Archive for the ‘broadcast industry trends’ Category

3rd Annual “Shifting Media Economics: Impact on Strategy, Finance, and Technology” Draws Huge Crowd at NAB 2014

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, Broadcast technology vendor financials, Broadcast Vendor M&A | Posted by Joe Zaller
Apr 09 2014

This was the scene as we kicked off the third annual “Shifting Media Economics: Impact on Strategy, Finance, and Technology”  event at the NAB 2014 Show.

This half-day session was co-produced by Devoncroft Partners, Silverwood Partners, and the organizers of the 2014 NAB Show (to whom both Devoncroft and Silverwood are very grateful).

We had a standing-room only crowd from the moment the doors opened, and attendees were not disappointed by the outstanding information presented on the day.  The power of this unique event is that it brings together three ordinarily disparate groups — technology vendors, broadcasters, and financial firms — to discuss and debate important business issues facing the industry at a time of incredibly dynamic change.

 

SRO Crowd at NAB

 

We would especially like to thank our speakers and panelists for not only taking times out of their busy lives to prepare for and attend this event, but also (especially) for their thoughtful and often candid assessment of the state of the broadcast industry today, and what the future may bring.

In particular we would like to thank Vince Roberts,EVP Global Operations and Chief Technical Officer of Disney/ABC Television for his outstanding keynote address, which which provided a truly thought-provoking insight into the future of the media industry (and he’s funny too).

 

In case you missed this event, the full agenda  included:

 

Strategic Industry Analysis: Valuations, M&A, and Equity Financing

Presenters:

  • Jonathan Hodson-Walker: Managing Partner, Silverwood Partners
  • Joshua Stinehour: Managing Director, Silverwood Partners

 

 

The Broadcast & Media Technology Industry in 2014

Presenter:

  • Joe Zaller: President, Devoncroft Partners

 

 

Business Strategy Perspective From Industry Executives

Moderator:

  • Joe Zaller – President, Devoncroft Partners

 

Panelists:

  • Sam Blackman: CEO and Co-founder, Elemental Technologies
  • Louis Hernandez. Jr.: President and Chief Executive Officer, Avid
  • Joop Janssen: CEO, EVS
  • Michelle Munson: President, CEO and co-founder, Aspera, an IBM company

 

 

Keynote: Vince Roberts: CTO and EVP Global Operations, Disney/ABC Television Group

 

 

IABM Research Overview

Presenter:

  • Peter White: Chief Executive Officer, IABM

 

 

The Broadcast Buyer Perspective on Business Models, Trends, and Technology Advancement

 

Moderator:

Joe Zaller – President, Devoncroft Partners

 

Panelists:

  • Phil Braden: SVP Technology and Applications, PCCW Global
  • Del Parks: SVP Operations & Engineering, Sinclair Broadcast Group
  • Todd Daly: EVP Operations & Systems Engineering, Fox Broadcasting
  • Andy Tennant: Technology Director, Studios, ITV

 

 

Keynote: Vince Roberts: CTO and EVP Global Operations, Disney/ABC Television Group

 

Investor Perspectives on Industry

Moderator:

Jonathan Hodson-Walker: Managing Partner, Silverwood Partners

 

Panelists

  • Jeff Parks, Founding Partner, Riverwood Partners
  • Rohan Rai: Director, Wasserstein & Company
  • Sunit Mukherjee: Principal, Symphony Technology Group

 

 For those of many of you who asked for copies of presentations, please email info [at] devoncroft [dot] com and we will try to respond as soon as possible after the 2014 NAB Show.

 

Finally, thanks to all those who attended the event and sat in such a crowded room.

 

Based on the feedback we’ve received so far, there are two key takeaways from this event:

  • The content and substance of the event was terrific
  • You might want to consider a larger room next time

 

 

Were you there?  What did you think?  Please let us know.

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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Want to Understand the Top Issues at NAB 2014? Don’t Miss “Shifting Media Economics: Impact on Strategy, Finance, and Technology”

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, Broadcast technology vendor financials, Broadcast Vendor M&A, market research | Posted by Joe Zaller
Apr 05 2014

NAB 2014 Strategy-Session-Logos

 

If you are interested how the dramatic changes impacting the broadcast industry may shape its future, you won’t want to miss the third annual NAB Show event co-produced by Devoncroft, Silverwood Partners and the organizers of the NAB Show.

Now part of the NAB 2014 Broadcast Management Conference, this half-day session is called “Shifting Media Economics: Impact on Strategy, Finance, and Technology.”

It will be held in room N235 of the Las Vegas Convention Center on Sunday April 6th from 1:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Download the full agenda and speaker biographies here.

As always, this event features an intensive, information-packed series of presentations and panels that discuss the strategic trends and industry-specific factors influencing the value of media technology companies.

We’ve worked hard to put together an outstanding line-up of speakers and presenters, including top technology buyers, leading technology vendor CEOs, and private equity investors who will speak to the opportunities and challenges involved with financing the next phase of technology change in the industry.

The agenda offers attendees the informed opinions of technology purchasers, industry executives, market research organizations, and financial professionals. The event will serve as a thought-provoking kick-off to the 2014 NAB Show.

Highlights will include panel discussions featuring leading vendor CEOs, senior executives from leading broadcasters, and private equity investors who will speak to the opportunities and challenges involved with financing the next phase of technology change in the industry.

In addition, the audience will benefit from preliminary excerpts from the Devoncroft Big Broadcast Survey, the industry’s definitive demand-side market report, and the IABM DC Global Market Valuation Report, the industry’s definitive supply-side market report.

This session is intended for senior executives from technology vendors, end-users, and investment firms in the media technology sector.

Please click here for more information and/or to register.

 

 

Here’s the current agenda:

Shifting Media Economics: Impact on Strategy, Finance, and Technology

Sunday April 6, 2014

1:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Room N235 Las Vegas Convention Center

Part of the 2014 NAB Broadcast Management Conference

 

 

1:45 pm – 1:50 pm

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION

Joe Zaller – President, Devoncroft Partners

 

 

1:50 pm – 2:15 pm

Strategic Industry Analysis: Valuations, M&A, and Equity Financing

Jonathan Hodson-Walker and Joshua Stinehour of Silverwood Partners will present an analysis of strategic industry trends and the specific factors that affect company valuations, including an updated perspective on transaction activity and valuations, vendor strategic considerations, and the current M&A environment along with near-term expectations.

 

Presenters:

  • Jonathan Hodson-Walker: Managing Partner, Silverwood Partners
  • Joshua Stinehour: Managing Director, Silverwood Partners

 

 

2:15 pm – 2:40 pm

The Broadcast & Media Technology Industry in 2014

Top broadcast analyst Joe Zaller will present a summary of key data derived from a variety of broadcast market intelligence projects including the newly published 2014 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS), the industry’s definitive demand-side market report. Discussion topics will include strategic drivers of broadcast technology spending, key customer investment areas, new technology deployment trends, and the most significant industry trends impacting end-user purchasing decisions.

 

Presenter:

  • Joe Zaller: President, Devoncroft Partners

 

 

2:40 pm – 3:15 pm

Business Strategy Perspective From Industry Executives

This panel of recognized executives at leading vendors will offer views on the critical drivers of company valuation in the industry, the best practices the panelist’s have learned on how to evaluate M&A opportunities, and the preferred approach for integrating M&A into overall growth strategies. The panelists will also consider the question of how broader technology trends are impacting the vendor community in the industry.

Moderator:

  • Joe Zaller – President, Devoncroft Partners

 

Panelists:

  • Sam Blackman: CEO and Co-founder, Elemental Technologies
  • Louis Hernandez. Jr.: President and Chief Executive Officer, Avid
  • Joop Janssen: CEO, EVS
  • Michelle Munson: President, CEO and co-founder, Aspera, an IBM company

 

 

3:35 pm – 3:50 pm

IABM Research Overview

Peter White, Chief Executive of the IABM (the trade group that represents suppliers of broadcast technology worldwide), will present an overview of the latest end-user research from the IABM along with selected excerpts from the recently completed IABM DC Global Market Valuation Report, the industry’s definitive supply-side market report.

Presenter:

  • Peter White: Chief Executive Officer, IABM

 

 

3:50 pm – 4:20 pm

The Broadcast Buyer Perspective on Business Models, Trends, and Technology Advancement

A panel of technology decision makers at leading broadcasters will offer informed perspectives on the most significant industry trends affecting technology budgets and the technology purchase decision. The audience will benefit from an emphasis on the business implications of technology decisions to broadcasters.

 

Moderator:

Joe Zaller – President, Devoncroft Partners

 

Panelists:

  • Phil Braden: SVP Technology and Applications, PCCW Global
  • Del Parks: SVP Operations & Engineering, Sinclair Broadcast Group
  • Todd Daly: EVP Operations & Systems Engineering, Fox Broadcasting
  • Andy Tennant: Technology Director, Studios, ITV

 

 

4:20 pm – 4:45 pm

Keynote: Vince Roberts: CTO and EVP Global Operations, Disney/ABC Television Group

ABC/Disney EVP and CTO Vince Roberts will highlight the major business model challenges facing the industry and the implications to technology development. Mr. Roberts will focus on the actual commercial factors driving technology deployments today, and what can reasonably be expected in the near future. Referencing initiatives at Disney relating to topics such as IP-based infrastructure and the Cloud, the audience will gain an improved understanding of how changes in media consumption and fundamental technology transitions, ultimately affect technology vendors.

 

 

4:45 pm – 5:15 pm

Investor Perspectives on Industry

This panel of leading investment professionals in the media and entertainment sector will offer the audience the institutional investor’s perspective on the industry. The discussion will include the panelist’s intelligence-gathering plans for the NAB Show, views on the trends that are driving investment dollars in the sector, and a review of the characteristics influencing the evaluation of an investment opportunity.

Moderator:

Jonathan Hodson-Walker: Managing Partner, Silverwood Partners

 

Panelists

  • Jeff Parks, Founding Partner, Riverwood Partners
  • Rohan Rai: Director, Wasserstein & Company
  • Sunit Mukherjee: Principal, Symphony Technology Group

 

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Related Content:

2014 NAB Show Session Details – Shifting Media Economics: Impact on Strategy, Finance, and Technology

Download the full agenda and speaker biographies here

Save the Date: Third Annual Media Technology Strategy Conference at the NAB 2014 Show

 

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2014 All Rights Reserved.

 

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Arista Networks Files for $200 Million IPO

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, Broadcast technology vendor financials, SEC Filings | Posted by Joe Zaller
Apr 02 2014

IP switching vendor Arista Network has filed for an IPO and plans to raise as much as $200m.

The company has garnered a great deal of attention from leading broadcast technologists because one of its products enables frame-accurate switching of uncompressed HD-SDI video over IP (SMPTE 2022-6).

Arista, whose core customers are high-speed financial traders and cloud computing firms, had revenue of $361.2m in 2013, up 87% versus the previous year, and its net income doubled to $42.5m.

Based on these results, it’s clear that the company is aiming for data center and financial clients rather than the much smaller broadcast routing switcher market.

Nevertheless, Arista has made friends in high places in the broadcast world.

At the annual SMPTE technical conference in October 2013, Artista founder Andy Bechtolsheim co-presented a paper with Thomas Edwards, VP of Engineering & Development at FOX NE&O called “Video Processing in an FPGA-enabled Ethernet Switch,” which described how Fox has tested Arista’s product in its lab.  Although Bechtolsheim was careful to note that the demonstration was a proof-of-concept rather than a product, Edwards said that Arista products showed great promise, by performing extremely well and not dropping a single packet.

At the time of the 2013 SMPTE conference, Edwards said “FOX NE&O believes that professional media networking is the future of the broadcast plant, including the networked transport of our uncompressed high-definition live video streams. We believe that converging our video streams onto the Ethernet infrastructure will provide enhanced agility and flexibility to our business, and also it may potentially bring savings by allowing us to purchase more COTS hardware and thus benefit from economies of scale. The broadcast industry is at a very early point in this technological transition, so FOX NE&O greatly values Arista Networks’ contribution to this proof-of-concept to help test out some of the basic video processing requirements of professional media networks.”

Fox is not the only proponent of moving towards a truly IP-based infrastructure, governed by software defined networking (SDN). Indeed this shift may be one of the biggest technology trends over the next 5+ years, and bring major changes to the industry as a result.

Last month Eric Wolf, VP Technology Strategy at PBS told the audience at the HPA Technology Retreat that his company’s new disaster recovery center that’s based completely on virtualized IT systems, along with “little bits” of traditional broadcast gear.  Although this new facility is not yet based on SDN or cloud enabled, it’s the first step on the path.  DR is a great test facility so it’s a positive step along the way, “but as we look at our next big playout system, the big question on the table is whether we can go all IP for all the routing in the plant and the suspicion is that we can.”

Speaking at the same event, Fox NE&O EVP and GM Richard Friedel said IP is “well along the way towards becoming real. We do have IP-based routers in our plant today, and IP technology is just going to proliferate.  If you walk into any of our equipment rooms at the moment, there is almost no classic broadcast vendor anymore. Instead you’ll see rows of Hewlett Packard, IBM, and Cisco. We’re really in an all-IP world now. We’ve got huge virtualization farms already and this is coming. In five years no one will build a plant of our size that’s not based on IP concepts.”

But it’s not just IT companies who are pushing software defined networking.  Traditional broadcast vendors are also embracing SDN and applying it to the broadcast infrastructure.

Last week Imagine Communications (formerly Harris Broadcast) introduced MultiService SDN, which the company says is “a SDN framework that creates a fully virtualized network fabric for deploying advanced services, and enables the video bit flow to be software-mapped, simplifying the network architecture of media companies operating in hybrid environments with both baseband and IP workflows.”

Another notable example of this trend include a Silicon Valley start-up called SDVI, led by Omneon co-founder Larry Kaplan, who said last year that the focus of his new company is to bring SDN technology to the broadcast industry.

Belgium-based SDNsquare, whose CEO and co-founder, Lieven Vermale, is the former Director of Technology and Innovation at the European Broadcasting Union, is another start-up operating in this area.

One important group in the transition to IP-based broadcasting is the EBU-SMPTE-VSF Task Force on Networked Media (JT-NM), a cross-industry group of broadcasters and technology vendors working to define the future of the all-IP broadcast facility. You can download December 2013 JT-NM whitepaper here.

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Related Content:

Arista Networks S1 (IPO) Filing — March 31 2014

Press Release: Imagine Communications Introduces Software-Defined Networking and Workflows

EBU/SMPTE/VSF Joint Task Force on Networked Media (JT-NM) Gap Analysis Report, December 2013

VSF, EBU, and SMPTE Create Joint Task Force to Define Future of Networked Media for Professional Applications

Press Release: Arista Networks and Fox NE&O Debut Network Integrated IP-Video Processing Proof of Concept

Software Defined Networking – Coming Soon to a Broadcaster Near You?

VSF, EBU, and SMPTE Create Joint Task Force to Define Future of Networked Media for Professional Applications

TVTechnology Article: Larry Kaplan, Omneon Co-founder Launches Media Software Company

SDNsquare

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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Belden Makes it Official – Combination of Grass Valley and Miranda to be Called Grass Valley

broadcast industry trends, Broadcast Vendor M&A | Posted by Joe Zaller
Apr 02 2014

One day after Belden completed its $220m acquisition of Grass Valley, the company has officially revealed that the combined company will be called Grass Valley.

The company branding combines Grass Valley’s “GV” script and Miranda’s trademark, purple ellipse.

If you want to hear what’s next for the new Grass Valley, be sure to attend the annual IABM Annual NAB State of the Industry Breakfast at the 2014 NAB Show, where Grass Valley Marco Lopez will be featured on a panel of technology vendor CEOs that also includes Brian Cram from Dejero Labs, Charlie Vogt from Imagine Communications (formerly Harris Broadcast), and Carl Dempsey from Wohler Technologies.

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Combined GV-Miranda Logo

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Related Content:

Broadcast Vendor M&A: Belden Completes Acquisition of Grass Valley, Will Invest $25 Million in Integration of Combined Business

Broadcast Vendor M&A: Belden Buys Grass Valley for $220 Million

2014 NAB Show Session Details – IABM Annual NAB State of the Industry Breakfast

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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Speakers Announced for Third Annual NAB Show Event — Shifting Media Economics: Impact on Strategy, Finance, and Technology

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, Broadcast technology vendor financials, Broadcast Vendor M&A, market research | Posted by Joe Zaller
Mar 26 2014

If you are interested how the dramatic changes impacting the broadcast industry may shape its future, you won’t want to miss the third annual NAB Show event co-produced by Devoncroft, Silverwood Partners and the organizers of the NAB Show.

Now part of the NAB 2014 Broadcast Management Conference, this half-day session is called “Shifting Media Economics: Impact on Strategy, Finance, and Technology.” It will be held in room N235 of the Las Vegas Convention Center on Sunday April 6th from 1:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

It will be held in room N235 of the Las Vegas Convention Center on Sunday April 6th from 1:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

As always, this event features an intensive, information-packed series of presentations and panels that discuss the strategic trends and industry-specific factors influencing the value of media technology companies.

We’ve worked hard to put together an outstanding line-up of speakers and presenters, including top technology buyers, leading technology vendor CEOs, and private equity investors who will speak to the opportunities and challenges involved with financing the next phase of technology change in the industry.

The agenda offers attendees the informed opinions of technology purchasers, industry executives, market research organizations, and financial professionals. The event will serve as a thought-provoking kick-off to the 2014 NAB Show.

Highlights will include panel discussions featuring leading vendor CEOs, senior executives from leading broadcasters, and private equity investors who will speak to the opportunities and challenges involved with financing the next phase of technology change in the industry.

In addition, the audience will benefit from preliminary excerpts from the Devoncroft Big Broadcast Survey, the industry’s definitive demand-side market report, and the IABM DC Global Market Valuation Report, the industry’s definitive supply-side market report.

This session is intended for senior executives from technology vendors, end-users, and investment firms in the media technology sector.

Please click here for more information and/or to register.

 

Here’s the current agenda:

 

Shifting Media Economics: Impact on Strategy, Finance, and Technology

Sunday April 6, 2014

1:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Room N235 Las Vegas Convention Center

Part of the 2014 NAB Broadcast Management Conference

 

 

1:45 pm – 1:50 pm

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION

Joe Zaller – President, Devoncroft Partners

 

 

1:50 pm – 2:15 pm

Strategic Industry Analysis: Valuations, M&A, and Equity Financing

Jonathan Hodson-Walker and Joshua Stinehour of Silverwood Partners will present an analysis of strategic industry trends and the specific factors that affect company valuations, including an updated perspective on transaction activity and valuations, vendor strategic considerations, and the current M&A environment along with near-term expectations.

 

Presenters:

  • Jonathan Hodson-Walker: Managing Partner, Silverwood Partners
  • Joshua Stinehour: Managing Director, Silverwood Partners

 

 

2:15 pm – 2:40 pm

The Broadcast & Media Technology Industry in 2014

Top broadcast analyst Joe Zaller will present a summary of key data derived from a variety of broadcast market intelligence projects including the newly published 2014 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS), the industry’s definitive demand-side market report. Discussion topics will include strategic drivers of broadcast technology spending, key customer investment areas, new technology deployment trends, and the most significant industry trends impacting end-user purchasing decisions.

 

Presenters:

  • Joe Zaller: President, Devoncroft Partners

 

 

2:40 pm – 3:15 pm

Business Strategy Perspective From Industry Executives

This panel of recognized executives at leading vendors will offer views on the critical drivers of company valuation in the industry, the best practices the panelist’s have learned on how to evaluate M&A opportunities, and the preferred approach for integrating M&A into overall growth strategies. The panelists will also consider the question of how broader technology trends are impacting the vendor community in the industry.

Moderator:

  • Joe Zaller – President, Devoncroft Partners

 

Panelists

  • Sam Blackman: CEO and Co-founder, Elemental Technologies
  • Louis Hernandez. Jr.: President and Chief Executive Officer, Avid
  • Joop Janssen: CEO, EVS
  • Michelle Munson: President, CEO and co-founder, Aspera, an IBM company

 

 

3:35 pm – 3:50 pm

IABM Research Overview

Peter White, Chief Executive of the IABM (the trade group that represents suppliers of broadcast technology worldwide), will present an overview of the latest end-user research from the IABM along with selected excerpts from the recently completed IABM DC Global Market Valuation Report, the industry’s definitive supply-side market report.

Presenter

  • Peter White: Chief Executive Officer, IABM

 

 

3:50 pm – 4:20 pm

The Broadcast Buyer Perspective on Business Models, Trends, and Technology Advancement

A panel of technology decision makers at leading broadcasters will offer informed perspectives on the most significant industry trends affecting technology budgets and the technology purchase decision. The audience will benefit from an emphasis on the business implications of technology decisions to broadcasters.

 

Moderator:

Joe Zaller – President, Devoncroft Partners

 

Panelists

  • Phil Braden: SVP Technology and Applications, PCCW Global
  • Del Parks: SVP Operations & Engineering, Sinclair Broadcast Group
  • Todd Daly: EVP Operations & Systems Engineering, Fox Broadcasting
  • Andy Tennant: Technology Director, Studios, ITV

 

 

4:20 pm – 4:45 pm

Keynote: Business Model Changes Technology Changes

ABC/Disney EVP and CTO Vince Roberts will highlight the major business model challenges facing the industry and the implications to technology development. Mr. Roberts will focus on the actual commercial factors driving technology deployments today, and what can reasonably be expected in the near future. Referencing initiatives at Disney relating to topics such as IP-based infrastructure and the Cloud, the audience will gain an improved understanding of how changes in media consumption and fundamental technology transitions, ultimately affect technology vendors.

Presenter:

Vince Roberts: CTO and EVP Global Operations, Disney/ABC Television Group

 

 

4:45 pm – 5:15 pm

Investor Perspectives on Industry

This panel of leading investment professionals in the media and entertainment sector will offer the audience the institutional investor’s perspective on the industry. The discussion will include the panelist’s intelligence-gathering plans for the NAB Show, views on the trends that are driving investment dollars in the sector, and a review of the characteristics influencing the evaluation of an investment opportunity.

Moderator:

Jonathan Hodson-Walker: Managing Partner, Silverwood Partners

 

Panelists

  • Marshall Haines: Managing Director, Symphony Technology Group
  • Jeff Parks, Founding Partner, Riverwood Partners
  • Rohan Rai: Director, Wasserstein & Company

 

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Related Content:

2014 NAB Show Session Details – Shifting Media Economics: Impact on Strategy, Finance, and Technology

Save the Date: Third Annual Media Technology Strategy Conference at the NAB 2014 Show

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2014 All Rights Reserved.

 

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Top Broadcasters Debate Spectrum, 4K, IP Infrastructure, and ATSC 3.0 at 2014 HPA Tech Retreat

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research | Posted by Joe Zaller
Feb 27 2014

A version of this article appeared originally in TVNewsCheck

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As the saying goes: “the customer is King”, and last week the place to pay homage to some of the biggest buyers of broadcast technology was the annual Broadcaster Panel at the 2014 HPA Tech Retreat in Indian Wells, CA.

Always a highlight of the HPA conference, this unique event is a one-hour Q&A-based discussion featuring the top technology executives from major broadcast networks and TV station groups.

Deftly moderated by Ericsson SVP of Technology Matthew Goldman, this year’s panel featured Anthony Caruso, Director of New Broadcast Technology at the  Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; Bob Seidel, VP Advanced Technology at CBS;  Dave Seigler, VP Technical Operations at Cox Broadcasting, Richard Friedel, EVP and GM at FOX NE&O, Eric Wolf, VP Technology Strategy at PBS; and Mark Aitken, VP Advanced Technology at Sinclar Broadcast Group.

Despite the short one-hour timeframe, panelists debated, and sometimes disagreed about, a wide range of hot-button issues including spectrum re-packing, channel sharing, 4K/UHD acquisition & delivery, AFD, unbundling of subscription TV packages, software defined networks, IP broadcasting, and ATSC 3.0.

Siedel and Aitken at HPA 2014

Bob Siedel, CBS VP of Advanced Technology looks on as Sinclair’s Mark Aitken discusses ATSC 3.0 and the future of broadcasting

 

Spectrum Issues

Starting with the topic of spectrum repacking, sharing and multicasting, broadcasters were in general agreement that although there may be some stations that want to cash out in the auctions, it does not make sense to permanently give up spectrum that might be used later for a variety of services delivering everything from mobile to 4k/UHD.

PBS’s Wolf raised the point that although today’s encoders make channel sharing a viable option, advances in technology cannot solve the thorny contractual issues of how a for-profit station can share spectrum with a non-profit PBS station, or whether it makes commercial sense to do so at all.  “Channel sharing is a reasonable option for people to look at, but at the end of the day management has to look at this and say we can take a one-time infusion of cash from the auction and give up forever some portion of our spectrum which is our bread and butter, and forgo a lot of future options.”

Siegler agreed, saying that Cox sees surrendering spectrum as limiting the future, and that the company has “no interest” in turning over any of its spectrum.

Sinclair’s Aitken went further “No matter what happens, if the next generation of broadcasting is planned using legacy ATSC 1.0 and MPEG-2 standards, everyone will be ‘half of a broadcaster’ because what you can do within the limitations of ATSC 1.0 is only half of what broadcasters are capable of doing.” Aitken added that “any consideration of channel sharing would have to go hand-in-hand with the notion of advancing broadcasting to the next generation broadcast platform,” which he described as being all IP-based and capable of supporting both mobile and fixed services, which Sinclair believes will very important to the livelihood of broadcasters in the future.

According to Siedel, the issue comes down to quality for CBS, so channel sharing is out of the question.  The network always strives to deliver maximum quality, so until very recently CBS has used its entire 19.3 Mbit/s for HD.  Recent advances in compression have enabled CBS to lower the bitrate slightly, freeing up approximately 1.5Mbit/s for a sub-channel.

 

The Future of 4K/UHD

The industry’s top techs were also in broad agreement on 4K/UHD – delivering it over the air is not a priority.

“We’ve done a lot of testing of 4K in our labs, and you know what, it produces the best HD pictures we’ve ever seen,” said Fox NE&O’s EVP and GM Richard Friedel. “We think there is some there is some viability for 4K sets for consumers, but that’s not to suggest that we will be broadcasting 4K any time soon.”

Aitken put it more bluntly: “4K is not going to happen for broadcasting until ESPN says so.”  Said differently, unless content owners demand it or incremental revenues are available to broadcasters, 4K/UHD is not going to become a mainstream priority.

Siedel says CBS is a fan of 4K — for acquisition. He described how CBS/CW program delivery specifications include separate elements for acquisition and delivery. “On the acquisition side, our philosophy has always been that we want to maintain the highest possible quality levels so that we ensure the residual asset value of that content.” Accordingly, for the past two years the CBS/CW specifications have allowed for acquisition in 4K/UHD, although this is not mandatory today. “Having an edited 4K master on the shelf is going to add to the asset value in the future, no matter how it’s distributed.”

On the sports side, CBS and others have been using 4K for acquisition (CBS used six 4K cameras at the 2013 Super Bowl), and using this content to extract HD content, as well as for super slow-mo replays. 4K/UHD will continue to be used in this way for sports productions.

Ironically it was Dave Siegler from Cox Broadcasting (whose parent company is a cable MSO) who expressed disappointed in the downgraded signal that cable companies deliver to the home with compression, and asked rhetorically whether 4K delivered to the home look like HD should be.

 

Integer Frame Rates

The panel disagreed on several important topics. On the subject of integer frame rates, Siedel said that the industry will likely be stuck with 59.94 for many years to come due to the millions of hours of 59.94 content on the shelf and the complexity of converting back and forth from 59.94 to 60 in the plant.

Aitken disagreed, saying video content creation is exploding, and that the amount of content created in the next 10-15 years will equal all the content ever created.  Therefore it makes sense to Sinclair to move forward with all new content generated at integer frame rates, while maintaining compatibility with legacy non-integer material.

Friedel agreed with Aitken saying that Fox has been advocating that new formats (e.g. 120 fps) would be integer-based, and convert to non-integer rates for legacy compatibility.

 

Cable Unbundling

Another area of disagreement had to do with the unbundling of cable programming.

Friedel said that Fox “firmly believes that the cost of TV will go up for people if it’s unbundled. If you think about the way a show is put together an marketed, there is no possible way that popular television programming will be able to be produced and sent to consumers can be sent to consumers at the same rate they are paying today. Prices would go way, way up.”

Aitken countered saying “unbundling is inevitable and will happen naturally due to an environment of hybrid convergence of content of content across multiple platforms. If broadcasters had a decent platform, we’d be delivering a Sinclair bundle to the home. Unbundling will happen as a natural occurrence of the proliferation of platforms that can bring content into the home.”

 

IP Broadcast Infrastructures and Software Defined Networking

Moving on to what is sure to be one of the biggest technology trends over the next 5+ years, the panelists were asked how long they think it will take for broadcasters to truly move to full IP infrastructure software defined networking (SDN).

Wolf said although it will take a few more years, PBS is currently building a new disaster recovery center that’s based completely on virtualized IT systems, along with “little bits” of traditional broadcast gear.  Although this new facility is not yet based on SDN or cloud enabled, it’s the first step on the path.  DR is a great test facility so it’s a positive step along the way, “but as we look at our next big playout system, the big question on the table is whether we can go all IP for all the routing in the plant and the suspicion is that we can.”

Friedel agreed, saying that IP is “well along the way” towards becoming real. We do have IP-based routers in our plant today, and IP technology is just going to proliferate.  If you walk into any of our equipment rooms at the moment, there is almost no classic broadcast vendor anymore. Instead you’ll see rows of Hewlett Packard, IBM, and Cisco. We’re really in an all-IP world now. We’ve got huge virtualization farms already and this is coming. In five years no one will build a plant of our size that’s not based on IP concepts.”

Friedel added: “this is a pretty fun time to see where the future will go,” and encouraged the audience to learn more about the SMPTE 2022 standard, and become involved with the Joint EBU-SMPTE-VSF Task Force on Networked Media (JT-NM) which is helping to define the future of the all-IP broadcast facility. You can download December 2013 whitepaper here.

Other issues included a discussion of electronic interference, which is affecting both C-band contribution feeds and wireless microphones.  Friedel said “white space interference is a huge issue for broadcasters,” and then quipped that viewers of the 2014 Super Bowl may have noticed that either the hands of the on-air talent had gotten smaller or the microphones had gotten larger.  He explained that in order to eliminate the risk of wireless interference in the crowded Met Life Stadium, Fox had switched to new wireless microphones from Sennheiser that operate in 1.6 GHz band. Although these microphones worked perfectly, they require more power and larger batteries, making them 40% larger than traditional wireless microphones.

 

ATSC 3.0 and the Future of Broadcasting

But the most controversial topic had to do with the future of broadcasting, and the various options for the ATSC 3.0 standard.

Aitken kicked off the debate by expressing concern that “that virtually all activity and focus of the ATSC has been on high data rate delivery to a fixed receiver environment” (in other words, delivering a single channel to a single UHD display in the home).

While Aitken sees this as part of the future of broadcasting, “Sinclair has fought for 15 years to bring mobile capability to broadcasting.”

“Fifteen years ago, people looked at us cross-eyed and said ‘mobile: who’s going to do that?’” said Aitken. “Look around today and the question is: where is broadcast to mobile? There has been an avoidance [at ATSC] of moving forward any proposals that of that would take bits away from fixed service for mobile services. There may be a need to run a parallel path outside of ATSC with industry adopters bringing forward a de-facto next generation technology that then gets adopted by the broadcast community.”

According to Aitken the new broadcast standard must meet all the needs of all broadcasters, rather than perpetuating an old-world view that all broadcasting is about is television, which is what politicians in Washington DC think of when they hear the word ‘broadcasting.’

“Every broadcaster would say they want [their content] to be on every device, said Aitken.” It’s just a question of how to get there. Broadcasters should be in a position to be their own gatekeeper in getting their content and licensed content delivered to the consumer. It’s really a matter of setting off a warning bell that we’re not going to sit still and wait for another mistake to happen.”

Aitken’s comments received push-back from CBS’s Siedel who said that the ATSC 3.0 effort has solicited bids from all over the world, and there are now at least 13 proposals being considered, many of which include mobile services, including LTE broadcast, DVB-T2, and even 8K from Japan.  Siedel said the process was still at the early stage, and we still have a long way to go.

Fox’s Friedel added the final comment of the session, saying that if broadcasters are not involved in the ATSC 3.0 process, they should get involved as soon as possible.  “The key for the ATSC is a standard that is flexible and extensible, and allows the business to grow and change with the future. I can’t predict the future better than anyone else, but there is going to be a transition from big screens today to portable devices. That much is clear.”

As always the HPA broadcaster panel did not disappoint the audience. There are very few opportunities to hear from the industry’s top buyers and get their unvarnished opinions on the future of the industry.

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The annual HPA Tech Retreat is produced by the Hollywood Post Alliance.  You can find out more information about the 2014 Tech Retreat here.

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Related Content:

2014 HPA Tech Retreat Information

EBU/SMPTE/VSF Joint Task Force on Networked Media (JT-NM) Gap Analysis Report, December 2013

VSF, EBU, and SMPTE Create Joint Task Force to Define Future of Networked Media for Professional Applications

TVNewsCheck Article: Top Techs Have No Desire To Lose Spectrum

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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Save the Date: Third Annual Media Technology Strategy Conference at the NAB 2014 Show

broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, Broadcast technology vendor financials, Broadcast Vendor M&A | Posted by Joe Zaller
Jan 20 2014

SAVE THE DATE

SHIFTING MEDIA ECONOMICS:

IMPACT ON STRATEGY, FINANCE
and TECHNOLOGY

 Sunday, April 6, 2014     1:30pm

Las Vegas Convention Center, Room N235

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NAB 2014 Strategy-Session-Logos

 

In conjunction with the NAB Show, Silverwood Partners and Devoncroft Partners are presenting the third annual strategy event focused on the most relevant industry trends and industry-specific factors affecting business decisions in the media technology industry.

This intensive, information-packed series of presentations and panels will offer attendees the informed opinions of technology purchasers, industry executives, market research organizations, and financial professionals. The event will serve as a thought-provoking kick-off to the 2014 NAB show.

Highlights will include panel discussions featuring: leading vendor CEOs; senior executives from leading broadcasters; and private equity investors who will speak to the opportunities and challenges involved with financing the next phase of technology change in the industry.

In addition, the audience will benefit from preliminary excerpts from the Devoncroft Big Broadcast Survey, the industry’s definitive demand-side market report, and the IABM DC Global Market Valuation Report, the industry’s definitive supply-side market report.

More than 400 executives attended this event in 2013. We hope to see you there in April 2014.

This year’s event is included in the Broadcast Management Conference (BMC) track. Registration for the BMC track is required for attendance.

For more information and registration details, please visit the event homepage, which will be updated with speakers as they are confirmed.

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Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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Ranking Broadcast Technology Vendors Part 5 — the 2013 BBS Broadcast Technology Vendor Quality League Table

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, Broadcast Vendor Brand Research, Top Broadcast Vendor Brands | Posted by Joe Zaller
Aug 22 2013

This is the ninth 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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This is the fifth post in a series of articles about how broadcast technology vendors were ranked and benchmarked on a variety of metrics by the respondents to the 2013 BBS.

Previous articles in this series described the 2013 BBS Overall Brand Opinion League Table, the 2013 BBS Net Change in Overall Brand Opinion League Table, the 2013 BBS Global Brand Opinion Leaders League Table, and the 2013 BBS Broadcast Technology Vendor Innovation League Table.

This article follows on from the 2013 BBS Broadcast Technology Vendor Innovation League Table, by focusing on one of the most important metrics for any technology company – Quality.

 

2013 Broadcast Technology Vendor Quality Rankings

The broadcast prides itself on the fidelity of its sound and images, the perception of quality is a very important metric for broadcast technology vendors.

Many vendors use quality as one of the key components of their market positioning.  Likewise, many end-users include technical performance and quality as a part of their procurement strategies.

The table below shows the 2013 BBS Broadcast Technology Vendor Quality League Table, which shows the top 30 ranked brands for “Quality” by 2013 BBS respondents.

An explanation of how these results were calculated can be found at the end of this article.

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Please note that both audio and video brands are included in these rankings, and that the table below shown brands in alphabetical order, NOT in the order in which they were ranked in the study. 

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2013 BBS -- Quality League Table

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This list contains a broad mix of vendors including large and small firms; single product and multi-product firms; global and regional players; and audio and video technology providers.

Given the diversity of the vendors in this list, it’s worth asking whether factors such as organization size, breadth of product range, geography, or technology impact the perception of quality.

Since the ultimate manifestation of quality is in the actual product delivered to end-users, it’s useful to understand what products are produced by the vendors on this list, and whether this has an impact on the perception of quality.

 

2013 BBS Broadcast Technology Quality Rankings by Frequency of Product Category

The table below shows the products produced by the vendors in the 2013 BBS Broadcast Technology Vendor Quality League Table, according the 2013 BBS segmentation.

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2013 BBS -- Quality Rankings -- Frequency of Product Categories

 

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Out of the thirty product categories in the 2013 BBS, a total of twenty are produced by the vendors in the 2013 BBS Broadcast Technology Vendor Quality League Table.

Product categories included in the 2013 BBS, that are NOT listed in this table include:

Broadcast Business Management Systems, Communication Links, Ingest / Transcoding / Streaming, Library & Storage Management, Near-line / Off-line, and Archival Storage, Playout / Transmission Servers, Production Servers, Workflow / Asset Management

 

The top three products in the 2013 BBS Broadcast Technology Vendor Quality League Table are audio products – Microphones, Audio Mixing Consoles, and Speakers.

This is an interesting data point. Although there are 30 product categories included in the 2013 BBS, only five are directly related to audio.  Yet, the top three product categories in the 2013 BBS Quality rankings are audio products. Why are audio brands so prevalent in these rankings?

One possibility is that for many people, audio is all about the quality and fidelity of the sound.  Thus quality is the ultimate metric for audio brands. Indeed, our research consistently shows that many pure-play audio companies have extremely high quality ratings.

Another thing to consider is that (as mentioned above in bold), the rankings posted on this website always contain both audio and video brands. Since there are fewer audio brands in the study, there may be a higher concentration of responses per brand on a relative basis when an audio professional responds to the survey.

Another issue is that the top 3 ranked product categories Microphones, Audio Mixing Consoles, and Speakers – are typically found in high-profile environments, and particularly in real-time or live environments where there are not always second chances to re-do a show, event, or recording.

Interestingly, the same can be said for many of the video-oriented products in the above chart.

Video products including cameras, production switchers, and video editing are typically found in live production or mission-critical studio applications. And the primary function of many test & measurement products, which are also produced by three of the brands in the 2013 BBS Broadcast Technology Vendor Quality League Table, is to measure quality and fidelity.

Many of these products tend to be high ticket items that are produced by the industry’s larger vendors. This begs the question of whether organization size plays a role in the perception of quality.  Larger companies often have a broader product offering, but does this translate into a higher perception of quality?

The table below examines the correlation between size of vendor / product range and the market’s perception of quality, by showing the number of product categories (as defined by the 2013 BBS segmentation) offered by each brand listed in this ranking.

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2013 BBS -- Quality Rankings -- Frequency of Brands

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Sure enough, the vendors at the top of this chart are larger vendors that provide multiple product lines.

Having said that, the majority of the vendors in the 2013 BBS Broadcast Technology Vendor Quality League Table are single product category companies (as defined by the 2013 BBS segmentation).

This shows that specialist vendors, whether large or small, who have expertise in a particular areas of technology are often able stand out from the rest of the market, including vendors who may be much larger.

 

Year-Over-Year Changes to the BBS Broadcast Technology Vendor Quality League Table

Twenty-four of vendors in the 2013 BBS Broadcast Technology Vendor Quality League Table were also listed in this ranking last year.

 

The following six companies are new entrants to the 2013 BBS Broadcast Technology Vendor Quality League Table.  They are listed in this ranking in 2013, but they were not listed in 2012.

Blackmagic Design, Cisco, Leader Instruments, Riedel, RTS Intercom Systems, Yamaha

 

The following six brands were listed in the 2012 BBS Broadcast Technology Vendor Quality League Table, but are not listed in the 2013 rankings:

Clear-Com, Dolby, Isilon Systems/EMC, Mackie, Panasonic, Wheatstone

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How These Results Were Calculated

Based on how they answered a series of screening questions in the 2013 BBS were answered, relevant brands were algorithmically determined for each research participant. Each 2013 BBS participant was then asked to rank a variety of relevant broadcast technology vendor brands for “Quality” on a scale of 1-10 — with 10 being best in the market, and 1 being worst in the market.

Global response data from all BBS respondents was then aggregated and averaged in order to generate a global “Quality Score” for each brand based on these responses.

The brands with the top 30 scores for quality were then included in this ranking table. These brands were then sorted by alphabetical order to create the tables shown in this article.

The product table in this article was created by cross-referencing the top 30 ranking brands for global Quality Scores in the 2013 BBS with the product categories these brands produce, according to the 2013 BBS product segmentation.  The complete list of brands and product categories included in the 2013 BBS can be found here.

 

When reviewing this information, please note the following:

The inclusion of any brand in the tables in this article is dependent on available sample size.  The minimum sample size for inclusion in the tables shown herein is 30 respondents per cut of the data. Therefore it is possible that a highly regarded brand may have been excluded from any or all of the tables in this article due to insufficient sample size.

Both audio and video brands are included in the calculation of the rankings in this article, whereas these brands are typically separated in actual BBS reports. The inclusion of both audio and video brands may have a significant impact on the vendor brands included in these rankings.

All data these charts are presented in alphabetical order, NOT in the order brands were ranked by respondents to the 2013 BBS.

 

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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

Tracking the Evolution of Broadcast Industry Trends 2012 – 2013

Analyzing Where Money is Being Spent in the Broadcast Industry – The 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Project Index

Broadcast Technology Products Being Evaluated for Purchase in 2013 – 2014

Devoncroft Partners: 2013 Broadcast Industry Market Research Findings

Ranking Broadcast Technology Vendors Part 1 – The 2013 BBS Overall Brand Opinion League Table

Ranking Broadcast Technology Vendors Part 2 – The 2013 BBS Net Change of Overall Brand Opinion League Table

Ranking Broadcast Technology Vendors Part 3 — The 2013 BBS Global Brand Opinion Leaders League Table

Ranking Broadcast Technology Vendors Part 4 – The 2013 BBS Broadcast Technology Vendor Innovation League Table.

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2013. All Rights Reserved. Findings May Not Be Reproduced or Quoted Without Written Permission from Devoncroft Partners.

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Ranking Broadcast Technology Vendors Part 3 — The 2013 BBS Global Brand Opinion Leaders League Table

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, Broadcast Vendor Brand Research, market research, Top Broadcast Vendor Brands | Posted by Joe Zaller
Aug 12 2013

This is the seventh 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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This is the third post in a series of articles about how broadcast technology vendors were ranked and benchmarked on a variety of metrics by the respondents to the 2013 BBS.

The first two posts in this series described the 2013 BBS Overall Brand Opinion League Table, and the 2013 BBS Net Change in Overall Brand Opinion League Table.

These rankings show how the global sample of 2013 BBS respondents rated a variety of broadcast technology vendor brands in terms of their overall opinion of these vendors, and also how their opinions have changed over time.

A large number of brands were listed in the two previous ranking lists. Between these two sets of league tables, a total of 70 broadcast technology vendor brands were listed (out of a total of 151 brands included in the 2013 BBS (the complete list of brands included in the 2013 BBS can be found here).

There were 46 vendors in the in the 2013 BBS Overall Brand Opinion League Table (versus 48 in 2012), and 53 vendors in the 2013 BBS Net Change in Overall Brand Opinion League Table (versus 58 in 2012).

However, the brands in the Overall Opinion and Net Change of Opinion rankings were not always the same.  In fact, out of the 70 broadcast technology vendor brands that were listed in the previous two rankings, just 29 brands were listed in both sets of rankings, either globally or regionally.

We’ve called this list of the 29 brands listed in both the 2013 BBS Overall Opinion and Net Change of Opinion rankings the 2013 BBS Brand Opinion Leaders League Table. 

These vendors, shown below, are held in high regard today by broadcast technology buyers, and are also perceived to be getting better over time.

Please note that both audio and video brands are included in these rankings, and that the table below shown brands in alphabetical order, NOT in the order in which they were ranked in the study. 

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2013 BBS -- Brand Opinion Leaders League Table

 

 

There are a wide variety of companies on this list, including large and small firms; single product and multi-product firms; global and regional players; and audio and video technology providers.

What they have in common is strong brand recognition, and a dynamism that 2013 BBS respondents feel is making them even stronger.

 

Year-over-year changes to these rankings:

Twenty-two in the 2013 BBS Brand Opinion Leaders League Table were listed in the 2012 version of these rankings:

Adobe, Aja Video, Autodesk, Avid, Blackmagic Design, Canon, Cisco, Dolby, Evertz, EVS, Lawo, Neumann, Panasonic, Riedel, Rohde & Schwarz, RTW, Sennheiser, Shure, Snell, Sony, Tektronix, Yamaha

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The following seven companies in the 2013 BBS Brand Opinion Leaders League Table were not included in this ranking in in 2012

Adam, Angenieux, Fujinon, Solid State Logic, Soundcraft, Studer,  Wheatstone

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The following eight companies that were listed in the 2012 BBS Brand Opinion Leaders League Table are not included in the 2013 ranking:

Apple, Clear-Com, Genelec, Harmonic, Harris, Omneon, Schoeps, Wohler

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Brand Opinion Leaders by Product Categories

As shown in the chart below, the companies in the 2013 BBS Brand Opinion Leaders League Table make products in 23 of the 30 categories that we covered in the 2013 BBS, down from 25 product categories in 2012.

The top products for brand leaders are Audio Mixing Cosoles, Microphones, Audio Processing  and Monitoring, Graphics & Branding, Production Switchers, Signal Processing / Interfacing / Modular, and Video Editing.

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2013 BBS -- Brand Opinion Leaders -- Frequency Analysis of Product Categories

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The chart above has a good mix of audio and video products, as well as a mix of hardware and software products.

However, it is interesting to note that many of the most frequently cited product categories are audio-related.  Some vendors on this list, such as Adobe, Avid, Riedel, and Sony, are listed in both audio and video product categories in the 2013 BBS.  Other vendors are listed in only audio categories.  These include Adam, Dolby, Lawo, Neumann, RTW, Sennheiser, Shure, Solid State Logic, Soundcraft, Studer, Wheatstone, and Yamaha.

It is also useful to look at the number of product categories provided by each vendor in the Global Brand Opinion Leader League Table.  After all, larger companies often make more products and are consequently used in more places than their smaller counterparts.

The table below shows the number of product categories that each brand in this ranking produces (as defined by the segmentation used in the 2013 BBS).

 

2013 BBS -- Brand Opinion Leaders -- Frequency Analysis

 

 

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While there are several brands on this list that appear in many product categories, the vast majority produce only one or two types of products.  Indeed out of the thirty brands in this table, sixteen brands  appear only once.

Keep in mind that companies who produce only one type of product are not necessarily small.  There are some very large companies on the list above who appear in just one 201 BBS category.

It turns out that to fully understand what drives brand opinion and brand leadership, one needs to look at the factors that drive and influence these perceptions.  This includes the company’s reputation for things like innovation, reliability, quality, value and great customer service.

These metrics will be covered in future posts.

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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

Tracking the Evolution of Broadcast Industry Trends 2012 – 2013

Analyzing Where Money is Being Spent in the Broadcast Industry – The 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Project Index

Broadcast Technology Products Being Evaluated for Purchase in 2013 – 2014

Devoncroft Partners: 2013 Broadcast Industry Market Research Findings

Ranking Broadcast Technology Vendors Part 1 – The 2013 BBS Overall Brand Opinion League Table

Ranking Broadcast Technology Vendors Part 2 – The 2013 BBS Net Change of Overall Brand Opinion League Table

Previous Year: The 2012 BBS Global Brand Opinion Leaders League Table

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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When Will Broadcast Engineers Be Replaced as Key Decision Makers?

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research | Posted by Joe Zaller
Jul 12 2013

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”
- Mark Twain

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This is the sixth 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. 

 

In a previous article we discussed how the “transition to file based operations” has become increasingly important to broadcasters and media companies over the past five years, and is now ranked as the #2 trend in the 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index.

The transition to file-based operations has a number of significant implications for both broadcasters and technology vendors.

A primary benefit of file-based workflows is increased operational efficiency, which our research shows is now one of the primary drivers of broadcast technology purchasing.  In many cases, increased operational efficiency and saving cost is more important than cutting-edge technology.

In response to this trend, vendors have beefed up their software offerings, and many are working to port functionality that has traditionally been performed in hardware to software-based systems running on generic IT hardware.  Our research shows that as a result of this, vendors predict that the mix of products they sell is likely to shift in favor of software versus hardware.

The shift of many products from hardware to software products beg the question of whether the background and job title of the decision makers will shift as well. Ever since the beginning of file-based systems, industry participants have been predicting that traditional broadcast engineers will be replaced by IT personnel.

What do technology vendors think?

As part of the 2013 BBS, we asked more than 1,000 executives of broadcast technology vendors who they see as the key decision maker today, and who they believe this will be in 2-3 years’ time.

The results, shown below, reveal that vendors believe that a power shift within their customer base is coming over the next several years.

 

2013 BBS -- Vendors which category of buyer is most important

 

 

Today, vendors see engineering staff as their most important customers, followed by operations, IT, and finance personnel, but they predict the power of the engineer as decision maker will decline in favor of not only operations, but also IT departments and finance personnel.

These findings appear to be consistent with the changing priorities of broadcast technology buyers illustrated in the 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index.  It stands to reason that as technology buyers complete their HD build-outs, their commercial focus is shifting towards achieving operational efficiencies and generating new revenue streams.

Although broadcast engineers are still perceived by vendors to be the top dog when it comes to making procurement decisions, they also believe that changing customer priorities will erode this position and shift decision making power to other departments.

The demise of the broadcast engineer as key decision maker has been long-predicted by industry pundits as IT technology has permeated the broadcast industry.

Is now the time when this will actually happen?

Given the fact that we ask this question in the context of both what’s happening today and what respondents predict about the future, the answer to this question depends in large part on the clarity or cloudiness of the technology vendor’s crystal ball.

Because we’ve been asking this same question to vendors for several years, it’s now possible to go back and review the answers and compare them to future predictions.

The chart below consolidates the responses to this question for the past four years.

 

2013 BBS -- Vendors which category of buyer is most important -- 2010-2013

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Notice the similarity in the way this question has been answered since 2010.  In fact, the results from 2010 – 2013 are nearly identical.

In other words, for the past four years vendors have been predicting that by 2012-2013 the importance of engineers as key buyers would have diminished considerably in favor of other departments, particularly IT.

However, in 2013 vendors ascribe the same importance to engineers as they did in 2010.

What’s going on?  It is likely that three years ago engineers were seen by vendors as potentially losing out to operations and IT staff because they required new skills.  However it’s apparent that in the intervening timeframe, broadcast engineers have sharpened their IT and networking skills, and perhaps consolidated their position within their organizations.  Another possibility is that respondents tend to over-predict the velocity of change in the market.  Or perhaps it’s a combination of the two.

Whatever the reason, it appears that as Mark Twain might have said: “reports of the demise of broadcast engineers have been greatly exaggerated.”

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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

Tracking the Evolution of Broadcast Industry Trends 2012 – 2013

Analyzing Where Money is Being Spent in the Broadcast Industry – The 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Project Index

Broadcast Technology Products Being Evaluated for Purchase in 2013 – 2014

Ranking Broadcast Technology Vendors Part 1 – The 2013 BBS Overall Brand Opinion League Table

Devoncroft Partners: 2013 Broadcast Industry Market Research Findings

Previous Year: The 2012 BBS Overall Brand Opinion League Table

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© Devoncroft Partners. All Rights Reserved.

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