Broadcasters adapting to change, trying new technology notes NewscastStudio survey

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NewscastStudio recently conducted a market research survey of its readership looking at the post-pandemic landscape for broadcasters along with investment and adoption of new technology planned this year.

Of the survey respondents, 70% feel the broadcast industry is adapting technologically to change, while 45% feel the solutions available today are inadequate for their current workflows.

A resounding 81% of survey respondents tried new techniques or methods in the past year as the coronavirus pandemic forced outside-the-box thinking at all levels of production. About 60% believe those methods will not change post-pandemic as workers return to offices and studios.

“The push towards remote production has proved that live news and sports can be delivered with a much smaller onsite footprint, and it has happened a lot faster than before than pandemic,” said Phil Ventre, VP of sports and broadcast at Ncam, in an Industry Insights roundtable posted in December. “There are many upsides to this, but from a social perspective, I don’t believe that working remotely, without regular workplace interaction, is good for our collective mental health.”

“The past year has been an intense laboratory for deciphering the best methodologies and workflows for minimizing staff on-site while innovating new technologies and data-driven features to augment at-home audience viewing experiences,” said Bryce Button, director of product marketing for AJA Video Systems.

On investment, 60% of respondents note a shift in technology investment priorities for 2021, with 63% noting their budget has stayed the same or risen slightly for the year.

“Many broadcasters are looking to use OPEX rather than CAPEX spend for purchases. The move towards annual licenses to fit in with OPEX budgets has been noticeable for a few years now, but has gathered speed recently,” said Ventre.

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On trade shows, 28% are neutral on attendance with 40% of respondents not planning to attend in-person broadcast gatherings in 2021, such as IBC or the NAB Show – which is now scheduled for October 2021.

“We are in a wait-and-see mode. Obviously, we have to protect our team and partners from any danger, so we will decide about our participation during the first quarter of 2021,” said Claudio Lisman, president and CEO of Primestream, in an Industry Insights roundtable posted in January

“We’re going to be pragmatic about it. Our online marketing, which has been driven by instructional webinars and practical content like case studies and industry reports, has been very effective so there’s a lot to consider, even without COVID-19. That said, IBC and NAB are both important for us as they’re in strategic regions,” said Martin Coles, VP of marketing at IPV.

“Our release cycles are no longer tied to major events each April and September, but rather we can innovate and launch products and solutions based on users’ needs,” said Bea Alonso of Dalet. 

The survey results come from a broad range of broadcasters and production personnel including 40% working in organizations with at least 100 employees and 25% having at least 500 employees. Of the respondents, 38% make final decisions in the purchasing process.

The most popular job titles of respondents included technical director, broadcast engineer, news director, VP of engineering, C suite (including CEO, COO, CIO, CTO) and production head.

59% of respondents work for a broadcast network or cable network with 14% at a local television affiliate and 24% at a non-traditional operation, such as streaming or corporate video.

The market research survey was conducted in Q1 2021 with readers of NewscastStudio opting into participating. 

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