Cloud Power: Service Can Have Multiple Impacts

Panel Says Services Can Be Used as a Tool for Experimentation, Research, Drive Revenue
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New York -- While multiscreen video remains the most popular application of cloud-based services, that is only one of the uses it can provide.

"There are lots of things, from the operational improvement aspects for storage, content aggregation or syndication," said Gordon Castle, director, entertainment, media and communications, PwC. "There are a lot of backend things that can be provided."

That was according to the "Building the Multiscreen Rain Machine" panel during B&C/MultichannelNews' "Cloud Power" event Thursday in New York.

"It's convenient shorthand, so we're not having to laundry-list what we're really talking about, which is storage and an application and so forth," said Ron Westfall, research director, service provider infrastructure, Current Analysis. "Ultimately, when it comes to marketing, the cloud is what you make it to be."

According to Castle, cloud-based services are going to have a huge impact on advanced advertising, which has been slow to provide substantial results. "With the advent of cloud and multiscreen technology, it's going to advance [that] as a tool for improving revenue streams." He argued that because the experience is more personalized, targeted ads could become more effective.

Steve Davi, CTO at SeaChange, touted the cloud's ability to allow for experimentation. "With cloud based services, you could put out a new user interface every day." Davi explained that because development of cloud based services cost far less than traditional ones (i.e. set-top boxes), they can put new ones out quicker and easier. "Look at the amount of time it takes to put out a new set-top box."

Evan Young, senior director of product management at TiVo, says his company uses cloud-based systems as more of a research tool, finding out what they're subscribers are watching. "We talk about cloud in terms of storage."