IBC continues to adapt to keep pace with the rapidly changing media, entertainment and technology industry, writes IBC Chairman Tim Richards. 

We are regularly reminded that the amount of video being consumed is on the rise; the statistics are well documented in analysts’ reports, and the anecdotal evidence of greater consumption across a range of devices is there too.

We all recognise the image of a family member juggling a phone and maybe a tablet too while watching the main TV, or of a commuter catching up on a missed episode of their favourite show on their journey to work. It is fair to say that we are all watching more video content, from a greater range of providers, on an increasing array of devices.

D2 - Comment - Tim Richards

IBC Chairman: Tim Richards

Against that backdrop of a seemingly insatiable appetite for video, IBC has grown every year for the past seven years, as the industry devises ever more innovative and efficient ways to create and deliver this content. And by ensuring that IBC remains a forum for agenda-setting debate and the unveiling of cutting-edge kit and services, this trend of growth is something that we hope will continue.

IBC’s ownership structure is at the heart of its success. IBC is run by the industry, for the industry, and is owned by six leading international bodies: IABM, IEEE, IET, RTS, SCTE and SMPTE, which between them represent both exhibitors and visitors.

It is their insight which ensures IBC is relevant, comprehensive and timely. To find out more about IBC’s owners, visit the Partnership Pavilion where representatives from each organisation will be on hand to tell you more about their work.

Steering Group 
In keeping with this approach of recognising and responding to change in the industry, this year IBC introduced a Content Steering Group with the aim of re-energising the conference and providing further scrutiny of an already independent programme.

Comprised of key industry figures, the Steering Group has helped to provide guidance on subjects and speakers, all under the able stewardship of guest chair and Channel 4 chief commercial officer Keith Underwood.

Those of you who attend the conference will see the result of another IBC initiative which will help drive positive change in the industry. The formation of the Diversity and Inclusivity Group, which includes representatives from the likes of Sky, ITV, HBS, Grass Valley and other industry-leading organisations, has helped shape IBC’s diversity and inclusion policy and code of conduct.

As part of our charter of commitments I am delighted that we have managed to increase the number of female conference speakers from 14% in 2017 to 30% this year.

On Thursday, during his conference-opening speech, Keith Underwood highlighted three key factors that are shaping our world: changing consumption patterns, consolidation and globalisation, and major technology advances.

“IBC has grown every year for the past seven years, as the industry devises ever more innovative and efficient ways to create and deliver content”

You will see evidence of, and debate about, all three across the exhibition and conference, but there will be a particular focus on up-and-coming technology in the IABM Future Trends Theatre in the Future Zone. From today (Saturday) until Tuesday, a host of tracks will explore subjects such as personalisation and advertising, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and blockchain, helping to recognise what, when and how to adopt the latest technology.

IBC also recognises that we need to continue to evolve with the industry. This means looking at overlapping and adjacent industries, some of which have enabled this change, with the convergence between telco and media a prime example of this crossover.

Yesterday was a great example of this; the Telco & Media Innovation Forum gathered senior industry representatives from both sectors for a debate about the challenges and opportunities as traditional telcos transition to digital players and broaden their offerings by adding content and partnering with – or acquiring – content providers.

The Telco & Media Innovation Forum also provided the perfect setting to share more information about IBC’s collaboration with TM Forum, a non-profit industry association for service providers and their suppliers in the telecommunications industry, which has over 850 member companies including Vodafone, Telstra and Liberty Global.

IBC’s work with TM Forum will centre on an innovation initiative that will help draw together different elements of the industry to solve real-world problems. The Media & Telco Catalyst Programme will drive innovation between industries and allow executives from both sectors to partner on these projects. Catalyst proof of concept projects will involve service providers coming together to crack an industry challenge for an end user.

This kind of initiative is IBC at its best, providing a forum for industry leaders to join forces to identify and resolve problems and find ways to drive our industry forwards. I hope you enjoy IBC2018 and I look forward to speaking with many of you during the show.

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