Tracking Changes in the Commercial Importance of Broadcast Industry Trends, 2012 – 2013

Posted by Joe Zaller
Jun 26 2013

This is the second in a series of articles about some of the findings from Devoncroft’s 2013 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS), a global study of broadcast industry trends, technology purchasing plans, and benchmarking of broadcast technology vendor brands. Nearly 10,000 broadcast professionals in 100+ countries took part in the 2013 BBS, making it the largest and most comprehensive market study ever conducted in the broadcast industry. 

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In a previous article, we published the 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index, which shows how a global sample of nearly 10,000 broadcast professionals ranked a set of broadcast industry trends in terms of the commercial importance of each one to their business.

This article compares how the relative commercial importance of these trends has changed over time, and looks specifically at what trends were ranked higher or lower in terms of commercial importance in 2013 versus 2012 by our global panel of research participants.

 

Why Tracking Movement of Trends is Important

Understanding changes in how technology buyers rank the relative commercial importance of industry trends provides important insight into what might be next for the industry.

Whereas it’s tempting to use historical sales data to try to determine what factors will drive industry CapEx in the future, it’s actually quite difficult to use the relative performance of a technology vendor in the past as predictor of the behavior of technology buyers in the future.

Broadcast industry CapEx tends to be project-based. Expenditure is typically contemplated based on business needs, and then deployed according to available resources. And yet, technology buyers must always be cognizant of a wide variety of factors, including technology evolution, business risk/reward, and even government intervention.

Changes to end-user rankings of the commercial importance of trends can be used to predict where technology expenditure may be headed in the future.

This is because industry trends drive capital projects, which in turn drives technology budgets, which in turn drives product purchase.  In other words, what technology buyers say is commercially important to their business in the future (i.e. trends) will likely turn into what they are budgeting for tomorrow (i.e. projects).

Therefore it’s useful to review how the relative importance of broadcast industry trends has changed over time, because it provides a preview of where technology purchases will be made in the future.

 

  • In 2009, the BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index was dominated by the “transition to HDTV operations.”  “Multi-platform content delivery” was ranked #4 on this list.

 

  • The following year, 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 index) and the “transition to HDTV operations.”

 

  • By 2011, multi-platform content delivery began to dominant trend in the BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index, ranking significantly higher than all other industry trends.  Analog-switch-off was added to the Index in 2011.

 

  •  Last year (2012) multi-platform content delivery continued to dominate the BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index, and file-based workflows surpassed transition to HDTV operations for the first time.  Cloud computing/cloud-based services was added to the Index in 2012.

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The 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

To create the 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index, we presented BBS respondents with a list of 16 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 apply a statistical weighting to these results, based on how research participants ranked the commercial importance of each trend, and use this information to create the BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index, which is shown below.

2013 BBS -- 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

 

In 2013, “multi-platform content delivery” was ranked by research participants as being the most important industry trend – by an order of magnitude versus other trends included in the 2013 Index.  More information about the 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index can be found here.

In the context of this article, it should be noted that trends included in the 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index have not changed from the previous year.

The composition of the BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index is reviewed each year in conjunction with Devoncroft clients, broadcast technology end-users, and a variety of domain experts.  New trends are added to the Index when BBS stakeholders believe that the value of this additional trend information outweighs the resulting distortion of the year-over-year comparisons.

Based on this input, it was decided not to make any changes to the composition of the 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index. The benefit of this is that it’s easy to make a 1:1 comparison of how trends were ranked in 2013 versus 2012.  The downside is that some emerging trends such as 4K, bonded cellular, HEVC encoding, social TV etc., were not included in the 2013 Index.   However, these issues (and more) were included in other parts of the 2013 BBS, and there is a significant amount of available data on these subjects within various 2013 BBS reports.

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Comparing the Commercial Importance of Broadcast Industry Trends in 2013 Versus 2012 

The chart below shows a comparison of the BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index from 2012 and 2013.  It measures changes in how end-users ranked the commercial importance of industry trends on a year-over-year basis.

 2013 BBS -- Comparison of 2012 and 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index (white background)

 

MPCD, file-based/tapeless workflows, IP networking & content delivery, and the transition to HD operations have occupied the top four positions in the BBS Global Trend Index since its inception in 2009, although it is interesting to note there has been considerable movement in their position in the actual rankings.

While multi-platform content delivery (MPCD), was once again the top-ranked trend in 2013, it did decline slightly on a year-on-year basis versus the rest of the Index. Nevertheless, MPCD was ranked considerably higher in 2013 than any other trend, which was also the case in 2012.

 

Leaving aside the numerical rankings for the moment, other observable changes in the relative commercial importance of broadcast industry trends between 2012 and 2013 include:

  • Y-Y increases in the relative importance of “IP networking & content delivery,” “improvements in video compression efficiency,” “cloud computing/cloud-based services,” “move to automated workflows,”  “centralized operations,” “transition to 5.1 channel audio,” “outsourced operations,” and “green initiatives.”

 

  • Y-Y decreases in the relative importance “multi-platform content delivery,” “file-based/tapeless workflows,” “transition to HDTV operations,” “video on demand,” “targeted advertising,” “analog switch-off,” and “3D-TV”

 

Some of these changes are subtle, and do not necessarily imply that the relative importance of the trends have changed over time.  However, other movements in the Index do indeed impact the actual numerical position of each trend within the ranking.

 

 

Changes in Numerical Ranking in the BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

As shown below, there were some interesting changes in the numerical ranking of the trends in the 2013 Index versus the 2012 Index.

The column on the left of the table below shows the numerical rankings of trends in 2013. The number in parentheses to the right of each trend shows how it ranked in the 2012 BBS Index. Although there were no changes at the top and bottom of the 2013 Index versus the 2012 Index, there was movement in between.

2013 BBS -- Numerical Ranking Changes -  2012 and 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

 

 

Several trends were ranked more highly in 2013 than in 2012.  For example, IP networking & content delivery moved up one spot to the #3 ranking (eclipsing the transition to HDTV operations for the first time in the Index).

Other net gainers in numerical rankings include IP networking & content delivery, cloud computing/cloud-based services, centralized operations, transition to 3Gbps (1080p) operations, and transition to 5.1 channel audio; all of which show year-over year increases in the Index ranking.

Net decliners in 2013 versus 2012 include the transition to HDTV operations, video on demand, analog switch-off, and 3D-TV, which had the largest year-over-year percentage drop.

The table below provides a consolidated view of the relative movement in numerical rankings of broadcast industry trends between 2012 and 2013.

 

2013 BBS -- Chages of Relative Imporance of 2012 versus 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

 

So what does this all mean?

On a global basis, the strong showing of “file-based workflows,” coupled with a y-y decline in the commercial importance of the “transition to HDTV operations” implies that those broadcasters that have largely completed their HD transition are now focusing on introducing efficiencies that will ultimately lead to new sources of revenue.

Indeed, the continued domination of “multi-platform content delivery” and “file-based workflows,” combined with the increasing importance of “IP networking & content delivery” and “cloud computing/cloud-based services” demonstrates that in 2013 broadcast technology buyers will spend money to create operational efficiencies, while at the same time working to generate new revenue streams through multi-screen offerings.  However, it remains to be seen whether many broadcasters will be able to create sustainable profits from multi-platform offerings.

It should be noted that there may be significant regional variations in this data.  For example, the transition to HDTV operations is likely to remain a strong driver for those end-users who have not yet started, or substantially completed their migration to HD.  Likewise, although “analog switch-off” is ranked towards the bottom of the 2013 Index, it’s probably safe to assume this is a top priority in in those territories where governments have mandated a switch to digital broadcasting.

 

 

Turning Talk into Action – When do Trends Become Capital Projects?

There is a difference between recognizing that a trend is commercially important and having a business plan in place that capitalizes on that trend.  As stated previously, our view is that industry trends drive capital projects, which in turn drive technology budgets, which in turn drive product purchase.  In other words, what technology buyers say is commercially important to their business in the future (i.e. trends) will likely turn into what they are budgeting for tomorrow (i.e. projects).

The 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index shows that monetizing content on multiple platforms remains the top objective for broadcast professionals in the year ahead.  However, many industry participants — on both the content and technology sides of the business — are still experimenting with their business models.

At some point these trends will drive capital projects, if they are not already doing so today.  When that happens they will become major drivers of technology spending in the broadcast industry.

In a future article, we’ll look at where money is being spent today in the broadcast industry.

 

 

The information in this article is based on select findings from the 2013 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS), a global study of broadcast industry trends, technology purchasing plans, and benchmarking of broadcast technology vendor brands. Nearly 10,000 broadcast professionals in 100+ countries took part in the 2013 BBS, making it the largest and most comprehensive market study ever conducted in the broadcast industry. The BBS is published annually by Devoncroft Partners.

Unless otherwise specified, all data in this article measures the responses of all non-vendor participants in the 2013 BBS, regardless of factors such as organization type, organization size, job title, purchasing and geographic location. Please be aware that responses of individual organization types or geographic locations may be very different. Granular analysis of these results is available as part of various paid-for reports based on the 2013 BBS data set. For more information about this report, please contact Devoncroft Partners

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Related Content:

The 2013 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS) – overview of available reports, including covered brands and product categories

Largest Ever Study of Broadcast Market Reveals Most Important Industry Trends for 2013

The 2012 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

Tracking the Evolution of Broadcast Industry Trends 2009 – 2012

The 2011 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

The 2010 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

The 2009 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

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One Response

  1. […] published a second article from their recent research. This one is Why tracking trends is important. While their article is specific to broadcasters there is no doubt the topic of trend tracking is […]

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