The 2012 Streaming Media Dream Team
It's time once again to celebrate the people who made our industry great in the past year and continue to drive innovation. Presenting the 12 new inductees to the Streaming Media Dream Team!
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Selecting our annual Streaming Media Europe Dream Team is one of the most fun things we do, since it gives us a chance to discuss, debate, and ultimately decide on a “team” of players who’ve been vital to the advancement of the industry. And while it would be easy for us to simply look at who’s been in the news the most, or whose products or services made the biggest splash, we take what we hope is a more nuanced approach to the selection process.

The members of our Dream Team are chosen not simply because they’ve done great things on their own but because they’ve done things that have advanced the online video industry as a whole, via their products or the degree to which they’ve acted as evangelists for online video and served to educate other members of the industry. This means that, inevitably, we pick just as many—if not more—people who’ve been stars behind the scenes as we do individuals who might be better known to the punters.

The only rule is that previous Dream Team members are ineligible. That may change down the road, but for now, there are still too many deserving people who haven’t yet been recognised.

So meet this year’s Dream Team, and take a look at their considerable accomplishments and insights into the industry.

Here’s this year’s team:

  • Simon Ball, Thomson Reuters
  • Joe Bray, Stream UK
  • Dr. William Cooper, informitv
  • Mark East, iStreamPlanet Co.
  • Steve Hatch, C Music TV
  • Tristan Leteurtre, Anevia
  • Bastian Manintveld, BeBanjo
  • Ian Mecklenburgh, Virgin Media
  • Philip Radley-Smith, i2i Media U.K., i2i Media U.S.
  • Einar Kristian Fuglesang Vågmo, Comoyo
  • Nico Verspaget, Quadia Web TV
  • Mike Versteeg, CombiTech

We asked each of our Dream Team a few questions to help us assemble the football cards that follow:

  • What are your proudest achievements?
  • What’s the “next big thing” you’re working on?
  • What’s the biggest trend in online video right now?
  • What’s the biggest challenge facing the industry?

Congratulations to all of them! 

Simon BallSIMON BALL 

Global Head of Operations, Multimedia Delivery and Infrastructure, Thomson Reuters

PREVIOUS JOB TITLE

  • VP of Webcasting, Thomson Reuters
  • Director of Corporate Communications Europe, Thomson Financial
  • Director of Broadcast Operations, Raw Communications

PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENTS

  • My two children
  • Becoming an inventor

NEXT BIG THING

  • Live MPEG TS signal source to cloud transcoder to live mobile/desktop delivery, controlled by a web service workflow tool

BIGGEST TRENDS

  • Traditional cable, satellite, and network giants succumbing to the inevitable internet delivery of live and on-demand content
  • Big software and hardware players such as Cisco and Microsoft increasing market share on the corporate enterprise by bundling proprietary OVP solutions, commoditising this space further
  • The slow demise of Flash and the rise of H.264/HTML5

BIGGEST CHALLENGE

  • See Bullet 2 above

Joe BrayJOE BRAY 

Co-founder and CTO, Stream UK

PREVIOUS JOB TITLES

  • Web developer and programmer, ISINET

PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENTS

  • The high level of expertise and professionalism Stream UK has reached in such a short space of time, now covering three countries and serving countless industries

NEXT BIG THING

  • With the business win of Liverpool FC in 2011, it became clear that our OVP (Stream MP) had qualities that are becoming increasingly beneficial to the sports video market. Since then Stream MP has been the focus of a schedule of developments that add more value to video for sports content owners, as well as enhance user engagement for their fan communities. One new feature would be the ability to time capture from live and on-demand sports content and share this effectively through social media platforms.

BIGGEST TREND

  • Mobile compatibility and the importance of being ready for new devices has always been a fundamental technical trend. Although the launch of the iPad and tablets in general was huge, we are seeing interesting trends in how our client’s users are accessing their content via MP. Liverpool FC for instance has a high level of LiverpoolFC.tv subscribers accessing the clubs video on their PS3s. Our job is to maintain the quality of video and functionality on every device, for every platform.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE

  • Bringing broadcast standards to the online delivery world. In 2012 Stream UK renewed its slogan to “Broadcast Quality,” which is an aspect of our work that we have always strived to deliver, and even more so today.

Dr. William CooperDR. WILLIAM COOPER 

Founder and Chief Executive, informitv

PREVIOUS JOB TITLES

  • Head of Interactive, BBC Broadcast
  • Head of New Media Operations, BBC

PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Establishing informitv as an internationally recognised consultancy specialising in broadband and broadcast convergence at the intersection of internet and television
  • Helping to launch innovative interactive television services on digital satellite, terrestrial, and cable platforms

NEXT BIG THING

  • Publishing our industry report “Connected Television Revealed,” an executive guide to the convergence of the internet and television

BIGGEST TREND

  • Delivering high-quality long-form programming to diverse devices and displays

BIGGEST CHALLENGE

  • The pace of technical innovation and the need to support multiple distribution platforms

Mark EastMARK EAST 

Senior Director, Broadcast Operations, iStreamPlanet Co.

PREVIOUS JOB TITLES

  • CEO & Chief Brain, The Analgesic
  • Director of Special Projects, Streaming Media Corp.
  • Senior Webcast Engineer, NaviSite

PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Partnering with NBC Sports on this year’s record-shattering Super Bowl online broadcast
  • Playing a key role in the online broadcast of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, an online broadcast that would ultimately deliver 5,000 hours of HD video to more than 24 million viewers
  • Taking iStreamPlanet international a year ago, with the opening of our state-of-the-art Broadcast Operations Centre in London

NEXT BIG THING

  • Our mission is to create a truly scalable, automated, live and on-demand video workflow that will revolutionise the industry… and I don’t use that term lightly.

BIGGEST TREND

  • Move away from traditional hardware-based encoding to burgeoning cloud platforms, both for on-demand content and live events.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE

  • Lack (fear?) of standardisation—no doubt about it.

Steve HatchSTEVE HATCH 

Broadcast Director, C Music TV

PREVIOUS JOB TITLES

  • General Manager—Europe, Origin Digital, an Accenture Co.
  • Business Development, CEO and Operations Director, Global MIX
  • European Business and Operations Manager, Wold International
  • Director, Media and Entertainment Group—Europe, Global Crossing

PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Supporting my daughter through a tough few years fighting cancer and seeing her being selected as an Olympic torch bearer in July
  • Being part of the team that built and ran the 2002 FIFA World Cup IP contribution feed delivery network
  • Global-MIX being voted best CDN Delivery Network by Streaming Media readers

NEXT BIG THING

  • Migrating C Music TV to a full HD playout across Europe and Asia and continuing to develop the digital media strategy

BIGGEST TREND

  • Online video being used with social media in completely new ways in retail, allowing integration between the in-store, mobile, and online worlds

BIGGEST CHALLENGE

  • Live in-stream advert insertion that is able to deliver targeted adverts in real time is one area where our industry needs to provide better support for the broadcasters

Tristan LeteurtreTRISTAN LETEURTRE 

Co-founder and CEO, Anevia

PREVIOUS JOB TITLES

  • Project Leader, Video LAN/VLC Media Player

PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Building a global team of IPTV and OTT professionals
  • Deploying solutions to deliver multiscreen video for Tier 1 and Tier 2 operators across Europe and the Middle East

NEXT BIG THING

  • Technology to enable the convergence of mobile OTT devices (mobiles, laptops, tablets) and connected TVs (HbbTV, MPEG-DASH) 
  • Building the next generation of CDNs optimising support for multiple formats and DRM systems 

BIGGEST TREND

  • “Hyper content distribution”: Broadcasters delivering entire catalogues to all devices—live, VOD, and catch-up

BIGGEST CHALLENGE

  • Building a unified content delivery platform that addresses the fragmented landscape of devices, video standards, and DRM systems
  • Enabling a continuous high quality of experience among all devices

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