Last night at the 2018 Content Innovation Awards in Cannes, DAZN picked up the prestigious title of Advanced TV Service of the Year, and Ben Lavender, Chief Product Officer, was recognised for a career of innovation, taking home the Outstanding Digital Achievement Award.
Ben talks us through how he invented BBC iPlayer and discusses what drives him in today’s ever-changing sports streaming landscape.
“To think this all started with a eureka moment. That moment for me was waking from a dream and wondering why TV wasn’t available to the downloading generation like music files and ring tones were at the time. It was that moment back in 2002, whilst working at the BBC, that idea eventually became BBC iPlayer.
“It took us four years to make iPlayer happen. Initially there was lots of resistance to the idea. Many people thought it far-fetched and I was mad. “Who would want to watch TV on a computer?” After two technical trials and a Public Value Test, BBC iPlayer was born, and the rest is history.
Pictured: Ben Lavender receiving his award
“In the world we live in today, we’re operating at the fastest rate of change the world has ever seen, and yet at the same time, this is the slowest pace it will ever be again. We’re exploring new frontiers by building products that give consumers experiences that may feel like time travel today, but quickly becoming the norm by tomorrow.
“I’ve always enjoyed working in the ‘what’s next’ space. The thrill of creating something that truly changes the traditional and introduces the experimental – being right on the edge of something and the challenge of making it real.
“I’ve also had the opportunity to work with some amazing people who are all driven by an inner force and aspiration. They want to create amazing things. They want to do what hasn’t been done before. I’m lucky to work with those people every day at DAZN.
“For us at DAZN, we’re driven to create legendary experiences for consumers. We work tirelessly to refine our stream, to simplify it, to make it seamless. Yet sport streaming is still a relatively young way-to-watch.
We won’t have truly won until we are not just as flawless as linear, but until its far superior. That’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
DAZN lifted the Advanced TV Service of the Year award after beating rivals BT, AMC, TalkTalk and RTE.
To find out a list of winners from the event, click here.