How are broadcast technology products typically purchased — direct from vendors, through an SI or a dealer?

Posted by Joe Zaller
Apr 28 2010

This article is based on 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.

I have previously discussed marco findings from my market research such as the most important technology trends in the broadcast industry, where money is being spent in the broadcast industry, and what broadcast technology products are currently being evaluated for purchase.

Today I am going to look at the way broadcast technology products are purchased – i.e. what purchasing channels are typically used by buyers of broadcast technology products.   

Survey respondents were asked how they typically buy broadcast technology products – direct from a vendor; through a systems integrator; through a dealer; or some other way. 

To show the variation in response, the results in the chart below are broken out by organization type.

Question: How do you typically purchase broadcast technology products?

Breaking out the answers to this question by organization type shows that there is considerable variation in the way broadcast technology products are purchased, with each type of broadcast technology buyer exhibiting different purchasing preferences.  These results are interesting because they highlight that there are some times when it makes more sense for vendors to use a channel than go direct.  They also show that there are some types of buyers who are more used to buying through the channel versus direct.

For example, cable/satellite/IPTV operators showed a strong preference to purchase directly from vendors (perhaps because of the relatively small number of these platforms as well as the large amount of equipment they require).

Respondents from educational institutions, film studios, post- production, and recording studios reported that they tend to purchase broadcast technology products via third-party dealers. 

Systems integrators (SIs) sit between the vendor and the dealer in terms of the percentage of customers who prefer to buy through them, but keep in mind that these rankings show only the number of customers who prefer to buy in a certain way.  They do not look at the value of the purchase that goes through any individual channel. 

SIs play a strong role across all customer types, but particularly with playout centers, cable programmers, and broadcasters.  It’s worth noting the customer types who show the strongest preference for systems integrators tend to the ones with the largest and most complex projects.

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