Broadcast Industry’s Most Comprehensive Market Study Reveals Top Trends of 2011

Posted by Joe Zaller
Mar 16 2011

This is the first in a series of articles about some of the findings from the 2011 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS), a global study of broadcast industry trends, technology purchasing plans, and benchmarking of broadcast technology vendor brands.  More than 8,000 people in 100+ countries took part in the 2011 BBS, making it the largest and most comprehensive market study ever done in the broadcast industry.


The 2011 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

Each year, Devoncroft Partners conducts a large scale global study of the broadcast industry called the Big Broadcast Survey (BBS).  More than 8,000 broadcast professionals in 100+ countries participated in the 2011 BBS, making it the most comprehensive study ever done in the broadcast industry.

One of the key outputs from the BBS is the annual BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index. This is a ranking of the broadcast industry trends that are considered by BBS respondents to be the most commercially important to their businesses in any given year.

To create the 2011 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index, we presented BBS respondents with a list of 15 industry trends and asked them to tell us which one trend they consider to be “most important” to their business, which one trend they consider to be “second most important” to their business, and which other trends (plural) they consider to be “also very important.” 

We then used the responses to this question to create the BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index by applying a weighting based on the commercial importance of each trend. 

Please note that our goal from this question is to help clients gain insight into the business drivers behind the respondent’s answer.  Therefore, we asked this question in the context of commercial importance, rather than “industry buzz” or technology hype.

The table below shows the 2011 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index.  Please note that this chart measures the responses all non-vendors who participated in the 2011 BBS, regardless of company type, company size, geographic location, job title etc. 



Similar to results in both the 2009 and 2010, the top four trends in the 2011 Global Broadcast Industry Trend Index are:

  • Multi-platform content delivery
  • Transition to HDTV operations
  • File-based / tapeless workflows
  • IP networking and content delivery


However, there has been considerable movement in the relative ranking of these four trends over the past several years.  Most significantly, “multi-platform content delivery” has become increasingly important, and is the dominant trend in 2011.   For comparison:

  • In 2009, the BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index was dominated by the transition to HDTV operations, while multi-platform content delivery was fourth on the list


  • In 2010, multi-platform content delivery had become the most important industry trend, narrowly eclipsing file-based / tapeless workflows (which were combined in the 2010 BBS Trend Index) and the transition to HDTV operations


These results show that broadcast professionals continue to focus their efforts on taking advantage of the potential for incremental revenue streams presented by multi-platform content delivery.  Indeed, as the chart above shows multi-platform content delivery was ranked significantly higher than any other trend in our 2011 study.  As video content become ubiquitous, broadcasters and content owners are looking for ways to monetize their assets, and grow their revenue.  Technology vendors are continuing to develop solutions to convert content for optimal performance on any platform, and to run targeted ads alongside that content.

But there is more to the story than just multi-platform content delivery. For the third year in a row, the transition to HDTV operations ranks as one of the top trends in the broadcast industry.  It’s likely that HDTV upgrades will continue to be one of the major drivers of project-based spending as broadcasters around the world continue with plans to transition their operations to HDTV.  We provide significant coverage of the global move to HDTV in the 2011 BBS Global Market Report.  This includes a breakdown of where broadcasters are in their transition to HD, and a look at the upgrade plans for more than a dozen product categories. We’ll also be publishing more information here about project-based spending and the HD transition in future articles.

Operational efficiencies (through file-based / tapeless workflows) remain a significant macro driver in 2011, as broadcasters continue to deploy new workflows.  The increasing importance of file-based technologies has implications for the broadcast industry in terms of both workflows and product procurement.  Our previous research shows that broadcasters are moving to file-based workflows not only to achieve greater speed and efficiencies, but also to reduce cost.  During the recession, technology budgets were typically prioritized towards solutions that add revenue and/or reduce cost.  Now that the industry is recovering from the downturn, it’s likely that the way technology is purchased will remain focused on these commercial priorities.

Several trends were ranked more highly in 2011 than in 2010.  For example video-on-demand moved up from #8 in 2011 to#6 in 2011; while 3DTV moved up from #10 in 2010 to #8 in 2011.

Other trends remained relatively static in terms of their ranking in 2011.  For example: “transition to 3Gbps operations”, “transition to 5.1 channel audio”, “outsourced operations” and “green initiatives” remained the bottom four trends in 2011, as they were in 2010.

It’s worth mentioning that in order to show year-over-year movement, all trends from the 2010 BBS were included in the 2011 BBS.  However, based on industry feedback, we added a 15th trend to the 2011 list – i.e. analog switch-off, which was ranked 11th out of 15 in 2011.  The addition of analog switch-off likely “cannibalized” a small percentage of responses from other trends in this year’s ranking. 


Keep in mind when reading this information that all data in this article measures the responses of all non-vendor participants in the 2011 BBS, regardless of organization type, organization size, job title or geographic location.  Responses of individual organization types or geographic locations may be very different.  Granular analysis of these results is available as part of the full 2011 BBS Global Market Report. For more information about this report, please contact Devoncroft Partners.



Related Content:

You can find information about the 2011 Big Broadcast Survey here.

The 2010 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index is here.

The 2009 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index is here.




This article is based on the findings from the 2011 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS), a global study of industry trends, technology purchasing behavior and the opinion of vendor brands.  With more than 8,000 people in 100+ countries participating, the 2011 BBS is the largest and most comprehensive market study ever done in the broadcast industry.

Devoncroft Partners has published a variety of reports from 2011 BBS data.  For more information, please get in touch.



One Response

  1. […] read more about the BBS and to find out what other trends made the list, check out this link. If you’d like to learn more about how the 2011 survey compares to the 2010 survey, click […]

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