Academy blog


Year-on-year, the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) raises the bar for video companies, big and small. In addition to the latest innovation in technology, IBC marks a point in the year where competitors will come together and display the latest trends in the digital space.

IBC presents itself as the hub of the entire broadcasting industry when it comes to technology and innovation, making it the most opportune time for companies to announce new products, expand their market and create new partnerships. So, with A LOT of news to catch up on, here’s an easy to understand round-up of 3 winners and 2 losers from IBC 2018.

WINNER: Artificial Intelligence

It seems like almost every year an inspirational functionality is born out of AI and put on display at IBC. However, it’s clear that this year there were very few large media companies looking to stay competitive without the help of AI. This includes NPAW announcing a new advanced AI alerts feature, as well as a number of companies such as Arqiva, whose Chief Information Officer Denis Onuoha explored the use of Machine Learning and Artifical Intelligence to track and kill cyber threats.

According to Endemol Shine Creative Networks CEO Lisa Perrin, AI is set to boost creativity and help strategize workflows to reduce costs and automate lengthy processes. “I know there is a lot of criticism of AI taking jobs away,” said Perrin. “But we are living in an industrial revolution – what it does is take away the most boring jobs in television.”

Artificial Intelligence at IBC 2018

Regarding the use of artificial intelligence tools, there’s a big future for content companies which use the latest AI-driven analytical tools, predicted Yves Bergquist, CEO of AI research company Corto. Using in-depth data and having full visibility of user behavior gives media companies the power to understand their audience, then with that information, predict trends and concerns that could help grow audiences.

WINNER: Personalization

Very closely related to AI, IBC 2018 saw a number of announcements regarding platform personalization, including a new content distribution suite for Ads from Mediakind. It includes the newly launched placement and content distribution rights (PRISMA) application, an advertising product that comes pre-integrated with MediaKind’s dynamic ad insertion (DAI), encoding & packaging, storage and delivery capabilities.

Moving towards automated platform personalization has been a large concern for video companies over the past year, with many companies looking at Netflix’s success as a good enough reason to switch over. With many companies now offering products to help achieve this, the frontier is seemingly more achievable. Large video companies are trying to engage with Generation Alpha in an attempt to satiate their fleeting appetites for content by making tailored experiences that can get them hooked.

John Gee, Chief Business Development Officer at TV data company Alphonso said: “A view is still a view unless you want to have addressability.” AddressableTV advertising is the ability to show different ads to different households while they are watching the same programme.

WINNER: Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality at IBC 2018 VR

There’s no denying the fact that VR has taken off in a big way since products like Google Glass and Oculus Rift began creeping into headlines in 2012. Now, more and more companies are investing in the technology with the idea of offering content once the hardware becomes affordable, which is happening even now according to VR Industry Forum President Rob Koenen who stated that “VR headsets started off at around $2,000 but now they are better, standalone wireless devices offering three degrees of freedom (DoF) or 6DoF for a fraction of that price.”

It’s fair to say that during IBC 2019, there will be many companies not only advertising their VR technology, but actually engaging and accessible content to go along with this. Spending in 2017 on virtual and augmented reality surpassed $14 billion and is expected to hit almost $30 billion by the end of 2018. There’s no doubt that this could be the future of video content.

LOSER: The Future of Linear TV

Havas exec Maria Garrido warned during a panel at IBC 2018 that many liner television companies need to innovate to compete with new and exciting companies offering multi-platform approaches to distributing content through VOD services and partnerships.

While the TV industry takes up just over a third of total ad spend, it is on its way down while mobile and OTT solution are on the rise. By 2021, it will be the TV industry in the hot seat to prove itself as a key industry player.

The issue for TV, is that a gigantic proportion of its audience is coming from live sporting coverage. As new technologies prove capable of delivering this content in a cheaper, cleaner and more reliable fashion, TV will only be taking up less than a fifth of total global ad spend. This is without even considering content budgets, which when taken into account shorten the lifeline of traditional TV. Outside IBC, Tony Hall pointed out that Netflix’s annual budget for new content will be more than $13 billion, five times as much as what the UK’s main broadcasters are investing – $2.5 billion.

LOSER: TV Sporting Coverage

Live sport coverage at IBC 2018

While it was briefly pointed out in the above point, there were many announcements that looks to threaten traditional TVs reign over live sport production. Eurosport announced a $2 billion investment in an Amazon-style PGA package for their most engaged fans. Eurosport’s parent company, Discovery, plans to pursue this after experiencing an outrageous growth while broadcasting the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang where they grew from 200 thousand to 1.2 million subscribers.

Additionally, Tedial’s Jérôme Wauthoz gave a presentation on the use of AI in sports broadcasting, going into great detail regarding ITV’s migration over to Tedial’s servers in January this year where content is now dissected and the data is shared to ITV who can now capture viewers’ attention for longer. Using automatic logging, workflows are streamlined using automatic clip-cutting to share the most important moments on social media.

Along with other big-hitters in the broadcasting industry, the team at NPAW spent the weekend at the RAI in Amsterdam spreading the word about our product and announcing our brand new offering, YOUBORA Suite, which you can learn all about here.

Max Gayler on September 19th 2018

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