Latest at Switch Media

What are the benefits and evolution of SSAI? Switch Media’s Mark Wilson discusses both with SpotX.

Mark Wilson, COO of Switch Media caught up with SpotX at NAB Show 2018 to discuss SSAI and our partnership with SpotX.

AdEase and SpotX compatibility allows content providers to take full advantage of AdEase, improving user experience and engagement. 

 

WATCH VIDEO TO FIND OUT MORE:

Proud service provider for the AWARD WINNING Freeview Plus app!

As proud OTT service provider for Freeview AU, Switch Media is thrilled to have facilitated end-to-end delivery of the award-winning Freeview Plus service upgrade.

Winning Best TV/Video Upgrade or Launch at the international 2018 Connies Awards in London, the upgrade was designed to make content discovery easier than ever before, with a simplified user experience, additional features and a fresh look and feel.

Having worked with Freeview to deliver the world-first Freeview FV mobile app, Switch Media was best placed to facilitate the Freeview Plus service upgrade which launched on June 21st 2017, delivering to more than 2.2 million Freeview Plus-enabled TVs across Australia.

 

“The Freeview Plus upgrade is a significant one and we are excited to deliver the next level in content discovery and choice for Australia’s free-to-air TV programming. Australian broadcasters are truly leading the world in innovation and providing a complete TV experience. With this upgrade and our recently launched Freeview FV mobile app, viewers not only have great convenience but also a fantastic choice of how, when and where they watch their favourite content – for free.”
– Liz Ross, CEO, Freeview Australia

 

READ FREEVIEW MEDIA RELEASE, 8 May 2018

Freeview Plus awarded top honour at international Connies Awards

 

Freeview has won Best TV/Video Upgrade or Launch for its Freeview Plus service upgrade at the prestigious Connies Awards, announced overnight in London.

The only Australian company to win an award, this marks the third win for Freeview in the category, winning in 2015^ for the launch of Freeview Plus and again in 2017 for Freeview FV, the world-first free-toair industry TV live streaming and catch-up mobile app.

The Connies Awards recognise innovation and best practices from all sectors of the media landscape around the world. The awards showcase initiatives that meet the needs of leading media businesses and practitioners in delivering value to the ever-more connected consumer.

“This is a great tribute to the amazing team effort behind the significant Freeview Plus upgrade,” said Freeview CEO Elizabeth Ross.

“With this upgrade and the world-first Freeview FV mobile app, viewers not only have great convenience but also a fantastic choice of how, when and where they watch their favourite content – for free.”

Key to the Freeview Plus upgrade was the implementation of world’s best practice interface design which features image-based browsing and the introduction of the Explore TV function.

Explore TV presents viewers with image-based carousels including personalised recommendations and favourites along with live TV, catch up and genre-based browsing.

The Freeview Plus upgrade features also include an easy-to-use guide with backwards navigation to catch-up content and a simplified Mini Guide for quick program discovery.

Freeview Plus is a hybrid digital television service that provides access to catch-up free-to-air programming on TVs and has led the world since it launched in 2014, consistently winning local and international accolades for its ground-breaking technology and user interface.

ENDS

About Freeview
Launched in 2008, Freeview is the free digital television service in Australia which presents and promotes free-to-air channels and content to all Australians. Freeview encourages Australians to watch free-to-air content across various platforms by promoting benefits that include more than 25 channels and catch-up services for free. Freeview’s mission is to deliver the free-to-air content to all Australians where, when and on whatever device they choose.

^ Previously the Videonet Connected TV Awards

SpotX and Switch Media partner in OTT personalised ads play

Source: Mumbrella 03 April 2018

Video monetisation platform SpotX has teamed with online streaming company Switch media to offer personalised ads on Over The Top mobile services.

SpotX
SpotX Partners With Switch Media To Offer Personalised Ads Across OTT

SpotX, a global video advertising and monetisation platform, today announced a compatibility with Switch Media, one of the world’s leading cloud-based streaming companies, to power server-side ad insertion (SSAI) for personalised advertising across live, sports, events and video on demand (VOD). The solution is part of AdEase, Switch Media’s multi-screen, digital product offering.

As viewership on desktop, mobile, and connected TV devices continues to rise, more efficient monetisation opportunities have emerged for broadcasters, enabling them to target viewers with personalised advertising. The SpotX and AdEase compatibility allows broadcasters working with SpotX to take full advantage of Switch Media’s AdEase, which improves the user experience and increases engagement by providing one continuous video stream without any buffering during live TV and VOD for uninterrupted viewing. AdEase also protects ad revenue by surpassing most ad blockers. The server-side nature of AdEase is particularly useful around live content where ad delays are often commonplace.

“Delivering targeted ads on live linear OTT feeds for sports and live entertainment can be challenging – especially from a user experience, accuracy and scalability viewpoint; using the traditional methods of inserting mid-roll ads on the client-side causes buffering, latency and can allow the user to block those ads,” said Mark Wilson from Switch Media. “This partnership means our broadcast clients, already using our AdEase product, can at any stage decide to deliver targeted ads in real-time via SSAI in a given ad break via the SpotX platform, including live broadcast.”

AdEase benefits publishers and advertisers by improving the user experience (allowing for more engaged customers) with on the fly ad insertion during live TV, expanding the number of addressable devices through easy integrations, and by maximising, and protecting ad revenue by surpassing most ad blockers.

“As people consume video across different devices, SSAI provides an opportunity for broadcasters to overlay data and make their inventory more valuable to buyers increasing the yield,” said Christopher Blok, Country Manager, SpotX ANZ. “Addressable advertising sits at the forefront of broadcasters’ thinking now while server-side ad insertion, particularly for live simulcast, is a critical element for them and we are excited to be able to offer this end-to-end service for broadcasters with Switch Media, a product fit for the total video universe.”

From a SpotX media release.

Switch Media appoints former Ericsson executive as CEO

Source: Mumbrella 09 March 2018

Australian streaming technology business, Switch Media has appointed former Ericsson executive Mark Johns to take over as CEO from Christopher Stenhouse, the company has announced.

 

Mark Johns Switch Media
The announcement:

Switch Media appoints former Ericsson executive as CEO

An experienced international broadcast and over the top (OTT) executive has taken the reins of one of Australia’s fastest growing streaming technology businesses as the sector braces itself for further growth in the coming years.

Switch Media, one of the world leaders in content streaming, has appointed Ericsson’s former Head of Media and Broadcast Technology, Mark Johns, as Chief Executive Officer, with co-founder and current CEO Christopher Stenhouse stepping into the role of Chief Financial Officer.

Switch Media, which was founded in a home office as a small YouTube like start-up 12 years ago before changing its focus to OTT technology solutions, has worked with most major broadcasters, including Seven, Ten, SBS, ABC and Foxtel, developed the Free to Air Broadcast industry apps for Freeview Australia and Freeview New Zealand, and delivers solutions for Federal Parliament and Melbourne’s RMIT.

Mark Johns, who while at Ericsson headed up the development of its Video On Demand technology platform Nuvu, previously worked for Switch Media when it was in its infancy and has also held senior roles in the radio, television and technology sectors over his 25 year career.

Mr Stenhouse, who founded the business with its current Chief Technology Officer, Luke Durham, said the appointment of Mark would ensure the business leveraged the strong tailwinds that the streaming industry was experiencing to continue its strong growth trajectory.

Year on year since our inception, Switch Media has delivered more than 40 per cent growth and driven strong profitability to enable us to reinvest into the business and remain at the forefront of OTT technology,” Mr Stenhouse said.

With the evolution of streaming continuing and showing no signs of abating locally or internationally, Mark’s long-held knowledge of Switch and his experience of the international OTT market will ensure that Switch Media is well placed to grow our slice of the OTT technology pie.”

Mr Johns said he was looking forward to further growing the Switch Media success story that he had been a part of in the early days when he played an instrumental role in securing Foxtel as a major customer for streaming of the 2012 London Olympics.

This industry keeps evolving at rapid rates – from the participants offering video on demand (VOD) and subscription video on demand (SVOD) services through to the types of devices people want to access services on,” Mr Johns said.

“Switch has kept at the forefront of these changes and developed innovative solutions to some of the key challenges that the content owners face, from quality of the streaming service for the viewer to how they can best monetise their content.

“I am excited about the opportunity to take an already successful business and drive it to its next stage of growth in a market that is growing by more than 20 percent annually and seeing new entrants to the market.

“It is a really exciting time in the industry, with its strong growth trajectory being driven by three forces.

“Firstly, broadcasters want the experience provided by their streaming services to meet and increasingly exceed the experience of traditional broadcast.

“Secondly, we have new content players and owners (such as sporting associations) looking to build their own platforms that they can monetise.

“Finally, we are seeing new fields outside of the broadcast industry, such as the health, education and transport sectors, seeking access to high quality video streaming services.”

Proud end-to-end service provider for the Freeview FV roll out to Apple TV

Switch Media is excited to have provided end-to-end development and delivery of the Freeview FV app roll out to the Apple TV and Apple TV 4K platforms. Delivery included app development, user experience and interface design, the provision of flexible API with support for complex business rules, Electronic Program Guide using Gracenote data, 3rd party player integration and OzTAM VPM analytics integration.

Now for the first time, viewers can stream all free-to-air TV in one place from the comfort of their home without the need for an antenna or traditional broadcast receiver. The FV Apple TV app delivers one of the most user-friendly Free-To-Air EPG’s in the market, enabling viewers to easily see what is coming up for the next 7 days, set favourites, and receive recommendations.

 

Read Freeview press release:

 

Freeview FV now available on the App Store for Apple TV

Watching your favourite TV programs is now even easier with Freeview FV, as the world-first free-to-air
TV live streaming app is now available on Apple TV 4K and Apple TV.

Freeview FV delivers live streaming from 20 free-to-air channels and catch-up content from all free-to-air
TV channels. The app also includes a TV guide, allows users to browse and search across all free-to-air TV,
set favourites, and provides show recommendations.

Freeview CEO Liz Ross said the addition of Freeview FV for Apple TV 4K and Apple TV was the latest
development for the platform and offers viewers even more choice in live and catch-up programs from the
comfort of their own homes on their TV.

“We are thrilled to have Freeview FV now available in the App Store for Apple TV, making live streaming
more accessible than ever. “We want everyone in every household to be able to watch free-to-air TV on their terms, where and when
they choose,” said Ross.

Launched in November 2016, Freeview FV is also available on iOS and Android mobile and tablets with

Chromecast and Apple TV support delivering TV straight into viewers’ hands.

Freeview FV delivers live streaming of 20 free-to-air TV channels and the catch-up content from all
networks with just one click. Available channels include: ABC, SBS, Seven, Channel 9, TEN, ONE, ELEVEN,
ABC COMEDY, ABC KIDS, ABC ME, ABC NEWS, SBS VICELAND, Food Network, NITV, 7TWO, 7Mate,
7Flix, Racing.com, 9Gem, 9Go! and 9Life.

Source: Freeview FV now available on the App Store for Apple TV, Freeview, 1 March 2018

 

 

 

 

Switch Media at the ad:tech SYD 2018

Switch Media at NAB Show 2018

Media to rely on subscriptions over ad revenue by 2020: Deloitte

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald FEBRUARY 5 2018

The business models for news publishers are expected to undergo rapid changes in the next 24 months, with half of the revenue for media businesses tipped to come from subscriptions.

The latest data available shows that for every $10 in revenue from advertising in 2012, there was only $1 coming into media coffers from subscriptions.

 

Online news outlets are expected to push for a business model relying more on subscriber revenue in the next two years.

This is expected to shift significantly by 2020, with subscription revenue to match advertising revenue.

By the end of 2018, Deloitte’s TMT (Technology, Media and Telecommunications) Predictions 2018 report estimated there would be 20 million digital-only news subscriptions worldwide.

“We expect news providers to focus increasingly on generating revenue from subscriptions, typically as a complement to advertising, given the challenges they have encountered during years of reliance on ad revenue alone,” the report said.
People subscribing to news will remain far below those signing up to subscription video on demand services, known as SVOD, which is estimated to reach about 375 million subscribers.

The average charge for a digital subscription across platforms is $10.

“However, online news services tend to be among the most expensive individual services, often costing tens of dollars per month, and there are also many tens of millions more subscribers to printed newspapers and magazines,” the report said.

One of the challenges is the growing dominance of digital giants Facebook and Google, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission undertaking an inquiry into these platforms and how they divert revenue away from traditional publishers.

Research undertaken by Deloitte, including an annual survey of thousands of consumers across the world, found different attitudes to paying for news depending on location.

Deloitte partner Kimberly Chang said Australia “continues to face a clear challenge in terms of monetisation models in news” with most news consumers in the country “overwhelmingly reluctant” to pay for online news.

“Ninety per cent of respondents agreed they were not willing to pay because there is so much information available for free,” she said.

Despite this, accurate real-time news and deeper knowledgeable journalism were both in demand – but she said both were approaches that “require very different business models”.

Those surveyed from the United States were the most willing to pay for their news, and 18 to 34 year olds the most likely to pay.

“Publishers have also become more adept at identifying trigger points that can cause readers to become subscribers and at recognising what type and proportion of content to place behind the paywall,” the report said.

This included techniques like lowering pay walls on big news days, which would see some willing to pay when it was then reinstalled.

The surge in video streaming services was also tipped to continue to grow.

Video marketing specialists Switch Media chief operating officer Mark Wilson said there would be innovation to give users control over whether they wanted to pay or be served advertisements.

Research from the company found the average Australian had used 4.3 streaming services, with Netflix, the ABC and SBS rated as having the best overall user experience.

“Ads aren’t going to go away but more people will be able to choose to have less ads,” Mr Wilson said.