After Streaming Media West, interview with Jan Ozer part II: Trends and technologies

Nov. 30, 2015

A little after his return from Streaming Media West, we got hold of Jan Ozer, streaming media author and consultant. Jan delivered two Streaming Media University Workshops and gave a number of presentations in the conference’s regular program.

In this second part of the interview, Jan will discuss the trends and interesting technologies he noticed at the show. We’ll close the interview with a short video, in which Jan summarized his experience of working in streaming media in a purely non-tech, abbreviation-free, human terms.

(Haven't seen the first part yet? The interview begins here.)

N: What industry trends drew your attention at this year’s Streaming Media West?
J: People are starting to realize that the transition from Flash to HTML5 is going to happen in the next 12-18 months. They know they've got to make a change. And many have transitioned already, although that's primarily with progressive download video, and not with adaptive streaming. So a lot of the sessions were either directly about that or mentioned it peripherally. 

Beyond that, everybody needs to produce more efficiently and monetize - so a lot of the sessions covered how you make money from online video, how you justify investment in video infrastructure it in a corporate environment and how you produce it as efficiently as possible.

N: Were there any other technologies that caught your attention?
J: I think server-side ad insertion technologies are significant because ad-blockers are becoming very pervasive - to the extent that they are threatening the industry, which is advertising-based. 

I also saw a lot of interest in VP9 as an alternative to HEVC; I think a lot of people are expecting VP9 use to increase significantly in 2016. There seems to be a lot of frustration with HEVC, primarily relating to royalty structure.At the end of 2014, we thought the licensing structure was set. In 2015, another royalty group formed and issued some very aggressive licensing terms. I think in 2016 you'll see some very large companies, besides YouTube, distributing VP9.

There was a lot of virtual reality (VR) at the show compared to the previous year, and not only from a "Hey, we can do this now!" perspective but also from a streaming perspective. That is the other piece of technology that I believe is going to be significant in 2016. Even if the belief is that VR is in its early-days, unlike 3D television, VR really feels like it’s how we're going to be doing things in 5-10 years. It seems like a more natural technology progression than what 3D offers." A recent Streaming Media article discusses how production-ready VR is.

N: Anything you’d like to say in conclusion?
J: Everybody was very positive at Streaming media West. I think people go to learn the latest trends in technology and streaming and it really felt like a lot of people are using streaming more for business purposes than before.

At the end of our conversation, Jan shared his personal experience of the video industry, which many of you may relate to, as I did:

 

You can download Jan Ozer’s presentations used in Streaming Media West 2015 workshops from his blog, including “Making The Switch From Flash To HTML5” and “Encoding 2015: Codecs and Packaging for PCs, Mobile and OTT/STB/Smart TVs” 

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