Investment Bankers, Others Offer Post-IBC Assessment of Broadcast Technology Industry

Posted by Joe Zaller
Oct 01 2010

Quite a few people have written about their impressions of the IBC show, and given the huge scope of an event like IBC, each takes a slightly different approach depending on their perspective.  For example, here’s one from Murali Nemani at Cisco, another from David Grubb at Motorola, one from UK consultants MediaSmiths, and an announcement from industry guru Mark Schubin that he’ll be presenting a review of IBC on the 12th of October.  There’s even one from me.  

I always read all these articles, but it’s often the thoughts of non-technical industry observers that are the most interesting, because they focus on the business of the business and where it’s heading from a financial perspective.

For example, Silverwood Partners, a boutique investment bank that focuses on the media technology sector recently published their thoughts on the broadcast technology industry in a 19-page document called “IBC 2010 Post-Show Perspectives.”  Silverwood often publishes documents like this before and after major industry shows as a way to connect with broadcast technology vendors who may be looking for investment banking services.  You can read their pre-NAB 2010 document here, and their pre-IBC2010 document here.

From their point-of-view, Silverwood identifies the following as the key themes that emerged from the IBC show.

  • Industry environment improving
  • Intensifying focus on software
  • Large acquirers have substantial cash reserves
  • Focus on broader video use cases
  • Noticeable de‐emphasis of 3D
  • Concerns on sustainability of recovery
  • OTT – alternatives proliferating


In the document, Silverwood discusses each of the above in the context of what is driving increased industry optimism; wider application of video technology (beyond broadcast and post production); what’s required to sell to other verticals; and an increased focus on software and MAM to solve complex workflow problems.

As one might expect from an investment bank who make their money through advising on transactions, Silverwood’s document has a few slides on industry M&A.  They contend that large companies have high cash balances, and that “alternative investments for cash are relatively unappealing.”  In other words the industry is changing radically and companies with cash should be using it for M&A in order to better position themselves for the future and buy growth.

They go on to illustrate the need for M&A by discussing how formerly profitable media businesses have been disrupted by market shifts and new technologies, and then graphically show the industry M&A activity from the past 12 months.

Whether you’re a broadcaster, technology vendor, content owner or distribution platform this is interesting stuff.


You can read the full Silverwood IBC 2010 Post-Show Perspectives document here.


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