Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
What kind of a world of innovation is connected with the new era of television, and how the United Group, through its innovations – first and foremost the EON smart box and the EON app – is modernizing the regional market. Through specific analytics, Srđan Đurđević, the Research and Development Director of United Group, will show the changes in TV usage habits and how Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence are used in editing TV content and metadata at the Direct Media Academy on May 30.
If you want to find out what the main innovations will be on television as a medium – this is a lecture you should definitely not miss!
Your lecture at the Direct Media Academy deals with innovation on TV. What are the key technological moments that have influenced the transformation of television as a media over the last couple of years?
Srđan Đurđević: One of the key factors was definitely the emergence of streaming technology that enabled the distribution of TV content on devices that were not your “living room TV” (telephones, tablets, laptops) but also significantly changed the way the television is watched on that traditional, joint living room TV. The prerequisite for this was, above all, a major expansion of broadband Internet, fixed and mobile, which enabled a completely new way of delivering content to users, and then the proliferation of personal devices such as smartphones and tablets, as well as the growing presence of smart TVs. Streaming and digital technologies have enabled virtually no restrictions on the maximum number of TV channels that could theoretically be delivered to the viewer, and have greatly improved other TV services, such as the possibility of delayed viewing of live TV content and consumption of content on demand. The widespread ecosystem of devices through which TV content is viewed has simultaneously opened the possibility to consume content from a variety of sources using appropriate apps, but also opened the way to synergy through the use of personalized data on needs and habits of users so that each user gets exactly what they want. In addition to this, we should not forget the ever-increasing quality of video content delivered: the 4K/UHD resolution is already here, and new technologies like 8K and VR offer even greater breakthroughs toward immersive user experience, wiping the boundaries between the real and the television world.
How is TV consumed in the world today, and how is it consumed here? What has changed in the habits of viewers?
Srđan Đurđević: Lifestyle is becoming more and more dynamic day by day, and this was followed by great changes in the habits of TV watching. Previously, there was only the possibility of viewing linear TV content and it was watched on the common, living room television. Today, with a large increase in the use of mobile devices and an accelerated way of life, both in the world and in our country, it has become necessary for the TV content to follow this trend and to offer users the ability to watch television on any device at any time, any place. Also, the ability to watch TV content that is not broadcast live has greatly contributed to changes in user habits, but also to improving user experience and thus increasing time spent in viewing content. Recorded live content (so-called Catch-up or Timeshift TV) is now surpassing live programs in terms of ratings for certain genres of content, while the importance of VoD services is best seen from the dazzling successes of companies such as Netflix, Hulu, DAZN, Amazon Prime etc.
At the same time, live content remains equally important in broadcast of sports, news, and other documentary events, where content broadcast in UHD and other formats that offer realistic experience will only grow in importance.
At the Direct Media Academy you will talk about the use of AI and Machine Learning in processing of TV content and metadata. What is the end result and purpose of those analyses?
Srđan Đurđević: The amount of content available to viewers today is really huge. Just think of the hundreds of TV channels with dozens of shows every day, and add to that virtual video libraries with thousands of movies and series, and when you compare it with the previous generation of viewers who could choose just between a few channels, it is no wonder that today’s viewer must feel lost in that sea of content. Because of this, it is no longer just enough to deliver this tremendous amount of content to viewers, but there is a need to recommend to each and every individual the content that will best suit their individual, personal taste. Users spend a lot of time searching for the content they want, so it is important that content is accompanied with detailed, rich metadata, so that with the use of advanced technologies such as AI and ML, we could process these huge amounts of content automatically. This then opens the possibility of using the advanced systems of referral and search to save time to the end user and deliver personalized content to the right device at the right time. Today’s viewer demands “tailored” content, and they rightfully expect service in which they will spend their time watching what they want, not searching for what they want.
United Group is considered to be a media-technological giant in the region. How, and with what services are you modernizing the regional market?
Srđan Đurđević: Being a market leader carries a great deal of responsibility. In order to maintain this status, we constantly follow the world’s fast-moving trends. This was one of the main reasons for opening our R&D center, which greatly helps us to bring innovations to the region and beyond. We have always been trying to be the first in terms of introducing innovations in our market, and that’s how we came to the status of being a giant. In some situations we have even gone a step further, giving the users something completely new, and through education we have shaped the market. EON was launched on the market in a record time and has largely changed and made it easier to watch TV in our country. When we look at the number of devices that are registered on the platform, I can definitely say that it is our pleasure to say that we are keeping up with the technological giants and that is precisely why we are in the position to provide our market with the same or even more than what the world leaders currently provide in this industry.
What has proven to be the best move or innovation of your R&D team when we talk about reactions of the end users?
Srđan Đurđević: We can say that EON is the first and most important product that has been made from start to finish in our R&D center – the United Cloud. We are proud that our product, UX / UI and development teams have developed a product that is being developed by world giants as well. This innovation has enabled us to bring world trends and technology to our end-users in the region. We transformed the television into a completely digital environment and thus set the ground for further innovations that are only coming.
What traits and skills should an innovator have in the new era of tech?
Srđan Đurđević: As I have already mentioned, the technology market changes daily, and if you drop the ball for just a moment, you can lose the leadership position. In order to prevent this, it is necessary to constantly innovate, and we come to innovations by using different techniques from the world of innovators. For example, agile work methods and lean approach to product creation, as well as validation of ideas and evaluation of the product itself by end users. Real information is, of course, crucial, and a few things are needed to reach it timely. Constant monitoring of trends and research is of crucial importance, but you should be cautious and not go blindly for any innovation that emerges. The so-called Data Driven Approach presupposes a serious analysis of the large amount of data available to us as a technology company, so we could use that data to make a conclusion on where to go with future innovations. Because innovations in the wrong direction is a waste of resources, and losing focus from the real thing.
Our teams are constantly following the world leaders, researching the habits of the users and with the help of the collected data they come to new ideas. Users today are impatient – what they want, they want it right now, and in the easiest way possible. Also, close co-operation with technological giants enables us to have access to the latest technologies, while exchange of experience with major global operators gives us the opportunity for better product creation.
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