Talking tech

Tech bosses talk to Malena Amzah about challenges, the things making major differences to their businesses in Asia, and what they wish vendors would do (or not).

A sliver of insight was handed out to us a few years ago by the international head of a U.S.-based entertainment giant: Never underestimate how hard it is to roll out “digital” services.

And it’s not just because viewers are picky or because the culture of free has taken root. Consumers don’t care (and they shouldn’t) about platforms’ pain, so there’s zero tolerance for crappy UIs, clunky multi-step sign-ons and the buffering wheel of evil.

Some wondrous progress has been made. But there’s also still a whole lot going on backstage of the current streaming/online boom in Asia that is frustrating and not half as pretty as it could be.

Against this backdrop, we asked platforms/programmers to talk about their tech pain points and wish lists. Unsurprisingly, one of the bigger tech challenges cannot be solved by any one outfit alone. Too many ecosystems still don’t have the broadband capacity and speed to deal with the demands of a digital era. Of the things they can do something about by themselves, platforms face issues like security, scale, integration, discoverability and personalisation, among others.

Along with talking about the tech that is making the biggest differences to businesses in Asia (cloud, access to data, languaging capabilities, customised solutions), we asked buyers about their tech wish lists.

The answers ranged from what buyers everywhere, no matter what industry, might say or do, like over-promise and under-deliver, to better compression, seamless integration and more flexible solutions.

Topping tech wish lists for 2019/2020 is better video compression technology; simplicity and personalisation; machine-learning engines for operation, monitoring and editorial automation; better availability of stable 4G/internet speeds across the globe; voice-activated content discovery in multiple languages; machine learning/artificial intelligence to enhance recommendation; transforming our platform to providing highest operational efficiency and end user experience.

So, there you have it. In a nutshell. but you get the idea.

Who said what follows, kicking off ContentAsia’s deeper dive into the people and technology behind the business in 2020. Ideas and suggestions welcome. We look forward to hearing what you think.

Published in ContentAsia Issue Six 2019, 4 November 2019