Multi-platform delivery, 4K/UHD, IP infrastructure and artificial intelligence (AI) are the growth areas of investment in media technology according to the latest analysis from the IABM released at NAB.

Virtual reality

Virtual reality (VR) is not a priority for end-users according to new data released by the IABM.

Premium costs of professional VR equipment remain too high with the added challenge of producing native VR content remains unclear from a creative perspective.

The slow adoption and recent price cuts on consumer VR equipment as well as the overall VR experience remaining passive are the main contributing factors to companies choosing to adopt IP solutions and invest in AI and ultra high definition (UHD) programming.

The IABM released an exclusive NAB 2018 report Strategic Industry Analysis offering a comprehensive overview of the latest supply, buying, technology and financial trends of the broadcast and media industry.

The data suggests as IP-adoption increases it is likely to drive more UHD investment.

NBC has committed to increasing its UHD coverage over the course of 2018, particularly across major sporting events such as the Fifa World Cup.

While 4K native and enhanced content offerings remain available, high dynamic range (HDR) and HD enhancements combined with UHD are preferable by end-users, as consumers are more focussed on better pixels rather than more pixels.

“HDR is considered a more viable options compared to 4K as it is more noticeable to viewers on smaller screens and it is cheaper to deploy using existing infrastructures.” – The IABM

It is now recognised that AI is here to stay with the increasing amount of data which will be a crucial driver of media technology spending in 2018. The report suggests, companies will seek to further automate operations in order to strengthen customer relationships.

According to the IABM data, most technology users plan to deploy AI in content management, distribution and delivery to automate manual tasks and gain audience insights.

Ai index

The analysis highlighted the increasing adoption end-users are taking to implement a supply-chain approach for handling media content from production to distribution.

Technologies including cloud and AI are revolutionising old paradigms from optimising resources and creating collaborative workflows. According to the IABM analysis: “AI is leading to process automation and it is crunching data on content, audiences and operations to deliver actionable insights.”

As such, end-users are looking at vendors’ solutions to fit their flexible content supply-chains.

Digital Transformation

The rise of direct-to-consumer content offerings has resulted in vast amounts of data to be processed and stored which is crucial for end-users to manage in order to keep up with native digital players.

The IABM suggest: “The cloud and AI respectively represent the muscle and the brain to process and analyse large amounts of information.

“This information on content, audiences and operations needs to be stored and analysed in a consistent way, creating a major challenge for end-users.”

A newly heightened threat the industry faces is one from cyber criminals, particularly after the hits high-profile media, entertainment and technology companies faced throughout 2017.

Sony, WPP, Yahoo and TV5Mondo were amongst those targeted. IABM Research Analyst Lorenzo Zanni said: “Those in the media and broadcast industry need to be prepared and not playing catch up.”

Watch IBC365 webinar on-demand Cyber security and the protection of assets

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According to the IABM most media technology users prefer best-of-breed solutions, which is good news for vendors specialising in dedicated and flexible offerings. However, the demand for interoperable solutions saw 98% of technology users demanding the adoption of interoperability and frustrated with the lack of technology available, as a result they have started to build the products themselves.

On average 37% of end-users build the solutions they need in-house, with an increased investment in software engineers to build reliable and necessary capabilities otherwise not available.

“End-users also plan to use microservices to achieve greater interoperability of operations, by glueing together separate technology solutions,” the IABM stated.

Technology adoption and investment

Adoption of cloud will continue throughout 2018, as media technology users streamline their operations for the multi-platform world. According to the IABM data: “Adoption of cloud rose significantly between 2014 and 2017 as the technology matured and more end-users espoused its benefits.”

As such, the reduction in media management time allowed for an increase in revenue and flexible adjustment of resources by moving to consumption-based pricing.

Hybrid and private cloud solutions were favoured, particularly to enhance the functionality of post-production and transcoding where it is expected to replace on-premise infrastructures.

Click here for the complete NAB Strategic Industry Analysis report