bespoke interactive TV platform to enhance the unique, fast-paced live broadcasts of the aerobatics competition. Together they created a HbbTV-based app and data management platform that gives fans on-demand access to a dynamically-produced multiplicity of interactive enhancements. For each race in the series, the technology coupled the live, fast-paced sporting broadcast with multiple information-packed data streams. The enhanced broadcast features made it possible for viewers to delve deep into the complexities of this high-octane sport. Viewers could swiftly access pilot profiles and technical data and historical notes on each aircraft. Analytical live-updated ‘Hero Factors’ – comparative evaluations and statistics on the pilots’ strengths and weaknesses, standings and cumulative track records – proved the most popular feature with viewers. In our increasingly fragmented, noise-filled media market, competing for the consumer’s attention is an ever-greater challenge. National and international sports associations and governing bodies are increasingly aware of how technology can help them promote their sports and attract new participation. So we anticipate seeing more interest in deploying advanced technology elsewhere for team-specific and sport-specific multiscreen TV offerings. FC St. Pauli blazed a trail with its streaming service and fellow top league teams are set jo join the ‘fan TV’ club. Franchise owners everywhere will continue to strive to reach fans directly, and forge strong, long-lasting relationships. Clubs will continue to seek to get a greater slice of the action in the value chain and they will show relentless creativity and innovation to do it. Meanwhile, technology will keep on evolving: AI, VR and AR will unlock new dimensions in viewer experience, and will continue to be on hand to help bring these new services to life. n
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DEFENDING DEMOCRACY WITH FACEBOOK LIVE By Jake Ward, business development director, Groovy Gecko
ounded in 2017 by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former NATO Secretary General and former Prime Minister of Denmark, the Alliance of Democracies Foundation (AOD) is a non-profit organisation working to advance democracy and free markets across the globe. ADVANCING DEMOCRACY On 22nd June, the AOD held its annual Copenhagen Democracy Summit at the Royal Danish Playhouse. The purpose of the conference is to build the intellectual and interpersonal foundations for a robust alliance of the world’s democracies. The summit is dedicated to facilitating vigorous debate
and a diversity of viewpoints, based on the belief that in order for good ideas to be born, strongly held views must be subject to analysis. This year’s summit featured former US Vice President Joe Biden as well as the likes of Tony Blair and Nick Clegg. Every year, the summit attracts a large and influential in-person audience and encourages lively debate amongst those gathered. However, this year, it was looking to generate visibility and awareness outside of the four walls of the summit itself. Advancing democracy and free markets is an important topic for many people across the globe. Therefore, the foundation was looking to reach as big an audience as possible and engage them in the debate and analysis, even if they couldn’t attend in person. GENERATING A BUZZ The Alliance of Democracies Foundation believed that live streaming keynote speeches and panels from the summit into Facebook would be the most effective way of both reaching a big audience, but also encouraging engagement. At the same time, it was looking for a way to precisely target the potential audience, based on their likelihood to have an interest in the topic and be more likely to get involved. With only 385 followers on its Facebook page, it was obvious that would not be easy. With its extensive experience live streaming high-profile events and a number of interactive and innovative tools up its sleeve, Groovy Gecko was brought in to figure out a way of getting the live stream in front of a bigger audience. Given the important and high-profile nature of the summit, any degradation in service or an outage, even for a short period, would cause viewers to lose attention and switch-off. It was therefore essential that
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the foundation’s coverage of the summit was equally of a high-quality and robust to outages. Due to the potential audience having a wide variety of interests it was also key that each session be delivered as an individual live stream. This meant viewers didn’t have to watch or scrub through content they were uninterested in, thus driving engagement. It also meant that every live session was instantly available on-demand so viewers found it easy to find content they had missed watching live. Groovy Gecko used a couple of methods to increase the audience and engagement. Firstly, it used the new cross-posting mechanism within the Facebook Live platform to stream some of the sessions to multiple Facebook pages simultaneously. This included streaming into the speakers’ own Facebook pages. At the point of Joe Biden’s opening speech, the live stream was available on three separate Facebook pages at the same time. Bearing in mind the 385 followers we mentioned for the Foundation’s page, it is pretty impressive that his keynote has already had over 9,000 views. As with many social media campaigns, a hashtag was set up (#DefendDemocracy), with people urged to use it when posting questions. Naturally a comment in Facebook also gets notifications in friends’ newsfeeds, helping to further increase visibility.
LIVE FOR EVENTS Thanks to live streams from the AOD’s Copenhagen Summit, and a number of techniques to ensure it was viewed by as many people as possible, the Foundation’s message has had a truly global reach. Over the course of the summit, it had 35,000 views and a huge level of engagement. Ultimately, it was extremely beneficial for raising awareness of both the foundation and summit’s goals. n
‘It was essential that the foundation’s coverage of the summut was of a highquality and robust to outages.’
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HOW THE VIDEO ECOSYSTEM IS EVOLVING By Gaurav Agnihotri, senior consultant, Technology Intelligence, CPA Global
PA Global completed a high-level analysis of High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) technologies through patents that relate to HEVC technology. CPA Global identified all patents related to HEVC and patents declared in various patent pools of HEVC. A total of 6410 patent families were identified and manually reviewed by technical experts to identify the major players in the industry and offer insight into licensing costs, market trends and future challenges and solutions for corporations exploring HEVC. HEVC (also known as H.265) is a video compression standard that was developed to provide efficient compression for resolutions beyond high-definition television. A SIGNIFICANT MOVE FORWARD The HEVC standard describes complex algorithms for motion estimation, frame prediction and the partitioning of coding block units, resulting in doubled compression ratios of coded content compared to the previous standard AVC (H.264). These compression efficiencies allow broadcasters and media companies to create better quality video streams with larger resolutions at the same bit rates of previous generation codecs. This reduces the overall cost of video asset delivery and focuses on the viewing experience. Broadcasters wanting to transmit programmes in 4K face the challenge of needing high quality broadband reception. This is where HEVC comes in. HEVC makes broadcasting 4K more feasible by reducing the cost and time it takes to deliver high quality programming. HEVC delivers an average bit rate reduction of 50 per cent compared to the previously adopted standard of H.264, transmitting the smallest amount of information necessary for a specified level of video quality. This saves bandwidth cost and enables higher quality television delivery over the internet.
institutes that now own patents defining the HEVC standard. Patent families help identify the scale and scope of a patentâ€™s protection â€“ giving insight into a set of patents taken in various countries to protect a single invention. Looking at the most prolific HEVC technology patent owners, the number of patent families are provided in the table below: Interestingly, the ownership of several patents has changed in recent years. Analysis of all 993 relevant patent families found approximately 12 per cent had been reassigned or transacted as part of a patent acquisition deal. HEVC is already significantly more expensive than AVC for any device manufacturer selling more than five million units. The fact that a licensee may need to purchase licenses from different pools and from companies that are unaffiliated with these pools (since the patent pools cover only one-third of the patents relevant to the main profile of HEVC) will further increase costs and complexity.
TAKING OWNERSHIP Of the 993 relevant HEVC patent families identified through the analysis of 6500 patent families, most are still owned by the companies and institutes involved in the first stages of development. These companies include Qualcomm, Samsung, LG, Mediatek and Huawei, however, there are approximately 75 other companies and
WHAT IS NEXT FOR HEVC? While the demand for better quality content is clearly here, HEVC technologies are being adopted at a slower pace than expected, largely as result of uncertain licensing structures and competition from technologies such as AV1 and AVS2. AVC technology, meanwhile, remains popular and is still used extensively. n
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PROTECT WHAT MATTERS TVBEurope invited a number of vendors from the global entertainment space to a roundtable session, in which they discussed thoughts, predictions and common trends with regards to content security and anti-piracy WHAT ARE THE GREATEST SECURITY/PIRACY THREATS AT THE MOMENT?
Simon Trudelle, senior director product marketing, NAGRA: We see that the biggest issue is actually the development of ‘Commercial Streaming Piracy’ with the take-up of illicit streaming services around the world over the past few years. We define ‘Commercial Piracy’ as professional pirate operations that employ extensive IP infrastructure, including cloud-based servers and CDNs across multiple data centres worldwide, to deliver high quality streams for a price, which brings piracy to the big screen to compete directly with legitimate offerings. While web streaming requires some advanced skills to set up a site and collect revenues (subscriptions or advertising) through shadow operations, IPTV streaming devices have lowered the entry barrier for the local re-sellers. Meanwhile, commercial pirates have significantly increased their revenue by selling streaming services in bulk and delivering them to a growing network of small local retailers. Sascha Stets, senior consultant, Rohde & Schwarz Cybersecurity: The greatest threat is the ignorance of the current information security landscape with its upcoming trends. The growth and sophistication of smart attacks stemming from highly organised groups will change the security models needed to withstand them. Within the last decade, the market has had to cope with theft, piracy, ransom, fraud, destruction and changing of intellectual
property. These results from different attack vectors against vulnerabilities, for example from network-, organisational-, social-, software- and/ or web-side.
Ian Hamilton, CTO, Signiant: I think the biggest threat is social rather than technical. If the general public believes there’s nothing wrong with watching media (live streams or otherwise) they don’t have the legal right to watch, people will always find ways to steal media. From a technical perspective, however, companies haven’t been pro-active enough to defend against security threats. I’m astounded at how many companies still use FTP which has been at the root of so many breaches. Some studios are forbidding FTP, a good trend for us and for the industry. Neil Sharpe, director of product marketing, Friend MTS: Right now, the greatest threat to pay-TV platforms comes from IPTV illegal streaming devices, which are designed to deliver a large screen television experience, and the problem is particularly acute with respect to premium live sports and entertainment. Bill Thompson, global storage product manager, EditShare: Certainly, fully-loaded Kodi boxes and other illegal mechanisms
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TECHNOLOGY that enable viewers to avoid television subscription fees are a serious threat to broadcasters and rights holders. For example, in the English Premier League as well as across Europe, broadcasting revenues are usually the single largest revenue stream for a football team (i.e. the rights holders.) In the short term, broadcasters lose when piracy impacts subscription fees and in the long term, teams lose when piracy impacts amounts bid to purchase broadcasting rights.
Bob Ventresca, VP worldwide marketing, Thinklogical: For creators, one of the key issues they face is intentional piracy and theft or the accidental breach of content from within their facility. Poor security or sub-par protection production and post infrastructure can allow bad actors to make off with highlyanticipated, pre-release content using nothing more than a portable USB drive. Petr Peterka, CTO, Verimatrix: Re-distribution is the biggest piracy threat. The available, and affordable, technology makes this so easy – video encoding on every consumer electronics device, almost unlimited bandwidth in the comfort of your living room and plenty of computing power. WHAT PARTICULAR TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING WITH REGARDS TO SECURITY BREACHES/PIRACY?
ST: Moving from Control Word Sharing (used to pirate broadcast services) to Content Sharing (capturing content and re-streaming it worldwide, leveraging internet infrastructure) is one of the big shifts that has happened in the TV piracy world over the past few years.
“I’m astounded at how many companies still use FTP which has been at the root of so many breaches” IAN HAMILTON
SS: The trend is going towards more and more sophisticated attacks that are well prepared, individually tailored and going over a long period of time. The interruption of services and signals and stealing or changing of privacy information will extend and establish new “business models” for attackers. IH: It seems that security breaches with specific monetary gain or state objectives are on the rise, while shadow IT continues to be a trend and a challenge. Employees and contractors are installing rogue solutions to get things done quickly, making it harder for IT to maintain control. NS: Whereas video piracy once required in-depth knowledge, illegal content redistribution can now be performed more easily using readily accessible tools. Streaming piracy services have also become highly sophisticated, often with a multiscreen experience that’s branded to look like legitimate pay TV platforms. BT: An important trend is that cybercriminals have come to realise
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TECHNOLOGY that content production isn’t concentrated in a single facility. The “attack surface” is larger and cybercriminals now strive to find the weakest link in the security chain. This was the modus operandi for the 2016 attack on Game of Thrones.
PP: There are actually fewer and fewer traditional security breaches where someone hacks into the cryptographic components of the content protection system. Instead, it is easier just to steal from an output that is not adequately protected or from a screen that may be vulnerable and you can be live on Periscope, YouTube or your own web site within a couple of hours. WHAT ARE THE MAIN STEPS THAT YOU ARE TAKING TO PREVENT/COMBAT SOME OF THESE THREATS?
ST: NAGRA’s end-to-end content value protection solution, announced at IBC 2017, offers a unique security framework to both protect content distribution with CAS and DRM technology while also fighting piracy with a complete end-to-end arsenal of technical, operational and legal solutions. We focus on engaging in more advanced technical, procedural and legal activities, such as building legal cases to trigger IP blocking, leveraging stream recognition technology and network analysis equipment to qualify and identify pirate traffic that can then be blocked by ISPs. IH: Defence in depth is a key step. It’s no longer acceptable to have a single locked door around the crown jewels. You need to assume any individual protection mechanism will be compromised, so then it becomes equally as much about knowing you’ve been compromised and controlling the impact. Also, knowing the value of what you’re protecting helps to come up with novel approaches. If your media gets less valuable as it ages, for example, focus can shift to controlling “time to piracy” and maximising monetisation in that window rather than preventing piracy. NS: One of the key steps taken by Friend MTS is to highlight the scale of the threat of streaming piracy to senior managers in the media and entertainment industry. The three key methods are: Using technology to identify piracy, and to revoke the access of subscribers who are illegally redistributing content, educating consumers that streaming piracy is theft which undermines the sports and creative industries, and ensuring that legal television services are of higher quality and much more immersive than illegal services. BT: We must recognise that we are an extension of the customer environment. Therefore, where relevant, we are adopting “best practices” as published by the MPAA, EBU and DPP. We make every effort to produce robust system designs that are hardened against external and internal attack and to patch vulnerabilities as soon as they are reported. Perhaps most important is the fact that we have also added sophisticated file auditing capabilities to our media
storage solutions which are designed to integrate into an enterprisewide security infrastructure.
BV: Thinklogical works with content creators to help them optimise their post-production infrastructure so that staff who need access to content can do so to accomplish their tasks, but it becomes much, much harder for those who don’t have a legitimate reason. We come from a background of providing secure content distribution systems to government and defence that are certified to handle classified information, and many of those learnings directly apply to media and entertainment industry as well. HOW DOES THE INDUSTRY EDUCATE THE VIEWER THAT WATCHING CONTENT ILLEGALLY IS STEALING? IS IT DOWN TO THE CONTENT OWNER, INTERNET PROVIDER OR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS?
ST: It’s clear that a concerted approach that includes education efforts backed by governments, a solid legal framework to protect intellectual property in the digital world, along with the right set of tools, skills and know-how to fight piracy can make a huge difference. We’ve seen that the sports leagues have also changed their approach and they are trying to position themselves as a partner to their licensees. As such, they are moving beyond the pure transactional relationships they’ve had so far, where they sold the rights for 3-4 years and then took a passive stance in terms of addressing piracy challenges. So we anticipate that a joint approach between the sports leagues and their major licensees will hold on going forward, with the support of the local authorities and anti-piracy specialists like NAGRA, helping the sports industry stay successful. NS: An important development, which we’re now seeing much more, involves premium content owners mandating higher levels of security via subscriber watermarking, since it’s the only effective protection against uncooperative hosts of illegal content. It allows streaming piracy to be cut-off at the source by terminating the access of the subscriber that’s redistributing the content. This type of concerted action can make a very tangible difference to the prevalence of streaming piracy. PP: Certainly more consumer education can be done in this area, especially as ‘generation web’ feels they are entitled to free content. Education needs to be done hand-in-hand with more effective and enforceable government legislation and industry organisations (like MPAA and AAPA). There is also on-going education needed for legislators and law enforcement organisations. WHAT ABOUT A SPECIFIC ATTACK ON A CONTENT COMPANY – FOR EXAMPLE THE ATTACK ON SONY BACK IN 2014. HOW CAN CONTENT COMPANIES ENSURE THEIR IT INFRASTRUCTURES ARE SAFE?
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ST: It’s clear that content companies, now that many of them are levering streaming technology to offer Direct-to-Consumer services, also have to make proper new investments to secure their streaming business operations as well, following the successful example of large pay-TV providers worldwide. So investing in antipiracy services is to be done from the start, and not just when a provider gets hit by pirate attacks. SS: Companies within the broadcast and media value chain need to ensure that their information security is safe. To close the gaps there are two obvious ways. One is internal audits provided by the organisation’s ITdepartment. These audits ensure the controls used to safeguard the information are useful and are being continuously updated. The second way is external assessments from independent companies. The threat landscape and digitalisation makes it almost impossible to stay on top for organisations. An independent view will see if vulnerabilities appeared and if the current controls mitigate the relevant threats. IH: Following good security practices in general and eliminating
potential security holes in your content supply chain like editors or post houses using FTP is key. But specifically implement a strategy across your organisation that incorporates defence in depth and making sure that the software vendors you work with do the same. A defence-in-depth design strategy incorporates several security controls for a system so that multiple security failures must occur before an attacker can gain access to critical resources.
BT: Content companies must adopt the “best practices” approaches being promoted by the MPAA, the EBU and DPP. These take the view that organisations must implement content security layers ranging from specific organisational policies, physical security mechanisms, network security mechanisms, activity auditing, centralised collection and monitoring of user activity (SIEM) and regular audits to detect and close security vulnerabilities discovered. PP: Content owners can apply the same security infrastructure to their post-production processes as they do with their internal IT systems. And we are seeing a lot of this functionality move to the cloud. Cloud-based security presents its own set of challenges, but it also enables software-based, cloud-native renewable security to more effectively respond to threats.
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HOW CAN COMPANIES MONITOR ALL ACTIVITY ON THEIR NETWORK?
ST: On the content distribution side, anti-piracy services allow providers to detect that their channels are captured and restreamed over the internet. Using content marking technologies such as forensic watermarking (NAGRA’s NexGuard product line is worldwide leader in this space) and other fingerprinting technology, we can trace the source of illicit content streaming to its source. Such insight is also used to build court cases asking for IP blocking or server takedown. NS: To monitor streaming piracy, there’s a need for global channel and content monitoring that can scale to match the largest live events and respond in seconds to secure premium content. This performance cannot be achieved manually; it demands highly automated and scalable cloud-based monitoring that can immediately react to viewing peaks, while also having the breadth of capability to identify all types of pirate content, including illegal streaming devices, Kodi add-ons, mobile apps, websites and social media. PP: Analytics are ideally suited to the application of machine learning, which will make an increasing impact through its ability to spot trends and gain unexpected insights from large amounts of data – in an automated manner. DO YOU ENVISAGE ANY NEW THREATS ARISING AS THE PREVALENCE OF OTT DEVELOPS FURTHER? ST: With increased take-up of broadband and related investments in IP networks, cloud and CDN infrastructure around the globe, pirates can now go even further away from advanced markets in Europe or North America to set up their operations. In fact, we have seen operations move to countries where the legislation does not appropriately address copyright and brand infringement issues over the past year.
IH: I envision less threats. A key part of security is being able to respond to threats and OTT infrastructure evolves much more rapidly than traditional broadcast infrastructure. Also, many people use unavailability of content (or unavailability of content at a price they think is reasonable) as justification for stealing content. Broader availability of content when and where people want it at commercial terms that they think are reasonable will helps this. PP: OTT video brings a huge amount of devices that operators don’t have direct control over, i.e., smart phones don’t go through a certification process like a set-top box. Operators need to build in the multiple layers of security that we talked about into their OTT app. This will help provide the visibility (monitoring) and control (ability to disable the device to entitlement control if needed). WHAT CHANGES/TRENDS/DEVELOPMENTS IN THE INDUSTRY ARE HAVING THE MOST DRAMATIC IMPACT ON YOUR BUSINESS?
ST: In terms of technologies that have an impact on piracy, we have seen two major developments. First, through better communication and awareness of the legal framework in place in many advanced countries, we have observed progress in working with internet ecosystem players to implement IP blocking and server takedown requests. Another area of progress has been the deployment of subscriber-level watermarking technologies by pay-TV service providers, allowing the tracing of content leaks to their source, such as a STB. At NAGRA, we will also announce a new product at IBC to deploy our watermarking technology on OTT devices, securing another growing part of the premium content distribution value chain. SS: The specific requirements of the broadcast market makes it necessary to tailor the security solutions to fit. The rising risks have been mentioned already, but looking at the big opportunities, aholistic information security system within an organisation will show confidence to its stakeholders and regulatory instances. In addition, it can prevent privacy data and content loss, which
“Cloud-based security presents its own set of challenges, but it also enables software-based, cloud-native renewable security to more effectively respond to threats.” PETR PETERKA
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reduces the costs for GDPR claims and the loss of financial income.
IH: The use of cloud and SaaS. There was a time when having a network was an asset. Commoditisation and complexity mean only the biggest content owners can justify the economics of rolling their own systems, and even then, they must carefully choose which elements of the system they invest in. There’s a reason Netflix built their own CDN but doesn’t own any data centres. NS: A key issue is the growing recognition that streaming piracy can be stopped when it is prioritised. With a track record to evaluate, the early adopters of the latest watermarking technology can now see the real value with respect to boosting the number of paying subscribers and reducing churn. At the end of the day, it’s the subscriber data that speaks volumes. BV: 4K has quickly become a standard for media production, and many films and television shows are shot in the 4K format to maximise the quality of the image, simplify visual effects creation, and ensure compatibility with future higher-resolution delivery channels to the consumer. But few post-production facilities are running 4K workflows, primarily because of the limitations of their systems. These higher quality video resolutions dramatically increase content file sizes and put significant stress on legacy media and entertainment technology infrastructures. n
“A key issue is the growing recognition that streaming piracy can be stopped when it is prioritised” NEIL SHARPE
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PIRACY’S IMPACT ON THE 2 SIZING UP THE ISSUE UK’S CREATIVE SECTOR The vast majority of British people do not watch or download illegally pirated material online, suchDIGITAL as movies, TVHAPPENS shows or footage 3 HOW 3 HOW DIGITAL PIRACY PIRACY HAPPENS of live sporting events. Few people Few have people a clear have understanding a clear understanding of how of how digital piracy digital works. piracy Those works. that Those consume that consume the the end resultend of the result process of the–process by downloading – by downloading Viewers content watch in the content UK viainillicit the UK streaming via illicitdevices streaming or devices or or streaming or streaming illegally pirated illegally content pirated–content often – often Viewers watch directly via websites, directly via putting websites, themselves putting at themselves risk of scams, at risk malware of scams, malware assume that assume the material that thehas material been has made been “freely made “freely and electrical and safety electrical issues. safety issues. available”available” by well-intentioned by well-intentioned individuals individuals and and • Content streamed • Content forstreamed free and monetised for free andthrough monetised advertising through advertising or malware or malware give little give thought littleto thought how it has to how appeared it has appeared online online ie ers atchieorers ree on atch eorsites ree onhose e osites ners hose ma eotheir ners mone ma e their mone in the firstinplace. the first place. either through either ad ertising through oadten ertising rom egitimate o ten romrands egitimate ho don rands t no ho don t no
UK - Content UK - Content consumed The most recent stats show that 75% ofconsumed Brits who look at content online abide by the law and don’t download or stream it illegally – up from 70% in 2013. However, that still leaves In fact digital In fact piracy digital is often piracyrun is often for profit run by for profit by who do access material illegally.1 criminal 25% gangs criminal and gangs individuals. and individuals. Both those Both those
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This is a problem seriously affecting many of the 3m people who work across nearly 250,000 companies in the UK’s creative To help explain To helpthe explain criminal theprocess criminalby process which by which industries, threatening digital piracy digital works, piracy weworks, have outlined we havethe outlined key the keytheir jobs and elementselements in this section. in thisThis section. is based This on is based the on the livelihoods and the tax experience experience and insights andof insights professionals of professionals in in revenues that come the police,the law police, enforcement law enforcement and the creative and the creative with them. industries. industries.
The latest police estimated that there UKfigures - Set-top UK - Set-top boxesboxes illegally illegally adapted adapted and sold and sold offences were two million computer misuse committed in England and Wales in 2016 – more than burglary, robbery, vehicle-related theft, criminal damage or violent offences.3 Not surprisingly, then, the police and other law enforcement authorities are taking cyber crime, including digital piracy, increasingly seriously.
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In digital piracy, the biggest concern and focus for law enforcement and industry relates to the increasing problem of illicit streaming
devices – a newer way to access illegal content, which has only existed for a few years. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) estimated, based on its experience working across the UK on this issue, that over one million of these devices have been sold in the UK in the last two years.
“At a conservative estimate, Worldwide Worldwide - Content - Content is illegally is illegally mademade available available we believe a million set-top boxes with software added to them to facilitate illegal downloads have been sold in the UK in the last couple of years.” Content available Content in the available UK comes in the from UK countries comes from across countries the globe. across the globe.
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Intellectual Property Office ChinaChina - Legal Legal set-top set-top The Government’s commitment to -tackling IP boxesboxes imported imported into UK into UK crime is exemplified in it forming and funding of the City of London Police, Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU). PIPCU was set up by the City of London Police and the IPO in 2013 to combat the “organised crime gangs causing significant damage to industries that Not to scale Not to scale physical are producing legitimate, high-quality, goods and online and digital content.online and digital content.” 4 Individuals and Individuals organised and gangs organised buy set-top gangs boxes buy set-top boxes wholesale from wholesale factories from in China. factories in China.
In its Cracking Down on Digital Piracy report, FACT revealed some of the key stats behind the UK’s creative industries.
£87.4bn 244,800 creative industries added to the UK economy in 2015, enough to pay for the NHS for nine months
number of companies in the UK’s creative industries sector
creative industries’ exports in 2014
number of people employed in the creative industries, equivalent to one in every 11 jobs in the UK
number of creative industries firms that employ fewer than 10 people
1. Intellectual Property Office, Online Copyright Infringement Tracker, July 2017: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2017/07/07/rise-illegal-kodi-streaming-threatens-piracy-crackdown-says/ 2. Creative Industries Council: http://www.thecreativeindustries.co.uk/resources/infographics TVBE JULY / AUGUST 2018 3. ONS: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/datasets/crimeinenglandandwalesbulletintables 4. PIPCU: https://www.cityoflondon.police.uk/advice-and-support/fraud-and-economic-crime/pipcu/Pages/About-PIPCU.aspx
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