Your Comments On Trends In The Year Ahead


The following comments regarding predictions for the broadcast technology sector in the 12 months to come have been received by InBroadcast:

Viewer demand will drive tech adoption…
“100 million 4KTVs were sold globally in 2018 and viewers will be questioning where’s the content? With successful 4K OTT trials this summer and some premium SVOD players providing 4K content (albeit a limited catalogue and at a cost), viewers will probably be looking for a wider choice from broadcasters – certainly for on-demand content. But, the jury is still out on 4K and it won’t be prevalent across every platform or genre.
“High Dynamic Range (HDR) however, has been shown to have an immediate impact on viewers. Better pixels, instead of more, improves the TV experience immediately, and doesn’t have the same cost challenges in production. The good news is that many of those 4K TVs also support HDR, so we may well start to see the technology come into play before 4K has a chance to bed in.”
Viewers will have to wait to see any wide-reaching impact of 5G on video delivery…
“If you listen to any current presentation relating to 5G and broadcasting, you will be excused if you come away feeling less than enthused. Over the last few years, 2019 was hailed by many to be a big year for mobile connectivity and video delivery as 5G services began to roll out.
“The argument was clear, as 5G develops, so too does the ability to deliver higher-quality video, both to mobile devices and to viewers who are ‘off the grid’ for fixed broadband connectivity. Many have even proffered that the future of linear broadcasting will be determined by 3GPP. But, as we dig under the skin of the promise, we can see that serious adoption of 5G services for linear delivery won’t happen until after 2023 at a minimum. We can predict however that 2019 will see more trials and a better understanding of what the technology can really bring to the table.”
Ian Munford,
Director of Product Marketing, Media Services EMEA,

Watching is participating in eSports…
“Last year, eSports was gathering momentum with substantial growth in viewership. Today, eSports has undoubtedly burst into mainstream consciousness.
The current US$25m prize pool at The International Dota 2 tournament is indicative of the rapid rise of this form of entertainment. 2019, we will see more organisers experimenting with enhanced interactivity, such as allowing viewers to vote collectively on a player’s next move in a game, through the use of polls that appear on the screen during the live feed.

Key point: Viewers in eSports will not just watch game broadcasts but will actively participate in them, potentially affecting the outcome of a contest. As eSports has so often forged the way with its audience, it will revolutionise the relationship between gamer, viewer and stream.”

Publishing goes over the top…
“Over the last couple of years, we have seen a number of publishers launch OTT services. From Condé Nast to Vice, there has been a growth in brands which once would have focused solely on text – perhaps before they were dabbling in video and audio – but are now launching separate video platforms with hours of new original content. 2019 will see an acceleration of publishers creating new OTT services, whether they offer niche or mainstream content. An increasing number of publishers will create platforms which attract consumers already using video on demand products. This will mean that some publishers will take away much of their audiovisual content from social media platforms.

Key point: OTT offers publishers a new opportunity to reach existing and potential audiences, as well as open up additional revenue streams. For companies which have been trying to find a place in the new digital landscape, it will provide an exciting new path by which to succeed.”
The demise of ‘the Netflix of...’
“Since Netflix has become a media giant and challenged the dominance of broadcasters, cable operators and studios, there have been many attempts to replicate its success – often copying its features and UI. The phrase ‘the Netflix of…’  is echoed by several companies trying to break into the on-demand media world. Many use it as a marketing tool but it has become a conceptual straitjacket, preventing them from expressing how they are different and from creating distinctive products. In 2019, there will be a move away from this label, with more companies finding their own USPs, recognising what’s special about their content.

Key point: 2019 will see many digital product companies break away from this ‘the Netflix of’ mindset to deliver services which reflect the unique shape and size of their content.”
Tom Williams, 
Chief Executive Officer,

Unified network solutions will drive integrated satellite agnostic technology solutions…
“Satellite should no longer be seen as a discrete technology, competing against other contribution and distribution technologies. This is particularly true when looking at the potential of 5G, whatever forms and business models it takes in the future.
“What is certain is that 5G needs to work across both terrestrial and satellite technologies, so that the solution to the consumer or business customer is a unified network that offers frictionless connectivity. In practice this means steering traffic between terrestrial and satellite on a dynamic basis, depending on the specific application, bandwidth, latency etc.
“The key value-add service here is the orchestration layer, which will need to use Software Defined Networking and Network Functions Virtualization in order to functionalise traffic steering between different technologies in a unified network.
“It has to be said that many satellite companies are terrific when it comes to traditional video and data distribution over their existing networks – but are somewhat conservative when it comes to innovation and building new commercial models that combine terrestrial and satellite technologies. As data demands increase and customers look for technology-agnostic, seamless services, those conservative satellite companies will need to change their approach if they want to avoid being left out of unified network solutions.”
 Nick Moreno,
Director of Strategy, Satellite & Media,

Holistic solutions will unify platforms across viewer devices…
“Innovations in technology and industry partnerships have allowed the TV and video ecosystem to continue evolving at a rapid pace, and this shows no sign of slowing in 2019.
“Addressable TV has seen successful adoption in the US and in the UK, making it appealing for every market – even in some European countries which are still facing tangible barriers. From varying viewing and device preferences, to different technological capabilities and standards for linear diffusion streams, it’s not only broadcasters but the whole industry which needs to adapt. Discussions between major industry actors and alliances in the region, such as the European Broadcaster Exchange, will be essential in the coming year to tackle the premium video ecosystem challenges.
“As consumers watch content across a number of different platforms and devices, 2019 will also be a pivotal year for broadcasters to recognise the importance of unification, giving them the ability to monetise all types of audiences. They will need to consider holistic solutions that allow them to sell inventory through addressable, programmatic, and direct sold, letting them flourish at a time when fragmentation is rife, but the main focus is on performance.”
Thomas Bremond,
General Manager, International,
FreeWheel and Comcast Technology Solutions

The challenge of VPN accessibility will be top priority… 
“Increased consumer knowledge and accessibility of VPNs has caused havoc for many broadcasters this year, leaving them grappling with the boundaries between blocking suspicious activity and giving the best experience to paying viewers. Addressing this challenge needs to be top priority for broadcasters in 2019.
“But despite the considerable impact VPNs can have, many are still unaware of the solutions available to them. It is possible to identify the type of proxy being used – such as a corporate proxy or a hosting centre – and determine whether further investigation is needed. However, this is only possible if broadcasters take the VPN issue seriously.
“Technology is vital to solving the problem, but care must be taken to choose the right provider that can tackle constantly changing VPN usage behaviours by consistently refreshing data. If data sources don’t align with these behaviours, broadcasters will be wasting both their time and money.” 
Charlie Johnson,
Vice President, UK and Ireland,
Digital Element

Increasing use of data analytics will help optimise TV advertising spend…
“TV ad analytics has evolved beyond attribution techniques, allowing brands and agencies to not only measure but optimise campaigns thanks to sophisticated performance metrics. TV has proven it can harness big data to leverage predictive technologies that significantly improve the effectiveness of TV buys – making TV and digital work better together.
“For TV to deliver on brand KPIs and ROI in 2019, TV advertisers must actively employ audience and household data via targeted TV buys to increase frequency to specific audience segments and expand brand reach. By going beyond the “what, when, and how” and combining it with behavioural and demographic data, as well as probabilistic and deterministic data modelling, brands will be in a better position to understand how TV impacts 100% of their business. We will soon see brands and agencies incorporating this additional layer of information about target audiences and response patterns to optimise their TV buys.”
Regina Berengolts,
Head of Data Science,

Final Thoughts...
It is predicted that half of TV content will be viewed on mobile by 2020. But more broadly the division between online and offline will become increasingly blurred. This is sure to be accelerated by the advent of 5G technology, which will serve to make the distinction irrelevant.
But as long as TV keeps adapting to technological innovation, it will thrive. In the year ahead, broadcaster success will therefore depend on embracing automation and focusing on data to give both audiences and advertisers what they want: streamlined, flexible, and convenient options that drive revenue for all parties.
InBroadcast welcomes comments and predictions for 2019 – The Editor.

© InBroadcast 2018 - All rights reserved.


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