The Business Case for Reducing Video Latency

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Jason Thibeault: We're sort of getting around this concept of the business case for reducing latency. So the idea is that if you're running a streaming service and you say, 'Latency must be zero you're spending what could be a lot of money for really no benefit for some use cases. I think that's really important when it comes to things like live streaming for sports or for other linear channels. How important is latency? Does it absolutely have to be as low as possible, which could be ultra low, or does it have to be real time? Can you talk a little bit about your experience in terms of dealing with customers who may be asking you that same thing?

Oliver Lietz: It depends on who pays for that. If you have a live sports channel, then it might be of value to have the audience in the same time range as linear TV. But the audience is not paying for that directly. So it's different than if you have a betting channel. If you do sports betting, then every potential customer is paying money for that. And then you have a must have requirement for latency because it must not be beyond real time too much because you have real-time bidders in the venue. And that's the same for live auctions in art, or whatever. If you have people sitting in a real venue and doing a live interaction and even having a monetized shadow around that, then it's really important. And it just doesn't work without our travel agency then. So the use case is impossible. So there's a range of maybe a use case where it's nice to have and where it's also kind of value for the provider and for the whole user experience. But there are use cases where it's really a must-have and a very strong requirement.

Jason Thibeault: Martin, do you have anything to add right there?

Martin Bergstrom: I completely agree that it's very much from based on the use case.

Jason Thibeault: If there's one thing that I would love for attendees to take out of this, it's what you guys summed up right there, which is there's a cost to reducing latency and you have to really look at, 'So what do I pay for this? And do I have to pay really? Should I invest and pay money to reduce this? And am I going to see a business result from that? Or if I don't invest in fixing this, is it going to cost me by subscribers going somewhere else, like, going to broadcast television?' They'll say, 'Forget it. I'm not watching this streaming thing. I'll just wait till I get home. I'm just going to DVR this. I don't want to watch it on my phone. I don't wanna watch it. It's just a terrible experience, I'm 450 seconds behind. I don't want to deal with it.' So that's really important. I think we focus a lot in our industry on the technical aspects of latency. Can it be reduced? Should it be reduced? But we don't talk enough about the business side of it. Like what's the impact? What are the benefits I get from it as a business, and what are the costs to me if I don't address it?

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