A New Chapter Of Change

Jimmy Kim leads Globecast Asia into the next era

“It’s often said that change is a good thing. The very nature of change creates fresh opportunities and new experiences from which we learn and grow,” said Jimmy Kim, who just stepped into the role as Globecast’s Managing Director for Asia.

“Change in business has the same effect, especially when it involves the adoption of new technologies such as IP and the cloud,” Jimmy continued, fortifying Philippe Bernard’s outlook for Globecast’s need to continue to grow its position in Asia as a fully integrated media solutions provider.

CEO Bernard has every confidence that with Jimmy’s impressive leadership background comprising commanding roles in several high-level media companies, coupled with his deep knowledge of the Asian markets, Globecast’s successful roadmap in Asia is safe.

“My approach will be forward-thinking and open minded, while deferring to the expertise of my team and Globecast’s rich history in this dynamic market,” Jimmy expounded. “The media industry has been in a state of flux for many years now, with the pace of overall change accelerating. We are at the forefront of that.”

Jimmy Kim, as Managing Director of Globecast in Asia, effective February 1st, is responsible for driving the overall performance and success of Globecast’s business in Asia, directing strategy and managing the company’s long-term objectives of profitable growth. 

“My overall plan is to build upon Globecast’s success in Asia and expand its client base here, making sure that our customers are aware that we’re a fully integrated media solutions provider with a deep, global reach. 

“The industry is constantly evolving, driven by changes in the way that people access content along with monetization patterns. It’s key to our role that we work very closely with our customers so that they maximize their reach, be that via linear TV distribution, OTT, VOD. Central to those are our media management capabilities. Then there’re our contribution services for capturing content, including major news and sports events.”

First up though, Jimmy wants to make sure that Globecast tailors its recently-announced virtualization and cloud playout services to the Asian market, in line with the evolution of the industry. 

“This is not a technology issue,” Jimmy noted. “Rather, we want to make sure that we are providing a range of service levels that satisfy customers’ requirements. 

Aside from the thrill of business triumphs, Jimmy noted that the fact that he now works with a great team makes him smile. “On top of that, coming back to Singapore, where I used to live for a long time and where lots of friends have been waiting is exciting.”

One-On-One with Jimmy Kim, Managing Director, Globecast (Asia)

iNSiGHTS: What can content producers/sellers look forward to?

Jimmy: As we begin to offer cloud playout services, we can launch channels very, very quickly, and we can scale services up and down without financial penalty: you pay for what you use. This is a significant change, allowing content providers to test new markets before fully launching services.

Automatically creating short-form VOD content is also important to provide highlights for social media and other channels or to promote upcoming events. It’s vital for growing and maintaining viewership that consumers are regularly engaged via updates and highlights and additional second screen (tablets/mobiles) activity. 


iNSiGHTS: Are the strategies you hope to deploy in this new role very different from the successes you’ve experienced in the last role?

Jimmy: I have worked for the best media company in Indonesia recently where most of teams have a homogeneous background. Globecast is a mini UN in terms of diversity, which makes us relevant and flexible for diverse groups of clients. We will project the future together, preserve existing businesses/relationships, play by the rules and play for fun as well. 

iNSiGHTS: Where would you place Globecast on the value chain of this ever evolving television industry?

Jimmy: We are the heart of it as a global media services provider. Globecast truly understands the significance of the move to IP and the fundamental shift we’re seeing with the cloud and virtualization. We’re at the forefront of these changes and we’re constantly innovating so that our customers are always able to access services that help drive their business. 

Jimmy Kim brings a wealth of industry knowledge and leadership skills to his new role, with more than 20 years’ experience in the technology and media business. He joins Globecast from MNC Media, where he held the title of Senior Vice President and was responsible for content acquisition and distribution, channel operation and licensing and merchandising. Prior to that he held several high-level positions at prominent organizations such as Ustream Korea, Viacom International Media Networks, and Bloomberg TV Asia Pacific.

Gosh dang it, can you believe it’s 2018 – an era where robots are taking over and Trump is president – and we’re still talking about latency? I don’t know how many times I’ve had to tell myself to calm down, breath and say that it’s all OK, when a “critical” live streaming video starts to go wonky at an “essential” moment.

So what if it’s Mok-bang that I’m into (Don’t judge me).

Or what about when you hear the neighbours cheering during a live sports game on cable, and you, being all toffee-nosed (I only do live streaming, loov) still don’t know why, as you’ve just been humiliated by the D-word. (You’ve been DELAYED!)

Well, nothing like one bad experience to drop that service like a hot brick and get searching elsewhere immediately.

Just last year, Wowza’s live streaming study reported that cable broadcasts tend to have five to 10 seconds of end-to-end latency, and satellite may be as high as 15 seconds. However, the live-streaming sports apps tested have average end-to-end latency scores ranging from nine to 101 seconds. (101 seconds?! That’s a mind-numbing length of wait time).

Despite 2017’s hike in high-profile events simultaneously delivered through broadcast TV and over-the-top (OTT) streaming, making latency even more painfully apparent, the worlds of traditional television and internet-delivered content are continuing to intersect.

Wowza stated that latency is too high for much of today’s live OTT content, in which the audience is encouraged to respond in near-real time with comments and questions. A few extra seconds of delay means viewer replies don’t get back to the hosts of a show until the conversation has already moved on.

In 2018, as more premium content is syndicated across both TV and internet delivery infrastructures, expect to see the latency in live OTT adaptive streaming from many content producers drop to about five seconds – close to that of digital cable TV channels. For near-real time interactive content, expect to see content providers switching to even lower-latency streaming options.

Indeed, all the world’s still a crazed with live streaming, be it from live sporting events – which has been a strategy to grab bleachers-full of subscribers – to social/mobile live streaming, where Asia leads the world on in-app purchases, and live gifting.

With the 2018 Super Bowl and Winter Olympics sorted, and the FIFA World Cup being just around the corner, most Asian digital platforms have put their live streaming rights in place, set for the kick-off and supported by their own CDN boys.

“Driven by consumer behaviour, your infrastructure has to be able to essentially, on a dime, ramp up/turn on to be able to handle 50,000, 500,000, 5 million concurrences,” said Shane Keats, Director of Industry Marketing for Media and Entertainment at Akamai, who was in Asia recently. “If you’re in a VOD world still, you’d go dark.”

Shane Keats
Director of Industry Marketing
Media and Entertainment, Akamai

In Q1 this year, Akamai technologically supported the PyeongChang Winter Olympics that was streamed live in numerous nations across the world through 30 international broadcasters. The company provided backend tech to bolster live streaming, while also delivering VOD clips and even virtual-reality products.

This period also saw SonyLIV, the premium Video on Demand (VOD) service by Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), providing multi-screen engagement to users on all devices, leverage Akamai's Dynamic Ad Insertion capabilities during the India-South Africa cricket series held over January and February 2018, which allowed them to achieve a near 100% ad fill rate without compromising on the viewing experience for users.

Rounding it off, the quarter also saw Hotstar, India’s largest premium video streaming platform, leverage Akamai Technologies to establish several new online viewership records on its platform for live sporting events during the popular India-England series. On the second One-Day International (ODI) held on the 19th of January, more than 25 million users watched the match on the platform, accounting for a majority of the Internet traffic from India on that day. The viewership peaked at more than 3 million concurrent viewers on the platform during the final T20 match of the England series, establishing a new high in the Asia Pacific region.

Industry heavyweight and champion against latency even before millennials were born, Akamai has not been sitting on their laurels, and continues to be ahead of the curve, at least in the sporting arena. Their heightened activity in the region is testimony to live streaming’s relevance, more so today than ever.

Akamai knows that continued success means being able to look at the possible points of failure and provide ways to deliver television-like experience. “You know something’s going to go wrong; it’s the nature of live events that things fail,” Shane continued. “From not subscribing to cancelling the channel, latency has very real effects on business growth.”

The trick today is making sure multi-CDN practises are supported, while making sure resiliency and cost among other considerations are well-thought-out. Today, with a greater emphasis on subscriber accretion, Akamai has no doubt security is also a core issue.

Insane in the Membrane
Meanwhile, social live streaming in China has gone mainstream since last year, with roughly 46 percent of China’s internet population having used a live streaming app in June 2016 (and a reported live streaming revenue reach of US$246 million between June and August 2016), the Asian explosion might not only be a different ballgame, it could also be where industry players make their next real homerun.

In a region that carries more than 60% of the world’s population, along with more than 1 billion kids (0—14) (UN ESCAP 2017), in all representing more than half of the world’s mobile subscribers – more than 4.4 billion mobile connections and more than 4.3 billion active social media users – it is no surprise that China alone carried a worth of around US$5 billion in 2017’s live streaming market.