It’s no surprise that uses of AI are top of the agenda for media organisations in the next 12 months but so too is a drive to enhanced monetisation over Connected TV, mining niche sports, warnings of job ‘replacements’ and, notably, fewer calls for sustainability. Here are a selection of vendor responses for what to look for in 2024.
Copyright protections required
Tony Jones, Principal Technologist, MediaKind
In 2024, a potential concern is the role and rights of creative talent, as well as the need to ensure that the creative intellectual property of humans is protected.
Generative AI, despite the concerns over how copyright works, can create new content that would have been too costly to perform any other way. This also adds the ability to improve captioning, translations, and region-specific signing for the hearing-impaired, which could improve the accessibility of content. There are many potential opportunities where Gen-AI can make a difference. We’ll continue to be surprised with the new capabilities it offers.
AI delivers content creation value
Richard Wormwell, Head of Innovation, dock10
2024 is the year when all the frenzied AI hype ends - and AI really delivers on its promise! For us, we’ll definitely be using generative AI to create things like pitch decks, storyboards and concept art. But we’ll also use AI to harness together virtual production, motion capture and real time graphics to create AI-driven synthetic humans that move, speak and react within a virtual studio - including using generative AI to answer viewer questions for themselves. The television industry should brace itself for fundamental changes: creatives will be getting even more creative and more productive too.
AI enters live streaming
Vinayak Shrivastav, CEO, Magnifi
In this fiercely competitive landscape, brands will continue to leverage AI to foster personal connections with audiences, transforming live streams into hubs of engagement and profitability. For viewers, AI’s evolution delivers personalised experiences, suggesting content based on preferences and enabling real-time interactions. Its applications span content recommendation, real-time moderation, video quality enhancement, and content analytics for strategic refinement.
AI automates production roles
Robert Szabo-Rowe, SVP, Engineering & Product Management at The Switch
2024 will see the rising impact of deep learning and AI across live production and delivery – and we see it affecting staffing at some point not too far into the future. We’ve already seen DL/AI used for close captioning and near-real-time highlight generation, and it is poised to be applied way beyond that.
Some companies are trialling multi-camera systems that automate the show-cutting process. It may be scary to consider, but jobs such as Technical Director may not be needed for lower tier live productions soon. The appeal is simple: the biggest cost of most live productions is staff.
AI embedded in broadcast
John Riley, VP Sales Engineering, Telestream
European media and broadcasting organisations, eyeing operational efficiency and increased scalability, embraced SMPTE ST2110 standards, cloud migrations, and UHD content in 2023. Now, they’re diving into the AI/ML mix to transform their workflows. We’ve already seen this year how AI/ML improves customer service through AI-powered virtual assistants, as well as how it facilitates workflow generation and advances media processing, content management, and quality monitoring.
It’s just the beginning; we believe that more organisations will start leaning into AI/ML use cases for producing, managing, and analysing content in 2024.
Niche sports take-off
Although ‘shoulder content’ is growing in importance, live sports action is still the MVP for broadcasters and streamers looking to win customers and increase monetisation and viewer engagement. We believe that 2024 will see the high-quality coverage of niche and lower-league sports really take-off, driven by the operators need for live sports, and the changing production economics enabled by deploying SRT over the public internet. SRT and the internet reduces the cost of contributing video from the stadium to the studio, so that for the first time, operators can match live contribution costs to content value.
Monetise ‘niche’ genres
Jonathan Smith, Solution Area Expert, Net Insight
In 2024 we will see media organisations facing a strategic opportunity to scale their content, monetise ‘niche’ genres, and tap into more audiences than ever before. To be successful, more industry players will be adopting a consistent operational approach to the traditional managed and unmanaged networks supporting the plethora of streams required to drive enriched events and consumer engagement.
We will also see a greater transition to software-defined media networks that prioritise media-specific requirements and deliver observability, scalability, flexibility, and quality. This shift offers media companies unprecedented control and efficiency in media delivery; it’s a strategic necessity to stay competitive in a rapidly evolving landscape
Power of BTS content
Rick Allen, CEO, ViewLift
The first global sports stars emerged around 1970, with Muhammed Ali and Pelé leading the way. This has rocketed in the last 50 years. The level of interest in Lionel Messi’s move to America, David Beckham’s biography series, and F1’s Drive to Survive, shows that today’s sports fans are interested in more than just their home country heroes and the live action. ViewLift’s work with major sports teams and leagues has proved to me the power of behind-the-scenes content. 2024 will see almost every team and league exploring how to grow their global fanbase by making the most of star power and with immersive storytelling complementing the live action.
FAST aggregates and goes niche
Greg Morrow, GM, Streaming Media Group, Bitcentral
FAST is poised for growth, driven by content aggregators. Notably, FAST Channel Content Aggregators, particularly in news, act as expert curators, unifying diverse content. This fosters a viewer community, encouraging collaboration and deepening engagement in current events. The approach enhances creators’ reach through cross-promotion which benefits viewers, creators, and advertisers alike.
Niche sports is another market segment for FAST channels responding to the rising demand for diverse content. Alongside traditional sports networks, FAST channels feature unconventional sports like cornhole, pickleball, and billiards. They cater to enthusiasts seeking niche coverage often unavailable through traditional methods.
T-commerce boosts CTV
Roger Franklin, Chief Strategy Officer, LTN
The way we watch TV is constantly evolving and yet despite all these innovations, we still have to pick up a remote control. It’s mind-boggling that this hasn’t changed despite the fact our smartphones are supercomputers.
Switching to a mobile app can truly revolutionise the TV experience, particularly around T-commerce (purchases via Connected TV). Powerful signalling enables media companies and advertisers to use metadata and audio watermarks to share real-time information, targeted advertising, and new online shopping opportunities to the user. I expect 2024 to be the catalyst for the remote control to become redundant and mobile apps and T-commerce to take things to the next level.
Optimisation for Connected TV
Ben Tatta, CCO at Operative
In 2024, people will continue to embrace FAST content, creating a lot of new CTV inventory for media companies. Advertisers will lean into CTV and will be looking for advertising that helps them reach audiences in ways that are coordinated across channels, delivers TV level quality and digital-level data. Media companies will need to focus on centralising their product catalogue across these channels to create bundled offerings that deliver scale, targeting and multichannel experiences. They’ll have to have a system for coordinating media buying, offering self-service and automation, and deliver transparent reporting.
Complexity rising for post
Venugopal Iyengar, COO, Digital, Planetcast
Media organisations are finding it increasingly cumbersome and costly to navigate the various stages of postproduction, content delivery and monetisation – and will continue to do so through 2024 and beyond. This ‘complexity challenge’ will lead them to seek more efficient ways to maximise their media assets, such as leveraging unified service offerings and cloud-based technologies that simplify the entire content management and distribution process.
Watch more: High Performance Sporting Case Studies
Death of billing systems
Vijay Sajja, Founder & CEO, Evergent
Traditional billing systems will be dead in a decade. Streaming businesses are under immense, constant pressure to monetise and retain their existing subscribers. And, they must achieve this in the face of changing consumer preferences, increased competition and the added constant pressure to manage costs. An increasing number of streaming businesses will start by looking inward and checking whether their current billing, monetisation and retention infrastructure is capable of scaling them to the next million subscribers.
Unreal graphics for sports
Jeff Clark, Managing Director, Verso Live
Embracing video game technology, like Unreal Engine, is no longer a matter of option for sports broadcasters – it is becoming a matter of survival. The audience’s preferences have changed and shorter attention spans have increased the demand for new usages for graphics in broadcast. One of the ways we see them responding to this is with graphics that deliver more predictive statistics to live sports, adding another layer of engagement and allowing fans to see matches at a more strategic level. On the production side, this technology will optimise workflows, requiring less of everything: power, cabling, lighter kits, and, ultimately, cost and footprint.
Put sustainability front and centre
Bevan Gibson, COO, EMG
To effectively implement advancements and prevent obsolescence, sustainability must be at the centre of broadcaster decision-making. We need to take a strategic and holistic approach. We can’t use technology just for the sake of it. Implementation can only happen when longevity is balanced against the immediate commercial gains. Sustainability should also extend to the people that integrate and propel innovation, as their role is central to the success of any broadcast. To ensure a thriving sector, we need to address these realities in 2024.
Archive for Profitability
Lance Podell, SVP at Iron Mountain Entertainment Services
For the third time in the past three years production has come to a halt in entertainment. We’ve now seen the impact that the pandemic, and the strikes have placed on the production process. In 2024, I’m predicting that the most forward-thinking companies will begin to prepare for unexpected shutdowns to avoid massive losses - and that’s going to be centered around archiving.
Archiving is entertainment’s unspoken emergency preparedness plan that’s going to be key in filling gaps during halted production periods. It’s often been approached as a postproduction discussion, long after projects have debuted, but that will change. The most successful companies will adopt a new approach that examines both asset preservation and monetisation earlier on as new content is being developed.