Switch Media today announced the expansion to the Middle East and Africa, as global online video demand soars. Switch Media says this expansion happens to meet the increasing demand from international broadcasters and content owners to develop, enhance and monetize their online video.
To support the expansion in the Middle East and Africa (MEA), Switch Media appointed a general manager and is opening an office in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Hans Belz was most recently Regional Head of Operations and Programming for SVOD service targeting emerging markets at iflix.
Switch Media expects Middle East and Africa revenues from OTT will surge by 88 percent from now through to 2021.
Switch Media expanding globally
Switch Media, headquartered in Sydney, Australia, is expanding also to Asia. Today, the company announced that has secured the appointment of a new General Manager, servicing Asia, who is set to begin in the first quarter of 2019.
And, to further bolstered its presence in North America, Switch Media appointed Mark Wilson as General Manager of the Americas. Set to spearhead operations fromDenver, Mark Wilson will be driving business development, forming new alliances and working closely with ad-tech partners to enhance Switch Media’s global offering.
Source: PPC Land, 19 December 2018, Switch Media expands to Asia, the Middle East, and Africa
Source: Mumbrella.com.au 28 November 2018
Switch Media has partnered with global video ad company, Telaria.
Advertisers will be able to target more addressable advertising to audiences across Video on Demand streaming services, following an upgrade of Switch Media’s
AdEase platform to be interoperable with video advertising management software Telaria.
The move, by one of the world’s leading cloud-based streaming technology companies, to include interoperability with the Telaria software platform into its AdEase product, creates market-leading capabilities that enable publishers to offer advertisers a seamless and addressable ad offering across IP-based Set Top Boxes.
AdEase benefits publishers and advertisers by improving the user experience and allowing for more engaged customers, with individual or household targeted ad insertion for on-demand. The AdEase solution is expanding the number of addressable opportunities through easy integrations, and by maximising, and protecting ad revenue by surpassing most ad blockers.
Switch Media’s Product lead for AdEase, Tim Armstrong, said the move would open up new opportunities for streaming services to be able to monetise their offering effectively and as a result see the streaming market take the next step in its evolution.
“In addition to seeking innovative ways of monetising their audiences across Connected TV’s, content providers must provide advertisers with more data-rich and automated ways to connect their brands with consumers,” said Mr Armstrong who has more than 11-years-experience in digital advertising.
“Delivering seamless server-side targeted mid-roll ads on Connected TV’s has been a challenge or restricted by legacy workflows, yet at the same time as advertisers, content providers and, most importantly, users continue to demand more.
“Using the traditional methods of inserting mid-roll ads client-side creates an undesirable ad experience and we’ve also seen a lot of TV’s simply unable to cope.
“This partnership sees technology improve the user experience and drive more verified targeting. Content owners can now provide more opportunities for advertisers to target and capture audiences consuming content at their convenience on the big screen.”
The collaboration allows 100% programmatically traded video enabled by Switch’s latest solution for IP enabled set-top boxes.
Juliette Stead, VP of APAC for Telaria, said this was an exciting step forward for the future of streaming.
“We’ve reached an exciting inflection point in advertising where Broadcaster Video On Demand (BVOD) – in particular Connected TV’s – has given us the ability to layer advanced targeting and enhanced optimisation for advertisers in an engaging and premium TV environment,” Mrs. Stead said.
“Content creators have to be at the cutting edge of improving their monetisation capabilities while preserving and improving the viewing experiences audiences are accustomed to.
“Our partnership with Switch Media meets those needs and we’re excited to continue creating success for content providers and optimum viewing experiences for audiences across BVOD – especially Connected TV’s.”
Source: StreamingMediaGlobal.com, 24 October 2018
The growing number of over the top (OTT) streaming video services face being left behind if they fail to keep up with consumers ever increasing expectations, according to a new industry whitepaper.
OTT Insights: Uptake, perceptions and the worldwide evolution 2018, released by Switch Media – a world leader in OTT streaming technology, reveals a growing dependence on streaming and therefore a new level of demand and expectation which, if left unmet, may have viewers switching off.
It says: “Consumers are enthusiastically lapping up streaming technology, but also have high expectations when it comes to how the content is delivered to them.”
Insights from exclusive research contained within the whitepaper found that the streaming experience is an ongoing issue for many. The top five issues raised by consumers include buffering, ad placement and transitions, content availability, loading times and crashing.
Switch Media CEO, Mark Johns, said the OTT streaming industry is rapidly evolving, creating new opportunities and new challenges.
“We are seeing the introduction of an ever-growing number of streaming services, an increase in original content and exclusive deals, the move towards aggregator sites offering free and paid content, and the debut of immersive content,” Mr Johns said.
“But the biggest challenge is that viewers have a near zero-tolerance policy to poor streaming experiences and expect industry players to meet their growing demands, or face being left behind in a highly contested market.
Buffering around ads, poor timing of ad appearance, repetition of ad content and too many ads were among the main issues identified by consumers.
Based on findings from research by Stable Research, exclusive to Switch Media, the whitepaper reveals some significant and enlightening insights and stats around current media viewing habits, perceptions and expectations. These include:
- Buffering is the biggest issue (50 per cent) followed by ad placement and transitions (41 per cent), content availability (32 per cent), loading times (29 per cent), crashing (24 per cent), content searchability (21 per cent) and image quality (19 per cent).
- 92 per cent of streaming service consumers are likely to change their viewing behaviour due to poorly inserted ads.
- On average 2.6 ads during one hour of streamed content is perceived as tolerable;
- 61 per cent of consumers prefer one long advertisement, as opposed to multiple shorter ads;
- Consumers want to be rewarded for the length of time they stay tuned to a video stream, with 71 per cent saying they should see fewer ads after “binging” on a program;
- The most popular place to watch streamed content is the living room (86 per cent), followed by the bedroom (57 per cent), while 15 per cent viewed streamed content while in the bathroom or on the toilet; and,
- Foxtel Go was ranked the best for ad placement, followed by SBS and then free-to-air operators.
With the content streaming industry surging across the globe, Mr Johns said the whitepaper plays an important role in better understanding the current streaming climate and the issues facing content providers.
“Understanding these key pitfalls within Australia’s streaming landscape gives the industry as a whole a better idea of how to keep consumers engaged and gain insights on what industry players can do to remain relevant,” he said.
“A key focus of our research was to shed light on one of the biggest challenges the industry faces – monetisation- and help the industry succeed in this lucrative and booming market. ”
For more information and insights, download the whitepaper here: OTT Insights: Uptake, perceptions and the worldwide evolution 2018
About Switch Media: Founded in 2006, Switch Media is a world leader in delivering online video content for a diverse range of industries, from broadcasters and content providers through to educational institutions and government. Utilising its multi-screen video platform, Media Manager, coupled with a world-class technical team, Switch Media deliver OTT video solutions for a superior Live and Catch-Up viewing experience – anywhere, anytime, on any device. Its services include content editing platforms, app development, tools to monetise content, through to the delivery of video to end users across multiple devices. switch.tv
0411 212 965
Source: MEDIAWEEK, 12 September 2018
Written by Kruti Joshi
Switch Media is the silent partner of some of the biggest broadcasters in Australia.
The Sydney-based streaming media tech company has been around for 12 years and one of its first clients was ABC iview. The company doesn’t provide the technology for the platform any more, but it still works with Foxtel, SBS, Ten and Seven.
Switch Media CEO Mark Johns was with the company when it initially launched and was operating out of an apartment in Pyrmont. After a gap of about five years, Johns rejoined the company in his current role in September 2017.
“The company started off by accident,” he told Mediaweek. “The founders, Christopher Stenhouse and Luke Durham, were working on a website, around the same time as YouTube launched, for curated content that people wanted to see.
“One of the people they pitched the idea to said, ‘I hate the content but I love your technology.’ From that point the skew was the technology.”
The founder and CEO of Switch Media came from a broadcast engineering background. This helped the company understand how to build a digital streaming and catch-up platforms in a way that would set it apart from linear television.
“When we started, we were not an internet company but at the core we were a broadcast engineering company. Now we are both,” Johns said.
“Coming from that broadcast engineering background we could really help networks understand what they could do with this new technology.”
Australian households have warmed up to streaming. According to recent research by Roy Morgan, 13 million Australians have access to some form of subscription TV or pay TV service such as Foxtel, Fetch TV, Stan and Netflix. Nearly 10 million Australians have access to a Netflix subscription. Meanwhile, two million are able to view content on Stan.
What is next for streaming in Australia?
“A lot of people are interested in immersive experience for content like sports. This is a very personal experience,” Johns said. “There is also a big drive for content being consumed on connected television. More families are getting around TVs in the lounge room. So it’s going two ways.”
A new study from Switch Media of 1,000 consumers showed that 70% of the respondents would be interested in streaming content in either 360-degree view, virtual reality or an augmented reality environment.
Broadcasters and streaming services have started to test these technologies already. Recently, Optus Sport launched the FIFA Virtual Reality app for the World Cup. However, it wasn’t marketed very well, according to Johns.
While companies have started trialling this new technology, it is still expensive and uses a lot of bandwidth. There is still much work to be done to optimise video quality and bandwidth, Johns said.
“There are also challenges around buffering and ad insertions,” he said.
There is work to be done to make them cost-effect. Locally, it won’t become a norm in the immediate future, Johns predicted
Speaking about Switch Media’s biggest growth opportunities, Johns looked at breaking outside the Australia and New Zealand, saying it would provide a good opportunity for the company to learn about the implementation of immersive technologies.
Link to article: https://mediaweek.com.au/morning-report-archive/september-17-2018/
Keep an eye out for our detailed whitepaper, OTT Insights: uptake, perceptions and the worldwide evolution, COMING SOON!
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER to be one of the first to receive this whitepaper which looks at the progression of this cultural revolution and reveals interesting insights and statistics from our exclusive research around Australia’s media viewing habits, perceptions and expectations.
New Zealand’s new Freeview On Demand service is setting the standard for video on demand delivery to smart TVs via HbbTV, said FreeviewNZ’s Jason Foden at the Mediatech Pacific Conference 2018 in Auckland yesterday.
Developed by leading Over the Top solution provider Switch Media, the On Demand service commenced a rolling launch earlier last month to replace the previous FreeviewPlus offering.
One of the key features of Switch’s technology, and benefit for ad agencies/media buyers/clients, is the ability of their technology to deliver streamed programmes without the annoying buffering. The system also “dodges” or goes around ad-blocker to ensure client ads are delivered to the viewing audience.
The service provides viewers with a major upgrade to the previous FreeviewPlus platform with seamless browsing, effortless streaming and optimised playback of TVNZ, Three and Maori Television content.
Foden said the solution, a single Freeview App supported by the Switch Media back end, met the needs of the changing face of media and entertainment consumption in New Zealand for now and the future.
“Switch Media provided a flexible and innovative framework for on-boarding of participating broadcaster content compatible with a range of popular Smart TVs in the NZ market,” he said.
“The viewer-centric approach taken in its development means viewers can now enjoy easier access to On Demand and a more seamless viewing experience.”
Switch Media delivers world-class OTT solutions for clients across a diverse range of industries, from broadcasters and content providers, through to educational institutions and government. They work with the major broadcasters in Australia – including Channel 7, Network Ten, SBS, ABC and Foxtel – and developed the world-first multi-award-winning Freeview FV mobile app.
“One of the key benefits for ad agencies/media buyers/clients, is the ability of the technology to deliver streamed programmes without the annoying buffering.”
Its Chief Technical Officer, Luke Durham, said the new delivery solution not only immediately enhances the viewing experience, but also presents Freeview and their member broadcasters the chance to grow the audience and realise new revenue opportunities.
“If we look at why leading streaming companies around the world are so successful, it’s because they give people what they want and make it easy for them to access it,” he said.
“The Freeview On Demand platform makes the viewing experience consistent across all programmes and expands the features to improve the overall experience.
“By pooling resources into a single service, it has enabled Freeview NZ and its member broadcasters to lower costs, as well as improve quality and reliability, and foster innovation.
“The platform we have delivered for Freeview NZ can easily be extended in the future beyond smart TVs and made available on companion services, so people can watch live and on-demand TV shows and movies anywhere at any time.”
The Freeview On-Demand platform also enables a range of new features that are, or soon will be available for viewers, including the ability to: browse and search the programme guide without interrupting the current program they are watching;
- plan viewing on the go using reminders and notifications;
- control their Personal Video Recorders (PVR) from anywhere so they can set up recordings remotely; and,
- record and playback programmes without a PVR, where the recordings are created in the ‘cloud’.
- The development of IP streaming on the Freeview service will also enable niche content offerings to be made available which is not feasible using the traditional broadcast approach.
Durham said the most significant optimisation that benefits advertisers and viewers alike is the introduction of server-side ad insertion.
“The ads are stitched into the VOD streams before they are sent to the screen, which eliminates buffering and gives a more seamless TV-like experience,” he said.
“Furthermore, the solution provides insights that enable broadcasters to deliver a personalised viewing experience for their audience. They can serve ads tailored to the viewer based on information such as viewing history, location or by specific rules, ensuring maximum ad revenue.
“Not only is this good for broadcasters but also for viewers. Research we recently conducted shows viewers don’t mind advertising, especially on free-to-air TV, provided it isn’t too intrusive or disruptive, and is relevant. Server-side ad insertion technology, such as AdEase, is a key solution to this problem.”
About Switch Media
Switch Media is an Australian company founded in 2006 that is a world leader in delivering online video solutions for a diverse range of industries, from broadcasters and content providers through to educational institutions and government. Utilising its multi-screen video platform, Media Manager, coupled with a world-class technical team, Switch Media delivers OTT solutions for a superior Live and Catch-Up viewing experience – anywhere, anytime, on any device. Its services include content editing platforms, app development, tools to monetise content, through to the delivery of video to end users across multiple devices.