The Commercial Drivers for Multi-Platform Content Distribution in the Broadcast Industry

Posted by Joe Zaller
Jan 13 2011

This is the third in a series of occasional articles about the commercial drivers behind some of the most important trends in the broadcast industry.


As part of the 2010 Big Broadcast Survey, we asked a global sample of more than 5,600 broadcast professionals about the most important trends in the broadcast industry.  Respondents were presented with a series of industry trends, and asked to indicate which one is the “most important” commercially to their business over the next few years, which one is “second most important” commercially important to their business over the next few years, and which others are “also very important.” 

These results were then weighted to create the 2010 BBS Trends Index, which is shown in the table below.



By a wide margin, the top three places in the 2010 BBS Global Trend Index were multi-platform content delivery; file-based / tapeless workflows; and the transition to HDTV operations.

This article looks at the commercial drivers behind the top trend in the 2010 BBS Trend Index, multi-platform content delivery, and sheds light on why multi-platform content delivery is important to broadcast professionals world-wide. 

If interested, you can also read previous articles about commercial drivers for the global move to HDTV operations, and the commercial drivers for the global move to file-based operations.

In order to understand why, we asked respondents who said multi-platform content delivery the trend that’s most commercially important to their business a series of questions, including the reasons why, which vendors they feel are best positioned to provide solutions to their needs, and what obstacles they think might prevent them from achieving their goals.

As shown in the chart below, the top two reasons cited by most 2010 BBS respondents for the commercial importance of multi-platform content delivery is to provide potential new revenue streams and to ensure that branded content is available on all distribution platforms.



These results were fairly consistent across the respondent base, with 77% of respondents falling into one of these two categories.  However there were a few notable exceptions. 

There was a marked contrast in the responses from pay TV broadcasters versus license fee funded broadcasters.  Pay TV providers were overwhelmingly concerned with new revenue streams, while public broadcasters were interested primarily in making sure their branded content is available on all distribution platforms.

Second only to pay TV providers, respondents from the government / education / corporate sectors were also very interested in having their content available on all platforms

Other differences were more subtle.   Respondents from EMEA were slightly more interested having their branded content on all platforms, than were respondents from the Americas who were more interested in generating new revenue streams.

Participants in the China and the Middle East and Africa were more interested in gaining a competitive advantage than respondents from other regions.

When considering the responses of broadcasters (shown on the far right of the above chart), most seem to agree that the generating new revenue streams is the most important reason for moving to a multi-platform distribution model.  Interestingly the smallest broadcasters see the need to have their content widely available on all platforms is more important than new revenue stream.

If you are interested in a more comprehensive breakdown of these results, please contact Devoncroft Partners for more information.  



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.

The 2011 Big Broadcast Survey will be published in the first quarter of 2011, and will provide an updated view of these findings as well as a year-over-year comparison.



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