NewscastStudio survey reveals top challenges, priorities in the broadcast production industry
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The broadcast industry is going through a period of rapid technological change, bringing about new workflows, vendors and products.
To better understand how television production professionals are staying ahead of the curve, NewscastStudio recently conducted its annual industry sentiment survey. The survey’s results shed light on the challenges and opportunities facing the industry today.
Given the larger economic outlook, it’s no surprise that the top challenges identified by respondents in the survey were budgetary constraints, followed by hiring and retaining qualified staff and the demands of increased content output.
Implementing cloud-based technology and workflows was a close fourth.
“Whilst entertainment tends to be less affected by economic downturns, it’s likely that we see an adjustment in Capex spending, driving the desire to move workflows and tooling into the cloud even more prominent,” said Erik Otto, CEO at Mediaproxy.
“While Blockchain and AI rightly continue to attract attention, the immediate real-world issue for the broadcaster is exploring how to do more with less,” said David Kicks, VP, sales for the Americas at Pebble. “Their challenge is how best to maximize the ROI from their traditional flagship linear channels, continuing to serve their audiences efficiently with curated linear content and generating the revenues which will enable them to invest in the digital offerings which will safeguard their futures. We think 2023 will see increased focus on driving efficiencies and implementing hybrid workflows as broadcasters make this transition, and we expect to see more solutions and discussion around this topic as the year progresses.”
Updating aging infrastructure a top priority for broadcasters
When asked about top priorities for 2023, respondents said that updating aging broadcast infrastructure was their top priority. Remote production and cloud production also saw a high response rate.
“The broadcast industry will continue to embrace the cloud for its flexibility and to speed up the deployment of NEXTGEN TV services. Many of our customers are leveraging the cloud to simplify service management, improving service delivery timeframes,” said Ralph Bachofen, VP of sales and marketing for Triveni Digital.
“Cloud computing is not new, but video production and live production have not adopted the cloud as quickly as other industries. Improvements in cloud security, latency, and video quality are making broadcasters of all sizes take notice and consider cloud production in their technology roadmaps,” said Carol Bettencourt, VP of marketing at Chyron.
“Build vs. buy is an interesting one. Many media companies have loaded up on engineering resources and cloud architects who love to build. Those resources are critical but should be deployed efficiently. We see more executives guiding teams to build with bigger building blocks vs. starting from scratch,” said Jon Finegold, CMO of Signiant. “We’ve seen many customers have success connecting our SaaS products with other products using modern APIs and scripts and drive down time-to-value from weeks and months to days and hours. We expect to see more of this in 2023.”
The survey also showed a decrease in respondents feeling the industry is adapting technologically to change, at 64% compared to 66% a year ago and 70% two years ago.
This indicates that broadcasters are adapting to the changing landscape but still have some way to go before legacy technology has been upgraded.
Current product and solution usages in broadcast production
When asked what products they use regularly, the survey respondents‘ top answers included broadcast graphics systems, video editing software, news production systems and media storage. Control room technology including production switchers, audio mixers and playout systems closely followed.
As producers and creatives become more tech–savvy and demand more from their systems, new solutions and workflows are appearing across all spectrums of production — but especially in the core areas identified here.
This year saw an increase in users feeling current solutions are adequate for their workflows.
However, only half of the respondents feel comfortable or very comfortable with the move to software–first solutions for broadcast production, with 29% feeling neutral on the larger industry shift. This indicates that while broadcasters may be comfortable with their current tools and solutions, there may be trepidation when it comes to adopting new technologies that require more technical knowledge, training or long-term cost.
Trade show attendance on the rebound?
On trade shows, 40% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed they plan to attend a broadcast-related trade show this year – such as the NAB Show in April or IBC – marking an 8 percentage point increase from last year’s survey.
This increase signals a potential return to normal for the annual gatherings and momentum around smaller, targeted peer networking events – such as those hosted by TV News Check or Sports Video Group.
“We anticipate more attendees and exhibitors as tradeshows evolve to accommodate the convergence of different verticals, and broadcast technologies become more widely adopted in areas like medicine and education,” said Bryce Button, director of product marketing for AJA Video Systems.
“The role of trade shows has fundamentally changed following the pandemic. Vendors and customers realized that they don’t need to launch products at a trade show; it’s perfectly fine to introduce a new product (especially software) via Zoom. That said, trade shows still play a vital role in bringing people together, encouraging personal connections, and fostering relationships between vendors, partners, and end users in the market,” said Geoff Stedman, CMO at SDVI.
“We aim to solve complex challenges with big solutions, so coming together face-to-face to explore pain points and design strategic solutions that fit our customers’ requirements brings real impact for our business. From a personal perspective, the return to major industry events was a highlight in 2022 — it feels good to be back catching up with customers, colleagues, connections and old friends on the show floor again,” said Rick Young, SVP, head of global product, LTN.
“Despite the significant cost of these large trade shows, we expect them to return to their previous attendance levels. Smaller and regional shows are also showing surprising strength on the rebound,” said Peter Wharton, chief strategy officer, TAG Video Systems.
37% of survey respondents answered they would not attend trade shows in 2023.
The survey results come from a broad range of broadcast and production personnel with over 70% having read NewscastStudio for more than a year. Of the respondents, 35% make final decisions and 51% make recommendations or product specifications in the purchasing process.
The most popular job titles of respondents included broadcast engineer, technical director, producer, creative services director, graphics specialist, C suite (including CEO, COO, CIO, CTO), news director and production head.
49% of respondents identified as work for a broadcast network or cable network, with 18% at a local television affiliate and 23% at a non-traditional operation, such as streaming, corporate video or education video production.
The market research survey was conducted between December 2022 and January 2023 with readers of NewscastStudio opting into participating. A total of 336 respondents participated in the survey.
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