Broadcast Industry’s Largest Market Study Reveals Most Important Technology Trends

Posted by Joe Zaller
Mar 17 2010

This is the first in a series of articles about the findings from the 2010 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS), a global study of industry trends, technology purchasing behavior and the opinion of vendor brands.  With more than 5,600 people in 120+ countries participating, the 2010 version of the BBS is the largest and most comprehensive market study ever done in the broadcast industry.

This article looks at how respondents ranked a variety of technology trends in terms of importance to their business.


To determine the most important technology trends in the broadcast industry, respondents were presented with a list of 14 trends and asked to choose which is the “most important,” “second most important” and “also very important” to their business. Respondents could choose only one trend as “most important” and “second most important”, but were able to choose as many as they liked for “also very important”.  Note that this question specifically asks which trend is most important to their company’s business, rather than which is the most exciting technically or is currently generating the most industry “buzz”  in order to gain insight into the commercial drivers behind the respondent’s answer. 

This article presents the answers to this question in two ways – as a global trends index, and by the percentage of respondents who indicated the importance of each trend to their business.

The 2010 BBS Global Trend Index

To create an industry index of trends, the responses to this question were then weighted based on the importance of each trend to the business of the respondents.  Responses that were ranked “most important” were multiplied by 5, responses ranked “second most important” were multiplied by 3 and those deemed “also very important” were multiplied by 1.

The table below shows the industry trend importance index.  Please note that in all cases, the charts and tables in this article show the responses from technology buyers (i.e. non-vendors).

The top three trends (by a good margin) in the 2010 BBS Global Trend Index are multi-platform content delivery, file-based / tapeless workflows, and the transition to HDTV operations.  

The top ranking of multi-platform content delivery in this year’s study is a strong move up from last year’s study where it placed 4th in terms of importance.  In 2009 the top three trends were transition to HDTV operation, tapeless workflows and IP content delivery.

The 2010 BBS Global Trend Index show that the broadcast industry in 2010 is focused on generating new revenue streams (through multi-platform content delivery) and achieving cost savings through operational efficiencies (through file-based / tapeless workflows).  At the same time however, it’s clear that the industry intends to finish what it started by continuing its transition to HDTV operations (the top trend in 2009). 

The trends that rank #4 through #9 on this year’s Global Trend Index all share similar characteristics with the top three trends.  Namely creating efficiencies (e.g. IP networking & content delivery and the move to automated workflows); reducing cost (e.g. centralized operations); and generating new sources of revenue (e.g. VOD and targeted advertising).

Technology-oriented trends (those that require capital expenditure) such as 3DTV and the transition to 3Gbps operations, which are considered to be hot topics in the run up to NAB 2010, are ranked towards the bottom of the index.


Ranking Trends by Percentage of Respondents

Looking at this data another way reinforces the finding from the BBS Global Trend Index, and highlights again that the industry is looking for ways to generate new revenues while increase operating efficiencies and reducing operating costs.

The table below demonstrates this by showing the same response data ranked by “most important” and without the 5-3-1 weighting applied.  For the most part, the trends stay in the same position, but there are a few changes to the rankings. 

When the data is presented in this way multi-platform content delivery remains the trend ranked “most important to most respondents.  However, the second and third-ranked trends – transition to HDTV operations and file-based / automated workflows – swap positions in this ranking versus the trend index above. 

Regardless of this subtle shift, one of the most noticeable things about this chart is the how strongly the top three trends were ranked as most important relative to the others.  It’s clear the moving to HD, achieving operational efficiencies and finding new revenue streams are a clear priority for the broadcast industry in 2010.

As with the BBS Global Trend Index above, new technology trends (those that require new investment) such as transition to 3Gbps operations and 3D TV move are lower down the list of priorities.

It’s also worth noting which trends were ranked as “also very important” by respondents, because this is a strong indicator of what will be important over the next few years.  Once again, multi-platform content delivery tops this list, indicating that it is not only important to the broadcast industry today, but that it will continue to grow in importance over time.  In addition to multi-platform content delivery, the trends that were ranked strongly in terms of “also very important” to the businesses of respondents are (in descending order): IP networking & content delivery, improvements in compression efficiency, file-based / tapeless workflows, move to automated workflows, video on demand and the transition to HDTV operations.

Keep in mind when reading this information that, all data in this article measures the responses of all non-vendor participants in the 2010 BBS, regardless of organization type, size or location; and shows the number of respondents that are evaluating products without regard to size of project or value of purchase.  Granular analysis of these results is available as part of the full 2010 BBS Global Market Report, which is available from Devoncroft Partners.

Published by Devoncroft Partners, the annual Big Broadcast Survey (BBS) is the largest and most comprehensive studies of broadcast industry trends and technology vendor brands.  The BBS provides insight into market trends and the perceptions of leading broadcast industry vendor brands by a wide variety of broadcast professionals across the world.  It also delivers vendor brand ranking “league tables” in a variety of product categories; all of which can be segmented by geography and customer type.  More than 5,600 people in 120+ countries participated in the 2010 BBS project. Information about the 2010 BBS can be found at 

One Response

  1. LJH says:

    내용 보냅니다.

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