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Crack the code: Race to decode the monetisation conundrum gathering momentum

By Shirish Nadkarni

Artificial Intelligence and the Cloud are two elements that have grabbed the broadcast industry by the short hairs, as it were …. and have turned the attention of service providers firmly in the direction on how to decode the monetisation conundrum that is upon us; some broadcasters and media operators are even exploring whether blockchain technology can revolutionise the video streaming landscape.

Traditionally, creators, publishers and broadcast businesses have looked to monetise their videos through various ways, such as advertisements, subscriptions, pay-per-view and donations. Video monetisation today takes many forms, viz. advertising revenue, brand sponsorships, subscriptions and online video courses. The right mix will depend on content, audience and personal brand.

But strong winds of change are blowing away these time-tested concepts of monetisation.

“Broadcasters are undergoing a profound transformation as they embrace digital platforms,” Toshiyuki Naka, Senior Vice-President of Global Sales for Media Links, a company best known for providing its media over IP transport and switching solutions, told APB+.

“They are providing live events and on-demand content. By integrating targeted advertising and leveraging viewer data insights, broadcasters are honing their monetisation strategies, capitalising on the digital shift without compromising their broadcast legacy.”

Naka added that the upsurge in video monetisation options presents an opportunity for organisations to monetise their video libraries and create stable streams of recurring income. From ad-supported content and viewer subscriptions to pay-per-view (PPV) and on-demand services, monetisation is the new standard of profitable media delivery and consumption. 

All these choices can make selecting the right video monetisation platform overwhelming for broadcasters, both newbies and veterans. 

To tackle the monetisation challenge, key industry players are forging strategic partnerships and diversifying revenue streams. Collaborations with content creators, production houses, and even other streaming services are enriching content libraries and expanding the viewer base. Integration of e-commerce functionalities and live events has opened new avenues for generating revenue. These strategic moves are pushing platforms toward long-term financial sustainability and market resilience.

“In addition, blockchain technology is beginning to revolutionise the video streaming landscape,” said Adam Leah, Creative Director of nxtedition, a company that claims to provide a frictionless storytelling experience for journalists and creatives via its easy-to-learn ‘single-window’ scripting and production.

“Blockchain’s potential to foster a fairer, more equitable monetisation ecosystem cannot be underestimated. With its promise of transparency, security and decentralised transactions, blockchain is redefining monetisation practices. Smart contracts and cryptocurrency payments are streamlining royalty distribution and enabling micro-transactions, empowering content creators and viewers alike.”

Paolo Cuttorelli, Senior Vice-President & General Manager for APAC and EMEA regions at Evergent, said this of his company’s modus operandi in the field of monetisation of content: “We handle all elements of subscription, from customer onboarding, to billing management, product and revenue management, as well as retention management.

“Our customers break down into over-the-top (OTT) video streamers, which comprise most of our clientele; we also help pay-TV companies to streamline their operations for things like cable TV services.”

The first of the company’s three areas of operation is the Evergent monetisation platform, which is an end-to-end subscription life cycle and billing management solution, which helps its customers to manage all aspects of the subscriber life cycle from onboarding to self-care and retention management. 

“Moving on to churn management, we have a product called Captivate, which helps to manage both voluntary and involuntary churn,” said Cutorelli. “There is a big problem of customer retention in the industry; and it costs much less to keep customers than having to re-acquire them.”

The third area of operation is the Evergent Royalty & Revenue Management (ERRM) solution, which basically helps providers and their business partners on settlements for the ad fills.

“We have a lot of flexibility and bring to the table a lot of global know-how, so, when OTT providers who are trying to expand their reach across the globe come to us, they enjoy a high level of experimentation, and can tap our customer base which stretches across the world, from the US to India,” said Cutorelli.

Among the companies that specialise in revolutionsing monetisation is MediaKind, which claims to boost fan engagement and monetisation through the public cloud.

“MediaFirst, a media-optimised cloud-based pay-TV platform, is an end-to-end, cloud video platform for the creation, management and delivery of next-generation pay-TV,” said Chris Wilson, the company’s Global Head of Marketing. “It provides a personalised TV experience, engaging the customer in the live, video-on-demand (VoD) and subscription content that is suited to their viewing.

“By virtualising managed and OTT services, MediaFirst TV affords pay-TV providers the economics, agility and innovation of web services. MediaFirst pay-TV provides a converged multi-screen experience, including pay-TV in-home, TV Everywhere and OTT services. It embraces all content sources and delivery networks.”

MediaKind’s live streaming capabilities were put to the test at the recent NAB Show in Las Vegas, using live footage from an on-booth remote-control race car track for all its live demonstrations. The company demonstrated how it resolved the challenge of achieving ultra-low latency streaming at scale across several applications, including in-game sports betting.

Demonstrations included the NAB Show debut of MediaKind Engage, the company’s broadcast-grade solution that is designed to tackle the challenges faced in the direct-to-consumer (D2C) streaming market. It enabled sports broadcasters and content owners to build and support existing revenues with new, scalable D2C offerings that engage fans and open up new monetisation opportunities.

Ashish Patel, President & General Manager of the MKTV division of MediaKind, said, “Engage provides a comprehensive solution for Independent content owners, sports leagues, and broadcasters looking to distribute their video in the most convenient way possible, while also giving them access to powerful APIs and player SDKs so that they can easily deliver high-quality video to any web, mobile, or connected TV applications. 

“It provides workflow automation and management across multiple systems, both on-premises and in the cloud. Simplifying, channel provisioning, live to VoD processes, and content packaging. Engage strives to remove the friction that our customer base faces when scaling its business.”

The Connected TV (CTV) revolution has been fostering seamless integration and interactive engagement.

“CTV devices are redefining the entertainment experience, integrating sponsored content, interactive ads, and targeted promotions,” said Mark Coleman, Strategic Global Account Manager for Pixit Media, which provides purpose-built software-defined storage and data management solutions for the media and entertainment (M&E) industries. 

“With the convergence of streaming services, gaming, and e-commerce on CTV devices, the potential for robust monetisation opportunities is amplified. Collaborative efforts between publishers, broadcasters and CTV manufacturers are fostering a symbiotic relationship, enabling a more comprehensive approach to revenue generation while enhancing user engagement and satisfaction.”

As the digital entertainment industry continues to evolve, adaptation and innovation are the keys to cracking the monetisation code. By embracing emerging technologies, understanding consumer behaviour, fostering strategic collaborations, and prioritising user-centric strategies, players in the digital media landscape can navigate the intricacies of the monetisation challenge and emerge as frontrunners in the dynamic world of digital entertainment. 

In this multifaceted universe, the ability to decode the monetisation conundrum will determine who emerges the victor in this ongoing digital revolution.

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