Unified Streaming, a leader in smart video streaming technologies, has announced the launch of Unified Remix VOD2Live, which enables OTT providers to create live channels that connect VOD content with audiences in new ways, improving viewer engagement while opening up new monetization opportunities and reducing costs.

The solution, which is based on the company’s innovative Unified Remix playlist technology, allows streaming providers to bring new life to their content libraries by presenting VOD programming in new curatable linear channels. This approach replicates the lean-back TV experience that viewers have enjoyed for decades - smooth, reliable and glitch-free - and removes the headache of searching through oceans of content on multiple platforms for something to watch. The result is a more engaged viewer, generating longer viewing sessions and new monetization opportunities through an increase in ad spots.

Remix VOD2Live addresses an industry trend that is often overlooked: the ongoing popularity and resulting advertising opportunities of live television. According to recent data from YouGov, viewers in the U.S. spend 4 hours more watching live TV per week compared to VOD or catch up. Combined with data from Statista, which shows that on average there were 16 minutes of ad breaks per hour on primetime networks in Q1 2019, and a picture of a missed opportunity reveals itself. By presenting VOD content as a live channel, providers have an opportunity to generate significantly more viewing time and an extra hour of ad spots per viewer per week.

Simon Westbroek, VP Global Sales at Unified Streaming said: “By turning the VOD experience into a live one, Remix VOD2Live sets a new standard for streamed live channels in what is a win-win for both the viewer and streaming provider. We are providing viewers with their much-loved content in a format they prefer while also increasing advertising opportunities for the provider. On top of that we’re reducing cost to market by skipping the set-up of a full broadcast chain.”

One of the OTT providers using Remix VOD2Live in Beta is Alchimie, a French OTT provider with over 60,000 hours of content from partners including Arte, France TV and ZDF Enterprises. The company is using Remix VOD2Live to further utilize the VOD catalogue of one of its customers and add new advertising opportunities.

“Alchimie’s philosophy is built on providing viewers with a better content experience – whether that’s through curated content experiences or through monetization methods that fit with their expectations,” said David Amiot, CTO at Alchimie. “Remix VOD2Live offers an efficient tool for dynamically delivering virtually unlimited linear channels to the right audience with the linear experience of advertising.”

Use cases for Remix VOD2Live include:

  • Niche/boutique channels
    Creating valuable differentiators for streaming providers that would otherwise be too expensive.
  • Targeting by demography or brand product
    Promoting certain car brands in a dedicated James Bond channel, for example.
  • Flexible ad breaks
    Without the constraints of pre-determined ad breaks, OTT providers can place targeted ads where they want and manage the number of ads a viewer sees to optimize the viewer experience.
  • Trailer channels
    Providing viewers with teasers for the latest must-see box sets.

Unified Remix, which powers Remix VOD2Live, is based on playlists, as opposed to video files, meaning broadcasters and streaming providers are able to manage streams on the fly, via their own CMS, while making the OTT experience more relevant to the end viewer. It reduces the heavy lifting that file-based workflows require. Because of this innovative approach, Remix VOD2Live negates the need for a live encoder, which considerably reduces set-up costs. It also provides streaming providers with more time to prepare their live channels – to support different codecs, for example, as AV1 and Dolby are otherwise notoriously hard to integrate into a live video stream – and it paves the way for future innovations, such as on-the-fly editing and combining VOD assets with live events.

Remix VOD2Live, which integrates seamlessly with Unified Streaming’s Unified Origin product, supports multiple formats, DRM, SCTE-35 markers, and more. Remix VOD2Live edits playlists before they reach the CDN, meaning the channels are treated as new uninterrupted streams, which improves reliability.

Remix VOD2Live is available now.