The Broadcast Blog
The Importance of Supporting the Evolution of On-Demand Content
Published by REDTECH Tribe on 19 February 2021
Aachen Germany – As more people grow up in an “on-demand society” and the technological means of our media systems expand, we will almost definitely see on-demand content replace a large share of classic scheduled content. While such content will likely never fully go away, on-demand will become the norm. This is true whether it is up-to-date news about specific topics, watching (or rewatching) a particular show, or even listening to an online study lesson, consumers now expect content to be available whenever they desire it. And the internet has made this a real possibility.
In fact, the internet may very well have created the mindset that allowed this on-demand society to develop. Even from its earliest days, it was a means to access information and communicate swiftly. It is only a small step from knowing you can find all the information you ever wanted at the click of a mouse to wanting to decide yourself when to listen to your favorite radio shows. Before the internet, accessing content anywhere and at any time required extra work and technology, such as recording the aforementioned radio show when it aired.
On-demand content comes in a variety of forms, including widely popular video streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime or audio platforms like Spotify and SoundCloud. TV shows, movies, radio shows, audiobooks, songs, articles, everything can be accessed whenever the consumer desires. Nowadays, many broadcasters, including those active in the online radio sector, also maintain public audio libraries of their broadcasts, accessible to anyone with an internet connection.
And one cannot forget the increasingly popular “podcast” format, with which a variety of people, from news columnists to niche hobbyists reach their respective audiences with relatively little technical know-how required to set up, thanks to service providers who are specialized in podcast creation and processing audio-on-demand content.
However, the fact that on-demand content is becoming more important also means that it becomes more important to offer creators real choices when it comes to how they want to handle the workflow of their on-demand content creation.
Currently, creating on-demand content often means giving up a lot of control over the workflow, as providers usually do their own thing without involving the content creator, which is especially true of smaller creators, who cannot build and maintain their own custom infrastructure.
This is why Ferncast jumped at the opportunity to create a solution that allows both smaller and larger content creators to take control of their creative workflow with a comparatively small investment of hardware. With the new audio-on-demand functionality that we recently added to aixtream, content creators can handle the processing of the content themselves, giving them back full control. We were aware that this will often mean aixtream would be operated by laypeople and non-technicians, which is why we made this new function easy to understand and guide the users all steps of the way.
In addition, the solution also offers quality-of-life features and entirely new functions. For example, we added our own proprietary Loudness Control to aixtream for this purpose after multiple requests from our customers. It covers all input dynamics and delivers output signals of a constant pre-configured R.128-rated loudness level, allowing users to dynamically control the level, including short-term dynamics as well as long-term level control. We see this as a real benefit for ensuring the listeners get an uncomplicated audio-on-demand experience.
With this, Ferncast hopes to do its part in supporting and accompanying the ongoing on-demand developments. The further we move into the on-demand society, the more essential it will be to have a healthy market for such solutions, to provide both the content creators as well as the end consumers with the best possible experience.
The on-demand society is inevitable, but now solution providers still have real opportunities to shape the experience for their customers and be part of one of the major media developments of the day.