IBC Musings: Stuart Ferreira-Cole, Ostmodern

Stuart, Ostmodern
Neal Romanek
Interview
September 19th 2017 at 3:18PM : By Neal Romanek

Ostmodern

Ostmodern's Stuart Ferreira-Cole wants a teleportation device, so he can nip back to see his family between IBC meetings.

 

Name: Stuart Ferreira-Cole

Company: Ostmodern

Job Title: Commercial Director

Number of IBCs you've attended: I’ve lost count! Including my previous positions at Ooyala and UPC, and my current strategic role at Ostmodern, it’s likely more than ten.

What is your goal for this year's show?

The market has become so crowded. I remember when Hall 14 was just a small handful of companies, but now it’s huge, demonstrating the continued growth of OTT. My main goal, therefore, is to show how Ostmodern stands out against a similar message that’s emanating from most other companies exhibiting there, and to help our customers unpick the complexity of designing and delivering innovative OTT products.

I also want to ensure Ostmodern continues to drive the sports broadcast conversation in the industry. There’s so much happening in sports right now, from AR and VR to new PPV engagement models. With rights holders looking to shake up the market once again by launching new services and OTT propositions, and with Ostmodern’s Skylark platform being a key enabler in this regard, sports has become an incredibly important sector for us. Ostmodern will be co-located with our partner Paywizard at this year’s show. Together, we’ll be announcing a new PPV product with a major broadcaster that’s undoubtedly going to help shape the conversations we’re having at IBC.

With so many industry executives in one place, and with our growing international customer base all under one roof, there’s no doubt I’ll be even busier at IBC than usual.

What will be the big tech trends at this year's IBC?

There’s been a lot of innovation in the broadcast industry the past 12 months, particularly when it comes to new ways of driving user engagement. It’s become a necessity, as today’s consumers are more demanding than ever. Whether broadcasters are looking to launch an OTT platform that offers social interaction, smart recommendations, and editorial curation, or a service that’s instantly responsive across different devices or regions, consumers will only choose to adopt products that continually engage them.

With this in mind, I expect we’re going to hear much talk about AI and the value of data analytics for more advanced content discovery and user personalisation. The audience engagement potential that AI holds is huge and everyone is looking for the killer app, including Ostmodern and our R&D division. When you also consider how automation and machine learning are impacting the broadcast sector on the whole, driving efficiencies and automating traditionally labour intensive workflows, I’m sure we’ll see several big announcements at the show in this regard.

The other trend that’ll see a lot of air-time this year is how design drives ROI, particularly when it comes to how newer technology such as AR and VR is impacting the sports sector and how that is brought to life for the consumer. Ostmodern has seen first-hand the importance that design plays in this regard, and it’s an area that’s only going to grow as we approach 2018.

What gear/software/platform do you wish someone would make?

A teleportation device so that I can nip back home and see the kids in between all the meetings, dinners, and drinks and then a ‘get me back into shape’ machine to help reset my body post-IBC.

What’s your fondest IBC/Amsterdam memory?

I think I am yet to have it, although I did once sell a t-shirt to a tourist in the Hard Rock shop. A lovely Spanish lady was buying it for her son and thought I was the shop assistant. No one was helping her so I helped pick out the shirt and walked her to the till – forever the sales guy!

Can you speak Dutch? 

Ik probeerde Nederlands te leren als ik voor UPC werkte, dus nee!