If there is one message TV broadcasters need to take away from IBC 2016, it’s that it is past time they get serious about OTT, TV Everywhere and other distribution paths.
While things like ATSC 3.0 — a next-gen TV standard that offers IP delivery over the air — nears completion, and the TV Everywhere plays for local broadcasters and networks are getting clearer all the time, that doesn’t mean it’s safe simply to check off the next-gen distribution tick box on the list of things to do and move on to the next project.
For those who understand the urgency of responding to the changing media consumption habits of the public, there will come a point when they either must develop their own or white label consumer-facing apps to give the public access to their content in new and interesting ways on the panoply of digital platforms.
You.I, a company that offers the tools to build interfaces for OTT and other digital offerings, popped onto my radar screen yesterday at IBC 2016 in Amsterdam.
During a sitdown meeting with the company’s new VP of marketing Trisha Cooke, I learned that by focusing on interface development for these offerings, the company is reducing the overall development costs of its customers by making it possible to reuse large portions — up to 70% — of the work they’ve already done when creating an initial app.
According to Cooke, the company is employing an approach that’s standard practice in the gaming world where development is artist-driven, there’s a single code base across all platforms and GPU processing is leveraged to the greatest extent possible.
“If that is how the video game industry works, why not do that in the app space?” she asked, rhetorically.
You.I uses Adobe AfterEffects for design and rendering of interfaces. Once the design is complete and rendered, developers convert the production code into a single code base that works across platforms, thus allowing the reuse of code and reducing development costs.
You.I already has some large broadcast customers using its product to develop their OTT offerings, although Cooke was not prepared to identify them at this time.
Is this the winning approach that will help broadcasters tackle a new business requirement to remain relevant? Only time will tell.
But at least You.I has hit upon a strategy that should make it less painful for them from a financial perspective to take on the future where traditional linear TV offerings must be complemented and supplemented by digital, OTT and TV Everywhere offerings.