Traditionally, NAB Show gathered the key players in the broadcasting industry in one place. It's an event that we love to visit and engage in. Let's summarize our main learnings in the live video segment.
1. The D2C sports services entered the spotlight
Live OTT services and their underlying technologies were a hit at the NAB 2018 show last week. In the sports vertical, it was pretty obvious how new solutions focus on front-end and user experience (with feature like choose-your-camera).
We can finally state that the direct-to-consumer (D2C) streaming services entered the spotlight, with the recent emergence of Disney’s ESPN+, Turner’s B/R Live and the announced Formula 1 OTT service.
2018 is going to be huge for live sports broadcasting. Record viewership numbers were recorded for the Winter Olympics, March Madness, and we still have the football World Cup, the NBA playoffs ahead of us.
2. Tech companies are specializing and occupying their space
In order to achieve a superb user experience, quality of streaming delivery and scalability, companies must play to their strengths and improve at what they do best. At this NAB, it was the intensified collaborations and partnerships among the tech vendors was pretty visible.
Many companies are aiming to build the perfect "Netflix of sports". And everybody is aware that that is possible only with packaging a well-integrated technology stack of specialized services.
3. eSports expands its business in new directions
eSports remains a fast-growing industry that attracts huge attention on all sides of the ecosystem. We see that the revenues generated are strong, growing and dispersed.
One of the hottest games nowadays, Fortnite, a free game, recorded $126 million revenues only in February!
eSports has taken the "freemium" approach, with most of the revenues being made outside the game. It looks a bit similar to the music industry. The eSports organizations found a way to monetize live-streamed fan gatherings, merchandise, in-game premium features etc.
4. The emergence of microtransactions in OTT monetization
Recently, the NBA has tried a microtransaction-based model for accessing selected games. The commissioner Adam Silver first introduced the idea of letting fans purchase just the final minutes of an individual game rather than the whole game or even a full season-long subscription.
The league tested that idea by offering the fourth quarter of games that night for 99 cents. Let's see if this new approach to video monetization will prove fruitful for the organizations and the fans.
5. VR is losing its mojo
Currently, virtual reality (VR) is not really a priority for consumers, according to new data released by the IABM.
The costs of professional VR equipment remain way too high, with the added challenge of producing native VR content remains unclear from a creative perspective.
The slow adoption and recent price cuts on consumer VR equipment as well as the overall VR experience leave a doubt on the technology supply side.
Here is a short video showing how Cleeng saw this NAB Show:
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