Posts Tagged ‘multiscreen’

Ranking The Most Commercially Important Trends in Broadcast and Media Technology – 2015 Edition

Analysis, broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, market research, OTT Video, technology trends | Posted by Joe Zaller
Nov 09 2015

This is the second in a series of articles about some of the findings from Devoncroft’s 2015 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 2015 BBS, making it the largest and most comprehensive market study ever conducted in the broadcast industry.

 

Measuring the Most Important Trends in the Broadcast and Digital Media Technology Industry

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 2015 BBS, making it the most comprehensive study ever done in the broadcast industry.

Firstly, we’d like to once again thank all the people who participate in the BBS each year.  We’re thankful that you take time from your busy schedules to participate, and we love (and read all of) your feedback.

 

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 the most commercially important to their businesses in any given year.

In order to ensure the relevance of the trends we measure each year, we spend a considerable amount of time seeking feedback about the structure of our reports from a wide variety of industry professionals.

As part of this process, 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 discussions with clients, end-users, and experts during the planning stages of the 2015 BBS project, we decided to maintain the same list of trends as contained in the 2014 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index.  The benefit of this approach is a straightforward comparison of how trends were ranked in 2015 versus 2014 across all demographics.

After this review process, the decision was taken to not change the trends measured in the 2015 BBS.  This enables a 1:1 comparison of trends on a year-over-year basis.


 

The 2015 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

To create the 2015 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index, we presented BBS respondents with a list of 18 industry trends and asked them to identify the one trend they consider to be “most important” to their business, the one trend they consider to be “second most important” to their business, and the 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 2015 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index is shown below.

 

 

2015 BBS - Devoncroft Big Broadcast Survey 2015 Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

 

When reviewing the data presented above, readers should note the following about the 2015 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index:

  • It is a measure of what research participants say is commercially important to their businesses in the future, not what they are doing now, or where they are spending money today (these topics will be addressed in future posts)

 

  • The chart above is visualized as a weighted index, not as a measure of the number of people that said which trend was most important to them

 

  • It measures the responses of all technology purchasers (i.e. non-vendors) who participated in the 2015 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.

 

Analyzing the 2015 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

Multi-platform content delivery (MPCD) is cited by a wide margin as the most important trend commercially to respondent businesses.  This is not surprising given the rise of new distribution mediums and devices.  Indeed, across multiple studies, research participants have repeatedly stated multi-platform content delivery is the most commercially important trend 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 (with few exceptions) 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.

These implications are addressed later in this report, as well as on the Devoncroft website.

Although multi-platform content delivery is by far seen as the most important trend in 2015, there are quite a few other interesting things to consider in the BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index.

For over the past decade the transition to HDTV operations has been a major driver of end-user technology budgets, and therefore technology product sales.  The first BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index, published in 2009, ranked the transition to HD as the #1 trend globally.  In the seven years since, the transition to HD operations has drifted lower in the rankings based on the continued adoption of HD technology infrastructure globally.  For the first time in 2014, the transition to HD operations was not ranked among the top five trends by respondents, instead ranking #6.  In 2015, the transition to HD operations declined further, now ranking #8.  However, within developing markets or smaller media markets within developed regions, the HD transition remains one of the strongest drivers of broadcast industry revenue.

We provide significant coverage of the ongoing global transition to HDTV operations in the 2015 BBS Global Market 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 fifteen product categories including cameras, switchers, routers, servers, graphics, encoders, and video transport. We’ll also be publishing more information about project-based spending and the HD transition later in this report, as well as on the Devoncroft website.

A trend that has increased in importance over the past several years is “IP networking & content delivery,” which is ranked as the #2 most important trend in the BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index.

The move to IP-based infrastructure has increased in importance in response to several market developments.  Based on our research, end-user motivations for moving to IP-based infrastructure are more nuanced than simply generating operational efficiencies, though this goal is an important component.  Rather, end-user responses to the Big Broadcast Survey are consistent with a more encompassing goal of moving to fundamentally different technology infrastructures to better support evolving media business models.

While the move to IP-based infrastructure is still at the stage of early adopters in broadcast operational environments, there were several notable developments during 2015.  These included the progression of interoperability standards (e.g. SMPTE 2022-6), the advancement of work from the joint task force on networked media (JT-NM) [sponsored by SMPTE, EBU, and the VSF], the creation of several individual vendor ecosystems (e.g. Evertz ASPEN), and the elevated activities by large IT providers (e.g. Cisco).

A transition to IP-based infrastructures is likely inevitable given the comparative size of the broadcast technology sector versus the broader IT industry.  This greater size equates to far greater research and development resources.  There remains, however, several obstacles preventing widespread adoption of IP-based infrastructure in the immediate term.  For this reason we are expecting the move to IP to represent a major industry driver over the mid-to-long term.

Regardless of timing, the transition to IP-based infrastructure will have profound implications for both technology buyers and suppliers.

The #3 ranked trend in the 2015 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index is “4K / UHD.”  2015 is the second year the BBS has included 4K / UHD as a trend within the BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index. It was added based on feedback from Devoncroft’s clients.  The high ranking of 4K / UHD in both 2014 (ranked #4) and 2015 demonstrates these requests were well-founded.

Many in the industry believe 4K / UHD is the next major driver of infrastructure upgrades – similar to the transition to HD over a decade ago.

While there is no doubt that 4K / UHD is a very important development, the data collected in the 2015 BBS lends skepticism to the proposition 4K / UHD will have a similar impact on the industry as the transition to HDTV operations, which drove a massive wave of technology spending that lasted more than a decade.

Although episodic and documentary content has, or will soon, move to 4K/UHD acquisition along with archive activities (because it extends the useful life of content assets), it will take time for 4K/UHD to move into mainstream live production environments such as news and sports.  One reason is creating a live event in 4K / UHD is complex and expensive to create versus an HD broadcast.  Uncompressed 4K / UHD requires real-time processing at 12Gbps, and the full production chain is not yet widely available.  Another critical issue is that (until mid-2015) most 4K / UHD capable cameras utilize large format single sensors and cine-style PL-mount lenses. While the shallow depth-of-field produced by these acquisition systems is a perfect match for theatrical or drama production, it causes problems in live sports production, where depth-of-field is important to keep critical action sequences in constant focus.  There were several announcements by camera manufacturers during 2015 to address this issue with depth-of-field.

Nevertheless, there’s no doubt that 4K / UHD is driving strong interest and excitement in the industry.  The question remains whether it will become a mainstream technology driver as HD has been, or whether it will only achieve penetration into technology infrastructure through the normal product upgrade cycle.

The trend ranked #4 in the 2015 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index, “file-based / tapeless workflows,” is a clear indication of the importance of increased efficiency for broadcast technology end-users.  This trend has accelerated as the transition to HDTV (ranked #8 this year) begins to decline in developed markets around the world.

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 cost savings are 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 2015, as broadcasters continue to deploy new workflows.

Cloud computing / virtualization,” is the #5 ranked trend (maintaining the same position as in 2014 and 2013).

For the past several years, it was apparent that there was not a clear understanding of how cloud technology would be deployed in the broadcast environment, and what benefits it would bring.  This is still the case in many respects in 2015.  However, similar to observations in 2014, our research shows that despite remaining skepticism about the cloud (not to mention security concerns), the acceptance of (or at least the willingness to consider) cloud technology and related services increased noticeable during the year.

But what are buyers of broadcast technology actually planning to deploy in the cloud, and do they actually trust cloud technology?

There is a substantial amount of additional data captured in the 2015 BBS on what technology segments end-users are deploying and planning to deploy cloud services, along with what efficiencies they hope to achieve by deploying cloud Services.  This data is presented in the 2015 BBS Global Market Report (available for purchase).

Selected example data is provided in this free report from the Devoncroft 2015 BBS Global Project Index (see Part 2 of this report, starting on page 29).  It highlights how cloud services / cloud technology is one of the fastest growing areas of project spending in the broadcast industry.

But what are buyers of broadcast technology actually planning to deploy in the cloud, and do they actually trust cloud technology?   Perhaps more than any other topic, the industry’s plans for cloud have evolved considerably over the past several years.

For the past several years, we’ve been asking BBS respondents what they’ve already deployed, or plan to deploy in the cloud over the next 2-3 years.

As the chart below highlights, the answers given by BBS respondents over the past several years have changed over time, as cloud went from a non-issue, to a curiosity, to a top-5 project.

 

2009-2015 Evolution of planned cloud deployments in media & broadcast

 

Today, we are hearing more and more from end-users about serious projects being deployed in the cloud, and many more are evaluating how to take advantage of the benefits offered by cloud technology.

But what are media technology end-users actually deploying in the cloud?  This will be discussed in a future post.

“Improvements in compression efficiency,” which is ranked #6 in the 2015 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index is consistent with the desire for increased efficiency. With content distribution models having migrated from single linear broadcast channels, to multi-channel Pay TV playout, to a totally on-demand environment, high quality compression is a critical success factor for broadcasters and content playout platforms.

A plethora of new channels, and the desire for simultaneous bandwidth saving and increased image quality for MPCD services have driven an increasing focus on high quality compression systems. For the past several years this has resulted in better MPEG-2 and H.264 compression products for primary distribution, contribution, and redistribution to consumers. H.265 (HEVC) compression technology holds the promise of further reducing the bandwidth required to deliver high quality images, particularly for 4K / UHD channels.  Despite continued momentum in 2015, HEVC is still in early stages of adoption, though wider deployments are expected over the next 12 to 18 months.

In addition to creating greater efficiencies, end-users are also looking for ways to generate incremental revenue in an environment where the economic model of the industry is changing dramatically.  Thus “video-on-demand,” which is ranked #7 in the 2015 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index, will remain a strong driver for content owners, media companies and broadcasters.  The combination of MPCD, better compression technology, and an ever-increasing channel count, will drive video on demand deployments, whether via traditional broadcast and pay TV platforms, or over the internet or mobile networks.

The #8 ranked trend in the 2015 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index is the “transition to HDTV operations.

The transition to HDTV has been a huge driver of broadcast technology spending for more than a decade, but 2015 BBS respondents report that it continues to decline in terms of future commercial importance to their organizations.  In 2015, the technology required for the transition to HDTV is well understood by the majority of the market, even those who have not yet made the transition.

Despite its gradual decline in the 2015 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index rankings, we believe that the HD transition will continue to be one of the most important industry drivers over the coming years. There are a number of reasons for this, but the most important is that there is still a long way to go in the HD transition on a global basis. Indeed, our research shows that 2014 was the first year the total penetration of HDTV infrastructure surpassed the 50% mark for the global market.

Nevertheless, with the transition to HD having been a critically important driver for so many years, it begs the question of what’s next — as broadcast technology end-users in developed markets approach the completion of their HD transition, where does their focus (and spending) shift?

The “move to automated workflows” is ranked #9 in the 2015 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

Better compression technology and lower cost integrated playout platforms (such as “channel-in-a-box”), will facilitate an ongoing proliferation of new TV channels.  This will in turn drive a focus on bringing 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.

While efficiency is undoubtedly very important to end-users, actually making money from new on-line channels has driven a significant increase in focus on content monetization via “targeted advertising,” which is ranked #10 in the 2015 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index.

“Remote production,” which is ranked #11 in 2015 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index is another trend that is focused on efficiency.  Through the use of remote production, broadcasters can lower their costs of producing live events, whether a small local soccer match or the World Cup.  Our research suggests that despite the potential for savings using “remote production” approaches for high-profile events, end-users are not yet comfortable adopting these approaches given the mission critical nature of the associated productions.  Therefore, the greater adoption for remote production is lower-tier events with inherently constrained revenue opportunities.

Similarly, broadcasters and media companies can achieve enormous cost-savings through the trend ranked #12 in the 2015 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index, “centralizing operations,” including playout and transmission.  A relevant example of centralized operations is the North American sporting leagues (including MLB, NFL, and the NBA) creating central facilities to handle the responsibility of in-game replays.

Although it’s towards the bottom of the rankings at #13, “analog switch-off” is very important for those regions where it’s happening today – primarily as mandated by local governments.  Our research shows that analog switch-off (also called “digital switch-over” in some territories) has driven huge waves of CapEx in those markets where it has already occurred.

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”, “3D TV” and “green initiatives.

 

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The information in this article is based on select findings from the 2015 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 2015 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 2015 BBS data set. For more information about this report, please contact Devoncroft Partners

 

© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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Ranking the Most Important Trends in the Broadcast Industry, Based on Commercial Importance to End-Users

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, market research | Posted by Joe Zaller
Sep 29 2014

This is the first in a series of articles about some of the findings from Devoncroft’s 2014 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 2014 BBS, making it the largest and most comprehensive market study ever conducted in the broadcast industry.

 

Measuring the Most Important Trends in the Broadcast and Digital Media Technology Industry

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 2014 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.

As part of this process, 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 the input we received during the planning stages of the 2014 BBS project, it was decided that the following two trends should be added to the list of trends included in the composition of the 2014 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index:

  • 4K / UHD
  • Remote Production

 

The benefit of this change is that we were able to capture a significant amount of information about information about the perceptions of 4K/UHD and remote production, including deployment plans.

The downside of this approach is that the inclusion of new trends will almost certainly cannibalize the rankings of other trends in our Index. Therefore, it is slightly more complicated to make a 1:1 comparison of how trends were ranked in 2014 versus 2013 across different demographics.

 

The 2014 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

To create the 2014 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index, we presented BBS respondents with a list of 18 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 2014 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index.

 

2014 Devoncroft BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

 

Keep in mind that this chart shows 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.  These topics will be addressed in future posts.

Please note that this chart shows a weighted index, not a measure of the number of people who 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 2014 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 free summary information.

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.

These will be addressed in future posts, as well as on the Devoncroft website.

Although multi-platform content delivery is by far seen as the most important trend in 2014, 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.  In 2014, these were ranked #6 and #1 respectively.

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 #6 position on a global basis.

We provide significant coverage of the global transition to HDTV operations in the 2014 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 about project-based spending and the HD transition later in this report, as well as on the Devoncroft website.

Another trend that has become increasingly more important over the past several years is “IP networking & content delivery,” which is ranked as the #2 most important trend in the 2014 BBS Global Trend Index.

The move to IP-based infrastructure become increasingly important as broadcast technology buyers continue to look for efficiencies as they transition to new technical platforms and business models.  In 2014, the move to IP-based infrastructure took on a new sense of urgency as buyers began to seek ways to implement IP-based systems in broadcast operational environments.

With new standards (e.g. SMPTE 2020-6), new market entrants (e.g. Arista Networks), and a high-profile joint task force on networked media (JT-NM), sponsored by the EBU, SMPTE, and VSF; the move to IP not only looks more and more inevitable, it is also likely to be a major industry driver over the mid to long-term.  As a result, we believe that the coming move to IP (which is still at least a year or two away in practice) has profound implications for both broadcast technology buyers and suppliers.

The move to IP is driven by an ever-increasing desire for broadcast technology buyers to gain operational efficiencies.  We believe this trend is set to accelerate, and will continue to be a strong macro driver of the overall industry for the next several years, as broadcasters continue to deploy new workflows.

The trend ranked #3 in the 2014 BBS Global Trend Index, “file-based / tapeless workflows,” is another indication of the importance of increased efficiency for broadcast technology end-users.  This trend has accelerated as the transition to HDTV (ranked #6 this year) begins to wind down in developed markets around the world.

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 cost savings are 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 2014, as broadcasters continue to deploy new workflows.

The trend ranked #4 in the 2014 BBS Global Trend Index is “4K / UHD.

2014 is the first year that we have included 4K / UHD as a component of the BBS Global Trend Index. It was added based on feedback from our clients, readers, and stakeholders.  The fact that 4K / UHD is ranked #4 in the first year of its inclusion in the Index demonstrates that these requests were well-founded.

Although 4K / UHD is still in its early phases of deployment, many in the industry see it as the next major driver of infrastructure upgrades – similar to the transition to HD a decade ago.

While there is no doubt that 4K / UHD is a very important developments, we are skeptical that it will have the same impact on the industry as the transition to HDTV operations, which drove a massive wave of technology spending that lasted more than a decade.

Although episodic and documentary content has or will soon move to 4K/UHD acquisition and archive (because it extends the useful life of content assets), it will take time for 4K/UHD to move into mainstream live production environments such as news and sports.  One reason for this is that it is still complex and expensive to create an entire live event in 4K/UHD, compared to today’s HD broadcast.  Uncompressed 4K/UHD requires real-time processing at 12 Gbps, and the full production chain is not yet widely available.  Another critical issue is that most 4K/UHD capable cameras utilize large format single sensors and cine-style PL-mount lenses. While the shallow depth-of-field produced by these acquisition systems is a perfect match for theatrical or drama production, it causes problems in live sports production, where depth-of-field is important to keep critical action sequences in constant focus.

Nevertheless, there’s no doubt that 4K/UHD is driving strong interest and excitement in the industry.  However, it remains to be seen whether it will become a mainstream technology driver as HD has been, or whether it will go the way of 3D production, which caused huge excitement in 2010 before being relegated to near-non-existence just a few years later.

Cloud computing / cloud based services,” is the #5 ranked trend (maintaining the same position as in 2013).

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 that is apparently so important to so many people not ranked higher?

For the past several years, it was apparent that there was not a clear understanding of how cloud technology would be deployed in the broadcast environment, and what benefits it would bring.  This is still the case in many quarters in 2014, but this year our research shows that while there continues to be skepticism about the cloud (not to mention security concerns), the acceptance of (or at least the willingness to consider) cloud technology and services increased rapidly in 2014.

Indeed the Devoncroft 2014 BBS Global Market Report shows that Cloud Services / Cloud Technology is one of the fastest growing areas of project spending in the broadcast industry in 2014. This (paid) report also includes information about what technologies end-users are planning to deploy in the cloud, when they are planning to deploy them, and what efficiencies they hope to achieve by doing so.

For example, data from the Devoncroft 2014 BBS Global Market Report shows that Cloud Services / Cloud Technology has become one of the fastest growing areas of project spending in the broadcast industry this year.

Significantly more information about the attitudes of broadcast technology buyers towards cloud technology, and what broadcast technology buyers are likely to actually deploy in the cloud is available from Devoncroft Partners.

The #6 ranked trend in the 2014 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index is the “Transition to HDTV Operations.

The transition to HDTV has been a huge driver of broadcast technology spending for more than a decade, but 2014 BBS respondents report that it is declining in terms of future commercial importance to their organizations.  In 2014, the technology required for the transition to HDTV is well understood by the majority of the market, even those who have not yet made the transition.

Despite its gradual decline in the 2014 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index rankings, we believe that the HD transition will continue to be one of the most important industry drivers over the coming years. There are a number of reasons for this, but the most important is that there is still a long way to go in the HD transition on a global basis. Indeed, our research shows that 2014 is the first year that the total penetration of HDTV infrastructure has surpassed the 50% market for the global market.

Nevertheless, with the transition to HD having been a critically important driver for so many years, it begs the question of what’s next — as broadcast technology end-users in developed markets approach the completion of their HD transition, where does their focus (and spending) shift?

A review of the 2014 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index seems to indicate the answer lies in products and services that facilitate increased operational efficiency, and new revenue streams.

“Improvements in compression efficiency,” which is ranked #7 in the 2014 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index is consistent with the desire for increased efficiency. With content distribution models having migrated from single linear broadcast channels, to multi-channel Pay TV playout, to a totally on-demand environment, high quality compression is a critical success factor for broadcasters and content playout platforms.

A plethora of new channels, and the desire for simultaneous bandwidth saving and increased image quality for MPCD services have driven an increasing focus on high quality compression systems. For the past several years this has resulted in better MPEG-2 and H.264 compression products for primary distribution, contribution, and redistribution to consumers. H.265, aka HEVC compression technology holds the promise of further reducing the bandwidth required to deliver high quality images, particularly for 4K/UHD channels.  However, it’s still early days for HEVC, and widespread deployments are still a year or two away.  Nevertheless, it’s clear that for many end-users of broadcast technology, HEVC could be a game-changer.

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,” which is ranked #8 in the 2014 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index, will continue to be a strong driver for content owners, media companies and broadcasters.  The combination of MPCD, better compression technology, and an ever-increasing channel count, will continue to push video on demand deployment, whether via traditional broadcast and pay TV platforms, or over the internet or mobile networks.

The “move to automated workflows” is ranked #9 in the 2014 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

Better compression technology and lower cost integrated playout platforms (aka “channel-in-a-box”), will facilitate an ongoing proliferation of new TV channels.  This will in turn drive a focus on bringing 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.

While efficiency is undoubtedly very important to end-users, actually making money through the monetization of the new automated channels that are coming on-line has driven a significant increase in focus on content monetization via “targeted advertising,” which is ranked #10 in the 2014 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index.

“Remote production,” which is ranked #11 in 2014 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index is another trend that is all about efficiency.  Through the use of remote production, broadcasters can lower their costs of producing live events, whether they are as small as a local soccer match or as large as the World Cup.

Similarly, broadcasters and media companies can achieve enormous cost-savings through the trend ranked #12 in the 2014 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index, “centralizing operations,” including playout and transmission

Although it’s towards the bottom of the rankings at #13, “analog switch-off” is very important for those regions where it’s happening today – primarily as mandated by local governments.  Our research shows that analog switch-off (also called “digital switch-over” in some territories) has driven huge waves of CapEx in those markets where it has already occurred.

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”, “3D TV” and “green initiatives.

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The information in this article is based on select findings from the 2014 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 2014 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 2014 BBS data set. For more information about this report, please contact Devoncroft Partners

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Related Content

2014 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS) Reports Now Available

2014 Broadcast Industry Market Research from Devoncroft Partners

Devoncroft Research: IBC 2014: Observations and Analysis of Broadcast and Media Technology Industry (free 52 page report, registration required)

The 2013 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

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 – 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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Bankruptcy Court Approves Kit Digital Restructuring, Company to Rebrand as “Piksel” Before IBC 2013

broadcast industry technology trends, Broadcast technology vendor financials, SEC Filings | Posted by Joe Zaller
Aug 06 2013

After more than a year of rumor, speculation, management changes, and shareholder lawsuits, it appears that the Kit Digital roller coaster ride is finally coming to an end – with a successful outcome for company management.

The one-time high-flying online video delivery provider announced that its Plan of Reorganization under Chapter 11 will be confirmed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

KIT digital filed for voluntary bankruptcy protection in April 2013 “to cleanse itself of legacy issues, including financial, legal and regulatory matters.”

At that time, the company filed a Reorganization Plan with the Court under which it would go into bankruptcy, be recapitalized by a “plan sponsor group” of investors, and emerge as profitable, debt-free business.

According to the Reorganization Plan, the company entered Chapter 11 with the intention of closing at least eight loss-making subsidiaries, while retaining four of its profitable subsidiaries: Ioko 365, Polymedia, KIT digital France and KIT digital Americas.  In its filings with the Court, Kit disclosed that the aggregate revenue generated in 2012 by these four remaining business was approximately $134.5 million.

With the new announcement, it appears the company’s Reorganization Plan has now been approved by the Bankruptcy Court.

Kit says that once it emerges from Chapter 11, it will change its name to “Piksel,” and re-brand in time for the IBC trade show in September 2013.

If the company can overcome the “legacy baggage” of Kit Digital, Piksel may turn out to be a formidable player in the broadcast industry once it is fully up and running later this year.

According to Court documents, Piksel will have more 800 employees and revenues in excess of $100m, making it one of the largest players in the industry broadcast industry, where the majority of its business comes from.  After emerging from Chapter 11, it’s also likely that the company will have little debt.

More importantly, Piksel will operate in an area where broadcasters and media companies are increasingly focusing their attention, the management and delivery of multi-screen video services.  Not only does the new company have core technical expertise in this area, it also boasts a large professional services organization capable of specifying and implementing complex multi-screen deployments, and a 24×7 network monitoring operation, which is offered as a service to clients who do not want to build their own multi-platform NOC.

It remains to be seen how well the company will fare once it comes out of Chapter 11, but Peter Heiland, who became interim CEO of Kit Digital in August 2012, provide a few clues in his upbeat statement about the company’s future. “Piksel is set to emerge as a healthy, dynamic company with a great mix of talented employees, market-leading customers, profitable assets, and sufficient liquidity for operations and investments,” he said.

Heiland went on to say that the new company will “leverage its solutions expertise; the flexibility of which will be driven by a suite of software applications, industry partnerships, and world-class professional and managed services.”  He also acknowledged the people who helped the company through what was presumably a traumatic period, saying “I would like to thank all of those who dedicated so much time and effort, including our employees and advisors, to helping us complete our restructuring.”

KIT digital will officially rebrand as Piksel on August 29, 2013.

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Related Content:

Press Release: KIT digital Restructuring Approved; Prepares to Exit Bankruptcy and Change Name to Piksel

Kit Digital Announces $6 Million Settlement of Securities Lawsuits

KIT Digital Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, Plans to Re-Emerge as “Healthier, Focused Company” by IBC 2013

KIT Digital: Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization

KIT Digital: Voluntary Petition for Chapter 11 & List of 30 Largest Unsecured Creditors

KIT Digital: Declaration of Fabrice Hamaide in Support of Debtor’s Chapter 11 Petition

KIT Digital Delisted by NASDAQ, Will Not Appeal

Activist Investor Heiland Becomes CEO at KIT Digital

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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:

Broadband TV News: BBC puts 3D development on hold

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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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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Harmonic Revenue Dips 2 Percent in Q3 2012

Broadcast technology vendor financials, Quarterly Results | Posted by Joe Zaller
Oct 24 2012

Harmonic announced that its revenue for the third quarter of 2012 was $136.7m, down 2% versus the same period a year ago, and up 3% versus the previous quarter.

The GAAP net loss for the quarter was $8.2m, or $(0.07) per share, compared with a GAAP net income $3.5m or $0.03 per share last year, and GAAP net income of $17,000, or $0.00 per share last quarter.

Non-GAAP net income for the third quarter was $8.1m or $0.07 per share, versus non-GAAP net income of $12.7m, or $0.11 per share last year, and non-GAAP net income of $7.2m or $0.06 per share last quarter

The results were in-line with the company’s previously issued guidance of revenue in the range of $130m to $140m, and also in-line with the consensus expectations of equity analysts.

On a GAAP basis, gross margins and operating margins for the quarter were 44% and -1%, compared to 46% and 3%, respectively, for the same period of 2011, and 43% and -2% respectively last quarter.

Non-GAAP gross margins and operating margins for the quarter were 48% and 8%, versus 51% and 12%, respectively last year, and 48% and 7%, respectively last quarter.

Company CFO Carolyn Aver attributed the decrease in gross margins to product mix in the quarter, as well as shift of revenue to emerging markets where ASPs are lower.

 

On a product-line basis:

  • Video processing represented 37% of total revenue versus 41% last year, and 45% last quarter

 

  • Production and playout (Omneon) represented 17% of total revenue versus 19% last year and 16% last quarter

 

  • Edge and access revenue represented 29% of total revenue versus 28% last year and 25% last quarter.

 

  • Services represented 17% of total revenue, versus 12% last year and 14% last quarter.  This represents record service revenue for the company.  Aver said that service revenue grew 20% from the second quarter and 35% from last year’s third quarter. “Services in general and professional services specifically have been an area of focus for us. This quarter’s revenue represents the successful completion of several projects. I do expect that service revenue will decrease slightly in Q4,” she said.

 

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On a segment basis,

  • Cable was 50% of revenue, versus 45% last year and 48% last quarter.  The company said that demand from cable operators was particularly strong for its edge & products, and it believes it is gain market share in this area

 

  • Satellite & telco accounted was 20% of revenue versus 25% last year and 21% last quarter

 

  • Broadcast and media was 3o% of revenue, versus 30% last year, and 31% last quarter

 

Although the company did say it had won some multi-screen deals in the quarter, Harmonic CEP Patrick Harshman said that “customers are generally still struggling to find the right business model necessary to justify volume investments in multi-screen and over the top capabilities.”

International sales accounted for 58% of revenue in the quarter versus 51% during the same period a year ago, and 54% last quarter. This company said the increase is primarily a result of strong growth in Asia-Pacific and some emerging market growth, offset in part by year-over-year declines in Europe.

Harshman said that Harmonic continues to see strong growth in US from cable and telco customers, but that demand from US satellite and media companies was down year-over-year.

Bookings in the quarter were approximately $128.7m, down 9% versus last year, and down 8% versus last quarter.  The company said that new orders from Europe were down over 15% year-over-year, but that it gained market share in Europe, in cable, edge & access, and in multi-screen. Order growth in Asia and other emerging markets was “solid.”

Total backlog and deferred revenue was $137.7m at the end of the quarter, up 10% versus last year, and down 6% versus the previous quarter when it was an all-time high for the company.

  

Guidance:

Harmonic anticipates net revenue in the range of $132 million to $142 million for the fourth quarter of 2012. GAAP gross margins and operating expenses for the fourth quarter of 2012 are expected to be in the range of 44% to 46% and $60 million to $61.5 million, respectively. Non-GAAP gross margins and operating expenses for the fourth quarter of 2012, which will exclude stock-based compensation and the amortization of intangibles, are anticipated to be in the range of 48% to 50% and $55 million to $56.5 million, respectively.

 

“Harmonic delivered sequential revenue and earnings growth, and more than $20 million of cash from operations, in what continues to be a challenging economic environment,” said Harshman. “Our competitive position remains strong, and we believe we gained market share in both domestic and international markets. We also made significant progress on new product developments that position Harmonic to capitalize on the next wave of investment by our customers, including cable access (CCAP), high efficiency video coding (HEVC) for next-generation Internet-delivered and Ultra HD video, and a further strengthened solution portfolio enabling multiscreen video services.”

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Related Content:

Press release: Harmonic Announces Third Quarter 2012 Results

Harmonic Q3 2012 Earnings Call Presentation

Harmonic Q3 2012 Conference Call Transcript

Previous Quarter: Euro Weakness Offsets Strength in US for Harmonic in Q2 2012

Previous Year: Harmonic Reports Strong Q3 2011 Results, Driven by Strong Performance in Americas

 

© Devoncroft Partners.  All Rights Reserved

 

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Impressions of IBC 2012: M&A, Cloud, Multi-Platform, 4K, Efficient Operations, CiaB, and the “Return of Grass Valley”

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, content delivery, market research, technology trends | Posted by Joe Zaller
Sep 20 2012

A previous version of this article appeared in the “Tech Thursday” Spotlight Section of TVNewsCheck

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Against the backdrop of the ongoing European debt crisis and the afterglow of the 2012 Olympics, nearly 51,000 visitors made their way to Amsterdam for the annual IBC trade show. Major themes of the five-day broadcast technology jamboree included vendor consolidation, buzz about new technologies for multi-screen content delivery and social TV, futuristic technology demonstrations, and several important new product introductions.

The broadcast vendor community got a little less fragmented on the first morning of IBC, with a merger announcement by two Norway-based video transport technology providers — Nevion and T-VIPS

Although no additional deals were unveiled at the show, vendor consolidation was one of the most discussed themes at IBC, and according to statements made by some of the leading vendors, there is potentially a lot more consolidation on the way.   

Newly acquired Miranda technologies made its debut as a “Belden brand” at IBC, and Belden EVP Denis Suggs was on hand at the show to meet customers and explain his company’s vision for the broadcast industry, and why they decided to buy Miranda in one of the largest broadcast technology M&A deals in recent years. 

In a nutshell, Belden saw the opportunity to acquire a cash-generating company with a top-class management team that’s growing faster than the overall market and jumped at it. Including Miranda, Belden now generates approximately $450 million a year in broadcast-related revenue, making it one of the industry’s largest players, and it appears they are not done doing deals in this space. 

Suggs said Belden views Miranda as a platform from which is can further expand its broadcast industry operations, and that it intends to support Miranda’s existing plan for further acquisitions.

Grass Valley CEO Alain Andreoli echoed a similar sentiment at his company’s press conference. He said that Francisco Partners, the private equity firm that owns Grass Valley, has a $3 billion fund behind it and will support Grass Valley’s efforts to become an industry consolidators.

When the dust settles, he said, Grass Valley may not be the largest player, but it will certainly be in the top three. Last year, Grass Valley bought PubliTronic, a provider of channel-in-a-box (CiaB) technology, to gain a larger foothold in the playout market. Expect to see Grass Valley and other players making additional strategic moves that help them enter attractive new market spaces.

But most IBC M&A talk centered on Harris Broadcast, which is currently being divested by its parent company. Although rumors were flying at the show about who might buy the division, its executives were tight-lipped. Harris Broadcast President Harris Morris would only say that the deal is progressing according to plan, and is on track to be completed as soon as the end of 2012.

New products and services based on cloud technology, multi-platform content delivery and social TV services dominated many demonstration and hallway conversations at IBC, particularly in the “Connected World” pavilion, where dozens of new and established firms displayed a host of products aimed at securing a place in this emerging ecosystem.

Despite the enthusiasm of vendors, many buyers publicly and privately expressed caution about the technology.

Critics of cloud technology cited immature technology, bandwidth limitations, security, and an unproven business case as barriers to its adoption. Likewise, broadcasters and content owners expressed concern over the “disconnect” between the desire of end-users to receive and consume video content on an ever-increasing number personal devices, and the ability of broadcasters to create sustainable and profitable multi-platform business models.

Cloud-based discussions at IBC ranged from real-world case studies of how EVS helped broadcasters set up private clouds to facilitate remote production of the Euro 2012 soccer championships and London Olympics, to practical solutions from Signiant and Aspera for managing the delivery of file-based content over IP-enabled and cloud-based infrastructure, to new solutions for cloud-based video production.

Cloud-based production is an emerging trend, but initiatives such as the ‘Adobe Anywhere’ initiative will prove to be a catalyst in this area. Taking cloud-based production to the “next level” are new firms like VC-backed start-up A-Frame, which is building from the ground-up a complete cloud-based video production environment that marries the experience of broadcast and post-production experts with forward-thinking IT-based software experts. 

On the multi-screen front, Ericsson introduced its first encoder based on HEVC/H.265 compression technology. The company says that its HEVC implementation offers the potential for users to reduce bandwidth by up to 50%, thereby enabling more efficient delivery of content over multiple platforms, including mobile networks.

Harmonic unveiled a new version of its ProMedia transcoder, aimed at enabling its customers to deliver an integrated multi-screen experience to their subscribers. Harmonic also introduced new members of its senior management team: CMO Peter Alexander, and CTO Krish Padmanabhan, who recently joined the company from Cisco and NetApp, respectively.

Noticeable by their absence on the Harmonic booth at IBC were the familiar Omneon and Rhozet brand names, which have now been absorbed into Harmonic. “Harmonic is a branded house, not a house of brands, and our singular focus is delivering excellent video quality to consumers everywhere,” said Alexander.

The Sony/SES Astra demonstration of live delivery of 4K images over satellite drew a lot of attention.

For many years, 4K images have been trade show “eye candy” for visitors, but at IBC 2012 Sony and SES showed that technology exists today to transmit high quality 4K images over satellite at a manageable 50mbit/s using h.264 compression technology.  The stunning live video images were delivered via an SES satellite to an 84-inch Sony Bravia 4K display.

The demo prompted speculation that 4K will be the “next HD” in terms of consumer adoption and broadcast infrastructure upgrades. Other observers took a more practical approach, saying that the industry might see 4K being used as a high-end production format in near to mid term, but that it will be a long time before broadcasters who have already spent millions on the transition to HDTV decide to upgrade again to 4K.

Indeed, when it comes to broadcast infrastructure upgrades it is operational efficiency, not higher resolution, which appears to be the primary demand of broadcasters. Thus, many vendors at IBC were promoting solutions designed to help broadcasters transition their operations to file-based and IT-oriented workflows. 

One of the ongoing initiatives in this area has been the development by a large number of vendors of integrated IT-based playout technologies, more commonly known as channel-in-a-box (CiaB).  These systems offer the promise of increased operational efficiency and significant cost savings through the integration of previously disparate playout and master control functionality into a single IT-based platform. Over the past several years, major vendors including Grass Valley, Miranda, Snell, Harmonic, and Evertz have offered products.

At IBC 2012, Harris became the latest entrant into the market with the launch of Versio, a CiaB system based on several of the company’s existing technology platforms including the Nexio server family, ADC automation, and Inscriber graphics. 

When describing the new Versio product at the company IBC press conference, Harris Morris said the No. 1 requirement for automated IT-based playout systems is reliability, and that this is an area where Harris Broadcast excels. Morris also emphasized that CiaB platforms rely heavily on automation technology, where Harris Broadcast is an established leader, making the company a natural choice for broadcasters considering integrated IT-based playout.

Although Harris Broadcast touted the fact that their Versio platform is based on the company’s existing technology platforms, it stopped well short of saying that the new system is a direct replacement for its current products, particularly its popular Nexio server family.

Instead the company described Versio as a robust cost-effective way for broadcasters to quickly add new services and digital subchannels channels, and to provide backup in emergencies.

“Channel-in-a-box should be about opening up new possibilities rather than limiting how a broadcaster can operate across multiple on-air scenarios,” said Andrew Warman, senior product manager at Harris Broadcast. “It’s limiting to look at channel-in-a-box as a system replacement for servers, automation, and other play-to-air systems. Broadcasters need freedom to build appropriate workflows for their operations, including external components.”

However, other vendors clearly see the CiaB market differently, and have taken a very different approach than Harris Broadcast, especially those firms that do not have an existing playout server business to protect. 

Snell Chief Architect Neil Maycock said that his company’s ICE platform is not only “ready for prime-time,” it is on the air today delivering high value content for major broadcasters.  Maycock also said that ICE has a unique architecture that enables it to scale from a single channel implementation, through a multi-location centralcasting model, to a large multi-channel playout environment.

PlayBox CEO Vassil Lefterov said he has built his entire business on disrupting the traditional server-based playout market. “We believe our singular focus on this application is a key advantage,” he said.  “Playbox has thousands of live channels on the air today and is working to re-define playout operations for many of our customers.”

Grass Valley, which like Harris has a significant video server business, took a more pragmatic approach.  SVP and CMO Graham Sharp said that “it’s likely CiaB and other IT-based playout systems may ultimately impact everyone’s server business, so we’ve taken the decision to cannibalize our own products where necessary by embracing IT technology, because if we don’t do it to ourselves someone else will.” 

Grass Valley was among the vendors with significant new products. Introductions included a new LDX camera platform that scales from a basic model to a high-end super-slow motion system; a new video server family, and brand new electronics for the Kayenne and Karrera production switchers.  Grass Valley said all its new products feature native 1080p processing, and provide straightforward upgrades via software.

Grass Valley also made bold claims about its future product plans, stating that by 2014 it will have replaced its entire portfolio with all new 1080p, IT-focused products. 

GV’s Sharp also hinted at a major NAB 2013 announcement from Grass Valley: “Next year we will introduce a completely new integrated IP-based platform that is totally format agnostic.” he said.  “We believe this new platform will enable a new way of working that we call non-linear production….”

All Grass Valley products, including those launched at IBC 2012, will be compatible with the new architecture, he said.

Sharp concluded GV press conference by saying: “If there is one take-away from this presentation about Grass Valley, it’s this: We’re back.”

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© Devoncroft Partners. All Rights Reserved.

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Tracking the Evolution of Broadcast Industry Trends 2009 – 2012

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, content delivery, market research, technology trends | Posted by Joe Zaller
Apr 09 2012

This is the second in a series of articles about some of the findings from the 2012 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 2012 BBS, making it the largest and most comprehensive market study ever conducted in the broadcast industry.

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In a recent post about broadcast industry trends, we published the 2012 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index, which shows the most important trends in the broadcast industry for 2012. 

This article looks at how trends have changed over time, and more specifically what trends became more important or less important in 2012 versus 2011.

Our view is that 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, while multi-platform content delivery was fourth on the list

 

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

 

  • In 2011 multi-platform content delivery became the dominant trend, where it remains in 2012

 


The chart below shows a comparison of the BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index from 2011 and 2012. 

 

 

This chart shows that multi-platform content delivery continues to increase in overall importance relative to other trends in the broadcast industry.  Other net gainers in 2012 versus 2011 include file-based / tapeless workflows, the move to automated workflows, video-on-demand and improvements video compression efficiencies; all of which show year-over year increases in the Index ranking.

Both transition to HDTV operations and IP networking & content delivery declined in the 2012 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index, but stayed in the top four (where they have been since the inception of the Index in 2009).  Other notable decliners in 2012 versus 2011 were “transition to 3Gbps operations”, and “3D,” which saw the largest year-over-year decline on a percentage basis.

It should also be noted that the relatively strong showing of “cloud computing / cloud-based services” which was added to the Index in 2012, undoubtedly had a cannibalizing impact on these results.


To provide additional context on how the importance of technology trends in the broadcast industry changes over time, we have included a comparison of the BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index from 2010 – 2012.

 

 

When reading this chart, please bear in mind that in each of the previous two years, one additional trend was added to the Index.  In 2011, analog switch-off was added.  In 2012 cloud computing / cloud-based services was added. 

New trends are added when appropriate (and based on stakeholder feedback), in order to keep the Index current and relevant to the needs of users.  However as discussed in a previous section, this can make it more difficult to perform year-over-year data analysis.  Thus we are providing as much information as possible in this report in order to enable readers to undertake an informed analysis.

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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 covered in the 2012 Index.  The first column in the table below shows how trends were ranked in 2012. The number in parentheses to the right of each trend shows how it ranked in the 2011 BBS Index. Although there were no changes at the top and bottom of the 2012 Index versus the 2011 Index, there was movement in between.

 

 

Several trends were ranked more highly in 2012 than in 2011.  For example the transition to file-based / tapeless workflows moved up one spot to the #2 ranking (eclipsing the transition to HDTV operations for the first time in the Index), and the move to automated workflows also moved up.  

The combination of the strength of multi-platform content delivery, the strong showing of cloud computing, and the increasing importance of file-based workflows and automated operations has significant implications.  Broadcast technology buyers are clearly focused on creating efficiencies wherever possible, while at the same time working to generate new revenue streams through multi-screen offerings.

A number of trends dropped in the Index versus previous years, the most notable being 3D which had the largest year-over-year percentage drop.

Other trends remained relatively static in terms of their ranking in 2011.  For example: “transition to 3Gbps operations,” “transition to 5.1 channel audio,” “outsourced operations,” and “green initiatives” remained the bottom four trends in 2011, as they were in 2012.  However the addition of cloud computing, which ranked #7 in the Index dropped each of these trends down one position.

 

Changes in Commercial Importance of Broadcast Industry Trends

As well as changes to numerical ranking, there were also year-over-year changes to the perception of commercial importance to each trend.  This is shown in the table below:

 

 

For the most part, the trends that moved up in the rankings in 2012 were also seen as more important commercially versus the previous year. 

The common theme among the items on the left side of the above chart is that they all have to do with creating new revenue streams, or cutting costs through greater efficiencies.  Analog switch-off is perhaps the odd one out here, but given that these projects are mandated by governments, they become increasingly important where relevant until the time that these projects have ended.

The items on the right of the above chart are a mixed bag.  As a generalization it’s safe to say that that many of these trends involve spending rather than saving money.  Given that much of the industry is still recovering from recession, extra spending is not a popular choice in the current business environment.

 

Why Tracking Movement of Trends is Important

It is important to note that 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).

For example, the 2012 BBS Trend Index shows that monetizing content on multiple platforms is clearly a key objective for broadcast professionals in the year ahead, yet many players, particularly on the content side, are still experimenting with their business models. At some point these trends will drive capital projects.  When that happens they will become major drivers of technology spending in the broadcast industry. 

We will review what major capital projects are being planned this year in the broadcast industry in a subsequent article.

 

Keep in mind when reading this information that all data in this article measures the responses of all non-vendor participants in the 2012 BBS, regardless of organization type, organization size, job title or geographic location. Responses of individual organization types or geographic locations may be very different. Granular analysis of these results is available as part of the full 2012 BBS Global Market Report. For more information about this report, please contact Devoncroft Partners.

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Related Content:

The 2012 Big Broadcast Survey – Information and available reports

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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Tracking Changes in Broadcast Industry Trends — 2011 Versus 2010

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, market research, technology trends | Posted by Joe Zaller
Mar 21 2011

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

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In a recent post I discussed the 2011 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index, which shows the most important trends in the broadcast industry for 2011.

The article referenced both the 2009 and 2010 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index from, and looked at how the rankings of trends have changed over time.  For example, in 2009 the transition to HDTV operations was, by far, the top ranked trend.  However by 2011, the transition to HDTV operations had been overtaken by multi-platform content delivery as the top trend (although the move to HD is clearly still very important).

This post generated a lot of lot of feedback from clients and readers.  Many people said they wanted to more easily see changes to the importance of trends over time, and asked for a single chart that shows year-over-year comparisons.  I’ve done this in the chart below, which shows a comparison of the BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index from 2011 and 2010. 

Please note that I have not included the 2009 Index in this chart because multiple changes were made to the trends in the Index between 2009 and 2010, reducing the ability to make an “apples-to-apples” comparison.  It’s also worth noting that all 14 trends from the 2010 Index were included in the 2011 Index.  However, based industry feedback, we added a 15th trend to the 2011 list – i.e. analog switch-off, which was ranked 11th out 15 in 2011.  The addition of analog switch-off likely “cannibalized” a small percentage of responses from other trends in this year’s ranking. 

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So what changed between 2010 and 2011? 

There are two ways to look at this:

  • changes in overall numerical ranking relative to the previous year
  • changes in overall commercial importance relative to the previous year

 

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Changes in Numerical Ranking of Broadcast Industry Trends

Let’s start with the overall numerical ranking of trends.  The first column in the table below shows how trends were ranked in 2011. The number in parentheses to the right of each trend shows how it ranked in the 2010 BBS Index. Although there were no changes at the top and bottom of the 2011 Index versus the 2010 Index, almost everything in between changed position relative to the previous year.

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As I wrote previously, the top four trends in the 2011 Global Broadcast Industry Trend Index are the same as last year and the year before:

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

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

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

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

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Changes in Commercial Importance of Broadcast Industry Trends

As well as changes to numerical ranking, there were also year-over-year changes to the perception of commercial importance to each trend.  This is shown in the table below:

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For the most part, the trends moved up in the rankings in 2011 also were seen as more important commercially versus the previous year. 

However, it is possible for a trend to move up in the numerical ranking, while moving down in terms commercial importance to respondents, as happened this year with the transition to HDTV operations.  In this case, these changes are likely more of a function of the strong showing for multi-platform content delivery, than a poor showing for the transition to HDTV.

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Why Tracking Movement of Trends is Important

In the broadcast industry much of the spending on technology is project-based, and those projects all come from somewhere.  Our view is that industry trends drive capital projects, which in turn drive budgets, which in turn drive product purchase.  In other words, what’s commercially important to technology buyers today (i.e. trends) will likely turn into what they are budgeting for tomorrow (i.e. projects).

Looking at the trend data from the 2011 BBS, monetizing content on multiple platforms is clearly a key objective for broadcast professionals this year.  Yet, as I wrote a few months ago after returning from CES: “On the monetization point, I lost count of the number of times I heard the word “experimentation” during [conference] sessions – particularly from content owners.  In other words, although everyone agrees that multi-platform content delivery is a very important trend, many players have still not figured out the business model.”

There’s a difference between recognizing that a trend is commercially important and having a business plan in place that capitalizes on it.  So while there’s no doubt that generating incremental revenue by delivering a multi-screen experience to consumers is hot topic, business models have to move beyond the experimental in order to drive serious market growth.  Once that happens, multi-platform content delivery will likely become the most important planned project rather than just the most important trend.

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

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Related Content:

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

The 2011 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index is here.

The 2010 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index is here.

The 2009 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index is here.

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

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

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©Devoncroft Partners 2009-2011

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