Our focus turns to France with Philippe Gaudion, who recently joined LiveU as Sales Manager for France, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Philippe has extensive experience in the broadcast and sports industries, and an impressive track record covering live events for ASO (Amaury Sport Organisation), including 25 Tour de France races! Philippe also worked previously at TF1, Vizrt and had his own company providing TV graphics and automation tools for news channels. Philippe is based in Paris.
In this blog, Philippe shares his insights on the market and key takeaways from last month’s Live Video Summit at the PSG Stadium. Attended by leading broadcasters, system integrators, production companies, media outlets and first league sports clubs, LiveU’s first French live broadcasting summit brought together the “creme de la creme” of the French video industry.
Over to you Philippe!
There’s no doubt that the cloud is impacting and empowering the industry. Our customers are expanding their workflows to the cloud and so is LiveU. What is interesting to them is what’s possible to do on the cloud. The French market certainly knows LiveU, represented by its iconic backpacks, and that it’s an expert in broadcast technology. What’s exciting for our customers is that we are extending our portfolio with a range of innovative, complementary cloud solutions. This brings incredible opportunities as more and more customers look into implementing a full cloud production workflow. They are looking for solutions which offer proven efficiencies, a good return on investment and are easy to deploy. This is where we come in.
Customers are keen to hear about our cloud solutions within the LiveU EcoSystem. We’ve already had great feedback around LiveU Studio, our new cloud-native live video production service. Of course, LiveU Studio also has the French connection, built on the easylive.io platform, which LiveU acquired last year! At the Paris live video summit, we showed a demo of LiveU Studio, with its key features and capabilities, including camera switching, graphics integration and digital distribution. This was complemented with an interview with tier 1 sports club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), which have been successfully using the platform for fan engagement (more about this later).
IP is a trend across the industry and our French customers were the first to see LiveU’s new IP on-site production solution in action since the official launch. We demonstrated the live video solution at the summit, using an action camera on a zip line over the stadium and three cameras spread across the stands. The stand cameras captured the images, which were then transferred to our LU800 multi-cam field unit, and the LU300S unit delivered the GoPro feeds from the zip line. People came to us and were really blown away by the video quality. To us it’s obvious but it’s good to hear that customers who may have been used to using other methods such as satellite for their outside broadcasts were really impressed by the quality and simple set-up of our latest solution.
Production companies, large and small, see the value of IP workflows with proven reliability and quality, reduced cost and increased efficiency. Both our remote production and on-site production solutions reduce the equipment and number of people needed on-site and offer far greater agility. A good example is cycle races, a subject close to my heart! These races usually take place over large distances and are one of the most difficult live events to cover. LiveU solutions make them more enjoyable to watch and far simpler to produce. Producers can get closer to the action and transmit high-quality coverage from every angle, without the expense and limitations of traditional methods.
At our live video summit, Eurovision Sport discussed how they use LiveU’s field encoders and LiveU Matrix to produce and distribute actual competition feeds – main content – as well as engaging secondary content in a simple, and cost-efficient way.
These are just some examples, we’re also seeing growing interest in the French market for other needs, such as main contribution signals, back-up to satellite etc.
Live video has become an essential tool for building engagement with key audiences across every sector. Sport is at the forefront with live video increasingly used for fan engagement and content monetization.
PSG is one of the leaders in the social media game, with over 200 million combined followers through their social media channels, 40 million on TikTok alone. At our event, speakers from the PSG video department emphasized how live video is an essential part of their live video strategy. They elaborated on how they leverage LiveU Studio to engage fans beyond the matches. They presented how press conferences and training content are streamed on PSG TV and other digital platforms, as part of a complete video production workflow, showing how they can simply create, edit and distribute engaging content via the dashboard. It’s incredible to see how the platform has helped them to engage and reach more fans across multiple digital platforms and around the globe.
Smaller sports organizations, such as horse racing, are also now exploring the benefits of live video for expanding their audiences. These organizations often struggle to get their events seen by a wider audience and don’t have the budgets or technical expertise of tier 1 sports clubs. With our IP cloud-based solutions, they can produce and distribute their live content at a far lower cost, with an easy set-up, and tailored workflow.
Secondary content is also becoming a major focus and cloud-based solutions offer cost-effectiveness for content creation and distribution. At our event, HBS described how they use LiveU to create dynamic, secondary content, for example at the Qatar World Cup covering team departures from the hotel, arrivals at the stadium etc. – content which wouldn’t be produced with a traditional set-up because of the expense. Using LiveU, they can produce multi-cam events remotely within a couple of days with a small on-site team.
This also applies directly to LiveU Studio where live feeds from the field, used for primary content, can be utilized in Studio to create engaging secondary content in a cost-effective, agile manner.
Finally, and importantly, it’s great to hear firsthand from our customers that they appreciate the proximity of our team in France and expanded presence. Our French team now spans sales, customer support and R&D located around the country.
As the Regional Sales Manager, I’m working closely with the local team to identify opportunities and prioritize tasks for greater sales efficiency. Our goal is to offer our customers the best combination of hardware and cloud solutions that meet their specific requirements.
I have recently been joined by Mathis Klein, as Technical Account Manager in France, to provide technical assistance with POCs and on-site support with customer projects in the country. His work is complemented by LiveU’s global 24/7 support team. With sports events taking place in the evenings, at the weekends, round-the-clock reachability is key for our local customers.
We are also working closely with our French colleagues who are developing and providing LiveU’s cloud solutions.
There are many opportunities across different levels, especially in the sports market. France is a sporting nation, and we have the Rugby World Cup and Paris Summer Games coming up. Also, with the cloud as I mentioned before, there are many opportunities. LiveU never stops innovating whether it’s our full cloud production workflow with Studio, or other new cloud-based offerings. In addition, we’re exploring other verticals which are increasingly seeing the benefits of video for communicating with a wider audience. For example, in the corporate market, many French companies are looking for ways to connect with their employees and customers, and live video is an effective way to do just that in the era of remote working and home offices.
If you would like to find out more about the LiveU EcoSystem and our solutions, I would be happy to discuss your specific requirements and schedule a demo.