In this “Innovation in Broadcasting” session of the 2017 Digital Television Group Summit in London, speakers examined the current state of the broadcast industry and discussed its evolution, while emphasizing that there’s a long road ahead for traditional linear broadcasting.

Dtg panel session
“Innovation in Broadcasting” DTG Summit Session. Source: IBC

Panelist, Analyst and advisor Ben Keen:

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Linear TV is pretty robust and alive and well albeit resistant to some of the changes but it doesn’t mean the industry should be complacent. Broadcast innovation continues to thrive with better pictures and sound, transitioning to 4K and ultra-high definition (UHD) broadcasting.

While there are still opportunies for innovation, Keen emphasises that IP, OTT, and SVOD is a crucial component to broadcasting’s future:

“I think IP is going to be the critical plank of innovation for broadcasting going forward. It is about offering a way to take the television service in a more impactful direction, a direction that delivers more choice of services and critically has a way to have a return path that enables more defined services and more monetisation options going forward.” “If you invested your money in leading broadcasters half a year ago you’d be down minus 4%, but if you invested in Netflix you would be up 70%.”

Audiences are accepting the co-existence between linear TV and the growth of OTT services, accorging to Digital UK Chief Executive Jonathan Thompson.

“We are in one of the most profound periods of change in the media and global broadcasting industry. It is a massive opportunity because it gives viewers more choice to shape the bundle of content they want at an affordable price, rather than being locked into expensive triple play bundles for a long period of time. That choice and flexibility for the mass market is a real opportunity for a number of providers. I think the market is changing and there are a number of reasons to be positive.” “We want to make broadcast TV better by using connectivity to the internet as a way of improving choice, flexibility and function our viewers are offered.”

On linear vs. OTT broadcasting, Keen remarked:

“Traditional broadcasting is more than a mature business, it is a static business and it is not growing. The most significant shift in our sector is the evolution and growth of OTT services, giving consumers more choice and more flexibility to create the package of content that they want.”  “We are seeing a plethora of services coming to market, skinny bundles in a sense are reinventing the linear TV model within the IP space. Creating a focus set of usually paid-for services, by creating it in a way using IP as a more flexible, arguably lower cost for the market. But it has to be seen alongside the other strategies.”

SES Vice President Reception Systems Thomas Wrede:

”We have to make sure live linear broadcast from satellite can be carried across to IP devices into the home so we have developed with the industry. We are also transforming ourselves to embrace OTT, to delivery and playout capabilities.”

What is a broadcast channel? Wrede believes it will evolve in 5 to 10 years.

“It will move into something different, probably be more fragmented and come from different sources. Some of our customers are doing that today with a new UHD channel, if it is a live premier league it comes from a transponder, if it is a movie it may come from OTT. That is definitely going to change, in the longer term we will have end-to-end IP delivery.”


Source: IBC 365

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