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Meet our Streaming Forum Speaker: Jason Thibeault

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Jason Thibeault, Sr. Director, Marketing Strategy, Limelight Networks, USA

Jason Thibeault, Senior Director, Marketing Strategy at Limelight Networks will be presenting the keynote session on Wednesday 19 June (9-10am), The Power of Storyshowing. He will also appear on a panel session, The Future of CDNs, half an hour later on the same day. Here he tells us a little bit about himself and what he will be talking about.

 

Tell us a little about you, your background and your current role.

I am currently the Sr. Director, Marketing Strategy at Limelight Networks and responsible for much of the way Limelight is positioned in the market.

What will you be talking about at Streaming Forum? Why have you chosen this subject?

Although a deep technologist at heart, I am also a storyteller. Schooled as a professional writer my love is storytelling. The great thing about the digital world is that it transforms storytelling. They aren’t just words anymore (or just video). Magical combinations of mediums can come together to create vibrant and interactive experiences. When you bring that to the business world you realize that everyone, even organizations, are trying to tell a story and it’s how we engage with each other. This really is where I spend my time.

In my keynote, The Power of Storyshowing, you’ll learn the 9 killer things you need to tell awesome stories with video. You’ll see examples of business stories that make us cry, make us laugh, and make us want to take action. You’ll leave with one key message burning in your mind: “I have to go tell my story.”

I will also be sitting on a panel talking about The Future of the CDNs. The CDN is really fascinating. As a market and a service it’s changing. It’s evolving because we are all realizing that delivery is just one component of getting that story to our audiences. I am fascinated by this evolution of CDNs from just dumb pipes to intelligent networks that can help organizations tailor content delivery into contextually-relevant experiences for their audience. That’s powerful.

Name some key challenges faced by your clients, and tell us how you are overcoming them?

Our clients are struggling with digital marketing, with engaging with their audiences, with their digital presence. Many of the systems they use to manage and publish websites, to manage and publish videos, to store objects, to deliver them, are all disconnected. That makes it really hard to tell a consistent story across all devices anywhere in the world so that they can maximize engagement (which is what they want as engagement leads to intimacy leads to conversion). We help them wipe away some of that complexity (let’s be honest, we aren’t a silver bullet for a problem this big) by making it easier to create, manage, and deliver an awesome digital presence through a single, cloud-based platform of integrated tools for their website, video, storage, delivery/performance, and analytics.

What do you see as major trends in streaming media?  

I see streaming media getting more personalized and more interactive. Obviously video is going to dominate content over the next five years. The data trajectory is incredible. But, just as websites transformed to dynamic, contextual experiences, so too will video. It can’t be just dumb. Discovery has to be smarter, it has to be linked to who I am, what I like, where I’ve been. This will require a lot of real-time data from both the player and the evolution of the CDN but the cloud resources are there now (i.e., Hadoop clusters and elastic computing) to acquire and process it. It’s just a matter of time before the content owners and the technologists begin to integrate that into the video experiences they have been building.

What’s the do you enjoy the most about your job in this industry?

Working with amazing clients, companies that are trying to reshape the way we tell, interact, and experience stories. Whether it’s stories about their company, or stories from the big screen, or stories about their customers, these organizations are transforming the web with their digital content and I get to be at the center of it all as part of Limelight.

 

Jason’s keynote, The Power of Storyshowing, takes place on Wednesday 19 June, 9.00-10.00.

 

The panel session, The Future of CDNs, is on Wednesday 19 June, 10.30 – 11.30.

The panel consists of:

Moderator: Dom Robinson, Co-Founder, Director. id3as & Contributing Editor, StreamingMedia.com, id3as, UK

Panellists: Jason Thibeault, Sr. Director, Marketing Strategy, Limelight Networks, USA, Stef van der Ziel, CEO, Jet-Stream, The Netherlands, Miles McWilliams, Head of Global Sales – IP Transit & CDN, Deutsche Telekom, UK, Mike Smith, Solutions Engineer, Edge Comuting & CDN Services, Mirror Image Internet, UK, and James Fletcher, Marketing Director, CDN.net,UK.

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Adoption of New Media Technology: Western Europe leads the way

Western Europe is setting the pace when it comes to the adoption of new media technology, accounting for all of the Top 5 international markets in 2012, according to a new study.

The New Media Forecasts Report from ZenithOptimedia tracks the adoption of IPTV, smartphones and tablets in the top 19 digital markets in the world. In 2012, Norway ranked first, followed by France, Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark.

Norway’s first place was driven by high take-up of smartphones and tablets.

Across all the markets analysed, smartphones were the most prevalent device, but smartphone penetration varied widely between countries, ranging from 73% in Sweden to 18% in Brazil. IPTV was the slowest growing of the three technologies and also had the widest range of adoption.

Looking ahead, the report forecasts that the Netherlands will claim top spot by 2015, driven by its extremently rapid uptake of IPTV which is forecast to be in 91% of Dutch households in two years.

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Film Release Windows Limit Digital Opportunity in Europe: Kroes

Rigid film release windows restrict flexibility, and make it harder for the sector to capture digital benefits, according to Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission. Kroes, who is responsible for the Digital Agenda for Europe, argues in a blog post that a one-size-fits all approach does not work for audiences, or for films. Different movie outlets, whether in the cinema, on TV, on DVD or online all have their own strengths and respond to different consumer needs.

“While some films might be better served by a first exclusive cinema release – like blockbusters with a big audience appeal”, she comments, “others may do better by going online earlier.” She goes on to say that the lower digital distribution costs “may especially suit low-budget, niche films.”

All parts of the film ecosystem should be able to experiment, she argues. However she also makes it clear that she does not wish to impose anything on the film industry. Her goal, she says, is to benefit everyone in the chain – filmmakers, cinemas and audiences – through encouraging the use of digital channels to the full.

According to Kroes, a more flexible approach would boost revenues, and bring European films to wider audience. And she poses a pointed question to underline her argument: “how many of the 915 European feature films made in 2011 did you see; and how many were you able to see?”

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Most British TV Viewers Use Second Screen

Most British TV viewers have tried using a second screen, according to new research revealed today by Red Bee Media.

86% of owners of smart devices polled said that they had used their phone, tablet or computer as a second screen while watching TV. This includes using the device for a range of activities including emailing, interacting with social media, browsing and shopping on the internet. 52% of respondents said that they had used their second screen to find out more about a specific TV programme. But just 1 in 5 survey respondents reported that they had tried a synchronous companion app.

Those that had tried using a companion app reacted positively to the experience: 78% of this group said that they thought that smart devices offered a better way to engage with their favourite TV shows compared to more traditional methods such as phone-ins or red button services.

More than 2000 UK-based smart device owners were polled in the survey.

Delivery and monetisation in a Multi-Screen World is the subject of a panel discussion at Streaming Media Europe next week, featuring Hewlett-Packard’s Dion Eusepi, Robert Gribnau from Octoshape, Helge Høibraaten of Vimond Media Solutions, Xstream’s Frank Thorup, and Sami Kanninen, Head of WebTV at Finland’s MTV Oy. More details here.

 

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YouTube Launches Original Channels from UK, France and Germany

YouTube is extending its Original Channels lineup with a ‘new generation’ of channels from the UK, France and Germany. The company announced back in October 2011 that it was adding  nearly 100 new original channels from established producers and media companies, with the first tranche of channels all coming from US content producers.

The UK channel lineup includes On Earth, featuring natural history content from BBC Worldwide, Jamie Oliver’s Food Channel (Jamie Oliver Ltd and FreshOne), and Truthloader, a citizen journalism channel from ITN Productions. French channels include celebrity news from Endemol’s It’s Big and extreme sport channel X-Treme Video. German channels include motoring, humour, fitness and entertainment.

YouTube’s top 25 original channels are now averaging over a million views each week, according to a blog post by Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s Global Head of Content.

The ways in which broadcasters and content producers are fostering deeper relationships with their online and broadcast audiences will be a major focus at Streaming Media Europe next week, with speakers including the BBC and Channel 4. 

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Digital TV Now in Over 50% of Homes Worldwide

A new report estimates that the digital TV market worldwide now stands at over 50% of TV households, despite real disparities between countries.

Looking ahead to 2016, the number of TV households worldwide will reach more than 1.5 billion, an increase of more than 9% in 5 years, according to the report from IDATE. The penetration of digital TV households worldwide will be 77% of TV households by 2016.

Cable will remain the main access mode for these households, but will gradually lose ground to satellite and IPTV which the report forecasts will account for 30% and 7% of TV households, respectively, by the end of 2016. Terrestrial TV will continue its decline despite the development of hybrid TV solutions, dropping to the number three access method by 2016 with approximately 26% of the global market.

The global TV industry’s revenue will come to €340.1 billion in 2012, estimates the report. Pay-TV revenue will grow an average of almost 3% annually between 2012 and 2016, and advertising revenue will see strong growth of more than 21% during the same period. The reports also forecasts that public financing and license fees will increase significantly during the period.

 

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Olympics drive record usage of BBC iPlayer

The London Olympics drove record usage of the BBC iPlayer catch-up service, according to the BBC, with 196 million requests during the month of August. Usage on mobile and tablet devices also broke records, contributing almost a fifth of total requests in the month.

The BBC’s data includes all scheduled TV channel output but excludes the 24 web-only sports streams produced for the Olympics.

Jane Weedon, Director of Business Development for BBC Future Media will be giving the opening keynote on Wednesday 17 October at Streaming Media Europe. To attend the keynote for free, register here.

 

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BT Offers New Customers Free YouView Set Top Box worth £299

BT has announced that it will give away YouView set top boxes to new Infinity broadband customers. The Humax boxes are valued at £299. Customers will have to pay a £49 activation charge and delivery. YouView from BT will debut on 26 October.

Broadband customers not in an Infinity enabled area will also be able to get a free YouView box when they subscribe to BT’s TV Essential service for £4 a month, and existing customers can also upgrade to YouView for £49.

The service will provide access to more than 100 digital TV and radio channels, catch-up and on demand TV content from providers including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, and access to BT Vision.

The box will have a 500Gb hard drive, able to store up to 300 hours of SD TV or around 125 hours of HD TV.

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Streaming Media Europe – Chairman’s Highlights Part 1

Streaming Media Europe takes place next month in London. Programme Director Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen tells us what he’s looking forward to at this year’s conference. Here’s the first installment.

I’m thrilled with the way this year’s programme came together. We’ve got two terrific keynotes, and a roster of top-notch panellists and presenters. Also, attendees have been asking for more ‘how-to” sessions, and we’ve delivered. I’m especially excited about these sessions in particular:

Streaming Media as an Essential Component to Broadcasting

As more viewers watch TV with mobile phone or tablet in hand, major broadcasters are finding ways to leverage online video as an important part of their overall engagement strategy. Kate Quilton from the UK’s Channel 4 will show how they’ve used streaming media as a companion to broadcast for major TV events across multiple platforms.

MPEG DASH: Opportunities and Impacts on Adaptive Streaming

As MPEG DASH emerges as an open, interoperable standard for adaptive streaming, it poses as many challenges as it does opportunities. We’ve got a great panel of speakers from Microsoft, Anevia, SyncTV, Interlake Media, and Ericsson ready to discuss and debate the impact MPEG DASH will have on online video’s future.

Streaming Media Europe 2012, 16-17 October (Preconference Workshops: 15 October), Olympia Conference Centre, London UK 

 

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What’s Happening in Scandinavia?

In October, I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the Nordic Media Summit in Copenhagen, organized by Xstream. Xstream’s Frank Thorup and Brynhild Vinskei put on a terrific event, featuring speakers from the region’s leading newspapers and broadcast/cable networks, including Norway’s Telenor, which with Xstream has put together an on-demand service for internet-enabled TVs that is the slickest, easiest to use interface I’ve seen. I talk a bit about that in the interview here*, along with the differences between the U.S. and European markets, as well as what U.S. companies can learn from their European counterparts. Watch this space for interviews with other speakers from the event as they become available.

*I had originally embedded the video here, but for some reason that wasn’t working, so it’s best to view the interview on the Xstream site.

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