Read the New ‘Q’, DEG’s Annual Member Magazine

Read the New ‘Q’, DEG’s Annual Member Magazine



COVERSTORY | DEG’s ACDA Advances Content Delivery and Community Development 

December 21, 2021 | As of this writing, DEG just signed its 27th new member in 2021 to end the year with about 50 percent more member companies than it had at the start. It’s a story, not as unlikely as it might seem, about growth during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and the growing value of high-functioning communities to their members during a pandemic.

“DEG has always been a high-touch organization providing customized member care to meet varying needs,” says President & CEO Amy Jo Smith. “We brought this to the forefront of what we do during the pandemic. Members have told us how much this meant to them to be able to count on us to bring pressing issues into committee, surging trends to Expos, and to make introductions to enable networking in a work from home environment.”

During year two of the pandemic, DEG created the Advanced Content Delivery Alliance, a working community charged with addressing the advancements in technology to enable improved content delivery and a better consumer experience. It follows DEG’s Direct-to-Consumer Alliance on companies with a direct-to-consumer offering. Both alliances have been beneficial in attracting new members to DEG. Seventeen of the companies that joined in 2021 are involved in ACDA committees; almost every new member is working within the longer established D2CA.

DEG was inspired to start D2CA as a way to shift conversation away from the idea of “streaming wars” and emphasize the burgeoning business opportunities available amid a proliferation of ways
for consumers to get their TV, filmed, news, sports and specialty content. ACDA seeks to create opportunities for the industry to collaboratively explore ways to improve its content delivery
infrastructure, in service of work- flow efficiencies, cost savings and ultimately, better quality content and consumer experience, at a time when the global volume of content created is growing


A factor in the formation of ACDA was an internal analysis that showed the largest percentage of DEG members were not content owners or platforms, DEG’s traditional base, but technology enablers, making up 38 percent of member companies at the time. The organization saw an opening to provide its brand of customized member care to these companies who were gravitating to DEG to make connections in the larger community at a time of industry growth and transition. “Originally a content owner-based organization, we had a surge of member companies with products and services that bring the content to market,” says Smith. “We brought their voices to the forefront with the creation of the Advanced Content Delivery Alliance.”

Timing is also key. ACDA fills a need for cross-industry collaboration as the volume of content created globally has exploded in the past couple of years. “DEG has been bringing together entertainment and technology for 25 years. And with the recent explosion of VOD consumption and adoption of work remote practices, now is the right time to explore how evolving and upcoming technologies can enable significant improvements across localization, culturalization, supply chain, security and operations,” says Jeremy Settle, AVP of Service and Content Partnerships for AT&T and Chair of the ACDA Steering Committee, which sets the agenda for the alliance with topics including localization and culturalization, supply chain efficiency, security, and tech/ops. “ACDA is a platform where DEG members can come together with a common focus and explore how transformative these technologies can be for their respective areas of expertise,” Settle says.

ACDA has two working committees: Localization, which is developing a common language for defining and describing “quality” across creative, cultural and technical aspects of localization, and Supply Chain Efficiency & Security, focused on how to increase content speed to market without impacting quality, experience or security. (See pages 36 and 38 for more details of the committees’ work).

The potential to collaborate with other companies within DEG and ACDA is what drew new member Synamedia. “Becoming members of the DEG was particularly attractive for us because the community is known for bringing like-minded executives together who embrace innovation and who want to solve business challenges in an open and collaborative forum,” says Janice Pearson, Director, Business Development, who now serves as chair of the Supply Chain Efficiency & Security committee. “Through our involvement in the ACDA, I’ve been impressed with the level of commitment and energy that members bring to the table. It’s been a great experience, and I look forward to all that we’ll accomplish together.”

Pending agenda items of the ACDA Steering Committee are the topics of 5G and cloud literacy. Specifically, it may consider the impact of high speed/low latency 5G technology on the other business areas and its potential to both remove obstacles in the supply chain and improve content delivery. Cloud literacy might include identifying the benefits of supply chain in the cloud and assessing its security risks.

“As technologies advance, it is imperative that companies understand how these technologies will intersect their areas of expertise,” Settle says. “Whether its
5G, cloud, or any number of modern-day technologies, the ACDA committee members are looking for ways to evolve and improve the content delivery ecosystem.


ACDA has a close link with DEG’s Expo series of virtual events, also launched since the start of remote work and a primary component in the maintenance of DEG’s high-touch
membership culture during the time when people have not been meeting regularly in person. ACDA’s Localization committee grew out of June’s DEG Expo on the topic, and the
Alliance inspired one of the most high-profile Expos of the year, on supply chain innovation. Titled “Cloud is Now. What’s Next?”, it drew speakers including Arjun Ramamurthy of
Ateliere Creative Technologies, Amazon Web Services’ Eric Iverson, and Viacom CBS’s Phil Wiser.

“With members unable to travel and commute to business meetings, we’ve been able to assemble executives more quickly. This has allowed us to move projects and activities faster,” says Smith, keeping the group on a roll in terms of community building. The Expos were attended by nearly 200 executives representing 50 companies on average, encouraging staff to produce the events about every six weeks throughout 2020 and 2021, a much faster pace than DEG used for in-person events prior to 2020.

Settle sees ACDA’s mission as simple: Connect companies to drive innovation through technology adoption. “Sounds cliché but that’s exactly what is needed,” he says. “I believe the
ACDA can play an increasingly important role in the entertainment industries adoption of and evolution of new technologies. My goal is to see the ACDA drive real conversations
and innovative solutions on topics impacting the content delivery ecosystem.”

Related Articles:

DEG Approaches 25th Year With 26 New Members Added So Far in 2021; Companies Drawn by New Alliances

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