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Olympics a turning point for online video

The London 2012 Olympics set new benchmark in how consumers will access and media companies distribute media content online in the future, claims Adobe’s VP of video monetisation Jeremy Helfand. 

Speaking to DTVE, Helfand – who delivered a keynote yesterday on next generation strategies for bringing VoD, live events and simulcast content to connected devices – predicted that the next three years would bring about a “dramatic acceleration in how you consume content across devices.”

“I think the Olympics experience this past summer changed the way live viewing is going to happen in the future,” said Helfand. “I don’t think there’s any turning back – it’s a new benchmark by which both consumers expect content to be available, and also by which media companies believe that they can build a business around live events and other types of content.”

Helfand claimed that while broadcasters have traditionally been afraid that making content available online would detract from established and reliable TV ad revenues, the Olympics had helped to demonstrate that putting more content on the web is beneficial from a monetisation, as well as a viewer standpoint.

“From a strategy perspective, for major broadcasters around the globe, what we’ve seen over the last year is them move from more of a defensive posture to one where they’re really starting to lean forward and adopt aggressive strategies to offer up more and more content [online]. In 2013 we’re seeing a lot of the top tier media companies building digital into their programming and business strategy,” said Helfand.

Though he said that challenges still remained about ad measurement that would need to be solved to see an incremental increase in online ad dollars, Helfand tipped 2013 would bring about a “real acceleration in the availability of content online.”

“TV has gone from being a device to being content and the expectation from consumers is increasingly all about ‘I should be able to consume that great content where I want to, when I want to.’ That’s a fabulous opportunity for operators and broadcasters around the world, because as you make it easier for consumers to get access to content, they will actually consume more content – it’s not cannibalistic to their traditional television businesses,” said Helfand.

Adobe partnered with both the BBC in the UK and NBC in the US to help them deliver their online Olympics coverage. Both used Adobe’s Project Primetime video platform, which is designed to deliver TV-like viewing experience across platforms, including iOS and Android. The 2012 Olympics have been widely hailed as the first fully digital games. The BBC’s coverage included up to 24 HD online live streams of the action as it unfolded, while NBC’s Olympics digital output notched up nearly 2 billion page views and 159 million video streams.

 

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