IBM Extends Its Cloud Video Reach at NAB Show
AOL is using Aspera technology for production of all of its video content, Jarratt said. The media company has two studios, one in New York and one in Los Angeles, where it produces high-quality video content for its Huffington Post, TechCrunch and other brands. The company was having issues in delivering content between the coasts in real time because of the enormous size of the uncompressed video files. Rather than build dedicated networks or use satellite transmission, AOL opted to use the Aspera software to do high-speed transfer and keep both studios in sync at the same time. AOL's in-house video production through AOL Studios generates between 2TB and 4TB of video each day, IBM said. Also at the NAB show, IBM announced that Mazda used IBM's video services to stream the launch of its MX-5 Miata RF live from the New York International Auto Show on March 22. Mazda used IBM's Ustream technology for that event and plans to use it for other announcements, according to IBM. "One of the good things about the products we have in the cloud video unit is that some of them are as simple as self-service. Mazda is probably the closest to that," Jarratt said. "With Lionsgate they chose a vendor to do the look and feel of the site."Together, these new announcements demonstrate IBM is continuing to grow its roster of global cloud video customers, said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. The new customers join other high-profile IBM Cloud Video unit clients, A+E Networks, BBC America, HBO, Scripps Networks Interactive and Verizon. "IBM is betting heavily on this area with significant acquisitions and development efforts," King said. "That isn't surprising given estimates of the market for cloud-based video growing to $100 billion within three years. The size of IBM's investments and its global network of cloud data centers should put the company in a good position to profit as demand for cloud-served media grows." In addition to the new deals, IBM announced Aspera FASPStream, a new application software line that enables live streaming of broadcast-quality video over commodity Internet networks. Jarratt said the software uses Aspera's FASP bulk data protocol to transport any live video source and provides timely arrival of live video and data independent of network round-trip delay and packet loss. At NAB, Aspera demonstrated the FASPStream solution transporting three live camera streams from South Africa, China and New York to the Aspera booth on the show floor. The feed from New York was sourced from Broadway Video, an entertainment and media company. "Broadway Video is pioneering in the point-to-point video delivery space creating new workflows that eliminate costly satellite and fiber circuit backhauls and distribution infrastructures," said Rob Weigand, COO of Broadway Video, in a statement. "Application of FASPStream to these novel workflows ensures critical uptime and reliability, making point-to-point Internet delivery of video possible and practical." Additionally, IBM announced new software that enables organizations to live-stream events such as town hall meetings, training sessions and all-hands meetings over enterprise networks while maintaining optimal network performance. The eCDN software resides within an enterprise's firewall and helps clients manage and minimize the impact of video traffic on the network, reducing local network strain and eliminating the need for network capacity upgrades, Jarratt said. "Every single business out there has the desire to use video to communicate and to market and to train their people," he said. "If they're not using it now they're thinking hard about it. What they want is a system that's as easy to use and has quality as good as Netflix. That was what we set out to provide: The ability to bring high-quality, consumer-grade video streaming, capture, management [and] measurement for both live and on-demand [video] to any business."
Moreover, among the things that attracted Lionsgate to IBM's Clearleap platform was its ability to offer APIs that provide all the necessary display data and enable third parties to develop a look and feel on top of those APIs, Jarratt said.