Which role for telecom operators in video services?

Cisco forecasts that in 2016–2021 video traffic will grow from 73% to 82% of the global IP traffic which will grow from 1.2 ZB to 3.3 ZB. Operators have a big opportunity, but how can they make money out of this traffic?

In this paper we invite operators to face an increasingly competitive video service market by deploying video services that use their assets – subscribers, networks, and related services –, adapting them to contexts, and involving business partners. Of course, making the right technology choices is a must.

Operator as content aggregator

The most obvious action an operator can undertake is depicted in Fig. 1

Fig. 1 – Telecom operator as content aggregator

An operator gets licence of various types of content – live and on demand – packages them in one of more services and streams content to its subscribers (and potentially to anybody interested).

This type of business has several advantages: operator entertains a B2B relationship with Content Providers and an exclusive B2C relationship with its customers, bundles content with other operator’s offers, and can access exclusive content which is a potent fidelisation tool. Therefore operator has the opportunity of making big gains.

The cons are also significant. The first is that content licensing is a high stake business. The more affordable the content to operator the less attractive to customers, the less affordable the more attractive. Finding the right content may not be easy, particularly when the market is crowded with buyers who are often competitors. It takes time to creat a content aggregator culture, the key element upholding the aggregator’s value added. Expected big gains can easily become big losses, particularly because competition comes from a broad range of players: content providers, international and national aggregators, broadcasters and more.

Operator as service provider

Does this mean that an operator who does not have a high appetite for risk is barred from entering the video service business? Not at all. The operator’s assets are still so valuable that it is possible to change the business model above into another depicted by Fig. 2.

Fig. 2 – Telecom operator as service provider (baseline)

Here the operator offers content providers a platform that allows them to just upload content and be immediately in business. To be attractive the platform should provide additional features: access to operator’s subscribers (if operator so wishes), use of operator’s payment systems (if operator so wishes), and other services (if operator so wishes).

There are pros and cons to this business model. The pros: there continues to be a B2B relationship between operator and CPs – although of a different type, operator charges CPs for access to platform services, no big losses expected because the only CAPEX is the operator’s platform and even this can be reduced in case of revenue sharing arrangements. A far from marginal side issue, though, is that operator has time to develop a content aggregator culture for a possible time the previous business model becomes attractive again.

On the negative side there are additional (minor) investments compared to the previous business model, intermediated B2B2C operator-customers relationship and the prospect of less gains compared to a (successful) previous business model.

The business is not just pure content distribution. One should not think that the above business model is restricted to content providers in the traditional sense. Many companies see the need to extend their web presence beyond the usual media and incorporate massive use of video content. Examples are radios (on air and web), webzines, local broadcasters etc. These companies appreciate the stable and guaranteed operation that an operator can provide without the need for significant CAPEX. The possibility to outsource part of OPEX is a welcome plus.

In this context operators can play a role by offering customised enterprise-level video services bundled with access services.

What makes a video platform  an OVSP?

All these features are not offered by any video streaming platform. Indeed, here is a first list of features that are needed:

  1. Multitenancy: concurrent users with different levels of independence
  2. Content creation: users can aggregate content to create new types of content
  3. Custom frontends: users can choose the look and feel of their services
  4. Internal DRM: content should have tags describing which right are available to whom
  5. Chained payments: one payment can pay more than one payee
  6. Content sharing: users can share certain content on social networks

An OVSP enables an operator to deploy not only the services depicted in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 but also other services that involve new information providers.

Television on mobile

Television on mobile is a dream that may become true with 5G, but the question again is: how will operators make money out of it? Through their infrastructure? Maybe, but could not there be more valuable sources of content?

Let’s consider Fig. 3 where we assume that Advertisers (AD) are introduced.

Fig. 3 – Telecom operator as service provider (broadcasting)

An operator could offer CPs the possibility to deploy advertising-supported television services by using the “content creation” feature for scheduled services, and the “multitenancy”, “internal DRM” and “chained payment” features. Operators could charge CPs and ADs to access its services and to enable transactions between them. Operator coul offer more business models to its partners, e.g. new ways to monetise CPM. Operator could trial in advance 5G-enabled TV distribution, while still using 4G technology. All this at the cost of additional (minor) investments compared to the previous business model (again, possibly offset by revenue sharing arrangements).

Interactive video

There are many more possibilities enabled by a platform with the 6 features above. In Fig. 4 another possibility is depicted where merchants (MC) also play a role.

Fig. 4 – Telecom operator as service provider (interactivity)

 

Here the operator can offer CPs the possibility to deploy interactive video services by using another version of the “content creation” feature, again supported by the “multitenancy”, “internal DRM” and “chained payment” features. Operators could charge CPs, ADs and MCs to access its services and to enable transactions between them. Operator can offer more business models to its partners, e.g. new ways to redistribute revenues among merchants, advertisers and content providers. This will cost additional (minor) investments compared to the previous business model (possibly offset by revenue sharing arrangements).

Conclusions

We know that video services are vitally important for the future of operators, but we do not know which services will meet customers’ expectation and which business models will really work.

Video services are enabled by platforms but it is costly to develop one every time a new service is conceived and it is difficult to inherit user experience data from previous, typically related, services.

WimTV, the WimLabs Online Video Service Platform, has been conceived to enable an operator to take up increasingly expanding and rewarding roles as provider of a video service platform and related operator services. It has the flexibility to accompany operators to a journey where video distribution services become more profitable at each step.

+39 335 612 11 59

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WimTV Custom – your Web TV on your website

If you manage an information website, you will certainly apply editorial, artistic and commercial policies. If you have an information presence with a Web TV – and therefore two sources of information – it becomes difficult to apply and make these policies consistently.

If you just insert some video content into your website, your communication will not become multimedia and homogeneous. Even less so, if you keep your website separate from your Web TV, often little more than a video archive.

However, you will achieve the goal if you integrate the two sources of information into one entity. This is the opportunity that WimLabs today offers you with its WimTV video platform in the “Custom” format: you can publish and keep updated your video content on your website directly from the dashboard, without going through the laborious use of iframe codes.

How can you do that?

By using the WimTV APIs and the AngularJS interface, WimLabs can create custom pages that are graphically consistent with your website sections. These pages are real WebTVs, totally integrated into your website and serving the various types of WimTV services: videos, subscriptions, live events, interactive videos.

Therefore you can conveniently manage content from the native WimTV dashboard or your own dashboard (also this provided by WimLabs) and any content, published through the dashboard with a click, will be automatically submitted to your custom pages on your website.

The personalised pages are implemented with a totally responsive layout, optimised for PC and mobile (smartphone e tablet) viewing and can be integrated with the main Social Networks where the users have an active presence. The page layout can also contain other elements such as sliders, images, headers/footers, ad banners, menus, etc.

An example? Renzo Arbore Channel: http://www.renzoarborechannel.tv/.

This is not the end of the story… The personalised pages can be “packaged” inside an app (currently for Android), so that your viewers can access your content more conveniently.

 

WimTV Custom brings your viewers to a single target: your website-TV!

 www.wimlabs.com

Content interactivity and television

To TV program viewers content interactivity means to be able to navigate seamlessly between TV programs and web-based content much as they do on the web.  To broadcasters content interactivity means to give viewers the opportunity to watch broadcaster-related content with a return path to the TV program.

A technology satisfying these needs has been developed by MPEG in a standard called Multimedia Linking Application Format (ISO/IEC 23000-18). It is a data format that describes, in a standard way:

  • The source content(TV program): content ID, start and end time of bridget validity, metadata etc.
  • The bridget(the link): metadata, information on how the bridget is presented to the viewer (during bridget validity) etc.
  • The destination content(where the bridget takes the viewer to): content ID, start and end time of destination content, metadata etc.

WimLabs has developed TVBridge, an end-to-end system for broadcasters to create bridgets and TV viewers access additional content. Watch the video and enjoy!

So many applications of MLAF are possible and here is a first list:

  • Education: while the lecturer or a documentary talks about a topic, a bridget pops up. The student/viewer can tap the bridget and know more about the topic
  • News: something important happens in an unknown place. By tapping the bridget media information about the place becomes available
  • Advertisements: Follow up to product placement, user-centric advertising, user-selectable product ads
  • Miscellanea: Access to multilanguage, Subscription based bridgets, Commentator tracks to a program, Program analytics

 

Interactive television is here to stay

It may look odd, in 2017, to give a paper a title that starts with the two words “interactive television”, one of the oldest pairs of words in broadcasting and multimedia.

The reason is that, in spite of their long acquaintance, interactivity and television remains two words that, put together, make an oxymoron, unless one thinks that have broadcast and broadband on the same device makes television interactive.

So why the title? Because interactive television is no longer an oxymoron. There is an existence proof that interactive television exists.

Let’s roll the time axis back to November 2013 when the European Commission funded the BRIDging the Gap for Enhanced broadcasT (BRIDGET) project which had the goal to open new dimensions for multimedia content creation and consumption by enhancing broadcast programmes with brid­gets: links from a TV programme to external interactive media elements such as web pages, images, audio clips, video and synthetic 3D models.

Some members of the BRIDGET project proposed to MPEG the development of a standard that eventually became ISO/IEC 23000-18 – Multimedia Linking Application Format (MLAF).

What is MLAF about? It is a data format that describes, in a standard way,

  • The source content (TV program): content ID, start and end time of bridget validity, metadata (typically connected to production) etc.
  • The bridget (the link, well, that is also the name of the project, but with capital letters): metadata, information on how the bridget is presented to the viewer (during bridget validity) etc.
  • The destination content (where the bridget takes the viewer to): content ID, start and end time of destination content, metadata etc.

Interactivity is at the level of content, not at the level of infrastructure. Of course if there is no infrastructure there will be no interactivity, but infrastructure alone does not provide interactivity.

A basics workflow of a TV program enriched with bridgets is

  • A human editor has created a bridget relative to a time interval of a TV program
  • That bridget becomes available at that time to a TV viewer
  • If the TV viewer so decides the viewer can access the additional information that the editor had decided to make available.

Therefore we need two main elements

  1. An authoring tool to create bridgets
  2. A bridget “player”.

Interactive television is here because the elements required to implement the bridget scenario exist and can be deployed in the real world. They are called TVBridge and are shown in the figure below

To view or restart animation press crtl-R/cmd-R

In the figure one sees that

  1. At the studio side
    1. The TV program is uploaded to the broadcast server and to the Bridget Authoring Tool
    2. The Authoring Tool computes the audio fingerprints of the program and uploads them to the Audio Fingerprint Server
    3. A human editor creates the bridgets and deploys them to a web server
  2. At the viewer side
    1. A Bridget App listens to the audio coming from the TV set, computes the instantaneous fringerprints and sends them to the Audio Fingerprint Server
    2. The Audio Fingerprint Server identifies the program and the time, and sends the data to the Bridget App
    3. The Bridget App requests the list of bridgets of the program to the Bridget and Media Server and presents bridget icons at the appropriate time
    4. If viewer taps the icon the destination media are presented
    5. If viewer likes it, the bridget can be posted to a social network.

TVBridge utilises a specific technology (audio fingerprinting) to get an external device (second screen) in sync with what is going on on the TV set. Depending on context other technologies can be also be employed to do that job.

How does TVBridge look like? Let’s have a look at the following screenshot of the webapp.

At the centre the TV program to be bridgeted can be seen. On the right at the top there is a video navigation bar based on the shots identified. Below that there are tabs to preview the bridgets, to generate a zip file with all the bridgets and to deploy the bridgets on the web server. At the bottom all the bridgets that have already been created are displayed (in the figure only the first can be seen).

How are bridgets created? This is shown in the following figure.

The first line contains the bridget title, followed by tags, description and layout. This is used to indicated what layout is used to display the bridget information on the mobile app.

Finally here is an example of the end user experience of a bridget of the Visit London program.

All this looks very nice, but you may ask “How can I take benefit from a system like TVBridge?” The answer is easy because there are so many applications possible and here is a first list.

  • Education: while the lecturer or a documentary talks of something, a bridget pop ups. The student/viewer can tap the bridget and know more about the topic
  • News: something important happens in a place that is not well know. By tapping the bridget media information about the place becomes available
  • Advertisements: Follow up to product placement, user-centric advertising, user-selectable product ads
  • Access to multilanguage
  • Subscription based bridgets
  • Commentator tracks to a program
  • Program analytics
  • And many more

Interactive television not only is here, but is here to stay. Some broadcasters are busy adapting TVBridge to TV programs. Yes, because technology is impotant because it enables interactive television, but television, even with bridgets, is in the hands of creatives.

If you do not want to miss the train please contact

+39 335 612 11 59

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Supporting mobile video business

 Abstract

This paper examines a range of video services mobile operators can provide in a sustainable fashion and how.

1. Introduction

Some time ago mobile operators could not keep up with the demand of billions of people eager to communicate from anywhere to anyone anytime in speech and text. Now in many countries there are more SIMs than humans and internet channels many communication forms: free services such as Facebook, Whatsapp, YouTube and subscription services such as Spotify and Netflix. No surprise that consumers judge mobile operators on the size and cost of the data plans they offer.

Fortunately there is still room for mobile operators to prove their worth. With new technology – 4G or the coming 5G – mobile operators can offer higher bitrate in their cells, a boon for video services. So there is hope that the future of mobile operators is not just to sell more GBytes per month at less.

This paper finds that an Online Video Service Platform (OVSP) allows mobile operators to achieve this goal. With an OVSP a mobile operator can create video services and mobile video formats, and enliven communities. Most importantly an OVSP allows a mobile operator to draw the most out of its main asset: its subscribers.

Figure 1 shows how an OVSP lets a mobile operator can offer mutually beneficial business opportunities to external parties by allowing access to its subscribers through services created and offered by the OVSP.

Figure 1 – OVSP as a tool for doing business with partners

This is clearly not a new figure. What is new is that it is applied to video services and that a way to exploit it is given along the lines described in the next chapters.

2. Video distribution options

The figure below depicts a mobile operator’s OVSP and the type of users that can potentially be served – some business partners and some subscribers:

  1. Mobile operator and its subscribers
  2. Content providers/distributors and subscribers
  3. Enterprises
  4. Communities

1. Operator distributes content

The OVSP should obviously support the case in which a mobile operator offers video content as IPTV or OTT.

2. Operator hosts content providers

In this case a mobile operator offers content providers access to its subscribers, mobile payment systems, localisation services etc. Therefore it can offer content providers video distribution enhancing services running on its IT infrastructure and integrated with its assets .

A mobile operator can also offer services to companies who want to enhance their web presence with a web TV showing corporate content and live events, or in support to marketing campaigns, contests etc. A mobile operator hosts the companies’ web TVs on its IT infrastructure and sells the services supporting the companies’ web TVs bundled with internet access.

3. Operator provides mobile video formats

Through their programs, broadcasters can establish a good – albeit rather anonymous – connection with their viewers. Broadcasters try hard to get their viewers involved in their programs – reality shows, investigations, quizzes and more – but they have a hard task because the broadcasting channel is eminently one way. Occasionally broadcasters create back channels for specific programs but many of their viewers is lost in the process.

The relationship of mobile operators with their subscribers can be much more direct than broadcasters’ with their viewers because consumers have an intimate relationship with their devices connected to the mobile operator’s network, which often becomes an extensions of their selves. A mobile operator is thus in the ideal position to talk one-to-one to its subscribers and can do better than broadcasters.

I am not suggesting that mobile operators should start streaming interactive versions of Master Chef or beauty and quizz contests on their networks any time soon. I suggest instead to get inspiration from the notion of “format” of the broadcasting world and apply it to the mobile context. Let’s call the result “mobile video format”.

A “mobile video format” should be designed by the mobile operator or commissioned to a creative assisted by its experts, and involve different players that seek to reach a goal that requires intensive and qualified use of its infrastructure assets.

Here are some example use cases. These are not particularly recommended, but used to describe how business partners may have controlled access to the mobile operator’s subscribers in the context of a well defined mobile video format.

Use case #1: Mobile operator hosts service providers who create TV-like (scheduled) programs with commercials that are accessible by mobile subscribers, e.g. without consuming their data plans.

Who gains

  • Mobile subscribers: access to high quality programs
  • Service providers: gain from mobile subscribers’ CPM
  • Mobile operator: get revenues from service providers (different business models), retains mobile subscriber.

The figure below shows how an OVSP can support this use case.

Publishers creating TV-like programs use content is stored in the OVSP, live events streamed through the OVSP and ads from advertisers also stored in the OVSP. The OVSP provides the tools to create such TV-like programs and the platform checks that content is used as licensed. Subscribers watch TV-like programs and the OVSP monitors all events and provides Costs Per Mil (CPM) information so that publishers can be accurately paid by and Analytics information provided to Advertisers. Mobile operator’s gains depend on the business models applied.

Use case #2: Mobile operator hosts content providers who offer for free interactive videos containing product placements with links to related content (e.g. video containing a location linked to a video of a travel package) that a mobile subscriber may buy following the link.

Who gains:

  • Mobile subscribers: get access to high quality programs with bargain opportunities
  • Content providers: gain from mobile subscribers’ purchases (different business models)
  • Mobile operator: get revenues from content providers (different business models), mobile subscriber retention.

The figure below shows how an OVSP can support this use case.

In this use case different content functionalities (e.g. creation of link to travel package, in the example used) are activated. The additional difference is that effecting a purchase may trigger another sharing of revenues.

Use case #3: Mobile operator hosts audio content provider who allows mobile subscribers to create and posts to their web pages playlists that other mobile subscribers can play.

Who gains

  • Mobile subscriber: (active) get famous, share in revenues
  • Mobile subscriber: (passive): access to community of playlist creators
  • Content provider: get access to new customers
  • Mobile operator: gain from payments (different business models).

The figure below shows how an OVSP can support this use case.

The platform provides the tools to create playlists. Analytics is used to drive payments to the different actors depending on their business relationships. The figure includes a possible participation of an advertiser posting ads to active subscribers’ web pages.

4. Operator hosts communities

Media and video in particular are very effective means to create communities. By communities I do not intend like YouTube, but environments where subscribers can post videos, stream live events, chat, create interactive content, stream TV-like programs, trade content and more, possibly as an extension of the notion of “mobile formats” introduced before.

3. Option analysis

Option 1 “Operator distributes content” looks like the easiest way to get into the video distribution business. Content publishing, however, is a special business characterised by its high stakes, talents trained in the business and its own special rules.

The business is learning/has already learned how to handle the technologies that enable content distribution:

  • Content providers like Disney are planning to stream their content over the top (OTT) dropping intermediaries.
  • Broadcasters are deploying video distribution services with their own content.
  • Global distributors such as Netflix and Amazon Prime even produce part of the content they distribute and have ambitious plans to reach every corner of the planet with their services.

Option 2 “Operator hosts content providers” is a typical B2B case. Operators and content provider or distributors each do do what they know best.

One caveat is that the ICT infrastructure needed to support the two options are different because the requirements are different. In some cases content providers or distributors want to operate in a silo, in some others there is a degree of osmosis between content providers/distributors, in other cases mobile operators may wish to retain some content distribution role possibly in synergy with some of those operating on their platform.

Therefore a video distribution platform designed for Option 1 cannot be easily be extended to support Option 2.

Option 3 “Operator provides mobile video formats” looks exciting but there are important elements to be considered. Like in broadcast formats, there is no guarantee that what looks like a smart mobile format today will be a success tomorrow, the cost of implementing a mobile format from scratch every time is high, and new mobile formats must be connected with the “user experience” data coming from previously deployed mobile video formats.

Option 4 “Operator hosts communities” offers food for thought. Of course a completely “open” service will be very attractive to subscribers who will come in droves but it entails “moderation” costs. It would make sense to start from “reliable” communities and extend the scope of the community/ies gradually.

4. Requirements and solution

With many video distribution options it is obviously difficult to make a decision as to which to choose now. One could start with option 1 but it entails significant investments in content. Option 2 is less adventurous but also less rich in expectations. Options 3 and 4 promise a lot but the results are not here and now.

The best solution would be a video distribution platform that is flexible enough to follow a mobile operator who moves along the different options considered above. A platform with the following main features would do the job:

  • Multitenancy – to enable different users to access functionalities of the backend with different rights
  • Platform-wide DRM – to enable content rights management to different users of the platform
  • Multi-user payments – to enable payments involving more than one payee
  • API – to enable creation of new services and their front-ends
  • Micro-services – to enable addition of new and upgrade of existing back-end functionalities.

A platform with these features exists and is called WimTV. It is a white label solution that natively runs on the cloud, but can also be installed in and interfaced with a mobile operator’s IT/cloud infrastructure.

In the following chapter we demonstrate that WimTV can support all the 4 options considered above because there is an actually deployed service that implements the most challenging Option 4 “Operator hosts communities”.

5. Community services with WimTV

At www.wim.tv WimLabs has deployed a WimTV instance that implements Option 4 as depicted in the figure below. This  hosts a community of some 8,000 professional registered users doing business on the platform and distributing content to a large number of possibly unregistered consumers.

To restart animation press crtl-R/cmd-R

Let’s walk through the figure taking into account that the numbers in the bulleted list correspond to the numbers in the figure:

  1. To make good use of his videos John uses the WimBox service to upload his videos to WimTV
  2. John publishes his videos with the WimVod service setting the licence used in the service
  3. Sara watches John’s videos according to the licence set by John (creative commons or copyright free or copyright pay). In the last case Sara uses the platform payment system
  4. John selects some of his videos in WimBox and offers them as subscriptions with the WimBundle service
  5. Sara selects a subscription, pays the amount set by John and watches the videos in the subscription for the duration set by John
  6. John wants to presents his company on the web. He knows the power of video on the web – immediacy – but also its weakness – viewers get tired soon. So he uses WimBridge to create a navigable video
  7. Sara enjoys navigating the video. She concentrates on the parts that are more interesting to her and shares the relevant portions on her social network
  8. John uses the WimLive service to create and publish live events by setting start time, duration and, possibly, price. When the event is over John finds the video in his WimBox for possible reuse
  9. Sara sees the event published on the WimTV live event page. She watches the event on her mobile phone, possibly after paying for the event on the platform payment system
  10. John likes WimTV’s TV-like programs running on his web site because they provide opportunities for serendipitous encounters. He uses the WimCast service to stream scheduled services made up of videos and live events
  11. Sara watches John’s program on her tablet. She feels as if she were watching television
  12. John has some videos that he wishes to monetise. So he uses the WimTrade service to sell his videos to others. He posts his videos on WimTrade with a licence specifying duration, location (on WimTV or downloadable) and remuneration (lump sum, fixed amount for each view, percentage on each view).
  13. When Jim needs a video he goes to WimTrade, pays using the platform payment system and uses the video as per licence. WimTV takes care that John is remunerated for all uses of his licensed video as stipulated in the licence.

6. Conclusions

This paper has identified 4 possible option the allow mobile operators to enhance their role with video services. To keep its options open, a mobile operator should use a solution that can flexibly handle all options so that it can plan and execute more advanced business models as the need appears.

One such solution exists and is called WimTV, a white label solution that natively runs on the cloud, but can also be installed in and interfaced with a mobile operator’s IT/cloud infrastructure.

The most challenging Option 4 has been implemented in the WimTV instance at www.wim.tv to demonstrate the potential and to test the platform while it evolves. This, however, should not be taken to imply that this is the only effective use of the platform.

If interested please contact

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WimTV – an OTT video platform for mobile telcos

(You can also view a Powerpoint presentation)

Being able to stream audio and video in a variety of models – VoD, Live, Scheduled, Subscription, Pay or Free – is a must for video service providers. Some mobile telcos are in the same league, but for many others the main purpose of an OTT video platform is to engage – and keep engaged – customers by providing ever new custoner experiences.

Some examples:

  1. Create and publish playlists of content drawn from own repository and some platform content
  2. Create navigable aggregations of content drawn from own repository and some platform content
  3. Create interactive content posting products that end users can buy
  4. Post a clip of a navigable video it to a social network that other users can edit and post
  5. Collect geo-referenced videos around places
  6. Create video contests that users can vote on
  7. Trade (sell or buy) content
  8. Publish VoD and SVoD content with a variety of business models
  9. Publish and stream live events with associated chat rooms
  10. Create, publish and stream TV-like scheduled content made of on demand and live content

Many OTT video platforms are simply not designed for this type of use, but  a Mobile OTT Video Platform should support a set of requirements that include:

  1. Multitenancy – different platform users operate on the platform, with different rights, to upload, edit, publish, trade and stream content
  2. Internal DRM – different platform users can “do business” with other plaform users
  3. Service offering – different platform users can “offer services” to other platform users or end users
  4. Flexible payment – different platform users can make transactions between them and with end users accessing their services
  5. Content editing – different platform users may edit and aggregate content to create new forms of content
  6. Content sharing – different platform users and end users can share certain content on social network
  7. Frontend change – different platform users can change the look and feel of existing services
  8. New service creation – different platform users can develop new services

WimTV is the Mobile OTT Video Platform that support the above requirements and offers the following basic features:

Backend

  1. Robust open source infrastructure
  2. Micro-service architecture for increased scalability
  3. Rich set of API
  4. On cloud/on premises operation
  5. Modern streaming technologies

Frontend

  1. Completely separated by API from the backend
  2. Customisable video player
  3. Fully responsive
  4. Fully customisable without changing the backend

Use case #1

  • Mobile operator Weiguo wants to leverage on his subscribers to create a video-centred community with WimTV
  • Weiguo designs his role as platform manager, develops special applications, provides services etc.
  • Weiguo subscribers upload, edit, post, share and trade content
  • Weiguo attracts and retains subscribers and gains from transactions effected in the community

Use case #2

  • Mobile operator Bill offers his WimTV platform to Hassan, a new type of content creator
  • Hassan uses WimTV to extend the appeal of an entertainment video that contains some product placements by adding links (called bridgets) that signal the viewer that more information is available on what is shown in the video
  • Amira watches Hassan‘s video and clicks on a bridget related to a scenic place: while the video is in pause mode, she buys a holiday package using the operator’s payment system and shares the bridget on social networks for others to enjoy
  • Bill gains from CPM and transactions

Use case #3

  • Mobile operator Ganesh offers his WimTV platform to service provider José
  • José creates TV-like scheduled programs made up of stored videos and scheduled live events interspersed with commercials
  • Ganesh subscriber Ann watches José‘s programs at scheduled times without consuming her data plan.
  • José uses part of his revenues (commercials) to pay for content and use of Ganesh network.

Use case #4

  • Mobile operator Ali offers his WimTV platform to audio content provider Hideo
  • Keiko creates one of her great playlists and posts it to her page on Ali‘s WimTV platform
  • Ali subscriber Rosy, with an account on Ali‘s WimTV platform, plays Keiko‘s playlist
  • Hideo and Ali, and Hideo and Ali share revenues according to their respective business agreements

Use case #5

  • Mobile operator Yuichi offers his customers the means to create video contests
  • Manufacturer of a consumer brand Jane offers 5,000 $ in Yuichi services for best video on her product
  • Yuichi subscribers post their videos to WimTV market WimTrade
  • A committee assesses the best video

WimTV is real

WimLabs has deployed a WimTV  instance at www.wim.tv implementing the business model depicted in the figure and hosting a community of some 8,000 professional users doing business on the platform.

Let’s walk through this figure taking into account that the numbers in the bulleted list correspond to the numbers in the figure:

  1. To make good use of his videos John uses the WimBox service to upload his videos to WimTV
  2. John publishes his videos with the WimVod service setting the licence used in the service
  3. Sara watches John’s videos according to the licence set by John (creative commons or copyright free or copyright pay). In the last case Sara uses the platform payment system
  4. John selects some of his videos in WimBox and offers them as subscriptions with the WimBundle service
  5. Sara selects a subscription, pays the amount set by John and watches the videos in the subscription for the duration set by John
  6. John wants to presents his company. He knows the power of video on the web, but also its weakness. So he uses WimBridge to create a navigable video
  7. Sara enjoys navigating the video. She concentrates on the parts that are more interesting to her and shares on her social networks the portions
  8. John uses the WimLive service to create and publish live events setting start time, duration and, possibly, price. At the end of the event John finds the video in his WimBox for possible reuse
  9. Sara sees the event published on the WimTV live event page. She watches the event on her mobile phone, possibly after paying for the event on the platform payment system
  10. John likes WimTV’s TV-like programs running on his web site because they provide serendipitous encounters. He uses the WimCast service to stream scheduled services made up of videos and live events
  11. John has some videos that he wishes to monetise. So he uses the WimTrade service to sell his videos to others. He posts his videos on WimTrade with a licence specifying duration, location (on WimTV or downloadable) and remuneration (lump sum, fixed amount for each view, percentage on each view)
  12. When Jim needs a video he goes to WimTrade, pays using the platform payment system and uses the video as per licence.

The purpose of the WimTV instance at www.wim.tv is to demonstrate the potential of the platform and to test the platform while it evolves. It is not meant to suggest that this is the only effective use of the platform.

WimTV has been designed to provide different access levels to the platform

  1. The simplest is to use wim.tv, and copy/paste videos, subscriptions, events, scheduled programs and interactive videos on a web site
  2. A more advanced solution is to design web pages with the look and feel that matches your target web site’s so that, by updating your content on your WimTV account, your web pages are automatically updated
  3. If you have a CMS-based website you can develop appropriate pages and manage your media content directly from the CMS dashboard
  4. Lastly you can run your own WimTV instance – on premises or on the cloud

Contact us at

+39 335 612 11 59

info@wimlabs.com

www.wimlabs.com

WimTV – A tool for video-enhanced web presence

The evolution of enterprise communication, an essential component of business, demands users to move up a gear: video-enhanced communication. A well conceived, designed, shot and edited video is likely to have a greater impact because it can establish a more emotional communication channel with the target.

Digital video streamed to large number of users on the internet requires the command of serious technologies that should be better left to professionals. More than helping, the number of web-based video platforms sprouted in the last few years are confusing users.

But what does it mean to make video-enhanced communication? Here is a list of requirements.

  1. For sure you want to post videos on your web site
  2. You hate to have your video mingled with somebody else’s ads (unless that is exactly what you have in mind)
  3. You want to be create subscriptions of on demand videos (e.g. a series of lectures)
  4. You want to have a channel and populate it with live events with associated chat rooms
  5. In some cases you want to be able to monetise your content
  6. You hate to forfeit monetisation if you do not achieve a minimum level of views
  7. You want to create a TV on the web that looks like TV on the air with programs made up of videos and live events
  8. You want to create new, personalised and interactive forms of video
  9. You want to post interactive content on social networks
  10. You need some types of content, but where can you get it legally?
  11. Of course you want to know analytic data of the use of your content
  12. You want a more advanced way of managing video content on your web site than by copying and pasting iframes
  13. Your web site uses a CMS and you want to manage all types of content from your dashboard
  14. You want to have your own privately managed video platform with the features above

Your needs are likely to be reflected only in a subset of the above requirements. However, an effective video communication should not have limits. You do not want to discover that you have to move to a new video platform, with all the connected legacy problems, because your platform does not let you express yourself the way you want.

WimTV does all the above and more. You can

  1. Copy and paste videos, subscriptions, events, scheduled programs and interactive videos on your web site, or
  2. Design web pages with the look and feel that matches your web site’s so that by updating your content on your WimTV account, your web pages get automatically updated, or
  3. Manage your media content directly from your CMS-based website, or
  4. Run your own WimTV instance – on premises or on the cloud

 

Contact us at

+39 335 612 11 59

info@wimlabs.com

wimlabs.com

Video on the web – taking care of the user

On the web you do not feel the lack of video services. Unfortunately, each of these has a problem: it has been built around the business model of the company that proposes it.

What if there was a video service where users decide to configure the service around their business models?

This is what WimLabs, an innovative Turin startup has done. Their WimTV platform is targeted to professional users (hereinafter simply users) so that they can create and package different types of video information and distribute it to end users according to the business model that suits them most.

 

Thus “Asset Management” is one of the main objectives of the platform. To post videos on their websites, users associate a license describing the conditions under which video are made available to other users or to end users. Supported licences include Creative Commons and Copyright, the latter specifying certain parameters such as duration, price (which can be possibly zero), and so on.

 

In many cases, selling a video at a time can be difficult. Therefore, WimTV provides users with the ability to group a set of videos into a “subscription” – identified by a name and with parameters such as price and duration – and to put them on sale.

 

Video content does not have to be static. Real-time video capture is becoming increasingly important and widespread. Therefore, WimTV offers users the ability to create “channels” each containing “events”. An event is defined as a live video captured at a given date and time for a given period of time. The user can also ask WimTV to convert the event to a file that is automatically stored in the user’s repository. The video file so created will be handled as if the user had uploaded it as a video.

 

Another important form of distribution offered by WimTV is the TV program schedule, i.e. streamed sequence of video files and live events whose transmission starts at the specified time and last for the duration set by the user.

Another WimTV feature is the support to B2B in addition to B2C needs. A video can be put on sale in the user’s store, again with one of the two types of license (Creative Commons and Copyright). This time, however, the conditions are more elaborate because we must be able to express how the seller will benefit from the buyer’s sale of a video licensed. For example, a vendor may license a video for a lump sum or apply a percentage or a fixed amount on each future transaction made by the buyer with the content acquired. The seller may also decide that the license is only granted for distribution on WimTV or that the buyer can download the acquired video and use it anywhere.

Finally WimTV also provides an innovative way to create and stream interactive and navigable videos. We need this feature because, video is a more powerful communication medium than audio because it has a spatial dimension and more powerful than images because it is a time dimension, user’s attention is precious currency on the Web. In fact, after 2 minutes 20% and after 5 minutes, 70% of the viewers abandon the video.

How to combine the complexity of the message with the limited availability of the user to follow the logic thread of the message until the end? How to solve the dilemma between a detailed discussion – with the risk of losing the user’s attention – and a simple message – with the risk of making it incomplete?

WimLabs’s solution adds a new dimension to the video that we call “more details on request” resulting in a form of “navigable” video called video bridget. Users can now decide if they want to “know more” about a given topic of the video by following a “bridget”, i.e. a multimedia connection between the main video and a “destination video” (or other multimedia content).

The figure represents a video bridget: in the upper line there is a “regular” linear video to which “bridges” have been added. If the user clicks on the Video1 bridget, the main video stops and Video1 starts. When Video 1 is over or is interrupted by the user, the main video resumes. The same happens for the bridget that leads to Video2. The user will watch the video and at some point, the Image1 bridget is displayed. If the user clicks on the bridget, Video2 stops and Image1 is displayed. If the user clicks the Back button (first left button), Image1 disappears and Video2 resumes from where it was interrupted. If the user clicks the Back button again, the main video resumes from where it was interrupted.

An innovative aspect of this “extended” form of video is the ability to post a video bridget on a social service, such as Facebook. Here you have got a new viral video tool.

The full list of WimTV services available to date is

 

Service Features
WimBox Video hosting
WimVod Video on demand streaming with possible monetisation
WimBundle Create video subscriptions (with monetisation)
WimLive Live streaming with event chat and possible monetisation
WimCast TV-style video programming featuring live video and live shows
WimBridge Creating video bridgets (interactive and navigable videos)
WimTrade Video trading

The WimTV Engine houses all the logic behind all WimTV services. The frontend accesses the functionalities of the Engine through controllers and the WimTV APIs.

This architecture allows user to either use the native WimTV pages at www.wim.tv, or to customise their pages by developing front-ends with specific interfaces or even to create their own site. This last possibility is based on WimTV White Label.

To find out more: www.wimlabs.com.

Di Leonardo Chiariglione fondatore e Presidente del gruppo MPEG.

 

 

Now you can chat during WimTV live streamings

WimLive Chat has no limit of time, and number of characters and messages – and is optional! WimTV releases the chat functionality attached to live streaming.

WimLabs keeps on working to create services that improve seamless distribution and content of communication. With its live service enriched by the chat, WimTV increases the involvment of the audience which is part of the WimTV community.

Assume you create a live event on WimLive. You can enable the chat on the WimLive page, because hat is not active by default, but requires activation by the live stream organiser. You can chat and communicate with event participants from your private WimLive page or from the public event page. Event participant can have a dialogue with you and among themselves. However, to do so they must be logged-in to WimTV to ensure a secure participation.

Currently WimLive viewers who use the chat are free to write without having to meet limits of number of characters or messages. This establishes a real communication between the event and the audience, and among active viewers.

Unlike other services WimTV live events do not have time limits. Therefore the chat room can be programmed to start before, and continue during and after the event. This way you can create a kind of “waiting room” before the event. By going to the public page you and event participants will see the chat window on the right of the video player.

In this way, by activating a direct streaming with Wim TV you will create an active community before, during and after the event.

For information and contacts:

mail: info@wimlabs.com

www.wim.tv

Live streaming in WimTV

WimTV offers a complete live streaming solution  that can be used in everyday life but also in the most demanding professional applications.
The figure below represents a general set up

At the transmitting side a user has the following options available

# Sensing device Connection Software Protocol
1 Internal camera Internal WimLabs live producer RTMP
2 External camera USB WimLabs live producer/FLME RTMP
3 External IP camera WiFi WMLE RTMP
4 Mobile device Third party app HLS

NB:
FLME=Flash Live Media Encoder
WLME=WimLabs Live Media Encoder
RTMP=Real-Time Messaging Protocol
HLS=HTTP Live Streaming

The encoded stream created by the software (3rd column of the table) reaches the WimTV Streaming Server using either RTMP (cases 1-2-3) or HLS (case 4).
The receiving devices can be mobile devices (smart phones and tablets), PC/laptops or smart TVs. The transport protocols are selected by the WimTV streaming server and can be HLS for mobile devices and smart TVs, and RTMP for PCs/laptops.

Streaming to a smart TV requires that a browser be available in the smart TV set.