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Switch Media to exhibit at NAB Show 2017

Switch Media to exhibit at NAB Show 2017

Switch Media is excited to be exhibiting at NAB Show again this year where we will be showcasing our world class online video solutions including AdEase, Switch Live2VOD and AppSolute.

Switch Media – Proud service provider for the just launched Foxtel Kids app

foxtelkids3

As Foxtel’s end-to-end OTT service provider, Switch Media is excited to have assisted Foxtel with the delivery of the dynamic new Foxtel Kids app that provides a safe space for children to enjoy the amazing kids content available on Foxtel, ad-free and anytime.

Available for free to Foxtel, Foxtel Play and Foxtel from Telstra customers, this smart new app has been built with parents concerns in mind including regulating screen time, managing what their kids watch and limiting data use.

It can be used across smartphone or tablet, and enables the download of content to watch offline. With a child-friendly interface that is clean, fresh and very easy to navigate, Switch Media is thrilled to have assisted Foxtel to deliver the Foxtel Kids app in time for the holidays.

Deanne Weir, Foxtel’s Managing Director of Content Aggregation and Wholesale, said, “We’re delighted to bring our new Foxtel Kids app to Australian kids and families. After taking on board some great customer feedback coupled with our own research, we’ve designed what we think is the best app to keep kids entertained and parents informed; and, with the Christmas holidays just a few weeks away, it couldn’t come at a better time.”

 

PRESS RELEASE: Hands on: Foxtel Kids app – Adam Turner, Sydney Morning Herald, 20 December 2016.

Hands on: Foxtel Kids app

As Presto closes up shop, Foxtel is working to make its streaming options more family-friendly.

Something always had to give in Australia’s crowded streaming video market, with Foxtel preparing to pull the plug on Presto in January after buying out joint-owner Seven West Media. The pay TV giant is trying to entice Presto subscribers across to the Foxtel Play online subscription service by dropping Foxtel Play prices, offering discounts and upgrading to high-definition streaming via the Telstra TV set-top box.

The new Foxtel Kids app makes it easy to manage the way children watch video on your handheld gadgets.foxtel-kids-app

At the same time Foxtel has also taken the wraps off its new Foxtel Kids app which, like Foxtel Go, is a streaming mobile app available for free to customers with a home Foxtel subscription – only letting you watch content from the kid-friendly channels in your Foxtel package.

What’s is particularly interesting is that Foxtel Kids also works if you’re a Foxtel Play subscriber, with kids channels to be included in the new Foxtel Play entry-level packages. You can even download the app and watch a few episodes for free even if you don’t have a Foxtel account, just press Skip at the login screen.

If there are children in your life then you’ve probably been confronted by the fact that within most streaming video apps the children’s content is only a few clicks away from the likes of DaredevilGame of Thrones and The Walking Dead – which aren’t exactly kid-friendly. Foxtel Kids is similar to Netflix’s kid-friendly interface, except that Foxtel’s offering is a standalone app to make it easier to manage your children’s viewing habits.

Available for iOS and Android, the Foxtel Kids app lets you register up to five devices and watch video on two at once – separate to the usage limits on the Foxtel Go apps, so the big people and little people in your home can use different apps to watch different Foxtel content simultaneously. Unlike Foxtel Go, Foxtel Kids doesn’t offer desktop browser access – it’s only for mobile gadgets.

Foxtel Kids only supports catch up video on demand, you don’t get streaming simulcasts of live channels. You can only watch video on standard-definition but that’s unlikely to bother children, especially if they’re watching animation on a small screen.

The app has a slick child-friendly interface which is easy to navigate even if you can’t read. You have access to a wide range of Foxtel content including shows from Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, CBeebies, Discovery Kids, Cartoon Network and Boomerang.

The amount of content at your disposal varies widely – some shows like Pepper Pig and Marvel’s Avengers Assemble only have the last few episodes, while others like Star Wars Rebels have the entire back catalogue from the series premiere right up to the most recent episode screened on Foxtel (which seems to be one episode behind the US). Strangely the app doesn’t stick to the standard episode numbering system, with the first episode of Rebels season two described as S2E16 rather than S2E01 – which I guess is intended to make things less complicated for children.

The app lets you choose between three user interfaces – one aimed at pre-schoolers, a second aimed at older children who are looking for slightly more mature content and a third designed to cater for both. To help ensure it’s child-friendly the app doesn’t screen advertisements or promos, not even for other Foxtel content. You can even set a timer with a cute animation to tell kids that they’ve used up their screen time, with a three-minute grace period if they’re almost at the end of an episode.

Parental controls – locked with a PIN – let you block channels as well as limit content according to ratings, such as blocking PG content to only allow G. There’s also the option to disable 3G/4G mobile broadband access so streaming only runs over Wi-Fi, with the data unmetered if you’re at home and Foxtel Broadband is your internet service provider.

Considering that it’s free for subscribers, Foxtel obviously isn’t aiming to make money directly from Foxtel Kids. Instead, like Foxtel Go, it’s designed to make a Foxtel subscription more attractive so you’re less likely to abandon it in favour of competitors like Netflix, which also has a wealth of children’s content. Other kid-friendly options include the free ABC iView kids app.

The other key attraction of Foxtel Kids is offline access, which is great for parents who use their smartphone or tablet to entertain their kids while they’re out and about but don’t want to chew through their mobile data allowance. It’s also handy when you’re getting on a flight.

Netflix also recently added offline access, although the rules regarding downloads are quite convoluted. Meanwhile Foxtel Kids offers a 31-day download window after which you needed to download those episodes again, assuming they’re still available as content will change regularly. Unlike some Netflix offline content, Foxtel Kids doesn’t offer the ability to “renew” offline content without actually downloading it again.

All up Foxtel Kids is a respectable effort as the pay TV giant jostles for position in the Netflix age. If you’re on the verge of abandoning Foxtel then the new app alone probably isn’t enough to change your mind, but it’s still a welcome addition to the Foxtel ecosystem.

World leader in streaming technology enters US market

StreamingMedia.com, 12/9/2016

A world leader in video streaming technologies, Australian-based Switch Media, is launching its suite of highly sophisticated OTT technologies into the US market.

The company today announced at TVOT NYC 2016, that it will headquarter its US operations in San Francisco and will be led by Switch Media’s US Vice-President of Business Development, Chris Moore.

The move into the North American market follows its tenth successive year of growth and a slew of major contract wins leading Australian broadcasters.

These include contracts to deliver streaming solutions and apps for Australia’s leading broadcasters over the past 12 months, including subscription TV service Foxtel, free-to-air networks SBS, ABC and Network 10.

Last month, Switch also delivered a world first for the free-to-air consortium, Freeview, for which it developed and launched an app that live-streams 19 TV channels and catch-up content from all of Australia’s free-to-air networks.

Switch Media co-founder and CEO, Christopher Stenhouse, said the move into the US market has come off the back of positive responses at the NAB in Las Vegas earlier this year.

“The US streaming market continues to explode with new players disrupting the market,” Mr Stenhouse said. “We recently saw AT&T launch its new DirectTV service and don’t expect the level of activity slow down.

“We believe our suite of cost effective OTT products and our ability to easily integrate some, or all of them, into existing infrastructure as well as monetize clients services with our ability to upload ads ’on-the-fly’ into program content streams, will be an attractive offer in the US market.”

Mr Moore, who was previously the Head of Sales for Switch Media in Australia, said there has been strong interest in the Switch Media offering among US content owners and streaming platforms, particularly for its dynamic monetization solution AdEase.

“The reactions so far have been very positive. The broadcast industry appreciates that AdEase is platform-agnostic, and its highly configurable approach to server-side ad insertion (SSAI),” Mr Moore said.

“AdEase allows the broadcaster’s on-demand content and ‘live event’ sport, entertainment and news to side-step the ad-blocking apps and deliver a TV-like viewing experience that integrates ads with program content on any digital device.

“As a CMS platform-agnostic solution it plugs into and works with any existing systems and existing workflows, meaning content does not need to be re-ingested. AdEase can take existing video streams, detect the ad breaks and stitch ads into the stream without being detected by ad blockers.”

In addition to AdEase, the Switch Media suite of products also includes Switch Media Manager, Switch Live, Switch Live2Vod, Switch MasterApp and Switch Universal Player.

Mr Stenhouse added: “There are opportunities with not only traditional broadcasters, but with other media services, as well as the sports, hospitality and entertainment sectors.

“We are seeing new entrants looking to leverage their own content or the rights they hold by creating their own online channels such as the National Collegiate Athletics Association direct streaming its college basketball league through to Red Bull TV launching a dedicated channel with content that reflects the brand values.”

Mr Stenhouse said the expansion into the US market was the third market it had entered since it established in Australia in 2006, with the company also having a presence in India to serve the two billion South Asian market and New Zealand.

He said the company is considering further global expansion in the coming year as the OTT sector is expected to grow by a compound annual growth rate of 17.2%, hitting $US62 billion by 2020.

About Switch Media: Switch Media is an Australian company founded in 2006 that is a world leader in delivering online video content for various organisations from broadcasters through to retailers. Utilizing its world class multi-screen video platform, Media Manager, coupled with its world class technical team, Switch Media delivers OTT video solutions for a superior Live and Catch-Up viewing experience – anywhere, any time, on any device. Its services include content editing platforms, app development, tools to monetise content, through to the delivery of video to end users on multiple devices.

So whether you’re after an end to end solution or just a piece of the puzzle, Switch Media can provide a tailored solution to enhance your online video delivery today.

Link to StreamingMedia.com article (12/9/2016): World leader in streaming technology enters US market

Switch Media at TVOT New York 08 Dec 16

Switch Media at TVOT New York City

As a key sponsor for the event, Switch Media was excited to exhibit and present
at TVOT at the SVA Theatre in New York on 8 Switch Media at TVOT New York 08 Dec 16December 2016.

CTO, Luke Durham presented as a featured panelist in the OTT Technology Question Time Session. This highly interactive session enabled attendees to pose their questions about the present state and the future of the OTT/multiplatform TV delivery and monetization infrastructure to a “brain trust,” drawn from the companies whose technologies are powering that infrastructure. The goal of the session was to give content creators, aggregators, distributors and other interested parties a clearer understanding of the technological issues they need to be aware of as TV becomes an increasingly multiplatform medium.

 

Watch a clip of Luke Durham on the need for a customised approach for SSAI.

 

 

AdEase server-side ad insertion

At the event, we showcased our world class online video solutions for OTT as well as our server-side ad insertion solution AdEase. With advanced anti-ad-blocking and audience targeting capabilities, AdEase enables world-class multi-screen server side ad insertion for both Live and VoD content for a continuous TV-like experience and maximum revenue.

 

 

 

coffee-cups

As the Coffee Break Sponsor for the event, attendees could grab a coffee on us before popping over to the Switch Media booth to find more or get a demo on our services from content management, app development and live streaming, through to on-the-fly ad insertion and delivery to viewers across multiple devices.

 

Switch Media – Proud service provider for world first Freeview FV App

“Freeview partnered with Switch Media, a leader in the development of high quality technology solutions for the television industry.  Switch Media provided a flexible and innovative approach to the integration of our FTA network’s live streams and catch up assets resulting in a seamless Freeview FV user experience.”  – Liz Ross, Freeview CEO.

 

FREEVIEW PRESS RELEASE, 07 NOVEMBER 2016

Freeview FV Mobile App Launches

 

freeview-fv3

In an exciting world first, Freeview has launched a new mobile app, Freeview FV, allowing Australian viewers to watch live streaming of 16TV channels and catch-up content from the free to air networks on the go, with just one click.

Live-streaming channels available at launch include: ABC, SBS, Seven, Channel 9, TEN, ONE, ABC2/ABC KIDS, ABC ME, ABC News 24, 7TWO, 7Mate, 7Flix, Racing.com, 9Gem, 9Go! and 9Life. More live channels will be added as they become available.

Consumers will have access to catch-up content from all the free-to-air networks including SBS On Demand, ABC iview, PLUS7, 9Now, and tenplay.

Developed by Freeview, the new Freeview FV app is available on iOS iPhone, iPad, and Android phones. In addition to live streaming and catch up, the simple-to-use Freeview FV app offers other great features including:

    • browse and search all free-to-air programs
    • a free-to-air TV guide
    • favourites and reminders functions

 

Freeview CEO Liz Ross said the app was ground-breaking for TV viewing and gave viewers more choice and convenience than ever before.

“This is a fantastic new way for people to enjoy TV on their terms and never miss a thing, especially when they’re on the go. It’s great news for viewers and we’ve worked hard to create a powerful, simple and user-friendly experience,” said Ross.

Ross added that Freeview anticipated strong pick up, particularly among commuters, and believed the app will have a positive effect on summer TV viewing and beyond as it meets consumer expectations of convenience.

For live sport, Freeview FV mirrors the networks’ sporting rights agreements.

The mobile app can be downloaded through the App Store or Google Play. Freeview FV will also be able to mirror to Apple TV using AirPlay.

 

freeview-device-image

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.

 

Link to Freeview news article (07/11/16): Freeview FV Mobile App Launches

Switch Media solution delivers enhanced viewing for Foxtel pay TV subscribers

IT WIRE, 02 AUGUST 2016

Sydney-based tech company Switch Media has done a deal with Foxtel which it says will give the pay TV broadcaster’s subscribers a more streamlined viewing experience, particularly on smartphones and tablets.switch-media_foxtel


The deal sees the introduction of Switch Media’s Australian-developed AdEase server-side ad insertion technology by Foxtel to replace its client-side solution.

Christopher Stenhouse, chief executive of Switch Media, said the rollout of AdEase now meant that Switch was delivering a “full over the top (OTT) solution” for Foxtel.

“Switch worked with Foxtel to build and maintain their revolutionary Foxtel Go app which enables subscribers to take their pay-tv viewing with them as part of their subscription,” Stenhouse said.

“We also worked with them to develop Foxtel Play to deliver TV channels directly to IP connected devices to meet the expanding demand for internet connected content viewing.”

According to Stenhouse, the switch to AdEase was the logical step to further enhance Foxtel’s services. “With its capacity to create a seamless viewing experience between advertisement and programming play out, AdEase allows Foxtel to continue providing the high Foxtel GO devices shotquality viewing experience the public has come to expect from their home TVs.

“As a CMS platform-agnostic solution, it plugs into and works with any existing systems and workflows in place, meaning content does not need to be re-ingested.

“AdEase can take existing video streams, detect the ad breaks, and stitch ads into the stream.”

Foxtel is now using Switch’s full suite of products for their end-to-end OTT delivery including Media Manager, MasterApp, AdEase, Switch Live and Live2VOD.

Foxtel’s director of product, Michael Ivanchenko said Foxtel has a long-standing relationship with Switch Media “from development of the multi-award winning app for our online coverage of the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games, to the build and ongoing support for other Foxtel services”.

“AdEase is yet another innovation from Switch that helps us to deliver a world class viewing experience to our subscribers.”

Link to IT Wire news article (02/08/16): Switch Media solution delivers enhanced viewing for Foxtel pay TV subscribers

Foxtel Switches To Switch Media’s AdEase

B&T MAGAZINE, 01 AUGUST 2016

Foxtel subscribers are set to enjoy a more streamlined experience with the introduction of Switch Media’s AdEase technology.AdEase-Foxtel-GO-devices-shot_450x367px

This week Foxtel introduced server-side ad insertion to replace its client-side solution which will provide a more seamless viewing experience on smartphones and tablets. Christopher Stenhouse, CEO of Switch Media, said the roll out of AdEase now meant that Switch was delivering a full over the top (OTT) solution for Foxtel.

“Switch worked with Foxtel to build and maintain their revolutionary Foxtel Go app which enables subscribers to take their pay-tv viewing with them as part of their subscription. We also worked with them to develop Foxtel Play to deliver TV channels directly to IP connected devices to meet the expanding demand for internet connected content viewing,” Stenhouse said.

“The switch to AdEase was the logical step to further enhance Foxtel’s services. With its capacity to create a seamless viewing experience between advertisement and programming play out, AdEase allows Foxtel to continue providing the high quality viewing experience the public has come to expect from their home TV’s.

“As a CMS platform-agnostic solution, it plugs into and works with any existing systems and workflows in place, meaning content does not need to be re-ingested. AdEase can take existing video streams, detect the ad breaks, and stitch ads into the stream.”

Foxtel is now using Switch’s full suite of products for their end-to-end OTT delivery including Media Manager, MasterApp, AdEase, Switch Live and Live2VOD.

The technical advantages of AdEase include:

  • Dynamic Server-Side ad insertion for VOD, linear and live video content
  • Enables pre, mid and post roll ad insertion
  • Platform agnostic, so no media re-ingest required
  • Advanced anti-ad blocking capabilities
  • More accurate audience targeting capabilities
  • Zero buffering
  • Continuous TV-like experience
  • Ad detection and replacement capabilities

Foxtel’s director of product, Michael Ivanchenko, added: “Foxtel has a long-standing relationship with Switch Media from development of the multi-award winning app for our online coverage of the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games, to the build and ongoing support for other Foxtel services. AdEase is yet another innovation from Switch that helps us to deliver a world class viewing experience to our subscribers.”

Since its launch of AdEase at the National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas earlier this year, Switch Media has had high levels of interest in the product globally with various business and partnerships now underway following the event.

 

Link to B&T Magazine news article (01/08/16): Foxtel Switches To Switch Media’s AdEase