At NAB NY 2017, we sat down with John Shike, Vice President, Business Development and Channel Management, Snell Advanced Media, and discussed their multiplatform production solution called SAM VIBE, and discussed the future of broadcast, and how Snell Advanced Media is tailoring its products to support new needs and requirements that broadcasters are facing to incorporate user generated content and social media into the production workflow, and how this content is being used to produce for “non traditional” platforms.
JS: In the news area, what we wanted to do was produce a system that’s open to the format being customer driven. It can be traditional 16×9 that we’ve become used to, but it now can also be in portrait format that people can use on their smartphones, where viewers now do their own stuff and sending that in to broadcasters. Companies like CNN have been one of the forerunners in saying that is one of the ways we get our content today. [Once a producer receives that], we want to output it on TV, we want to output that on OTT, or output it to social media.
Our idea with VIBE news system was to be able to integrate all of that so one production team can be producing all of it at the same time. We can bring in any kind of content, we can edit any kind of content, on a combination of traditional hardware or on proxy systems. We can then output to any of those channels and automate the playout. So we can take anything that’s portrait, automatically conform it for television, or send it out to social media such as in a Twitter feed, Facebook feed, and so on.
NTVN: What’s your target customer for VIBE? Are you more for larger broadcasters or smaller, “digital-only” production companies?
Our focus for VIBE is the broadcaster, they have challenges up front that we want well covered for the broadcaster in terms of speed to air, social media, OTT, and so on. Looking towards the near future, because we’re moving more into completely common off-the-shelf hardware approach, it means we can provide this kind of system in a more compact package for a new type company or startup media-type company can use.
NTVN: Can the systems integrate social media directly into the broadcast with some sort of moderation?
JS: We are integrating that, and there are different ways to do it. To some degree, that integration is part of some of the products that we have now, and in other cases we can integrate third-party solutions. We have Momentum, our automation system, to automate the processes so that you’re repurposing, simultaneously, different kinds of media.
NTVN: Are you finding that broadcasts are transitioning from purely linear broadcast to building out additional OTT “lean back” channels?
JS: I think that’s one of the ways that OTT will continue to drive its advantage about why people should be watching us on YouTube, Amazon, in addition to regular channels. I think that where traditional television is finding outlets in social media and OTT, OTT will say – well we want some hardcore channels we can turn on and be watching, and you don’t have to do any heavy work.