The Reimagination Imperative: Building Tomorrow’s Media Ecosystem

Bill O’Hara, General Manager, Media

Many articles have been written about the disruption occurring within the media industry.  Media platforms have become fragmented and business models upended.  The fact of the matter is that this is not the first time—nor the last—that the content distribution ecosystem will undergo a structural shift. 

The biggest challenge that could befall us is a lack of imagination—the inability to rethink and restructure the media ecosystem to address the disruptive forces at play.  Content remains king, but the viewer is no longer homogenous nor passive.  The convergence of technologies, emergence of 5G and proliferation of interactive viewing platforms have placed the viewer in control like never before.  Big data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are going a long way toward increased monetization of subscribers, but a reimagination of core content distribution will need to occur for growth to be sustainable.

As media companies work to distribute high quality content over multiple distribution platforms and provide easy mechanisms for viewers to easily find their favorite show or channel, fragmentation has made their network infrastructure costly and more technically complex to manage. 

At the same time, viewers expect the same level of quality and reliability across multiple platforms and across more devices at affordable prices.  For major sporting events and television cliffhangers, availability and reliability of high-quality content are required regardless of screen.  Otherwise, media companies will be increasingly susceptible to viewer churn and become less attractive to advertisers.

That is why flexible, scalable, and reliable solutions for a newly emerging ecosystem are needed—solutions that reimagine traditional roles, technologies, and partnerships.  Over the past few years, Intelsat has taken a deeper look at the media ecosystem to find better ways to serve our customers.

First, the qualities that have made satellite essential to the content distribution ecosystem remain.  The ubiquity, scalability, reliability and ability to cost-effectively and securely distribute content to millions of people all over the world will to continue to play an integral role.

That said, given the fragmentation of content streams and platforms, there is a need to solve complexity facing our media customer’s and find simpler ways to more cost-effectively aggregate content and data in a way that does not sacrifice the viewer’s experience.  Our goal is to build a media ecosystem that converges these disparate work flows and connectivities by making intelligent decisions around connectivity and media processing in a single platform.  We will do this by:

  • Providing access anytime, anywhere in the world. In the new media environment, Intelsat’s global space-based and terrestrial network will continue to provide access to premier cable and broadcast systems around the world.  By using our network which also consists of our leading global video neighborhoods and MCPC platforms, media companies are automatically connected to 2 billion viewers worldwide.  In fact, just 4 satellites provide media customers with instant global distribution. 
  • Investing in partnerships that enhance our distribution network’s reach and reliability in an all-IP environment. Our partnership with Dejero provides blended connectivity so that media outlets can take advantage of the inherent strengths of satellite and cellular technologies to ensure that they are able to remotely broadcast and distribute content in any environment.
  • Building a foundation that addresses the needs of a dynamic media environment. We have begun that process by complementing existing distribution models beginning with Dejero IronRoute which solves the challenge of first and last-mile connectivity to and from the cloud.

o   Dejero IronRoute is a fully-managed solution for media that delivers reliable connectivity by blending broadband, cellular (3G/4G/5G), and satellite connectivity from Intelsat’s global network.   It combines all available network connections to create a virtual ‘network of networks’ with the necessary bandwidth to deliver broadcast-quality content to and from the cloud.

We are also partnering with leading cloud service providers to deliver scalable cloud-based online video solutions that will seamlessly deliver video content to any screen as well as industry leading audio, textual and content enrichment. 

  • Removing complexity and cost associated with the management of our customer’s network. We are providing our customers with the tools to seamlessly and more cost-effectively ingest video and metadata from multiple sources and systems.  The tools will also help them manage streams of increasing file size and provide them with the ability to transcode, store and transfer that content across multiple platforms all around the world.
    • o Dejero IronRoute is the first step toward simplifying the simultaneous distribution of content to multiple locations anywhere in the world, whether it be network affiliates, station groups, or to other broadcasters and media organizations. Live and file-based content can quickly and easily be distributed point-to-point, point-to-multipoint, and multipoint-to-multipoint with a simple drag and drop interface in a web browser.

And this is only the beginning.  As technology evolves and viewer behavior continues to shift, the content distribution network will evolve as it has in the past.  Amidst the disruption, one factor will remain constant.  Media companies will continue to rely on Intelsat and satellite technology to ensure that viewers have access to high quality, entertaining content, whenever or wherever they want to watch it.

To learn more about Intelsat’s media solutions, come visit us at IBC, Hall 1.C71.