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The world's most influential media, entertainment & technology show

RAI Amsterdam  |  13 – 17 SEPTEMBER 2019

Registration open for IBC2019

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Register now for IBC2019

Register now for IBC2019

Access exclusive pre-release tickets at discounted rates!

Media-Telecom Catalysts in action

Media-Telecom Catalysts in action

Join us at Digital Transformation World in Nice, 14-16 May, to see the IBC & TM Forum Media-Telecom Catalyst showcase!


 

Conference.

400 inspirational speakers including game changing keynotes will speak in this year's Conference Programme.

Over the five days of the conference over 1,400 delegates and guests from across the globe will hear from our outstanding line-up of 400+ speakers, enjoy fantastic networking opportunities and be inspired to embrace the changes in our industry.

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Keynote Speakers and Global Gamechangers

Exhibition.

The IBC Exhibition covers fifteen halls across the RAI and hosts over 1,700 exhibitors spanning the media, entertainment and technology industry.

Combining a world-class exhibition with free-to-attend feature areas and events, the IBC Exhibition provides the perfect platform for you to network and build relationships with suppliers and customers, discover the latest trends and technologies and drive your innovations and strategy.

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WORLD LEADING EXHIBITORS

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  • Great experience, great content and great networking!
    Imad El Kadi
    Director of Operations, Paris Television Centre
  • One great place to have all those conversations, to see what's next and to show what's working.
    Yoav Schreiber
    Product Marketing Manager, Cisco Systems
  • An excellent opportunity to network with peers and hear the challenges in our industry!
    Gunnar Gudmundsson
    CTO, RUV Iceland
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    5 Days

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    1,700+ Delegates

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    400+ Speakers

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    100+ Sessions 

2018 Highlights


 

Free feature areas & events

IBC Awards

IBC Awards

Future Zone

Future Zone

Invitation only events

Leaders

Leaders' Forum

Cyber Security Forum

Cyber Security Forum

Telco & Media Innovation Forum

Telco & Media Innovation Forum

IBC365

  • For designers, the priority should be giving an experience that meets users’ experience and needs ahead of ‘special attractions’, writes Ostmodern’s CEO and co-founder Tom Williams.

    netflix mobile content

    Source: Netflix

    The temptation to make a great first impression often has the power to undermine serious core objectives. This is because it deprioritises these objectives in favour of shiny, decorative features. After a product has been launched, that temptation persists in adding even more shiny new features.

    As users, we know that a certain familiarity between different products within the same category is important. As an extreme example, when buying a new smartphone, we don’t expect it to have a round shape (does anyone remember Microsoft Kin). We don’t look for a phone with buggy software or very weak battery life. We’ve come to expect certain things that make it possible to use this device in every basic task we need it for.

    As designers, the priority is to materialise the experience our audience expects, and ensure their primary needs are met before we can stun them with a ‘special attraction’. The user may, at first sight, feel more attracted to a specific attribute in our product than its overall utility. If that appeal is all there is to the product, it will never be successful.

    Innovation can be a deceptive agent if you haven’t been around long enough to know that it needs a support cast. A fundamental element to consider at the beginning of any project in product design is the audience–who we’re innovating for.

    At Ostmodern, we use a term that keeps us focused on the user: empathy. There’s a reason why the first step in the creation of a unique selling proposition (USP) is understanding the target audience. Before considering the problem, your product needs to solve, before addressing industry pain points, a great product is built on customer insight.

    One of the most common offences we find in the design of OTT products is the preference for more features instead of fewer, better ones. This has emerged from the proliferation of online video platforms; a consequence of multiple industry leaders constantly striving for innovation. Smaller newcomers and panicking incumbents gather every possible tool to fight this by cramming a product with features that end up suffering from grave problems. Those features are never interesting enough to sustain the audience’s attention.

    Tom Williams CEO

    Tom Williams

    It’s an understandable error to make when navigating an industry that sees itself to be living in the shadows of Netflix. The number of streaming services today is staggering, and the subscription market appears saturated.

    Audiences have expectations about content diversity but that won’t make a difference if it is difficult to find content in the app. The titans in this industry that others follow and whose features they try to duplicate didn’t start at the level at which they find themselves now, drawing millions of global viewers. Their library growth brought on technology improvements, not the other way around.

    Even after years of studying this business, learning from competitors and launching ingenious features, these companies still work hard to understand their audiences even better. They excel at acting on what their audiences care about, presenting the information they want to show in the most compelling way possible to their target audience. This can’t be done by every company wanting to launch an OTT product.

    Our dedication to delivering the most useful and captivating digital products is linked to our acknowledgement of core principles. They represent a set of values which guide us in the right direction, all the while considering the expectations of our audience, the business we’re working with and the complexities of building a product.

    This leads to an approach in product development we advocate: the 80/20 rule. Our stance is to focus 80% of our effort in simply making sure that the product works, as users expect it to, by getting the core principles and interactions right. In the case of video and broadcast products this usually means that people need to be able to find and consume the content efficiently. This leaves you with 20% to push the product to express its individuality, reflecting its USP. The features that set you apart from competitors, your biggest brand differentiator and what will truly resonate with your user base all boil down to these 20%. The key objective, nonetheless, is that it will just work.

    This is why we always meet and get into the mindset of an audience when we are defining product strategy. Understanding how they want to be spoken to – and what they really care about – will always save a lot of time and money.

    Standing out isn’t just about being innovative. It’s easier to have a lot of different ideas and packing a bunch of new features into a platform than breathing new life into an older set of features that users are accustomed to.

    True innovation in user experience comes from the harmony between design and technology. Your unique proposition should reflect your strengths and the ultimate goal of your product, and not be based on a template that could be used by any other service. The 80/20 approach will ensure your product stands out from the start, without breaking the bank or gambling on a crazy feature set. It’s all about keeping the user happy.

    Tom Williams is CEO and co-founder at Ostmodern.

  • EE and Qualcomm are set to launch Europe’s first commercial 5G network next week, with the service set to go live in six cities across the UK.

    EE and Qualcomm are set to launch Europe’s first commercial 5G network next week, with the service set to go live in six cities across the UK. 

    EE will become the first mobile operator to switch on its 5G service in the UK, rolling out the service in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester on 30 May.

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    EE wins UK 5G race

    Source: EE

    EE announced its 5G roadmap at an event in London and said it plans to upgrade more than 100 new sites every month using band n78, which was auctioned earlier this year.

    EE’s 5G network will be built on top of its existing 4G network, offering consumers the benefits from both 4G, 5G and its fixed service, with the BT-owned operator claiming it will deliver “unprecedented download speeds in the UK in 2019.”

    EE chief executive Marc Allera promised customers would experience average download speeds of 156mbps. He said: It will be “like having a lane of the motorway all to yourself,” according to Cnet.

    Allera confirmed plans for 10 more cities to be added to the 5G network throughout this year with support from Qualcomm Technologies Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform, Snapdragon X50 5G Modem and its RF Front-End (RFFE) solutions.

    UK consumers will have access to the country’s first commercial 5G network and commercially available 5G smartphones by OnePlus, Oppo and LG.

    Allera added: “We’re at the bleeding edge of technology with this 5G launch, and that’s exactly where we want to be – enabled by our great relationship with Qualcomm Technologies.

    “Adding 5G to the UK’s number one 4G network will be transformative for consumer and business experiences – in 2019, that’s about creating a more reliable, faster experience. In the years to come 5G is going to be woven into every aspect of society, making lives better, easier and safer.”

    Qualcomm said it has contributed to industry standards and worked across a roadmap of new technologies and collaborations to expand the 5G ecosystem and help enable industry players deliver the next-generation technology.

    PP Foresight tech, media and telco analyst Paolo Pescatore told IBC365: “This is a statement of intent and its aggressive ambitions to rollout 5G should be applauded. More importantly, this is great news for the UK digital communications infrastructure.”

    The news follows Google’s decision last week to ban Chinese smartphone maker, Huawei from some updates to the Android operating system following pressure from the US.

    Pescatore added: “Lots of uncertainty surround 5G in light of the recent security concerns surrounding Huawei. The lack of any Huawei 5G smartphones is noticeable and a move that makes sense for now.”

    Numerous reports recently have raised the growing concerns globally about the role Huawei plays in supplying network equipment to the UK’s mobile operators for their 5G roll-out, following the US’s decision to ban its business in America.

    Allera told the BBC that EE does currently use Huawei’s equipment, although it is in the process of removing it from the core of its 4G network.

    Pescatore said: “Consumers are starting to be wary about Huawei products and quite possibly other Chinese products. This will have a negative impact on 5G consumer take-up in the short term.”

  • US telco providers, T-Mobile and Sprint have committed to taking “significant steps” to advance the next-generation wireless connectivity across the United States.

    US telco providers, T-Mobile and Sprint have committed to taking “significant steps” to advance the next-generation wireless connectivity across the United States. 

    tmobile sprint credit rblfmr shutterstock

    T-Mobile and Sprint pledge to build next-gen 5G network

    Source: rblfmr / Shutterstock

    The companies announced adjusted merger terms to address concerns raised by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), after numerous attempts over recent years.

    The companies have agreed to specific 5G coverage guarantees, which include 100 Mbps download speeds, the equivalent to a fast home broadband connection.

    As well as ensuring the network is accessible to 97% of the US within three years and to 99% of the population within the following six years of closing the deal.

    T-Mobile and Sprint have pledged to build the next generation 5G network within six years of completing the merger and have promised the network will include coverage to rural areas in the US.

    Additionally, the two companies have guaranteed that 90% of Americans would have access to mobile broadband service at speeds of at least 100 Mbps and 99% would have access to speeds of at least 50 Mbps.

    Formal approval must be granted by the FCC and the US Department of Justice.

    FCC chairman Ajit Pai endorsed the $26 billion merger.

    He said: “This is a unique opportunity to speed up the deployment of 5G throughout the United States and bring much faster mobile broadband to rural Americans. We should seize this opportunity.”

    If the deal is approved the number of major US wireless telecom carriers would drop from four to three, combining T-Mobile and Sprint to compete with US’s two largest network providers, Verizon and AT&T.

    In a statement, Pai said: “The significant commitments made by T-Mobile and Sprint as well as the facts in the record to date, I believe that this transaction is in the public interest and intend to recommend to my colleagues that the FCC approve it.”

    It was also noted that if the two companies did not live up to these commitments, they “would suffer serious consequences if they fail to follow through,” pointing to billions of dollars in fines payable to the US Treasury.

    The next-generation network would also cover 85% of rural American within three years.

    Pai added: “The construction of this network and the delivery of such high-speed wireless services to the vast majority of Americans would substantially benefit consumers and our country as a whole.”

    The companies have also taken the necessary steps to respond to the FCC’s concerns around the transaction and have committed to not raise prices for a minimum of three years as well as confirming they will divest Boost Mobile.

    Pai said: “This sale is designed to address potential competitive issues that have been identified in the prepaid wireless segment.”

    According to the terms of the deal, the sale of Boost Mobile is intended to “remove any remaining doubts regarding the impact of the merger on prepaid wireless customers and competition,” addressing the concerns on the impact for lower-income households in the US.

    T-Mobile US chief executive John Legere said: “The new T-Mobile will be a disruptive rival with the resources to go toe-to-toe with established behemoths to drive competition and innovation that benefits everyone, everywhere.”

  • Voice has unlocked opportunities for broadcasters and platform operators to deliver customised experiences and next-generation TV experiences.

    Voice has unlocked opportunities for broadcasters and platform operators to deliver customised experiences and next-generation TV experiences.

    The IBC365 webinar Talking to the TV: Transforming the viewing experience with voice control explored the value of voice control for content discovery, the biometrics of personalisation and the increase in engagement and censorship.

    Speakers from TiVo, Liberty Global and Tele2 discussed the importance of delivering compelling user experiences (UX) and the best strategies for broadcasters and platform operators to develop voice interfaces and maintain control of experiences.


    New horizons
    Horizon 4 is Liberty Global’s newly launched TV platform in Belgium by Telenet headed up by Liberty Global senior manager personalisation and discovery Ashley Grossman.

    Liberty Global is a conglomeration of multiple cable brands in over 45 million homes and 21.2 million customers.

    Grossman explained its mission with the technology was to take some of the legacy platforms that spanned multiple countries and territories and to try and build a new platform, next-generation TV platform at scale, which was completed predominately in house.

    Grossman explained the modern ecosystem where the user experience (UX) is at the forefront of delivery with “one box, one UI and one platform.”

    Voice was an integral consideration in its set top box developments. Grossman said: “Part of the Horizon ecosystem is what we call the 360 area which is taking this UI and taking this content and making it available on a number of other platforms.”

    Distributed across various set top boxes, Android TV and Apple TV.

    “A big part of this whole mission is to incorporate voice,” which Grossman explained wasn’t an automatic decision weighing up the consumer and market readiness.

    The challenges, Grossman outlined, included integrating voice across multiple languages and what it was going to do to the user.

    Switzerland was the first launch market with German, French, Italian and English languages necessary for launch.

    He said: “The fundamentals of voice control begin with decent quality of audio capture.”

    There was some consideration given to a handsfree system, location of the microphone and the remote design.

    Grossman said: “We focussed on command and control as well as search.

    “Channel tuning, opening applications, navigating through the menus, controlling the playback and search and discover,” were the primary points of focus for Liberty to deliver a good UX.

    There are various trade-offs with voice, such as how conversational is search going to be versus fulfilling content search for customers?

    Unchartered territory
    “Voice is very much a journey of discovering for the customers and discovering how the service works and we are also discovering how consumers interact with it.”

    Grossman explained voice initially perceived as a nice-to-have and gimmick is now integral to customers usage and “exceeded all expectations.”

    He added that 40% of customers surveyed said they would use voice; Grossman didn’t reveal the numbers but assured the audience it higher than two thirds of customers.

    Grossman expects voice to become the preferred methods of content search with some using voice to tune channels.

    Some 27% of the webinar listeners have already implemented a customised voice control interface, while 33% have developed skills on commercial platforms like Alexa and Google Home.


    Only 13% of respondents are in the early stages of voice control research and 27% cited it was too early to say.

    Tele2 lead product creative Morvarid Kashanipour joined the discussion and explained the importance of designing a product with a user-centric focus, fast time to market and cost efficient.

    She said: “Designing the products is important to always consider different dimensions.”

    One dimension is the user needs, and another is the business requirements and technological capabilities.

    The main priority Kashanipour explains is content discovery for audiences, she said: “Users don’t really care where that content comes from, they just want to consume it and they want a reliable product which is easy to use anytime and anywhere.”

    Evolve traditional TV experiences
    The focus shifted for Tele2 during the design process, where simplicity was the focus rather than traditional TV viewing habits.

    Kashanipour said: “We really considered the power of voice, when it works well and how you can interact with it.”

    During the launch process Kashanipour explained it was important to consider the channel line-up, the images to engage the user as well as enabling voice to enhance interactions.

    She added: “Voice adds another dimension; it is easy to navigate and is the key to searching for content.”

    Kashanipour expects that voice will become a “new habit,” pointing to Google Assistant’s capability to define and set new actions, enabling a great personalisation of experiences.

    Kashanipour leads design for Tv Hub, Com Hem Play and Boxer Play products at Com Hem/Tele2.

    She has received numerous awards, among them Red Dot Award 2018 for Tv Hub Android TV set-top box and remote control design, CSI awards 2018 for The Best User Experience and two Connies Awards 2019 in the category of The Best User Experience and International Grand Prix.

    Finding nirvana
    Proving the underlying voice control technology to many operators is TiVo whose mission is personalised content discovery.

    The usage of voice across international markets has exceeded all predictions explained TiVo senior director customer solutions Patrick Byrden.

    Byrden is focussed on helping customers implement voice, analytics and recommendation-led entertainment discovery solutions that enable consumers to find and enjoy the entertainment content they love.

    He said: “People are starting to use [voice] as a service and they’re starting faster than ever before.”

    The average search per month is 35 per household which has a “great” impact and different levels of engagement with content Byrden explained.

    Command and control, robust features to drive user interest and personalised engagement are the key to making voice search successful.

    Byrden said: “Enabling the customer to interact with the UI and solution.”

    He said the “nirvana use case” is a customer using the voice search function to get a personalised return on something they will want to watch from linear, OTT or video on-demand.

    Byrden said: “People who use voice, not only do they search more but they also view content more than those who do not use voice.”


 

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