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. Although a deep technologist at heart (ex CTO, CIO, founder of multiple startups, long-time software engineer and architect) I am also a storyteller. Schooled as a professional writer, time spent as a journalist, author of multiple books, 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.
What will you be talking about at Streaming Forum? Why have you chosen this subject?
I will be sitting on a panel talking about the future of the CDN. 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.
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.