Development for the series about the incredible life of Lola Flores gets underway

The Flores Family, THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO and Non Stop are already working on a biopic series about Lola Flores, the artist who undoubtedly marked an entire era in Spain’s popular music history.

Her extraordinary and unique artistic talent, as well as her enormous popularity, make her life one of the most fascinating stories ever told to date in a television series. Lola was a free and unyielding spirit, who given her immense talent and overwhelming personality, went from performing at baptisms in Jerez to achieving icon status in both Spain and South America.

The artist is undoubtedly Spain’s greatest sweetheart, admired throughout the 20th century in her homeland and even sometimes becoming a source of controversy. The series will narrate her story from her humble origins, developing in parallel with the principal historical events that left their mark on Spain during those years.

For the first time ever, the Flores family, represented by Lolita and Rosario Flores on this project, have decided to tell the story of the remarkably unique person who was Lola Flores in a series on which the Flores sisters, together with Mariola Orellana, will be executive producers. The creators and producers of The Mediapro Studio and Non Stop act as media partners on the project.

“La Faraona” and Antonio González “El Pescaílla” created one of the most powerful artistic clans in Spain’s recent history: Los Flores. The series will tell the artist’s story and that of her family and promises to reveal aspects about Lola’s life hitherto unpublished and which her own fans had not been privy to until now.

Lola’s life is a story full of highs, but also of lows. Lows that until now had remained in oblivion but that will be made public for the first time thanks to this project. Nobody gets to be as big as Lola Flores without paying a high price.

Lola Flores toured the world with her shows and performed for many heads of state. Along the way, she crossed paths with some of the biggest stars of her time, including Ava Gadner and Audrey Hepburn; Sean Connery and Gary Cooper; even billionaire Aristotle Onassis and Winston Churchill himself, who all came to admire the “La Faraona’s” talent becoming devotees to her passion.

The series, which will consist of two seasons, narrates the life of Lola Flores from the beginning, when her parents struggled to provide for the family in Jerez, until the end of her days. The series will reflect on the void her death left in the Spanish artistic life and in her own Flores clan, who were also forced to deal with the loss of Antonio Flores just days after the death of “La Faraona”.

All those who thought they knew everything about Lola Flores and her story will be made rethink once they’ve seen the series.

AdScribe Supports Publitalia ’80 to Deliver Next-Generation HbbTV Interactive Advertising in Italy

AdScribe, a subsidiary of Zenterio, announced that it has successfully brought next-generation, targeted advertising to Italian television viewers on compatible HbbTV devices. In partnering with AdScribe, Publitalia ’80, the advertising sales house of the Italian free-to-air television network Mediaset Group, is now capable of displaying even more impactful and attractive creative output to engage brands’ customers. Campaigns are built and managed using Engage Studio, AdScribe’s innovative HbbTV authoring tool.

Drawing on AdScribe’s extensive experience designing and deploying similar technology and campaigns around the world, Publitalia ’80 have further enabled the interactive advertising features as part of a broadcast product offering, including full integration of campaign metrics with Mediaset’s addressable advertising platform. Moreover, Engage Studio will enable greater creativity and scaling of campaign creation through an intuitive and user-friendly interface.

AdScribe Engage Studio is a complete, end-to-end multiscreen platform that enables TV platform operators and broadcasters to create and operate an interactive advertising and promotions business. With Engage Studio, operators and broadcasters can promote their own content and services or generate revenue from third-party advertisers. Engage Studio supports a wide variety of ad formats from static banners through to fully interactive applications with embedded video.

Moreover AdScribe Engage Studio authoring tool allows operators to build and deploy campaigns far quicker and with more creative freedom than traditional template approaches. The advertiser receives detailed reports on all interactions, as well as any data the viewers opt to submit. In some cases, viewer data may be auto-populated from a subscriber database, making the process seamless and ensuring a higher completion rate.

“Partnering with Publitalia ’80 is further proof that our efforts are going in the right direction and that our Engage Studio platform is well-positioned within the next-gen TV ecosystem,” said Donal O’Connor, CEO at AdScribe. “Interactive advertising is already a reality for broadcasters, creating new ways to keep and increase viewers’ engagement and offering publishers and brands digital-like formats to promote their products on the TV screen.”

 

“This project represents a further step ahead in Publitalia ’80 and Mediaset’s strategy to provide enriched advertising to their viewers with a scalable tool,” said Paola Colombo, general manager, adtech and business development at Publitalia ’80. “In 2019, we will strengthen our offering around HbbTV ad formats, and we selected Engage Studio to help us to rationalize and scale the creation of interactive content.”

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Grabyo Selected By Univision News To Deliver Innovative Video Programming Capability for Digital Shows

Grabyo has been selected by Univision News, the award-winning news division of Univision Communications Inc., the leading media company serving Hispanic America, to produce and distribute a live news show across several major social channels.“JANIOT: PM”, hosted by award-winning journalist, Patricia Janiot, is the first-ever Spanish speaking news program on Instagram TV in the U.S.. Since the launch in January, the show has garnered over 1.5 million views.

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JANIOT: PM is optimized for viewing on smartphones. Using Grabyo Producer’s vertical video production capability, the format is designed to keep digital audiences informed wherever they are when the show is live. Univision uses Grabyo to distribute the show to multiple platforms including Facebook Watch, Instagram TV (IGTV), Periscope on Twitter, the Univision News YouTube channel and UnivisionNoticias.com.

Juan Convers, SVP, Digital Content & Editorial Operations, Univisioncomments: “With the launch of JANIOT: PM, we are expanding our news offerings to better serve the Spanish-speaking community with live news content, in a format designed specifically for mobile viewing. By partnering with Grabyo, we were able to produce this new format and deliver it our audiences anywhere, at any time. The Grabyo platform makes it easy to create digital-first content and deliver it to market quickly and easily, while maintaining a standard of quality.”

Viewers want access to trustworthy news no matter where they are. Univision’s partnership with Grabyo for JANIOT: PM was meets the demands of the audience with a show that provides news updates in real-time on mobile devices. Through this partnership, JANIOT: PM is distributed to all major social channels and has built a meaningful, engaged audience across the US.

Michael Kelley, President of the Americas, Grabyo comments: “Grabyo is excited to continue our long-standing partnership with Univision News, as they deliver the best quality content to their viewers on any device. Our Producer product was built to support this type of production, a vertically formatted show on mobile devices that drives more engagement and loyalty with viewers. We will continue to innovate with our client partners in this rapidly changing media landscape.”

QVC Japan selects DataMiner to manage IP SMPTE ST-2110-based 4K productions in the IP SMPTE ST-2110 facility

The DataMiner System at QVC Japan in Makuhari is the end-to-end management platform across all five areas of their in-house production infrastructure, touching all their infrastructure elements supplied by many different manufacturers.

The facility recently underwent a huge transformation, both with the migration from HD to 4K and from SDI to IP. Such an IP-based 4K facility can unlock many potential business opportunities, but at the same time gives rise to many new challenges. That is why QVC Japan also needed to invest in a new sophisticated network management system, one that is capable to support them both during and after these technology innovations. DataMiner and its cutting-edge solutions are definitely up to that task.

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QVC Japan’s viewers were shifting en masse to UHD television. As a result, they had to reshape their entire organization in order to be able to produce 4K content. The aim was to fully comply with the SMPTE ST 2110 standard for the delivery of uncompressed video, audio and metadata over IP networks, ensuring interoperability across QVC Japan’s entire ecosystem. The choice for DataMiner was rather a logical one, since it has already been successfully deployed at other facilities of the QVC family.

“As a multi-vendor, AI-powered network management and orchestration platform, DataMiner truly orchestrates services end to end across any technology boundaries, no matter the protocol, vendor or technology. That is why our solutions are a perfect fit for QVC Japan,” said Yohann Guilloux, Regional Account Manager for the APAC region at Skyline Communications. “On top of that, QVC already experienced the strategic value of DataMiner first-hand at their facilities in the US, UK and Italy. That means QVC Japan can also benefit from the long-standing experience of those teams, on top of the DataMiner training they recently received.”

With the DataMiner system in place, QVC Japan is entirely free to pick the best-of-breed technology for their new IP environment, providing them with an utterly flexible and future-proof ecosystem. They are now fully equipped to manage their entire facility through just a single unified interface.

WFIE Improves Live Sports, Breaking News Web Content with JVC ProHD Studio 4000S

“We had been considering the idea of streaming live high school sports on our website, and JVC’s studio-in-a-box solution seemed like an affordable way to consolidate the equipment needed for multi-camera productions,” explained Jason Gravens, news operation manager for WFIE. ”The 4000S gives you the basics of everything you need to make a ballgame happen.”

Rack mounted into one of the station’s live trucks, the system anchored three-camera productions for five high school football games and two-camera productions for three high school basketball games.

“If you’re a sports fan, you want to see replays – without it, the production is missing a key element,” Gravens added. “The built-in replay feature in the 4000S is fantastic. Just having it included in the unit itself is great.”

Although only available to streaming audiences, at times WFIE had about 1,000 people watching the games. Following its successful sports coverage, the station decided to use the 4000S to produce breaking news updates for the WFIE website and other social media platforms.

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An old conference room at the station was converted into a small studio, with the 4000S and an audio mixer positioned on a small table. Beth Sweeney, WFIE evening anchor, has been trained to be a one-man band for the productions, operating the 4000S and audio mixer while reporting live news updates for the WFIE website and other social media platforms.

One of the station’s older ENG cameras is mounted on a tripod, and a mic is positioned above Sweeney on a C-stand. The small studio also includes a basic three-point lighting system, plus an extra piece of WFIE’s current news set mounted to the wall as a backdrop.

When the station wants to stream an update, the equipment is turned on and still images or graphics are loaded into the 4000S using a flash drive. The 4000S has a built-in CG, but WFIE imports its own station graphics. Sweeney makes sure the mic is off and puts a slate on the screen. When she is ready, Sweeney opens the mic, switches to the camera, and begins the webcast. Once the update is complete, she returns to the slate, kills the mic, and ends the stream.

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While the sports directors tend to use the touchscreen for switching, Sweeney prefers the keyboard and mouse. Gravens said the control flexibility is a big positive, because the 4000S operator can use whatever interface works for them. He also said the built-in multi-view was helpful in training Sweeney how to use the system.

“In fact, the whole system is very user friendly for someone who’s not necessarily a trained TD,” he added.

Earlier this year, JVC introduced the CONNECTED CAM Studio 6000S, a six-input model that supports NDI® and SRT streaming protocols. Both the 4000S and 6000S offer automated multi-channel instant replay and slo-mo, as well as an integrated sports CG for scores and timers. Other features include an integrated audio mixer, four layers of DSK, production switcher with automated switching mode and choice of transitions, and full PTZ control for the JVC KY-PZ100 robotic PTZ production camera.

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OTT Platform Providers Continue APAC Growth

By Jean Christophe Jubin, VP Sales APAC at Viaccess-Orca.

Few regions of the world have shown so much consistent growth in so many industries as APAC. Even if you take the economic powerhouse of China out of the equation, there is a constant increase in almost all metrics across the board as the region’s diverse economies continue to heat up. And the broadcast industry is no exception.

APAC is a large and diverse region, with notable differences between the many countries. Notable differences also exist within individual countries, especially between rural and urban populations and the infrastructure that serves them. Yet in survey after survey and report after report, the common denominator is of growth. From the vast economies of China and India, through the fragmented SE Asian market, to the developed and mature markets of Japan, Korea and Singapore and on to ANZ, more consumers are demanding more video.

According to analysis from Media Partners Asia (MPA), the Asia Pacific online video sector will double in size by 2024. The region’s online video advertising and subscription revenue will expand from $26 billion in 2019 to $52 billion in 2024, an annual growth rate of 15%. So, what is driving this expansion? And how do operators ensure they are a part of it?

Factors in OTT video services growth

Identifying the different reasons for the growth across the region is not an easy task due to the sheer diversity exhibited. Nevertheless, the interlocking three factors of an improving digital infrastructure, an increase in paid for local services, (either SVOD or Pay-TV), and the fact that the big international services such as Netflix are also increasing their attempts at localization are all at play to varying degrees.

Improving infrastructure

The infrastructure picture is, of course not consistent across the region, with some countries such as South Korea far ahead of the global curve, and several others lagging behind. Ironically, one of the factors driving OTT uptake has been the slow pace of infrastructure investment in rolling out Digital Terrestrial Television across the region.Ovum estimates that a 59% digital TV penetration at the end of 2014 will increase to 88% by the end of 2020, a transition that the IABM characterizes as ‘alarmingly low’, while at the same time admitting that both MENA and LATAM are at similar points.

“The lack of DTT progress can hinder the ability of traditional broadcasters, especially public broadcasters, to compete effectively in current media markets,” the IABM continues.

With the linked issue of a transition to HD also taking place at the same time, the assumption is that consumers are being driven towards OTT services as they offer a wider range of content functionality, and superior picture quality.

As we’ve highlighted in LATAM, there is a direct link between broadband provision and OTT demand, with operators often using OTT solutions as differentiators when they launch into increasingly crowded markets. The Netflix ISP Speed Index for April 2019 highlights the uneven nature of the provision, however; the Philippines has the lowest average connection speed at 2.57Mbps, while Hong Kong leads the field of countries with 4.08Mbps. By way of comparison, the company lists the USA at 4.19Mbps.

The Netflix figures are, of course, merely a measure of prime time Netflix performance on particular ISPs, and not a measure of overall performance for other services/data that may travel across any specific ISP network. So, while of limited use in general, in the context of delivering video to consumers they are very important. And it is worth pointing out that Netflix recommends 5.0Mbps as a minimum for HD streaming.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of the focus in the region — and especially given its geographic spread and the difficulties of laying physical cable — is currently on mobile broadband. Indeed, in many countries, mobile has overtaken fixed broadband as the primary means of internet access. This is only going to accelerate as 5G deployment starts to ramp up.

This mobile first approach has implications for operators, who need to ensure their OTT offerings are tailored as such. This is not only in terms of content and UI either, but also when it comes to payment models, which tend to be undeveloped in many countries. As a result we are seeing a lot of partnering between OTT providers and existing telecom and Pay-TV operators, who have already carved out models that work well in low income markets with poor credit penetration. Indeed, Netflix is trialling a low-cost, mobile-only subscription plan in India that brings its historically high and globally set price more in line with the local market.

Increasing localization

The importance of local content can be seen by the importance that the global players place on it. Netflix was present in the APAC region a year before its global launch in January 2016, establishing bridgeheads in ANZ and Japan. As the IABM’s latest Media Technology Demand Driversreport for the region points out, usually Netflix offers around 20% of local programming, either made specifically or licensed. When it launched in Japan it pushed this figure up to 40%, plus entered a deal with telco and internet giant SoftBank to offer its customers easy ways to pay for a subscription.

The IABM says that “Netflix has replicated this strategy across the whole region by entering agreements with local companies producing local content.”

This though is not a new strategy. Netflix has been increasingly internationalizing for nearly two years.Ampere Analysis  says that 30% of Netflix Originals were non-English language in min-2017. By the time we got to Q4 2018, the company was producing new content in 25 countries, with 133 titles originating outside of North America and 36% of its originals were non-English. APAC’s contribution, primarily from India and Japan, is illustrated below.

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Amazon Prime Video has also been aggressive in this field, with 70% of its content in India and Japan local. It has also launched its streaming service free to Prime customers.

Given that governments are starting to legislate to ensure local content on streaming services (the European Union specifies 30%, Mexico is seriously considering it) and given the advantage that local content has to local audiences, we expect to see more local production ramp up in APAC and other areas. For local operators, some of whom may already have extensive locally produced content libraries, the importance of local content represents a significant opportunity to engage viewers with new OTT offerings. They may not be able to outgun Netflix when it comes to sheer numbers of subscribers, but the comparative success of operators such as iflix in Malaysia, which is aiming to quadruple its commissioning slate by 2019, HOOQ, and Viu already shows that there is definitely room in the market.

OTT Platform Providers in APAC – The Challenges

There are of course, plenty of challenges in the region too. Piracy in APAC is something we’ve written about many times before, with headline figures such as the fact that up to 45% of consumers in Thailand are using a TV box which can be used to stream pirated television and illegal content. Nevertheless, the industry is fighting back, and initiatives such as our new Anti-Piracy Center are providing valuable tools in the battle to protect content.

As a recent S&P Global Market Intelligence report points out, there is also probably too great an emphasis on AVOD at the moment throughout APAC, which detracts from any future SVOD growth. AVOD remains an important component of OTT growth overall, especially given its role in raising awareness of the services available and encouraging viewers to seek legal sources for premium content.

It is also worth pointing out that the rate of growth is starting to slow too as the market matures. This is going to mean operators will have to be rigorous in the planning and execution of their services. But, while growth might be slowing, revenues will still be on the rise for the next forecast period and, hopefully, beyond.

Read this article on VO website