Video Essentials

How Viacom Delivers Online Video to Every Device


For companies getting heavily in online video, it’s important to do more of the work on the server-side (prior to streaming) than client-side (after the client receives the video) to keep playback as smooth as possible. It’s an equation that media giant Viacom knows well. Better planning server-side means being able to reach more devices and create revenue from your work.

At the recent Streaming Media East conference in New York City, Brian Griffin, vice president of video product management for global digital media at Viacom shared thoughts on creating a smooth user experience and how that helps not only with viewer satisfaction, but with advertising. He spoke during a panel on balancing viewer experience and revenue needs. Doing more processing server-side is an important part of the equation, especially for multiplatform video.

“At Viacom, every single request now is how do we do something multiplatform. It’s got to be here, it’s got to be everywhere from a video point of view. It’s a lot of the same things that you guys have talked about which is ‘How can I get more of my business logic created server-side, so that on the client side I don’t have to worry about figuring that out or rebuilding that every single time?’” said Griffin. “Also, it alleviates some of the issues of a lack of knowledge of how exactly video works on Android 2 versus Android 4. Someone just says, ‘Hey, I just want it to work on Android everywhere, just make that happen because I’ve got a great idea: we’re going go to monetize it and sell it.’”

Having a good encoding strategy is crucial to seamless playback and happy advertisers.

“The more that I can worry less about every single incidence of every single consumer experience, the better setup to success,” noted Griffin. “Viacom’s got to be on whatever platform that it’s distributing. As far as backend and other parts of the back end, encoding is a really big part of –, having a good encoding strategy, of being able to deliver multiplatform, and that is obviously for your own content but also for the advertising that goes along with that. What we’ve seen is on the advertising side of things, primarily in a VOD space, is that a lot of the trafficking tools and some of that stuff really aren’t set up as well as they ought to be for multiplatform distribution.”

To view the full discussion and hear ideas from HBO, MLB.com, Turner Sports, and Dijit, watch the video below.





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