Broadcast Industry Trends
Boundary between web and traditional content delivery is diminishing faster than ever envisioned and Multi platform content delivery is fast emerging as the big frontier for Broadcast Industry. Premium video which has traditionally remained under vaults with strict linear only delivery has gradually started to percolate in the online world although still under aegis of Pay TV subscription. Broadcast Industry is undergoing change.. A recent research report published by devoncroft further details relative priorities across industry trends and re-iterates importance of multi platform content delivery.
On related note, technology trends which found constant support in concluded CES, Broadcast Asia and NAB 2013 across content owners, broadcasters and technology vendors included strategies for Ultra HD, DVBT-2, Hybrid TV, cloud broadcasting and 4K technology.
Multi Platform Content Delivery
Leading research reports from Cisco (VNI), Ericsson Mobility have established beyond doubt the rapid growth of video on internet coupled with rise of VOD (Video on Demand) platforms, growth in broadband adoption, increase in network speed and exponential increase in sale of connected devices (smartphones, game consoles, tablets…) which makes online content delivery a must have for any major broadcaster. Multi platform content delivery extends delivery over IP broadband (via mobile and fixed connections) enabling content reach to far greater and wider audiences with potential for more frequent and longer brand exposure, enhanced audience loyalty and any device, anytime content consumption convenience. The landscape has further changed with growing influence of OTT (Over the Top) streaming players and disruptive technologies like Aereo which has major broadcasters working tactically to bring live streaming of their treasured programming content for online consumption. Mobility, social networking, cloud and big data engineering are further playing role of active influencers in any multi platform delivery strategy.
Over the Top Content
Over the top players have gained further ground in terms of content deals, richer content catalogs, growing consumer base and resourceful IP delivery networks (capping and network imbalance are growing concerns!). The recent game changer has been exclusive content deals between OTT players and large studios and arrival of in-house production (OPOV Original professionally created online content) by major online players. The OTT video market which surpassed US$8 billion in 2012 and is expected to cross the US$20 billion mark by 2015 with popular sentiments of Netflix heralded as the new age HBO. Meanwhile Pay TV operators are beginning to either integrate friendly third-party OTT services or building their own Over the Top propositions as part of their core offerings which is blurring the boundaries between traditional TV and on-demand services.
Growth in Free to Air channels Content
Increase in number of Free to Air channels with steady growth in number of households relying on FTA content for their media consumption is fast emerging across major economies.
Cloud which wasn’t touched for being uncontrolled and virtual is gaining approval across the board with broadcast infrastructure operations utilizing some of the benefits which cloud computing brought for IT. Costs have gone down, bigger infrastructure and technology players have joined in, security fears are far lower and product vendors have cloud-enabled their traditional offerings. Cloud is bringing innovative solutions for Broadcasters, Production and post production houses with anywhere access, time saving and reduced resource cost. Cloud brings platform and services to realize live broadcasting for non linear networks and takes content to the viewers irrespective of their location. Its been 2 years since I wrote this post and the ground has changed for good. It is not far when computing power needed for broadcast operations will be delivered under need basis from cloud-based data centers. Fox recently announced moving master control to cloud…
Advertising Spends share moving Online
Advertising ad dollar have found new medium to exploit which is increasingly garnering more share. While there are still concerns on effectiveness of the medium added with challenges of content conversion and customized formats for online ads, the medium offers far greater capability to target engaged audiences with power of granular audience measurement. Second screen offers great potential for personalization, content discovery, values added services along with contextual and targeted advertising. Twitter Amplify brings interesting concept…
Transitioned to HD .. With 3D abandoned, stage getting set for UHD/ 2k and 4K
3D which was touted with much fanfare and garnered immense attention throughout 2011 and 2012 has started to loose stream. While most broadcasters transition to HD (720p), consumers also leap frogged to HD monitors as part of analog to digital transition. Today stage is getting set for True HD (1080p)/UHD/2k/4k content and associated ecosystem. While the Industry stakeholders (CE device manufacturers, service providers, telcos, and studios) are working in unison to resolve the content production, processing and playout challenges there are larger questions on content delivery (frequency shortfall to accommodate beyond prevalent 720p, Infrastructure for QoS/QoE delivery etc.) and still bigger Q’s – will consumers relent for another big spend? Television carries a long shelf life and unless there are mounting boutiques of incentives and differentiated experience, consumers endorsing next generation TV sets may remain far fetched.
Few addititional happening in the broadcast Industry include
- Transition to digital transmission with gradual shut-down of analog transmission
- Disruptive model like Aereo challenging established networks by streaming free-to-air broadcast programming and offering cloud DVR functionality for on demand content delivery
- Migration to DVB-T2 (Digital Video Broadcasting – Second Generation Terrestrial)
- Movement of siloed legacy linear traffic and scheduling systems to an integrated systems managing linear and non-linear operations
- Extended audience data bringing agility to respond to changing consumer behavior
- TV Everywhere services running in its fourth year has started to witness wider adoption across services provider although still marred with limited content catalogs, network restrictions and low consumer awareness.
Broadband and emerging technologies are changing Broadcast Industry which brings several interesting if-then-what analysis scenarios. What is your perspective ?
- Does disruptive technologies like Aereo has potential to threaten the existing Pay-TV model?
- Will growth in exclusive content deals by OTT providers and production of online only content impact the nature of future content deals and ad inventories ?
- Does H.265 presents enough maturity, acceptance and compelling benefits in processing and bandwidth optimization for UHD/2k/4k to become mainstream. Does it provide abundant incentives for headend /studios for a much shorter upgrade cycle compared to its predecessors ?
- Can FTA and OTT combo create threat to traditional pay TV industry?