[itvt] Column: The iTV Doctor Is In! It's Time to Get in the OTT Game

Dear iTV Doctor:
I need your help. I'm watching my competitors launch direct-to-consumer channels online. I have a library of content just sitting around gathering dust. And my ad revenues are shrinking as viewers are cutting the cords with my distribution partners. The old business models just don't work anymore.
Lagging in Los Angeles.
Dear Lagging:
You are not alone. I hear the same complaint from virtually everybody in the industry. The industry is shifting and the changes are accelerating. In my humble opinion, it's time for you to get in the OTT game.
And there are a number of ways to go. You can build a complex, cloud-based content storage and delivery system. You can construct a billing and customer management "back end" to make sure you get paid. You can revamp your ad sales force (or start one up) to take advantage of the additional eyeballs. And you can find a way to host and deliver your catalog while maintaining your current business.
Or you can use OTT Gateway from Worldnow. OTT Gateway is a low-cost fast-launch OTT platform, perfectly suited for library content that might not make the cut for your high-profile OTT launches.
I spoke with Worldnow president and chief operating officer Craig Smith recently, and here's what he had to say about OTT Gateway.
iTV Doctor: Craig, first tell us a little about Worldnow.
Craig Smith: Worldnow is a leading provider of fully integrated, digital, multiplatform content-management solutions that enables media publishers to create, manage, deliver and monetize content seamlessly and affordably. We say it's "All Media. One Platform. Any Device."
Worldnow has a successful 16-year track record of supporting the complex and demanding digital workflows for more than 400 media properties. The company's provisioning of enterprise solutions provides the scale, performance and streamlined workflow required for building greater audience and revenue. Our national sales team has been an innovator in digital advertising solutions with coverage of 81% of US TVHH and over 4 billion monthly ad impressions.
At our core we provide open, modular platforms that provide for content management (CMS), IP video management (OVP), mobile, and now OTT. Our legacy has been in supporting the demanding needs of local broadcasters and we are know leveraging that experience in the larger media space.
iTV Doctor: How did you come to develop OTT Gateway?
Craig Smith: Worldnow's strong legacy in the CMS and OVP space with broadcasters helped pave the way for a new, robust OTT solution that is a fully integrated and delivers all the functionality required to launch and support fully automated and branded OTT apps. This is a natural extension of our OTT offering, as we are aggressively moving to where the consumer is going with respect to how they interact with content.
iTV Doctor: What does OTT Gateway do?
Craig Smith: OTT Gateway from Worldnow is a dynamic, easy-to-deploy, modular solution that allows media companies to quickly extend their rich media assets to OTT at a lower cost than current solutions in the market. It provides all the functionality of a tradition OVP platform, a live-stream channel creation and management platform, and VOD apps for the major connected=TV platforms. Our OVP platform has a 15-year successful track record in supporting the demands of enterprise media companies. Our live-stream platform, Channel In a Box (CiaB), basically bundles all the major elements of a broadcast station into a simple management tool that leverages dynamic Web-ready assets with a program manager to build live streams and generate maximum revenue from advertising. This allows publishers to easily create a lean-back experience leveraging current media assets. Finally, our connected-TV apps deliver the basic UI and functionality required to support VOD across multiple platforms. Together they provide for a powerful solution that is easy to deploy and modular so customers can self-select which pieces they want to leverage.
iTV Doctor: Why should a content owner use OTT Gateway?
Craig Smith: OTT strategies are complex and costly. And since the environment is fluid with rapid changes, there is considerable associated risk. We are making it easy for publishers to quickly implement an OTT strategy and provide options for supporting both new live-stream channels and VOD solutions on a single platform. We can do it at a lower cost, faster time-to-deploy, and ultimately lower risk than solutions currently in the market. Additionally, our modular approach provides publishers choice. If you had an OVP platform but just want to extend to live-stream channels and connected-TV apps, you can. If you need an OVP platform and want to build live-stream channels but want to use someone else for connected-TV apps, that is fine as well. Flexibility is critical because, as soon as you implement a solution, things are going to change and content owners need vendors that are flexible so they can adjust. We also provide a CMS, so if you want to manage the complete content supply chain for digital screens in one workflow, Worldnow is the answer.
And, of course, we have a national ad network that can help publishers monetize their audience. This supports a critical need, as many publishers are not yet ready to build the digital ad sales organization required to properly monetize their audience in a very complex and changing environment. Worldnow can fill this gap to ensure maximum revenue generation.
iTV Doctor: When can we all see OTT Gateway?
Craig Smith: We will be rolling out our full OTT Gateway solution at NAB and we would encourage anyone interested in learning more to come by our booth in the Upper Level South Hall (SU12010), right next to the Aerial Robotics and Drone Pavilion.

The iTV Doctor is Rick Howe, who provides interactive video consulting services to programmers, advertisers and technology providers. He is the recipient of a CTAM Tami Award for retention marketing and this year was inducted into The Cable Pioneers. He is also the co-author of a patent for the use of multiscreen mosaics in EPG's. Endorsed by top cable and satellite distributors, "Dr" Howe still makes house calls, and the first visit is always free. His services include product development, distribution strategy and the development of low-cost interactive applications for rapid deployment across all platforms.


Have a question for the iTV Doctor? Email him at TheiTVDoctor@gmail.com

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