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NAB: How IBM Cloud Video is powering the future of OTT


By Natan Edelsburg, SVP

April 18, 2016 | 5 min read

NAB, a major conference and marketplace for TV and technology is underway in Las Vegas. IBM is having their biggest presence ever as they expand and promote their Cloud Video business. After acquiring Ustream, one of the major live streaming platforms their offerings have never been stronger. Their tech is now powering major OTT platforms. As streaming intends to compete with the quality of linear it's never been more important that it all actually works seamlessly.

Here are the platforms that IBM is powering followed by an interview with Braxton Jarratt the General Manager of IBM Cloud Video.

  • Comic-Con HQ (in conjunction with Lionsgate): IBM Cloud Video’s Clearleap platform will be used to power the new SVOD service from soup-to-nuts, expanding the franchise and enabling pop culture fans to engage with the show year-round. The new service goes live on May 7.
  • Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC): IBM Cloud Video’s Clearleap platform will be powering the AVOD service, bringing CBC content to Canadians over the internet and on mobile.
  • Mazda: IBM Cloud Video’s Ustream platform successfully streamed the unveiling of Mazda’s new 2016 Miata MX-5 during the NYC Auto Show. With an average view time of 27 minutes, Mazda and IBM are proving that live-streamed events allow brands to engage with audiences on a new level.
  • AOL: The global digital media and technology company selected IBM Cloud Video’s Aspera platform for high-speed transfer and automation software to power the movement, sharing and exchange of content across AOL’s properties.

Found Remote: Why was it important for IBM to develop this capability?

Braxton Jarratt: There’s no denying that video streaming is revolutionizing the way that people watch television. As shown in our State of Streaming survey last year, streaming service penetration is on par with cable and usage has exceeded that of cable amongst millennials. What we’re seeing is a seismic shift in the way that people watch content, and a need for companies that could provide the technological infrastructure to support it.

This shift points to something bigger than just binge-watching and live-streaming. People are changing the way they get information, and are turning to video as the medium to obtain it. Now that video streaming has gone mainstream within the media and entertainment industry, IBM believes that the next step in the video revolution will be in the enterprise sector. IBM Cloud Video Services will provide enterprises with a fast and easy way to manage, monetize and grow user video experiences and deliver them securely over the Web and mobile devices.

FR: Why is the future of TV/OTT important to IBM?

BJ: In 2016, OTT is a mandate for every video content owner. Today’s viewers expect be able to watch video on every screen, whether that’s on their mobile phone, on their laptop, or in their living room. While wider access to content is great for the consumer, it can put significant strain on content owners who need to modernize to take advantage of the new methods of distribution.

IBM saw this shift happening and knew that the growth of OTT was going to require an unprecedented level of technology infrastructure to support it. By integrating best-in-class technology into its cloud video services unit, IBM has created a solution that supports both M&E content owners and all industries looking to capitalize on the power of video.

FR: How did these partnerships come about?

BJ: Each of the companies that partnered with us needed to make a major investment in premium OTT video, and looked to IBM Cloud Video to create a solution that met their customers’ needs. IBM Cloud Video offers a comprehensive and flexible solution that allows all types of organizations to scale their video capabilities.

FR: What are the key benefits of the IBM Cloud Video Platform?

BJ: IBM has been a long time developer of video and digital media technologies, and has invested billions of dollar in R&D and strategic acquisitions. As a result, IBM has developed a comprehensive end-to-end platform to help companies across all industries scale globally by providing the flexibility to support different types of monetization models.

Through the Cloud Video unit, IBM is delivering a powerful portfolio of video services that spans open API development, digital and visual analytics, simplified management and consistent delivery across global industries. As our new customer partnerships demonstrate, the platform can seamlessly support the three primary types of OTT video: subscription video-on-demand, ad-supported video-on-demand, and live-streaming, all while remaining reliable and flexible to the needs of the customer.

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