Australian-based Switch Media is launching its suite of highly sophisticated OTT technologies into the US market.
The company announced that it will headquarter its US operations in San Francisco and will be led by Switch Media’s US Vice-President of Business Development, Chris Moore.
The move into the North American market follows its tenth successive year of growth and a slew of major contract wins leading Australian broadcasters.
These include contracts to deliver streaming solutions and apps for Australia’s leading broadcasters over the past 12 months, including subscription TV service Foxtel, free-to-air networks SBS, ABC and Network 10.
Last month, Switch also delivered a world first for the free-to-air consortium, Freeview, for which it developed and launched an app that live-streams 19 TV channels and catch-up content from all of Australia’s free-to-air networks.
Switch Media co-founder and CEO, Christopher Stenhouse, said the move into the US market has come off the back of positive responses at the NAB in Las Vegas earlier this year.
“The US streaming market continues to explode with new players disrupting the market,” Stenhouse said. “We recently saw AT&T launch its new DirectTV service and don’t expect the level of activity slow down.
“We believe our suite of cost effective OTT products and our ability to easily integrate some, or all of them, into existing infrastructure as well as monetize clients services with our ability to upload ads ’on-the-fly’ into program content streams, will be an attractive offer in the US market.”
Moore, who was previously the head of sales for Switch Media in Australia, said there has been strong interest in the Switch Media offering among US content owners and streaming platforms, particularly for its dynamic monetization solution AdEase.
“The reactions so far have been very positive. The broadcast industry appreciates that AdEase is platform-agnostic, and its highly configurable approach to server-side ad insertion (SSAI),” Moore said.
“AdEase allows the broadcaster’s on-demand content and ‘live event’ sport, entertainment and news to side-step the ad-blocking apps and deliver a TV-like viewing experience that integrates ads with program content on any digital device.
“As a CMS platform-agnostic solution it plugs into and works with any existing systems and existing workflows, meaning content does not need to be re-ingested. AdEase can take existing video streams, detect the ad breaks and stitch ads into the stream without being detected by ad blockers.”
In addition to AdEase, the Switch Media suite of products also includes Switch Media Manager, Switch Live, Switch Live2Vod, Switch MasterApp and Switch Universal Player.
Stenhouse added: “There are opportunities with not only traditional broadcasters, but with other media services, as well as the sports, hospitality and entertainment sectors.
“We are seeing new entrants looking to leverage their own content or the rights they hold by creating their own online channels such as the National Collegiate Athletics Association direct streaming its college basketball league through to Red Bull TV launching a dedicated channel with content that reflects the brand values.”
Stenhouse said the expansion into the US market was the third market it had entered since it established in Australia in 2006, with the company also having a presence in India to serve the two billion South Asian market and New Zealand.
He said the company is considering further global expansion in the coming year as the OTT sector is expected to grow by a compound annual growth rate of 17.2 per cent, hitting $US62 billion by 2020.
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