I say this every year, but I mean it more each time: This year’s Streaming Media Europe really is set to be the best ever, with great speakers and a brand-new venue. You can see the entire programme online–we’re still filling in a few speaker slots, but almost all of the panels and presentations are now slotted. The highlight sof the event are our keynotes; on Day 1 (18 October), we’ve got Ian Mecklenburgh from Virgin Media talking about “Streaming to the Connected Home,” while on Day 2 we feature YouTube Europe Engineering Director Oliver Heckmann offering a “Peek Inside YouTube”
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The final programme for Streaming Media Europe—and its satellite events, the Content Delivery Summit and Online Video Strategies—will be posted soon, complete with the entire roster of speakers, but I’m pleased to announce the two keynotes for the conference.
Anthony Rose, CTO of Project Canvas—the joint venture among Arqiva, BBC, BT, Channel 4, ITV, and Talk Talk to build an internet-connected TV platform—will keynote day one. Project Canvas provides this description of his talk:
Project Canvas is set to transform the daily viewing experience of UK television audiences and influence IPTV deployments globally when it launches in the early part of 2011. It will unlock a world of content and services, combining live channels with on-demand, bringing web-based services and interactive extras to the living room TV. Anthony Rose explains how Canvas is creating the right environment for Connected TV to thrive in the UK and beyond.
Day two offers Steve Plunkett, Director of Customer Innovation for Red Bee Media, which provides technology and creative solutions to help broadcasters, content rights holders, and brand owners engage with their audiences in traditional and new ways, including web and mobile. Red Bee Media’s client list includes Discovery International, BBC, Virgin Media, Nike, Lonely Planet, Motorola, and Siemens, and they’ve worked with media brands across the globe, including Sky Italia, TV Globo (Brazil), Star News India, and Canal+ (France). Plunkett will be discussing “Video Everywhere and In Everything:”
Check back soon for more details on all of our events—we’ve got speakers from Adobe, Akamai, Amazon, BT, Cisco, Deutsche Telekom, the Football Association, GlaxoSmithKline, Limelight, Microsoft, Thomson Reuters, Zattoo, and many more.
While video consumption and distribution has grown exponentially in the past few years, converting and preparing this content for the digital realm was largely a ‘black art’ until recently, when several enterprise-grade solutions came onto the market. In this session from Streaming Media Europe 2009, panelists from organisations that are utilising those solutions talked about their cost and benefit to enterprises large and small.
- Matt Smith, Senior Director, Systems Architecture and Strategy, Inlet Technologies
- Martin Boronski, CTO, M6 Web
- Jon Alexander, Manager, European Content Product Delivery, Level 3 Communications
- Alex Nunes, Head of Media Services (iPlayer), BBC
- Robert Senica, Manager Content Operations, SONY-DADC
- Andy Wilson, Manager, Red Bee Media
Project Canvas—the proposed joint venture from BBC, ITV, BT and Five to build an open internet TV platform—has launched an official website to promote the initiative and improve on a perceived failure to communicate its goals to the public. The site will aggregate announcements from as well as news about Project Canvas, and will eventually also host technical information for consumer device manufacturers and SDKs for developers.
The “charm offensive,” as Digital TV calls it, may be too little, too late, as current conventional wisdom (and analyst opinion) suggests that, like Kangaroo before it, Project Canvas might be shot down, though this time it may be halted by the BBC Trust, which had initially indicated it would approve the initiative this past autumn, as StreamingMediaGlobal.com’s Adrian Pennington wrote last month.
It’s looking increasingly as if the BBC’s broadband-to-TV Project Canvas might never actually see the light of day. Analysts are speculating that the initiative is dead, and Freeview and Freesat both adding the BBC iPlayer, we wonder if Project Canvas might be moot. For more on this story, see Adrian Pennington’s article on StreamingMediaGlobal.com
Canadian-based Arqiva, which is the UK’s largest broadcast transmission provider, has purchased the technology assets behind Kangaroo, the BBC/ITV/Channel 4 initiative that was derailed by regulators. See this article on StreamingMediaGlobal.com for more information.
Everyone loves Hulu. Everyone who can actually watch it, that is, a demographic that has until now included only people in the U.S. (or savvy geospoofers). According to an article in the Telegraph, the service is set to launch in the UK in September, featuring about 3,000 hours of U.S. content in addition to shows from the BBC, ITV, and Channel 4. That is, if negotiations about who controls the advert sales around the ITV and Channel 4 content get ironed out. Hulu wants to run the show, while the networks are (unsurprisingly) not quite so eager to turn over that control. Chalk it up to cultural differences? And when, oh when, will the rest of the world get all that Hulu goodness? No official word on that yet, but surely the UK plans are a good sign.
The UK Competitions Commission effectively blocked the Kangaroo VOD service from launching with its final report, released today, in which chairman Peter Freeman said the service “would be too much of a threat to competition in this developing market and has to be stopped.” It’s a blow to BBC Worldwide, ITV, and Channel 4, and unsurprisingly, the partners are calling it a “missed opportunity in the development of British broadcasting.” As much as I’m in favor of unfettered competition, I have to say I think the commission blew this one. PaidContent:UK has some great analysis of the decision here.
Jake Ward has written a dynamite retrospective looking at the key developments across Europe in the last year; you can find it on the StreamingMediaGlobal.com site. In addition to talking about how the fortunes of the iPlayer in the U.K. offer a microcosm of the trends and challenges facing catch-up and IPTV across Europe, he also looks at the mobile landscape, particularly the troubles facing DVB-H.
The article also appears in the 2009 Streaming Media Industry Sourcebook, due out in February. For your free copy and a subscription to Streaming Media magazine, click here.
More from Streaming Media Europe Conference Development Director Katherine Allen on the FutureMedia 2008 conference held in London last week:
Social networking features, such as friends’ recommendations, will play a major part in the development of the BBC’s iPlayer, according to Anthony Rose, Controller of the BBC’s Vision and Online Media Group as he kicked off day 2 of the FutureMedia conference in London. “Last year the BBC chose what you watch; this year you decide what you watch; and next year your friends will choose what you watch” commented Rose, speaking just hours after iPlayer started simulcasting all the BBC’s channels and launched iPlayer Labs. As ever, though, iPlayer controversy wasn’t far away, as Telegraph TV’s Guy Ruddle argued forcefully that the publically-funded BBC should open up the iPlayer platform to content from other providers.
Patrick Walker, Google/You Tube’s director of video partnerships revealed that YouTube’s “click-to-buy” feature, which enables quick access to digital downloads or DVD purchase and launched in the US in October, will be rolled out in the UK in the “next few months”. The recently launched Monty Python channel has been one of the first beneficiaries, according to Walker, launching its click to buy link just last week and seeing Python DVD sales reach Amazon’s top 5.
A panel discussion on the impact of the credit crunch on digital media brought delegates back to earth, although there were seeds of hope even here. The consensus was that marketing spend would continue to migrate online. “If you’ve got to choose a media sector to be in, this is the best one, unequivocably” noted Simon Nicholls, MD of Ingenious Corporate Finance.
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