New features and functionality include real-time multi-camera viewing and watch together social experiences, as well as OTT Smart Auction integration
Verizon Media has announced a series of new Media Platform enhancements designed to evolve the live streaming experience. These include several new capabilities that provide deeper fan engagement for live sports and services that address every streaming need. Additionally, the company has launched Smartplay Prebid’s first integration with the Verizon Media Ad Platforms’ OTT Smart Auction.
Real-time capabilities reinvent live programming and bring audiences together
Verizon Media has partnered with Phenix Real Time Solutions, marrying Verizon Media’s global network, edge computing, and ad insertion expertise with Phenix’s real-time streaming technology to enable sub-second latency for live sports at scale. This capability has been critical in developing new services required by broadcasters, rights owners, sports teams and leagues to deliver live sports in the stadium and to people’s homes.
First, multi-camera viewing makes remote sporting events more like in-venue experiences with the ability to see plays from any angle, immersing fans into the action. Real-time streaming also provides viewers with brand new ‘watch together’ social experiences, such as co-viewing synchronized live streams, in-game trivia, and even wagering, allowing fans to host virtual watch parties with family and friends. Yahoo Sports is an early example of a Verizon Media customer using these real-time streaming features.
“The global pandemic has limited in-person attendance for most major events, yet sports fans remain hungry for live sports,” said Ariff Sidi, General Manager and Chief Product Officer, Verizon Media. “Sports broadcasters and teams are really working hard to engage their die-hard fans and maintain engagement and loyalty in the face of competing at-home entertainment options.”
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Scheduling and Syndication extend content reach
Verizon Media has also announced the general availability of channel scheduling and syndication publishing, enabling media organizations to schedule and curate channels, which can then be syndicated directly to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Twitch. With syndication, content owners have access to even more significant audience reach through a single simplified workflow.
Sidi said, “The OTT landscape is increasingly complex, with viewer attention split in an increasing number of ways. Verizon Media helps its customers gain access to an ever-expanding number of audience destinations to maximize the value of their content and generate additional monetization opportunities with those platforms.”
Managed Slicer as a Service pushes feeds live faster and reduces cost for content providers
The Managed Slicer as a Service reduces the operational burden associated with managing over-the-top linear channel contribution, acquisition, and ingestion for broadcasters and content owners. Managed Slicers can accept IP or SDI video feeds and can be provisioned in a colocation data center, a Verizon point of presence, or in the cloud. Once established, the linear channel feeds are fully monitored and maintained by Verizon Media, reducing the support burden for customers.
Sidi added, “Every customer has a unique video workflow, and the slicer provides more options for how they can interface with and get their video signal into the Verizon Media Platform. Content creators want to focus on content creation, so are increasingly shifting workflows to the cloud and operational responsibility to video platform suppliers.”
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Smartplay Prebid and OTT Smart Auction bring new sources of programmatic demand to VOD and live-streaming publishers
Smartplay Prebid is an innovative ad insertion technology for long-form video with TV-style ad breaks. It enables demand partners to bid on ad space simultaneously and have those bids evaluated alongside other ad buys, leveraging the open-source prebid server technology. The Ad Platforms division within Verizon Media recently launched OTT Smart Auction, a header bidding-like solution for premium OTT publishers that delivers programmatic video advertising from a vast array of demand sources. OTT Smart Auction is the first solution in the industry to integrate with Smartplay Prebid, and together they work to drive higher ad revenue for premium content publishers.
“Smartplay Prebid and OTT Smart Auction give broadcasters more flexibility to choose programmatic demand sources to increase fill rates and optimize yield,” added Sidi. “Additionally, the data that Smartplay generates provides content owners with greater visibility into ad workflows and performance, which allows them to work with demand partners to optimize and improve monetization strategies.”
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