Posts Tagged ‘tapeless workflows’

Broadcast Industry’s Largest Market Study Reveals Most Important Technology Trends

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast technology market research, market research, technology trends | Posted by Joe Zaller
Mar 17 2010

This is the first in a series of articles about the findings from the 2010 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS), a global study of industry trends, technology purchasing behavior and the opinion of vendor brands.  With more than 5,600 people in 120+ countries participating, the 2010 version of the BBS is the largest and most comprehensive market study ever done in the broadcast industry.

This article looks at how respondents ranked a variety of technology trends in terms of importance to their business.


To determine the most important technology trends in the broadcast industry, respondents were presented with a list of 14 trends and asked to choose which is the “most important,” “second most important” and “also very important” to their business. Respondents could choose only one trend as “most important” and “second most important”, but were able to choose as many as they liked for “also very important”.  Note that this question specifically asks which trend is most important to their company’s business, rather than which is the most exciting technically or is currently generating the most industry “buzz”  in order to gain insight into the commercial drivers behind the respondent’s answer. 

This article presents the answers to this question in two ways – as a global trends index, and by the percentage of respondents who indicated the importance of each trend to their business.

The 2010 BBS Global Trend Index

To create an industry index of trends, the responses to this question were then weighted based on the importance of each trend to the business of the respondents.  Responses that were ranked “most important” were multiplied by 5, responses ranked “second most important” were multiplied by 3 and those deemed “also very important” were multiplied by 1.

The table below shows the industry trend importance index.  Please note that in all cases, the charts and tables in this article show the responses from technology buyers (i.e. non-vendors).

The top three trends (by a good margin) in the 2010 BBS Global Trend Index are multi-platform content delivery, file-based / tapeless workflows, and the transition to HDTV operations.  

The top ranking of multi-platform content delivery in this year’s study is a strong move up from last year’s study where it placed 4th in terms of importance.  In 2009 the top three trends were transition to HDTV operation, tapeless workflows and IP content delivery.

The 2010 BBS Global Trend Index show that the broadcast industry in 2010 is focused on generating new revenue streams (through multi-platform content delivery) and achieving cost savings through operational efficiencies (through file-based / tapeless workflows).  At the same time however, it’s clear that the industry intends to finish what it started by continuing its transition to HDTV operations (the top trend in 2009). 

The trends that rank #4 through #9 on this year’s Global Trend Index all share similar characteristics with the top three trends.  Namely creating efficiencies (e.g. IP networking & content delivery and the move to automated workflows); reducing cost (e.g. centralized operations); and generating new sources of revenue (e.g. VOD and targeted advertising).

Technology-oriented trends (those that require capital expenditure) such as 3DTV and the transition to 3Gbps operations, which are considered to be hot topics in the run up to NAB 2010, are ranked towards the bottom of the index.


Ranking Trends by Percentage of Respondents

Looking at this data another way reinforces the finding from the BBS Global Trend Index, and highlights again that the industry is looking for ways to generate new revenues while increase operating efficiencies and reducing operating costs.

The table below demonstrates this by showing the same response data ranked by “most important” and without the 5-3-1 weighting applied.  For the most part, the trends stay in the same position, but there are a few changes to the rankings. 

When the data is presented in this way multi-platform content delivery remains the trend ranked “most important to most respondents.  However, the second and third-ranked trends – transition to HDTV operations and file-based / automated workflows – swap positions in this ranking versus the trend index above. 

Regardless of this subtle shift, one of the most noticeable things about this chart is the how strongly the top three trends were ranked as most important relative to the others.  It’s clear the moving to HD, achieving operational efficiencies and finding new revenue streams are a clear priority for the broadcast industry in 2010.

As with the BBS Global Trend Index above, new technology trends (those that require new investment) such as transition to 3Gbps operations and 3D TV move are lower down the list of priorities.

It’s also worth noting which trends were ranked as “also very important” by respondents, because this is a strong indicator of what will be important over the next few years.  Once again, multi-platform content delivery tops this list, indicating that it is not only important to the broadcast industry today, but that it will continue to grow in importance over time.  In addition to multi-platform content delivery, the trends that were ranked strongly in terms of “also very important” to the businesses of respondents are (in descending order): IP networking & content delivery, improvements in compression efficiency, file-based / tapeless workflows, move to automated workflows, video on demand and the transition to HDTV operations.

Keep in mind when reading this information that, all data in this article measures the responses of all non-vendor participants in the 2010 BBS, regardless of organization type, size or location; and shows the number of respondents that are evaluating products without regard to size of project or value of purchase.  Granular analysis of these results is available as part of the full 2010 BBS Global Market Report, which is available from Devoncroft Partners.

Published by Devoncroft Partners, the annual Big Broadcast Survey (BBS) is the largest and most comprehensive studies of broadcast industry trends and technology vendor brands.  The BBS provides insight into market trends and the perceptions of leading broadcast industry vendor brands by a wide variety of broadcast professionals across the world.  It also delivers vendor brand ranking “league tables” in a variety of product categories; all of which can be segmented by geography and customer type.  More than 5,600 people in 120+ countries participated in the 2010 BBS project. Information about the 2010 BBS can be found at 

HDTV… just a “pause” on the path to transition to IT-based broadcasting?

Uncategorized | Posted by Joe Zaller
Jul 13 2009

I had an interesting conversation recently with a broadcast technology vendor about how the transition to HDTV has impacted the move to IT-based broadcasting.

Their proposition was this:

Before the move to HDTV really took off, the broadcast industry was moving towards IT / file-based workflows.  Then a variety of  external structural forces (e.g. government intervention, analog switch-off etc) caused it to change course and focus on the transition to HD.

This caused the industry’s focus shifted away from IT / software-based systems and back towards hardware, which was better able to handle the increased data rates of HDTV.   This was good news for traditional hardware vendors, many of whom saw big spikes in their businesses, and some of whom managed to go public on the back of this trend.

Fast forward to today.  The transition to HD is well underway, and completed in many areas.  Broadcasters who have made the move to HD are now are looking for ways to increase their efficiencies, and do more with less.   At the same time, IT-based systems have made tremendous strides, and have in many cases caught up with hardware systems. 

So, this vendor concluded, we’re at a major industry inflection point, and the next transition in the broadcast industry will be driven by software, not hardware.

If this vendor is right, (and they very well may be), it’s going to be an interesting time for the hardware-oriented vendors who don’t have fully-fledged IT-based solutions that deliver what today’s customers want — the ability to do more with less, the promise of greater efficiencies, and above all a way to increase revenues.  It’s doubtful that “traditional” vendors will go away, but it’s likely that we will see new leaders emerge, along with an increase in M&A activity.

The broadcaster’s view of technology trends

market research | Posted by Joe Zaller
Jun 23 2009

I’ve recently been looking at how broadcast technology trends vary by geographic region, based on the research data from the 2009 Big Broadcast Survey. The examples I have shown previously look at the differences in technology trends based solely on geography. 

Now it’s time to get a bit more granular and look at how just broadcasters view these technology trends, and whether there are regional variations in their opinions.   Approximately 1,400 broadcasters participated in the study.  Each was presented with a list of 15 industry trends and asked to choose the three trends from the list (ranking them 1-3) that they feel will have the most significant impact on the way they do business over the next 2-3 years.  The chart below shows their responses, which are weighted based on how they were ranked by the respondents.  If a trend was ranked most important, its weight=3; if a trend was ranked #2, its weight=2; and if a trend was ranked #3, it is weight=1.  


The broadcaster's view of industry trends by region

The broadcaster's view of industry trends by region


In general it appears that broadcasters around the world are roughly aligned in terms of overall opinion of technology trends, but there are a few regional variations. 

Just as with the overall market, the transition to HDTV and tapeless workflows are the top trends for broadcasters, followed by multiplatform delivery and file-based workflows.  Interestingly, broadcasters in EMEA rank the move to file-based workflows higher than their counterparts in the Americas and Asia, while ranking multi-platform content delivery lower.

Otherwise, it is broadcasters in Asia  who vary from their counterparts in the Americas and EMEA. 

For example, broadcasters in Asia rank the following trends differently than their counterparts in the Americas and EMEA (although some of these are still at the low end of the range):

* IP content delivery (lower)

* automated worflows higher (higher)

* 3DTV (higher)

* Set-top box PVR (higher)

* Network PVR (higher)


Once again, some of the trends that we often read about in the trade press — e.g. the transition to 3Gbps and 3DTV — are relatively far down the list of business priorities for broadcasters (#9 and #11 respectively), which implies that broadcasters are continuing to move to HDTV operations while striving for efficiency in their operations rather than pursuing new technology. 


Here’s the full list of technology trends from the study, in the order that they were ranked by the broadcasters:

  Broadcasters — Asia Broadcasters — Americas Broadcasters — EMEA
1 Transition to HDTV Transition to HDTV Transition to HDTV
2 Tapeless workflows Tapeless workflows Tapeless workflows
3 Automated workflows Multi-platform delivery File-based workflows
4 Multi-platform delivery File-based workflows Multi-platform delivery
5 File-based workflows IP content delivery IP content delivery
6 IP content delivery Automated workflows Automated workflows
7 Advanced encoding techniques (e.g. h.264) Advanced encoding techniques (e.g. h.264) Advanced encoding techniques (e.g. h.264)
8 Video on Demand Video on Demand Video on Demand
9 Transition to 3Gbps (1080p) Transition to 3Gbps (1080p) Transition to 3Gbps (1080p)
10 3D TV On-line advertising On-line advertising
11 Set-top box PVR/DVR 3D TV 3D TV
12 On-line advertising 4K production 2K production
13 Network DVR Set-top box PVR/DVR 4K production
14 4K production 2K production Set-top box PVR/DVR
15 2K production Network DVR Network DVR

Regional Variation in Broadcast technology Trends — HDTV Still Top Trend

market research | Posted by Joe Zaller
Jun 22 2009

In a previous post about broadcast  industry trends, I looked at at a ranking of top trends in the broadcast industry and made the comment that there  is considerable variation in response when you segment data by geography and customer type.  One of the really interesting things about the data in the 2009 BBS is that is can be sliced and diced in many ways, thereby providing insight through granular analysis. 

Here’s an example of how trends can vary by geographic region:

2009 BBS trends -- regional variations

 This chart shows responses to the same question as the previous post — i.e.  “please choose from this list the top three trends that will most affect the way your company does business over the next 2-3 years” — from the point of view of people in different geographies.  Once again, a simple weighting formula was used to generate these rankings — if  a technology was ranked 1st (weight=3), 2nd (weight=2) or 3rd(weight=1).  This was done to illustrate the relative importance of  each technology trend to the respondent.  The trends in this chart are then expressed as a percentage of the total weighted votes.  As you can see, there are some interesting differences between the views of respondents in the Americas, EMEA and Asia.

While the transition to HDTV is still the top trend for all three geographies, there are differences in how important this trend is to the businesses of the respondents.  In the Americas, the transition to HDTV scores 23.79%; in EMEA is scores 21.92% and in Asia is scores 17.36%.  There are similar difference in the scores of the “file-based workflows” question.  This trend appears significantly more important to Europeans than it is to Americas and especially to respondents in Asia.

 A couple more observations:

  • Transition to HD and tapeless workflows are the top two trends in all three regions — despite the variations in importance of these trends relative to one another
  • Some of the trends that are in the news these days — e.g. transition to 3Gbps and 3DTV did not score particularly high.  Perhaps the reason we read about these trends in trade publications is that this vendors want to push the next new thing, while their customers want to complete the transition (to HD or tapeless for example) that they are in the middle of now, rather than worrying about the next new thing.
  • A few of the more “advanced” trends (multi-platform content delivery, 3D TV) scored higher in Asia than they did in the Americas or EMEA

Here’s the full list of the 15 trends from the study, ranked in order for each region.

       EMEA Americas Asia
1      Transition to HDTV Transition to HDTV Transition to HDTV
2      Tapeless Workflows Tapeless workflows Tapeless Workflows
3      File-based workflows IP content delivery Multi-platform content delivery
4      IP content delivery File-based workflows IP content delivery
5      Multi-platform content delivery Multi-platform content delivery Automated workflows
6      Automated workflows Video on Demand Advanced encoding techniques
7      Advanced encoding techniques Automated workflows Video on Demand
8      Video on Demand Advanced encoding techniques 3D TV
9      Transition to 3Gbps Transition to 3Gbps File-based workflows
10     On-line advertising On-line advertising Transition to 3Gbps
11     2K production 3D TV Set-top box PVR/DVR
12     4K production 2K production 2K production
13     Set-top box PVR/DVR 4K production On-line advertising
14     3D TV Set-top box PVR/DVR Network DVR
15     Network DVR Network DVR 4K production 
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