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5 December 2019

Ateme confuses itself for personalization biz to drive cloud uptake

Regular readers will know exactly how we feel about vendor-authored reports, so we were bamboozled to notice a strange trend of vendors publishing research about technologies or markets in which they don’t appear to have any immediate vested interest. The most glaring came from French compression company Ateme, just last week associating itself with personalization software.

Apparently, 8 in 10 broadcasters risk falling further behind streaming services due to management indecision about migrating to cloud infrastructure, which Ateme argues is a must-have for personalized advertising strategies. Clearly, there are countless factors as to why broadcaster services are being out-viewed by OTT video offerings, and Ateme is highlighting one of many – just not the one we expected.

Ateme is basically trying to encourage the adoption of cloud-based infrastructure. The more broadcasters deliver targeted, personalized ads from the cloud, the more content will require cloud-based encoding – and therefore more business for Ateme. It’s a strange strategy from Ateme, but if you squint hard enough, it just about makes sense. Faultline touched base with Ateme but the company turned down the chance to expand on its market research.

This high level of cloud hesitance among broadcast management is apparently down to various misconceptions about cloud-based technologies in recent years, according to Ateme. But as prices fall and reliability increases, specifically regarding the sensitive topic of data security, broadcasters are seeing the light.

Ateme’s research is light on technological detail, other than finding that 60% of broadcasters are using virtual broadcasting technology to create one-off channels in a matter of hours – mainly to capitalize on live events to develop offerings targeted at more niche audiences. Of those broadcasters not currently using virtualized broadcasting, 70% plan to use the technology in some form within a year.

This is where Ateme’s vested interests become clearer, in its ability to efficiently compress and deliver content in the cloud over most networks, making use of the latest low-latency formats such as CMAF (Common Media Application Format). Ateme may feel that its association with encoding OTT video reduces its appeal to broadcasters, and so as physical encoders are being replaced by full cloud-based compression software like Ateme’s flagship Titan platform, the company has been shouting about cloud benefits.

Partnering with broadcast equipment makers is another strategy of Ateme’s, most recently renewing a deal with Hitachi Kokusai Linear to deliver Kyrion encoders to the Brazilian supplier.

Further results show that only 26% of middle management positions at TV and broadcast companies are currently exploring how to offer personalized ads to viewers. That’s a frighteningly low figure, although perhaps not when we consider that just 34% of broadcasters currently generate revenue through ads.

With such a low proportion of broadcasters running ads and an even lower amount open to embracing the delivery of the latest personalized advertising techniques, such as addressable, Ateme’s research is even more niche.

However, interest was identified with 96% of broadcasters acknowledging consumer demand for more personalized services. As such, some 66% are considering moving to the cloud and 28% have already kicked off their cloud migration strategies.

Ateme’s Chief Strategy Officer Remi Beaudouin said, “By using technology and the data available to them to tap into this trend, traditional broadcasters will be able to create a tailor-made viewing experience and potentially open up new revenue streams. Moving to the cloud will allow broadcasters to adopt new technologies and make more effective use of their data so that they can begin to offer the level of personalization more often associated with streaming platforms and their algorithms.”