Channels need to centralise their content in order to stay relevant to audiences. For Robin Kroes of Chello DMC, the watchword going forward is innovation.
In the past five years, HD channels and video-on-demand (VoD) content have given broadcasters something new to offer as they step up to demands by operators for enhanced TV services to complement their offerings.
“If you do a cross-Europe channel now, you need to have an HD component to it,” says Robin Kroes, vice-president of commercial, operations and corporate development at digital media provider Chello DMC. “And starting this year, VoD is becoming a must-have.”
Without innovation, channels will become less relevant to audiences and will find it more difficult to hold on to key positions on TV operators’ platforms, he warns. This is why Chello DMC pioneered HD channel delivery in 2006, and why it has already run 3D transmissions this year.
“Channels need to optimise their offers, but this drives up complexity,” says Kroes. “Things such as VoD and web offerings for cable operators do not automatically generate more money, but channels need to do it to stay relevant.
“Channels have to slice and dice their content and send out an enormous amount of fi le formats. The best way to do this is to centralise your content so you have the database and the content assets in one location.”
Localising channels so they are relevant to local-language markets is a core business for the company. Clients such as National Geographic and Fox run various language versions out of Chello DMC’s Amsterdam hub to territories all over Europe. Enabling local advertising and locally versioned VoD are also key services at Chello DMC.
A new remote serving capability will allow channels to play out in a particular market yet be controlled by the Amsterdam hub for flexibility over programming, schedules and local advertising. The Amsterdam play-out hub is also working closely with its sister hubs in Budapest and Barcelona, leading to the integration of a Chello-wide approach that will deliver efficiencies in systems and processes.
One priority for the company is to extend its third-party client service beyond Amsterdam. Kroes says potential pan-European customers would see cost savings in using two or three locations.
Chello DMC recently announced a deal with Israeli satellite provider RRSat that will allow it to move archived content cost-effectively beyond Europe. “I think the future is bright for channels because there are more ways to reach viewers,” says Kroes. “The channels with strong content, good marketing, an entrepreneurial mindset and a good technical facilities partner that can implement a strategy cost efficiently will be able to take advantage of the opportunities.”
- DMC was founded in 2000 to provide play-out, content management, multi-territory and multilingual solutions to its sister company UPC
- To optimally support the international UPC channel rollout, the DMC began with full server-based play-out and the ability to play out 16 language tracks
- VoD creation and delivery was introduced in 2001
- From 2003, DMC started taking in content from third-party clients, adding Playboy and Cartoon Network. National Geographic chose DMC in 2004
- In 2006, DMC launched its first three HD feeds, in the first wave of HD play-out in Europe
- Also in 2006, E! chose DMC for play-out, with an innovative, fully digital workflow
- PC-based play-out began in 2007 to reduce costs and add flexibility; many existing and new channels have since been moved to this solution
- DMC made its first live 3D broadcast in 2010, of the Masters Golf Tournament in the Netherlands and Switzerland
- A new automated VoD delivery system was launched in 2010 to support the substantial growth in VoD volumes for clients
- Partnering with RRSat, this year DMC created a global play-out and content delivery capability
- DMC now delivers more than 50 SD and 10 HD channels
- November 2010: DMC rebranded as Chello DMC in recognition of closer integration across Chellomedia broadcast facilities