Content distribution: the heart of everything

The digital revolution has made convergence a reality and content a strategic element. That is why Orange has embarked on a strategy to further strengthen its products and services.
Let's hear from Paul Molinier, CEO of Viaccess-Orca, and Philippe Bernard, CEO of Globecast, two Orange Group subsidiaries whose business is focused on transmitting and securing content.

Your two companies are at the heart of content distribution. What do your respective activities actually involve?

Paul Molinier: Viaccess-Orca's mission is to create value and protect the TV and video content of channels, distributors and telecoms operators whether subscribers use a TV decoder, PC, mobile or tablet. And we give our customers the resources they need to create their own video services (VOD, SVOD, live, etc.) and distribute them securely via satellite, cable, fixed or mobile internet.

Philippe Bernard: Globecast carries audiovisual content to TV channels, whether linear or non-linear, around the world. Our customers represent over 800 public or commercial channels. We also handle coverage of events such as the upcoming Olympics in South Korea for instance, distributing images for our customers that manage rights to channels around the world.

How has content changed in the past few years?

P.B.: The market is constantly evolving (switch from analogue to digital, appearance of HD and shortly 8K), channels now differentiate themselves through their image quality. Alongside this, satellite broadcasting is gradually being replaced by internet broadcasting. IP television, encoding and encryption are therefore core elements within our business.
Lastly, we have had to take the local context into consideration to support American channels wishing to distribute on other territories. That is why we have set up Media Factories for localizing content, in Singapore, London and Los Angeles. Finally, Globecast transmits new films every week to 90% of cinemas, in digital form via the Internet. An offer that will spread through the Cloud in other countries.

P.M.: With the development of non-linear services (VOD, SVOD, catch-up TV, etc.) and network convergence, many different forms of consumption have emerged, with different ways of marketing offers, for both TV operators and telecoms operators. To take these changes on board and enable customers to manage these new types of offers, we have further strengthened our service platforms. And to enable customers to effectively monetize their content, we have further strengthened our offer with a “recommendations engine” (COMPASS), which makes it possible to target content in line with users' consumption profiles. Lastly, these changes in the way content is consumed have led to growth in the number of players operating in the video sector. .

Philippe Bernard, Globecast CEO
The security necessary for cloud storage and distribution requires new commercial skills with business and technical-commercial engineers…and key partners like Orange Cyberdefense...
Philippe Bernard, Globecast CEO

Is virtual reality having an impact on your activities?

P.M.: For us, this is an emerging market that is still developing: trials are being carried out with various operators and we are seeing the development of new technologies throughout the production chain.

In terms of security, is the market pushing you to innovate?

P.M.: Yes, because hacking is also evolving and changing: today, we have to contend with illegal streaming. For instance, when a match broadcast on a paid channel is illegally rebroadcast online. We are constantly investing in technical and legal responses to secure our customers' content.

P.B.: Globecast also supports the media in terms of security, with the protection of our customers' IT systems and content. This is becoming even more important as broadcasting rights can be very expensive. There is no question of the slightest image being hacked! The security necessary for cloud storage and distribution requires new commercial skills with business and technical-commercial engineers…and key partners like Orange Cyberdefense. 

Paul Molinier, Viaccess-Orca CEO
To enable customers to effectively monetize their content, we have further strengthened our offer with a “recommendations engine” (COMPASS), which makes it possible to target content in line with users...
Paul Molinier, Viaccess-Orca CEO

How do you see the future taking shape?

P.B.: The development of OTT (outside of internet service provider offers) will bring about a change of scale. To respond to demand, we are not going to make massive investments in new equipment. Virtualization will make it possible to offer our services around the world. To achieve our ambition to offer content for everyone, worldwide, we are adapting to the market's realities.

P.M.: We are currently seeing the massive development of TV and video consumption on PCs and mobiles, with a non-linear approach. The next transformation concerns the use and monetization of data. Our solutions enable our customers, channels and operators, to benefit from access to a wide range of data on how end users consume video content. These data on consumers’ uses, behaviors, habits and so on can be monetized with advertisers.

Viaccess-Orca in a glance

  1. Viaccess SA created: 1998
  2. Orca Interactive acquired: 2008
  3. Organizations merged and Viaccess-Orca created: 2012
  4. Over 300 employees, with 170 in France (Rennes and Paris), around 100 in Israel, and sales teams in the US and Asia. More than 100 customers.
  5. Viaccess-Orca website

Globecast in a glance

  1. Creation of Globecast: 2002
  2. 750 employees, with 300 in France
  3. 27 satellites
  4. 92,000 km of fiber deployed around the world
  5. 3 Media Factories (Los Angeles, London, Singapore)
  6. 2 technical centers in Paris and Rome
  7. Sales offices in Moscow and Beirut
  8. Globecast website