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10 June 2021

Ateme realizes personalized TV ambitions, a little later than planned

Some 18 months ago, Ateme made a number of exclusive and hard to swallow comments to Faultline about evolving from an encoding expert into a company enabling personalized TV for broadcasters. While the unforeseen escalation of the Covid-19 pandemic shortly after this conversation might have hampered Ateme’s efforts, this week has seen the French firm deliver on its promise with the release of full channel origination in its NEA suite to enable delivery of personalized TV channels.

By upgrading NEA with on-the-fly full channel origination capabilities, customers – including content owners, broadcasters and service providers – can deliver more relevant content to viewers across both OTT and OTA services. The technology schedules VoD files for linear streams, enabling clients to create new themed channels from scratch, from documentary and lifestyle to children’s programming, with minimal upfront investment.

NEA channel origination follows a microservices approach designed to run in the cloud, on-premise or in a hybrid model, and is all cloud-native and containerized. When we talk about microservices, we tend to opt for a Lego bricks analogy, and Ateme is no different – bringing its Content Lego servicing feature for both VoD and linear content which it says removes the complexities from the two distinct workflows. The result of this particular Lego brick in the bigger microservices structure is reduced infrastructure and CPU requirements when compared with traditional playout technology – plus reduced costs and a lower carbon footprint.

Ateme is enabling the creation of personalized channels, including splitting and stitching, in order to scale up, and one angle the company plans to make money from initially is ad insertion – through a combination of compression, origin server and manifest file manipulation technology.

When Faultline spoke with Ateme on this topic in December 2019, the company explained that its long-term goal was to enable future trends like tailored TV line-ups for broadcasters to reduce churn and create these on the fly, with personalized ads. Around eight months later, in August 2020, Ateme acquired Anevia in what transpired to be a more crucial step towards reaching this personalized TV goal than anyone initially expected – with the vendors sharing a common personalized TV vision around their complementary product lines. Anevia’s NEA content network delivery portfolio equipped Ateme with dynamic ad insertion capabilities, while we know the on-demand analytics element was also of particular interest to Ateme, as a vendor best known for live OTT and satellite distribution.

Anevia also made Ateme more competitive in high-density encoding, which is uniquely important for live video encoding when running multiple live video feeds, and for encoding content awash with small ad slots where thousands of instances are processed in a particularly short timeframe. Live sports broadcasts require high density processing due to the multiple live camera feeds and features like match interviews which require bidirectional streaming.

Ateme’s VP of Media Supply Chain, Jean-Louis Lods, described the upgrade as a “real paradigm change in the construction of linear streams.” Lods says, regardless of national, regional local, or personalized streaming, full channel origination will “enable content and service providers to tap into new revenue streams while reducing operational costs.”