Broadcasting and media companies look for new ways to get the job done
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As tech giants compete to capture the streaming world and viewers continue to turn away from traditional broadcasting, media companies have been left pondering where their future lies. With the help of new workflows and efficiency, broadcasters have an opportunity not just to survive, but to thrive.
By focusing on efficiency and embracing a more agile approach – rather than simply trying to adapt existing models – broadcasters can reposition themselves as the war over attention continues to unfold.
Revenue models continue to change for broadcasters
The proliferation of new business models – driven by the move from linear to streaming – has continued to provide a tricky path for broadcasters of all shapes and sizes.
“The industry continues to evolve, with many new drivers and opportunities, and the pace of change will only grow. We view media in new ways, and the volume of media created is unbelievable. In just one day it is estimated we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of content, and YouTube estimates 3.7M videos are uploaded,” said Dave Brass, VP of North America strategy and market development at Ateme.
With Netflix cracking down on password sharing, the imminent rebranding of HBO Max, and Nexstar pulling newscasts from local station websites, broadcasters are facing tough choices about which business and monetization model will yield long-term success.
“Broadcasters will certainly have their challenges in 2023. With advertising revenues on the decline for years and a recession forecast, the battle to compete with Netflix and other streamers for quality content won’t get easier. It is really on broadcasters now to rethink how their content can create more value,” said Raul Alba, director of solutions marketing for creative products, storage and cloud at Avid.
Models that once seemed a sure bet are being shaken up by the strong rise in free ad-supported streaming television (FAST), leaving everyone excited to get a piece of the pie.
What the future holds is still unfolding, but one thing is for sure: Efficiency will be key. Broadcasters must identify ways to streamline their processes so that they can provide content across multiple platforms and still remain financially viable. This might mean investing in new systems, outsourcing certain tasks or repurposing existing assets (including IP) for use on different platforms.
“The amount of content being created and the number of places content needs to go does not appear to be declining and with that, the pressure on media operations is mounting. Teams will need to create operational efficiencies and look to vendors who offer out-of-the-box solutions that can be up and running quickly and provide fast time-to-value, so look to cloud-native SaaS providers to be on the rise,” said Jon Finegold, CMO, Signiant.
By embracing technology and new methods of production, media outlets can improve the quality of their output while also reducing costs significantly; however, they’ll need to invest in training current staff and recruiting new people with the right expertise to make this happen.
Moreover, finding an efficient way to bring together content teams with technical teams will also be necessary for them to deliver quality programming.
Rethinking existing systems
Broadcasters have access to more efficient hardware than ever before through the use of modular solutions and cloud workflows.
“The era of long and complex deployments is gone; broadcasters need solutions that can be tested with real use cases to ensure they meet their requirements and can be quickly deployed,” said Julián Fernández-Campón, CTO at Tedial.
In a recent NewscastStudio survey, updating aging broadcast infrastructure was noted as the number one issue on the minds of many CTOs and broadcast engineers. But rebuilding doesn’t have to be painful. It can allow a rethinking of existing systems: What is the most efficient workflow for your team? What is the best workflow to support increased content demands and delivery platforms?
“Managing all this content becomes difficult, so simplification of workflows takes on more importance. That means you’ll likely see more opportunities for ‘as a service’ models, more use of analytics helping the search experience and personalization of content, allowing people to effortlessly find the content they really want to watch. Another trend is the monetization aspect around the industry,” said Brass.
We are in a modular, interoperable world. Tools from multiple vendors can be combined to create something functional for the needs at hand. By investing in modular solutions instead of monolithic ones, broadcasters can also refresh components or parts without disrupting an entire workflow.
The cloud as a driver of efficiency
Cloud adoption is now an unavoidable reality for broadcast and media companies looking to remain competitive in today’s market. But ensuring cloud investments are used efficiently is essential.
The world of remote production has changed drastically thanks to the cloud, which plays a major role in bringing disparate teams together online to create powerful content from anywhere.
But broadcasters that merely “lift–and–shift” their on–premise processes to the cloud won’t be able to reap its true benefits. Truly cloud-native solutions take into account the benefits of the cloud, including scalability and elasticity.
“Ultimately, we’ll see a more flexible approach to finding solutions to specific problems as the market shifts from on-prem to cloud and hybrid workflow environments. Also, expect more adoption of SaaS and subscription to allow broadcasters to scale up or down to manage the level of content being created,” said Alba.
Moving processes to the cloud also opens up unique opportunities with artificial intelligence and workflow automation, simplifying tasks such as metadata extraction, logging, and transcription.
The time to try new tools has come
“The collaboration between creative industries will continue to thrive into 2023. We’ve already seen a cross-pollination between industries; for example, broadcasters are starting to implement tools and techniques from cinema workflows like different effects and lenses, while production companies are implementing gear from the live streaming side, like switchers and routers, for multi-camera scripted shoots and virtual production. In turn, we expect that new and exciting workflows will come out of this cross-industry collaboration,” said Dave Hoffman, business development manager for the Americas at Blackmagic Design.
As business models continue to shift, media companies must remain agile and focus on efficient workflows. By embracing new technology and modular solutions, as well as leveraging the benefits of the cloud, broadcasters can reposition themselves in this new landscape.
From scripting to production, AI to automation, there is a wealth of tools out there that media companies should explore to get ahead of the curve.
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