Posts Tagged ‘future trends in broadcast technology’

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

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

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research | Posted by Joe Zaller
Jul 09 2013

In a recent article, titled As Software Takes Over, Network Gear Could Be in Jeopardy, Barron’s columnist Tiernan Ray describes how “software defined networking” (SDN) may enable software-based systems to cannibalize the market for traditional hardware-based network switches sold by companies like Cisco, Juniper, and Alcatel-Lucent.

Although the article focuses on how SDN might impact major IT networking vendors, Ray could have just as easily been writing about broadcast technology.

Take for example, the first two paragraphs:

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“A decade ago, I asked a venture capitalist in computer networking if dedicated network gear would ever be replaced by software running on a standard computer. My hypothesis was that as general-purpose computers became more powerful, they could absorb functions that previously required specialized computer hardware, the way many functions can be performed on PCs today that once required mainframes. The venture capitalist assured me it would never happen, for a variety of reasons, even if it became technologically possible.

“Fast forward 10 years, and the computer networking world is abuzz with talk of “software-defined networking”— software that can perform the same functions as dedicated hardware, but instead runs on an Intel-based server.”

 

Ten years ago much of the broadcast industry was dominated by bespoke hardware, and it would have been hard for many to imagine that these products could be replaced by software running on generic IT hardware.

But this is exactly what happened as the broadcast industry transitioned to file-based workflows. Video servers replaced tape machines, graphics & branding became increasingly software-based, software-based transcoding became ubiquitous, and traditional master control functionality slowly began to be replaced by integrated playout (channel-in-a-box) systems.

Although the broadcast market has undoubtedly seen tremendous change during this time, it’s likely that we are still in the early innings of the true “ITification” of the industry.  So what’s next?

To get an idea of what the future might hold for broadcast, one only has to look at the of the (significantly larger) IT industry, where investor Marc Andreessen famously wrote that “software is eating the world.”

The IT industry has gone through massive changes – with SDN being one of the latest – driven by new technology; the availability of on-demand cloud-based computing power; low power, high performance semiconductors; falling memory prices;  end-user mobility; and customer demand for greater efficiency, automated operations, and better analytics.

Sound familiar?

The same “external forces” that have changed the IT industry are also impacting the broadcast and media technology business.   If/when these changes take hold in the broadcast industry, there will be significant ramifications for both end-users (broadcasters and media companies) and technology vendors.

The TV business has changed dramatically over the past ten years, particularly on the distribution side. While it’s easy to focus on consumer-oriented statistic such as the amount of video being consumed on phones and tablets, and the consumer’s desire to have an anytime, anywhere media experience; these trends often don’t directly impact most broadcast technology vendors.  They do however impact the customers of technology vendors (broadcasters and media companies), who are making plans today that will let them take advantage of new technologies, and as a result radically change the landscape of the industry.

It remains to be seen how radical these changes will be.  However, another look at the IT industry again provides a glimpse of what might be in store.

Writing in Barron’s, Ray describes some of the implications for traditional IT switching hardware:

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“A more prosaic battle is playing out, as Cisco and others are already cannibalizing the network switches they have long sold, providing what are called “virtual” switches that are just software programs that run on a server.

“A network switch or router is a specialized computer with specially developed chips that perform calculations to determine how to direct bits of data between computers. As complex as they are, some of those calculations can now be efficiently performed in software running on Intel processors.

“The virtual switch movement is already having an impact on network equipment, shaking up the rankings of who’s top dog in individual categories of switching.”

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According to Gartner analyst Joe Skorupa, who follows the IT industry, this means “an entire class of switching equipment may go away.”

Could this also happen in broadcast?  Time will tell, but a number of vendors are already working on solutions to make this a reality.

Ray goes on to highlight another major force that has impacted the IT networking industry, Amazon’s Amazon Web Services (AWS), which delivers virtually unlimited computing powers that can be “elastically provisioned” on an as-needed basis.

According to Gartner’s Skorupa, AWS has major implications for makers of hardware-based networking gear.

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“Amazon Web Services can become a buyer of tremendous power, and one thing it may do is buy a lot more networking software than hardware, they opine.

“The immediate result, says Skorupa, is that switch software should cost less than hardware boxes, which means lower revenue for networking vendors.”

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Could the same thing happen in the broadcast technology space?

If so what are the implications for both end-users and technology vendors?

Major broadcaster and media companies realize they can gain tremendous efficiency advantages by leveraging advances in the IT industry. Therefore many of these organizations are taking a hard look at how to integrate some of these new IT technologies into their operations.

Some have gone as far as saying their ultimate goal is a “virtualized broadcast infrastructure with in-line processing.”  In other words, they foresee a future where the broadcast infrastructure is housed in an IT data center, and the operations done today primarily by hardware boxes are carried out by software that plugs in to the IT core.  And by the way, broadcasters probably won’t be building this facility.  Instead, they’ll rent computing power on an as-needed basis from AWS or some other cloud-based service provider.

Sound far-fetched? That’s what the venture capitalist told Barron’s Tiernan Ray ten years ago about the software replacing network switches IT industry.

Today there is evidence that the broadcast industry is already moving in this direction. For example, all 29 Hearst stations are using Signiant’s a cloud-based advertising spot delivery, Vizrt and NVidia are collaborating to virtualize broadcast graphics using Nvidia’s grid technology, and at NAB 2013 Fox announced that it intends to move master control to the cloud in collaboration with Snell.

So perhaps it’s inevitable that, like the rest of the world, the broadcast industry will also be “eaten by software.” When this happens, it will be important that software applications are both fit for purpose, and interoperable.  Fortunately, work is being done today that will hopefully ensure interoperability between next generation broadcast systems and applications.

The Video Services Forum (VSF), along with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and SMPTE, have brought together a group of leading broadcasters, media companies, and technology vendors and created a Joint Task Force on Networked Media.

The VSF Task Force — which is being led by Richard Friedel, EVP & GM, Fox NE&O and VSF President, VSF executive director Brad Gilmer, Hans Hoffman of the EBU, and Peter Symes of SMPTE — is not a standards setting body. Its vision is to enable new business opportunities through the exchange of professional media across networks, taking advantage of the benefits of IT-based technology at an affordable price.  The Task Force, working in an open participatory environment, will map out a strategy for developing a packet-based network infrastructure for the professional media industry by bringing together manufacturers, broadcasters and industry organizations (standards bodies and trade associations) with the objective to create, store, transfer and stream professional media.  Anyone who wants to join this important initiative should contact Bob Ruhl at the VSF.

The VSF Task Force is moving quickly in order to ensure that a common framework, focused on interoperability, is established before hundreds new products, which might otherwise be incompatible, are introduced in the coming months and years by both established vendors and newcomers.

These firms believe they have significant opportunities to leverage advanced IT technologies, including SDN, into their broadcast-oriented product lines. As a result, it’s likely we’ll see an entirely new category of products and services being introduced over the next few years.

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

Details of SDVI (which is a member of the VSF Task Force) are opaque at this point, but Kaplan (who occasionally blogs about SDVI here), told TV Technology magazine that his new company will “take advantage of advances in IT technology and cloud-based services within the broadcast infrastructure to improve workflow and operational efficiencies,” and launch its first products at IBC 2013.

Although Kaplan new firm and others are already moving quickly to bring SDN technology to the broadcast industry, there is still confusion about the technology and what it means for both vendors and end-users.

Indeed there is even confusion in the IT networking world according to Juniper Networks, whose website says “SDN is the talk of the networking world. But as popular as it’s been lately, it’s still shrouded in misconception.”

In an attempt to demystify the topic, Juniper has created an SDN white paper, which can be downloaded here.

Documents such as this are worth reading since SDN may very well be coming soon to a broadcaster near you.

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Related Content:

Barron’s Article: As Software Takes Over, Network Gear Could Be in Jeopardy

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

The Video Services Forum

SDVI company blog

TV Technology: Larry Kaplan, Omneon Co-founder Launches Media Software Company

TV News Check: Hearst Goes To The Cloud For Ad Delivery

TV News Check: Fox TV Network Putting Master Control In The Cloud

Marc Andreessen: Why Software Is Eating The World (via WSJ)

Wikipedia: Software Defined Networking

Juniper Networks Whitepaper: Decoding Software Defined Networking – SDN Information and Strategy

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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Business Model Questions Linger As Broadcasters Shutter 3D Offerings in Favor of Multi-Screen Services

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, market research | Posted by Joe Zaller
Jul 05 2013

Earlier this week the BBC announced that it will broadcast select matches from the Wimbledon Championships in 3D this year.  At that time, Kim Shillinglaw, Head of BBC 3D, said: “We’re delighted to provide live 3D coverage from the biggest matches of this year’s Wimbledon. Major UK sporting events are a big part of our trials with 3D content and this allows us to build on our work from previous Wimbledon Championships and the London 2012 Olympics.”

Now, Broadband TV News reports that the BBC is taking “a three-year holiday from the development of 3D programming with the corporation’s head of 3D admitting the UK public had not taken to the format.”

Broadband TV News quotes the BBC’s Shillinglaw saying “Watching 3D is quite a hassly experience in the home. You have got to find your glasses before switching on the TV. I think when people watch TV they concentrate in a different way. When people go to the cinema they go and are used to doing one thing – I think that’s one of the reasons that take up of 3DTV has been disappointing.”

Shillinglaw’s sentiments echo the statement made by ESPN last month and first reported by the Sports Video Group (SVG) that the leading US sports network was discontinuing its ESPN 3D service “due to limited viewer adoption of 3D services to the home.” ESPN went on to say that it plans on committing the resources currently assigned to 3D production to “other products and services that will better serve fans and affiliates,” specifically citing 4K (UHDTV) as an example.

At the time of the ESPN announcement, SVG said that the discontinuation of ESPN 3D raises serious questions regarding the future of 3D sports programming in the U.S. While Europe — especially the UK — has seen continued interest in live 3D sports, American consumers failed to adopt the format at a high rate.” The BBC’s announcement implies that UK consumer appetite for 3D is as lukewarm as it has been in North America, making it impractical for even a publicly funded broadcaster to continue with the format.

A remaining piece of the 3D puzzle is the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which will probably be the most watch global event of the year.  According to SVG, HBS (Host Broadcast Services), which will produce the world feed for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, has yet to confirm whether the tournament will be produced in 3D.

 

Research Shows Commercial Importance of 3D Down, Multi-Screen Up

These announcements from BBC and ESPN are consistent with the findings of the Big Broadcast Survey (BBS), our annual study of the global broadcast industry.  In particular, the 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index, reveals that multi-platform content delivery is once again the top industry trend for broadcast technology end-users worldwide, while 3D lags far behind in terms of its commercial importance to broadcast professionals.

Not only have research participants consistently told us that 3D lags other industry trends in terms of its commercial importance to their businesses, we’ve also found that 3D has become increasingly less important each year for the past several years.

For example, the chart bellows shows 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 -- 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index -- Red Box Around 3D (small)

 

Note that in this chart, 3D had the largest reported year-over-year percentage decline in commercial in both between 2012 and 2013.  This was also the case last year.

However, the above chart also demonstrates that while interest in 3D has waned, multi-platform content delivery is and continues to be the dominant trend in the broadcast industry, with more research participants citing it than any other trend as being most important commercially to their business.

The BBS’s plans for Wimbledon are further evidence of this.  The broadcaster said that it will make coverage of the tournament available on an increasing number of platforms, including ten live streams that will be available to PCs, mobiles, tablets and connected TVs.  The BBC will also offer three streams for “Red Button” for viewers on cable and satellite and Digital Terrestrial TV.

 

What about the business model?

Our research, as well as studies from many other firms, leaves no doubt that the popularity of multi-screen services in increasing.

However, it’s another matter to create a commercially successful business model in an environment where audiences are fragmenting, additional content preparation costs are required, and bandwidth providers charge steep fees for unicast delivery of video stream to consumers.

Delivering multi-screen services to consumers is a relatively straightforward process from a technical perspective. Monetizing content on multiple platforms, devices, and use cases is a different matter.

For example, in March 2013 Broadcasting and Cable magazine reported that one panelist at Next TV Conference said that multi-platform content monetization is still a ‘train wreck,’ although other did express “great optimism about the leaps technology will take in coming years.”

In our conversations with broadcasters, Devoncroft analysts have found that many broadcasters and media companies are indeed finding it a challenge to create a sustainable multi-screen business model with a margin profile similar to their traditional business.

The issue is that the shift to multi-platform has dramatically altered the economic model of the TV business. There are a number of reasons and examples why this is the case, but the end-result is that many broadcasters and media companies feel that in order to thrive in this new environment, they must radically change their cost structure.

The resulting decision these organizations will take will have significant implications for content owners, broadcasters, and technology vendors.

We’ll be addressing some of these in future posts on this website.
Some of 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:

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BBC Press Release: BBC confirms 3D coverage plans for Wimbledon

Sports Video Group: ESPN To Discontinue ESPN 3D by Year’s End  

Broadcasting & Cable: Monetization Still a ‘Train Wreck,’ But Shows Signs of Clearing

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

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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Broadcast Technology Products Being Evaluated for Purchase in 2013 – 2014

broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, Broadcast Vendor Brand Research, Quarterly Results | Posted by Joe Zaller
Jul 03 2013

This is the fourth 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. 

 

Previous articles about the 2013 BBS discussed the most important broadcast industry trends, how the relative commercial importance of broadcast industry trends have changed over time, and where money is currently being spent in the broadcast industry.

This article expands on the findings of the 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Project Index by drilling down into the specific product categories that are being evaluated for purchase this year by our global sample of nearly 10,000 broadcast technology end-users in 100+ countries.

We presented research participant with a list of relevant product categories and asked to indicate which ones they are currently evaluating for purchase.

The results are shown in the chart below.

 

2013 BBS -- Product Being Evaluated for Purchase

 

In 2013 it is likely that production technology – such as video editing systems, camera-related products, and audio technology – will be in demand as broadcast professionals continue to upgrade their facilities to HDTV operations.

The new studios, OB vans, and channels that broadcasters have planned and budgeted for will drive the evaluation and purchase of a wide variety of equipment including studio cameras, production switchers, multiviewers, automation, storage, and transmission encoders. As always, test & measurement products will be required for these new facilities.

Strong interest in multi-platform content delivery is driving interest in products and services such as ingest/ streaming/ transcoding and online video delivery platforms.

The ongoing transition to file-based/tapeless workflows will drive the evaluation and purchase of products such as near-line/off-line/archival storage, production servers, and playout automation.

All of the above will likely benefit software-oriented systems such as workflow / asset management, library/storage management, and broadcast business management systems. These products help broadcast technology increase their operational efficiency by facilitating content storage & search; linear and multi-platform playout & distribution; and of course monetization.

 

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

Devoncroft Partners: 2013 Broadcast Industry Market Research Findings

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© Devoncroft Partners. All Rights Reserved.

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

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, market research | Posted by Joe Zaller
Jul 01 2013

This is the third 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 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 was followed by a post called Tracking the Evolution of Broadcast Industry Trends 2012 – 2013, which examined how the relative commercial importance of broadcast industry trends have changed over time.

Rather than looking at industry trends, which are often an indicator of what might happen in the future, this article examines what technology products and services are actually being purchased today by broadcasters and media companies globally.

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The 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index (which can be found here) showed that the top-ranked broadcast industry trend in 2013 is “multi-platform content delivery.”  Other important trends include “file-based workflows,” “IP networking and content delivery,” and the “transition to HDTV operations.”

The 2013 BBS Trend Index includes a mix of current and future commercial priorities, some of which have already been widely deployed, on a wide scale, some of which are currently being trialed, and others which have not yet been widely implemented. Industry trends evolve and change over time, so tracking this evolution is helpful to better understand what customers are discussing and thinking about implementing in the future.

However, a top ranking in an industry trend Index does not necessarily translate into where broadcast technology buyers are actually spending their budgets in 2013 and 2014. Therefore, it’s important to make a clear distinction between what broadcast customers are thinking and talking about doing in the future (trends), and where they are spending their technology budgets today (projects).

Technology spending in the broadcast industry is typically project-based. Real (budgeted) projects are where broadcast technology budgets are being spent today, not just what people are talking about doing in the future.

Capital projects come in many forms.  They might include international elections, sporting championships, new services designed to attract incremental revenue, and the long-term planned capital upgrades of broadcast infrastructure and facilities.

In order to better understand this dynamic, we presented 2013 BBS participants with a list of 18 projects (determined based on feedback of BBS stakeholders), and asked them to indicate which of these projects they are currently in the process of implementing or have budgeted to implement within the next year.

Unlike industry trend data, which highlights what respondents are thinking/talking about doing in the future, this information provides direct feedback about what major capital projects are being implemented by broadcast technology end-users around the world, and provides useful insight into the capital expenditure plans of the industry.

Taken together, information about trends and projects collected in the 2013 BBS can be used to understand the difference between “trend and spend,” and/or hype and reality.

 

The 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Project Index, shown below, measures the number of projects that research participants are currently implementing or have budgeted to implement.

2013 BBS -- 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Project Index

 

Comparing the above chart with the 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index illustrates the difference between what end-users are thinking and talking about (trends), and where they are actually planning to spend their budgets today (projects).

While “multi-platform content delivery” was this year’s top-ranked trend, when it comes to where money is actually being spent in 2013, more broadcast technology buyers said that they have budgeted for “upgrading infrastructure for HD/ 3Gbps operations” than any other project.

This finding is consistent with our previous research. Upgrading infrastructure for HD / 3Gbps operations has consistently been the top driver of broadcast technology spending for the past several years, and this is once again the case in 2013.

This year’s top project correlates directly with “transition to HDTV operations,” which was ranked #4 in the 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index.

The projects ranked #3, #4, #5, #7, #9, and #12 in the 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Project Index – “upgrading cameras,” “upgrading transmission & distribution capabilities;” “building new studios / OB vans;” “launching new channels;” and “upgrading newsroom operations” – are also related to the transition to HDTV operations. These new cameras, transmission upgrades, new studios, new channels, and upgraded news environments will almost certainly be at least HD capable, if not fully HD.

In some cases, industry trends and budgeted projects line up nicely. In others however, there are significant differences.

A good example of the latter is “multi-platform content delivery,” which has been the top-ranked trend in the BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index since 2010, and dominated the Index this year.  However, the corresponding project measured in the chart above, “distribute and monetize content on multiple distribution platforms,” ranked #10 out of 18 in the 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Project Index, significantly below items ranked much lower in the BBS Trend Index.

These findings are consistent with previous BBS studies, as well as our other research in the professional broadcast technology marketplace.

Despite strong interest in multi-platform content delivery, it appears that creating a sustainable (and profitable) business model for distributing and monetizing content on multiple digital distribution platforms has proven elusive to date for both end-users and technology vendors.

We have conducted numerous projects about multi-platform business models that involved interviewing senior executives from broadcasters and media companies. Although these executives immediately agree that getting to “multi-platform nirvana” is strategically important to their organizations, many readily admit that they have yet to find the right business model.

Many broadcasters and content owners believe that in order to achieve increased revenue and profitability in a multi-platform world, they must first dramatically increase their efficiency through the implementation of new workflows and technical systems, some of which do not yet exist.

This implies that there are likely to be significant opportunities in the future for broadcast technology vendors that are able to solve the technical, operational, and business challenges facing end-users who see multi-platform distribution and monetization as a critical part of their business strategy.

It also helps explain why “file-based/tapeless workflows” was ranked #2 in the 2013 BBS Trend Index, with many research participants saying it is the industry trend that is most important commercially to their businesses over the next few years.

Indeed, a number of capital projects are being implemented in 2013-14 are directly related to “file-based/tapeless workflows” trend. Examples of this are “cloud technology/cloud services,” “workflow / asset-management,” “archive-related projects,’ and “automating workflows.”

In particular, the #2 ranked project in 2013 — “install or enhance workflow / asset management system” – is an area where there has been a great deal of recent activity. Although it may seem that MAM has been set to become “the next big thing” for the past decade or so, it now appears that broadcasters are increasingly focusing on MAM deployments.

One reason for this could be that many end-users believe that in order to be profitable in a multi-platform world, they must significantly increase the efficiency of their operations, and broader use of MAM is seen as one part of solution.

Indeed, in a recent Devoncroft project, more than half of the senior executives from broadcasters and media companies we interviewed cited multi-platform content distribution as the factor that will drive the most change in their organizations over the next few years; and because of this, more than two-thirds predicted their spending on MAM and workflow tools will increase over the next two years.

The remainder of the 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Project Index offers a mixed picture of project activity across the world, and includes everything from upgrading audio and newsrooms to migrating infrastructure from copper to fiber.

And as seen in the 2013 BBS Trend Index, some projects are being planned as the direct result of government or corporate mandates. “Prepare for analog switch-off” is the best example of this.  In the territories where governments have mandated a switch to digital broadcasting, tremendous planning and focus is being devoted to these projects, resulting in strong revenue for transmission and distribution-related products and services.

Interestingly, despite the fact that they may have the potential to deliver increased efficiencies and new revenue streams, some very large projects appear towards the bottom of this list. For example, “consolidate operations in regional hubs (centralcasting),” and “outsourced operations (playout),” are the bottom ranked projects in 2013. This is because although these are high value projects, they will be undertaken by a relatively small number of organizations — i.e. large broadcasters.  This highlights that the 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Project Index is a graphic representation of the number of all planned projects across all respondents, regardless of organization type, size, or location.  It does not measure size, value, or relative commercial importance of planned projects.  Please keep this in mind when reading this information and interpreting these findings.

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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

Devoncroft Partners: 2013 Broadcast Industry Market Research Findings

Previous Year: The 2012 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Project Index

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© Devoncroft Partners. All Rights Reserved.

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2013 Broadcast Industry Market Research Findings

broadcast technology market research | Posted by Joe Zaller
Jun 28 2013

Since we are often asked for broadcast industry market research information, we have compiled a list of the articles that have been published based on our 2013 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS).

This list will be updated when new articles are published, so please check back regularly.

If you are not familiar with the BBS, it is an annual global of the broadcast technology and digital media market.  Nearly 10,000 broadcast professionals in 100+ countries participated in the 2013 BBS, making it BBS the largest and most comprehensive study ever done in the broadcast industry.

The BBS is the definitive demand-side study of the broadcast industry and is used by a wide variety of technology vendors, investment banks, broadcasters, and strategy consultants.

BBS Reports deliver insight into the opinions and attitudes of key technology buyers including broadcasters, playout centers, cable/satellite/IPTV operators, radio stations, recording studios and more. This includes industry trends; purchase intent and buying behavior; major project plans; products being evaluated for purchase; and detailed opinions of vendor brands.

To find out more about the 2013 BBS, please contact Devoncroft Partners.

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Selected Market Research Findings from the 2013 Big Broadcast Survey

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1. The 2013 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS) – Information and available reports

An overview of the 2013 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS), including a review of the types of available reports, and a complete listing of technology vendor brands and product categories covered in 2013.

 

 

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

This article examines how a global sample of broadcast technology end-users rated a variety of industry trends in terms of commercial importance to their business. The results are presented via the 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index, which ranks the commercial importance of each trend across the entire industry.

 

 

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

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. This article discusses the evolution of the annual BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index, and looks specifically at the year-over-year changes between 2012 and 2013.

 

 

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

A comprehensive understanding of the commercial importance of industry trends is very useful to broadcast technology strategists. However, industry trends are often an indicator of what may happen in the future, rather than where money is being spent today – indeed, the two can actually vary considerably. This article describes the major capital projects that broadcasters and media companies have budget to deploy in the near-term, and by extension the products and services that will likely be purchased.

 

 

5. Broadcast Technology Products Being Evaluated for Purchase in 2013 – 2014

This article expands on the findings of the 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Project Index by drilling down into the specific product categories that are being evaluated for purchase in 2013 – 2014 by our global sample of nearly 10,000 broadcast technology end-users in 100+ countries.

 

 

6. Ranking Broadcast Technology Vendors Part 1 – The 2012 BBS Overall Brand Opinion League Table

This post looks at how the global sample of broadcast professionals who participated in the 2012 BBS ranked their overall opinion of the 151 broadcast technology vendors we covered in the study.

Research findings are displayed in two ways in this article:

  • An overall industry “league table” that shows the 30 highest ranked vendors for the metric “overall opinion.”  The data in this chart is broken out globally and regionally.
  • An analysis of the “frequency” of appearance in the “overall opinion league table”

 

 

7. When Will Broadcast Engineers Be Replaced as Key Decision Makers?

Our research shows that the transition to file-based workflows is an important issue for broadcasters and media companies. As a result, vendors are now offer software providing functionality traditionally performed by hardware products.  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.

This article examines who broadcast technology vendors say is the most important decision maker at their customers today, and how this may change over the next 2-3 years. Broadcast engineers are seen as the most important decision maker today, but will this continue?

 

 

Related Content:

When Will Broadcast Engineers Be Replaced as Key Decision Makers?

Ranking Broadcast Technology Vendors Part 1 – The 2012 BBS Overall Brand Opinion League Table

Broadcast Technology Products Being Evaluated for Purchase in 2013 – 2014

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

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

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

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

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, market research | 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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© Devoncroft Partners. All Rights Reserved..

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

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, market research | Posted by Joe Zaller
Jun 18 2013

This is the first 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. 

 

Measuring the Broadcast Industry’s Most Important Trends

Each year, Devoncroft Partners conducts a large scale global study of the broadcast industry called the Big Broadcast Survey (BBS).  Nearly 10,000 broadcast professionals in 100+ countries participated in the 2013 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.

In order to ensure that the trends we measure each year in our research are the most relevant to the industry, we spend a considerable amount of time seeking feedback about the structure of our reports from a wide variety of industry professionals including broadcasters, broadcast service providers, technology vendors, consultants, and domain experts.

In 2013 we kept the list of trends in this Index the same as in 2012.  This enables direct year-over-year comparisons of trends across different demographics.  It also means that we decided not to include certain “new” technology trends in the 2013 Index, including 4K, Ad-ID, connected TV, DSLR cameras, HEVC, second screen applications, SOA, and social TV.  However, we have covered each of these “new” technologies separately in the 2013 BBS project, and will be making this information available to clients through our published reports.

 

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.

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

The table below shows the 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index.

Keep in mind this is a measure of what people say is important to the future of their businesses, not what they are doing now, or where they are making money today.  We’ll address some of these topics in later posts.

Please note that this chart shows a weighted index, not a measure the number of people that said which trend was most important to them.  Also, please note that this chart measures the responses of all non-vendors who participated in the 2013 BBS, regardless of company type, company size, geographic location, job title etc.  Thus the responses of any demographic group such as a particular company type or geographic location may vary widely from the results presented in this article.

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2013 BBS -- 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

 

 

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The fact that multi-platform content delivery (MPCD) is considered by respondents to be the industry trend that is most important commercially to their business jumps off the page, and is perhaps not surprising, given the rise of on demand video platforms, consumer mobility, and sales of smartphones and tablets.  Indeed, across multiple studies, research participants have repeatedly told us that multi-platform content delivery is the trend that is most commercially important to their business over the next several years.

However, our discussions with broadcasters, content owners, and technology vendors indicate that despite the obvious fact that the way content is delivered and consumed has changed forever, this has not yet translated into profitable revenue streams for end-users.  There are a number of reasons why this is the case, and these have significant implications for content owners, broadcasters, and technology vendors.  We’ll be addressing some of these in future posts on this website.

Although multi-platform content delivery is seen by far as the most important trend in 2013, there are quite a few other interesting things to consider in the above chart.

Since the first BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index was published in 2009, “multi-platform content delivery,” “file-based / tapeless workflows,” “IP networking and content delivery” and transition to HDTV operations” have been the top ranked trends.  However their relative position has shifted dramatically.  For example, in 2009, the transition to HD operations was the #1 ranked trend globally, and MPCD was ranked #4.  Today these rankings are reversed.

For a number of years the transition to HDTV operations has been a major driver of end-user technology budgets, and therefore technology product sales. The HD transition continues to be and is likely to remain one of the strongest drivers of broadcast industry revenue, particularly in emerging markets, but has this year dropped to the #4 position on a global basis.

We provide significant coverage of the global transition to HDTV operations in the 2013 BBS Global Market Report (report available for purchase). This includes a granular breakdown of the current and projected future progress that end-users have made in their transition to HD, as well as the upgrade plans for more than a dozen product categories including cameras, switchers, routers, servers, graphics, encoders, communication links, and encoders. We’ll also be publishing more information here about project-based spending and the HD transition in future articles.

At the same time, the relative importance of the transition to file-based workflows has been increasing in the market, and in 2013 is ranked #2 in the Index of Global Trends.

The “transition to file-based operations” is significant for many reasons. Over the past several years, we’ve observed a pattern whereby broadcasters, who have invested considerable time, effort, and money into transitioning their operations to HD, begin to shift their focus towards increasing the efficiency of their operations.

Over time, efficiency has become a key driver of broadcast technology purchasing.  In fact, our research shows that in many cases, increased operational efficiency and saving cost is more important than cutting-edge technology.

This is because the economics of the entire industry have changed – because of MPCD and other factors – and as a result, end-users must change their cost structure (radically in some cases) in order to generate sustained profitability into the future.

This has implications for the broadcast industry in terms of both workflows and product procurement, and as a result, the importance of both file-based workflows and “IP networking & content delivery” has increased as broadcast technology buyers continue to look for efficiencies as they transition to new technical platforms and business models.  The desire for broadcast technology buyers to gain operational efficiencies will likely continue to be a strong macro driver in 2013, as broadcasters continue to deploy new workflows.

Another key driver of broadcast technology spend is new channel launches, which have the potential to increase revenue.  New channels, and the desire for simultaneous bandwidth saving and increased image quality for MPCD services have driven an increasing interest in “improvements in compression efficiency,” which is ranked #5 in the 2013 Index.

New channel launches are being enabled by integrated playout systems (aka “channel-in-a-box”), which bring highly automated operations to channel playout and master control environments. Thus we expect to continue to see a strong interest in the “move to automated workflows” over the next several years.  Automated workflows are also seen as drivers of efficiency.

“Cloud computing / cloud based services,” which was added to the Index last year is the #6 ranked trend (up one spot from last year).  It seems that you can’t read anything about technology these days (broadcast or otherwise) without coming across some mention of “the cloud.”  So why is something so important to so many people ranked in the middle of the pack?  Our research shows that it’s still early days for cloud technology in the broadcast industry. Not only is there still a lack of widespread understanding about exactly how the cloud will impact the business models of broadcast technology buyers, there is also an inherent distrust of cloud technology by many broadcasters.  We posted some preliminary information about the planned uses of cloud technology in the broadcast industry in an earlier article called With All the Hype About Cloud, What Are Media Organizations Actually Going to Deploy?

Nevertheless, cloud technology is seen as increasingly important by broadcasters, as evidenced by several recently announced end-user initiatives and many discussions about creating a “virtualized broadcast infrastructure” in order to drive greater efficiencies.

So while the “hype” surrounding cloud technology in broadcast may be real, it appears that a previously much-hyped technology, 3D, is seen as increasingly less important to end users. Research participants ranked 3D at #14 in the 2013 Index.  It was #10 in 2012, and #8 in 2011.

In addition to creating greater efficiencies, end-users are also looking for ways to increase their revenue in an environment where the economic model of the industry is changing dramatically.  Thus “video-on-demand” (#7), and “targeted advertising” (#9) make strong showings in the 2013 Index.

Although it’s towards the bottom of the rankings, “analog switch-off” is very important for those regions where it’s happening today – primarily as mandated by local governments.

As with previous years, the following trends were ranked towards the low-end of the Index: “transition to 3Gbps operations”, “transition to 5.1 channel audio”, “outsourced operations” and “green initiatives”.

We’ll take a more in-depth look at the year-over-year changes in a subsequent post.

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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.

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

The 2012 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

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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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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With All the Hype About Cloud, What Are Media Organizations Actually Going to Deploy?

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, market research, technology trends | Posted by Joe Zaller
Apr 04 2013

The 2013 NAB Show starts next week, and one of the hot topics is cloud computing.

But what are end-users actually going to use the cloud for?

Here is an indication, based on preliminary data we collected this year as part of the 2013 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS).

We once again had about 10,000 people in 100+ countries participate in the BBS this year (thanks to all who participated, we really appreciate the time you spent sharing your feedback and opinions), and the “word cloud” below represents what these broadcast technology end-users say they are going to deploy in the cloud over the next couple of years.

Please note that this data is preliminary.  I say this because dealing with as many as 10,000 free text comments in 10 languages is a bit of a pain in the neck (trust me), and there is still some work to be done on the analysis of this raw data (and no time to do it before the 2013 NAB Show).  Nevertheless, some clear trends to emerge.

 

If you are really interested in examining what everyone said, just let me know and I will be happy to send you the full resolution version of this file.

I’ll post an update, as well as much  more data from the 2013 BBS after NAB 2013

 

 

2013 BBS - What is your Organization Likely to Deploy in teh Cloud Over the Next 2-3 Years

 

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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