By Valéry Bonneau, digital marketing manager for broadcast and video solutions
Every year, we try to identify the key industry trends that we’ll see of the next 12 months across our industry (that is broadcast and video, which you can also call Media Entertainment and Technology* because that sums it up pretty well). Some years it’s pretty straightforward, while with others it’s a little bit more complicated. This is especially the case when some trends have already been around for years. But we have done our homework and we’re happy to share with you the seven strongest 2020 trends in broadcast and video that we’ve identified (followed by the strongest 2020 trends in streaming).
Has the world reached peak content consumption? Overall, no, though in some parts of the world we seem to have reached the limit. And that’s true for video too, which is the type of content in which we’re interested.
In the US, for example, we may well have peaked in 2018:
Nielsen published a report in 2019 that reported around 5:59 hours of daily video consumption, with that reaching a plateau. With a total of 12 hours spent on media overall, it’s becoming difficult to see any rise soon 🙂
In APAC, consumption keeps growing. Take China, for example:
“Adults in China still spend more time with traditional TV. But digital video’s share of consumers’ combined TV and video viewing time has risen significantly, from 23.2% in 2017 to 33.0% in 2019. This figure is projected to rise to 39.3% by 2021.”
On top of that, the subscriber base is growing fast.
So, peak content consumption hasn’t been reached everywhere, and it’s difficult to be definitive about it in any specific geographic market. It hasn’t peaked across all types of video consumption, but the peak is coming.
This content fatigue might strike in two ways. Firstly, time. Remember when Reed Hastings (Co-Founder and Chair of Netflix) mentioned that that the company was competing with sleep? It’s not only Netflix. Our smartphones, all of the TV series that we watch, and social media sites like Facebook — there’s a lot competing for our attention, potentially eating into sleep time and the binge-watching trend is part of this.
Share of adults who stayed awake all night to binge-view streaming content in the last year in the United States in 2019
The second way is fatigue reaching the wallet too! In Australia, subscribers complained that they had to pay $100 for Foxtel but now, if you subscribe to Disney+, Apple, HBO and Netflix, you’ll be paying more or less the same price, without Foxtel or sports…
A recent survey produced interesting results: “When asked about how they felt about the upcoming platforms like Apple TV Plus, Disney+, HBO Max, 61% said agreed with the statement that they were ‘honestly sick’ of signing up for new streaming services”. More on the consequences of those streaming wars in our 2020 trends on streaming next week.
So the situation is universal but we might may well see he first consequences of fatigue in 2020, which could increase pressure across the industry.
Everything is linked, isn’t it? Content fatigue, streaming wars and production budget increases, along with the threat of a content bubble, are increasing the pressure on our industry and especially on media companies. As Accenture has noted: “Media companies are caught in a spending trap beyond their control.”
What could help get control back? Who said AI? AI has been trending for years, but there’s still-growing interest because of potential optimization via AI (in a variety of ways) alonsgide cost reduction.
More specifically? In the supply management chain, from creation to monetization.
Here’s an example from TVTechnology: “In the old way of doing things, editors could spend up to two hours searching through footage to create 10 second clips for mobile phone viewers,” said Paul Shen, TVU Networks’ founder/CEO. With AI-powered indexing and searching, you can narrow it down to five minutes. That’s a saving isn’t it?
And it will apply in ingest, transcoding and QC, as Shakunt Malhotra, our Managing Director for Asia, reminds us:
“The system database can be filled with information about conforming to technical video standards for various devices and image recognition can help in finding flaws in the actual video viewing experience.”
This decreases significantly the number of hours of content that need to be watched by human operators.
AI also improves and optimizes the processes of transcoding, subtitles, captioning but also content highlighting as TVBEurope reminds us .
It’s no wonder that when IABM asked members of the industry what is essential at the technological level, they answer AI.
AI is here to stay, one way or another.
PS: check out this great blog we published earlier 10 powerful applications for AI in broadcast.
Remember the 20th century? A media asset was defined as video, audio and some metadata. A program was created from this media and was delivered – we used to say broadcast at that time J – to everybody.
Everybody meant people watching TV, which then evolved into TVs, PCs, smartphones, VR headsets and tablets. And sending the same content to these different devices led to… flaws, and an average viewer experience (and that’s in the best-case scenario).
Now imagine that metadata has become dominant across our world; that video, audio and metadata are packaged as a collection of objects and that those objects are “broadcast”, with the metadata explaining how to use each object for each device.
You don’t have to imagine and we we’re not being hyperbolic, just reminding you about Object Based Media that the BBC wrote about in 2016.
What’s the point, you might ask. It’s about personalization, and in a world where Netflix has said that it saved $1bn in 2019 thanks to personalization and that meant reduced churn, everything that helps personalization is to be welcomed, no?
We’re talking about things like local weather forecasts, tailored sports camera angle, podcast with the perfect length to fit your running session, or more interactive content where you decide the story path just like the click 1000 and its own pick-your- own-episode-path logic.
We’ll see more of this in 2020, though it remains to be determined whether it will be that exact BBC technology or something similar.
That might not the most exciting trend and it’s certainly not a new one but still, 2020 should be the year of SMPTE ST 2110. What is SMPTE ST 2110? It’s a set of five standards – oh boy, like one standard wasn’t enough! – to deliver uncompressed video over IP.
So, will it be SMPTE ST 2110 that’s the topic that will be part of every dinner conversation in 2020? Well, not necessarily, but it will impact the industry over the coming years:
Full IP will increase the attractiveness of remote production, which was already quite high.
We can go all IP. It’s not like “it’s SDI here, IP there, and oh, there’s that cable here that is, well, different”. And we’ll see cloud production for real, too.
This is one of the main promises of SMPTE ST 2110. For example, because it’s format-agnostic, the cost of implementing a new one should be drastically lower (though we all know it won’t be that simple).
If you want to know more about SMPTE ST 2110, and you are pretty technical, you can have a look at this video:
You can also check out this detailed series of articles on How is SMPTE 2110 changing live production.
Cloud? Trending? Again! It’s been trending for the past 10 years! Yes, like 5G has been trending for the past three years.
Guess what? Cloud native and edge computing might be the missing link between cloud and 5G. Because the cloud is great and 5G is promising, but 5G can’t give its full power with the cloud as it is. Or say with the services in the cloud as they are like Shakunt Malhotra, our managing director for Asia, reminded us at last year’s IBC.
What exactly is a cloud-native application? The VERY short version: a cloud-native application “consists of discrete, reusable components known as microservices that are designed to integrate into any cloud environment.” In other words, rather than one big application, you have many microservices that can be configured, sized and managed individually. Cloud becomes more scalable, flexible etc…
And what about edge computing? Well, as ETSI says, it provides on-premise capabilities – proximity, lower latency, location awareness and network context information.
In other words, it allows this:
Verizon showed in 2019 how proper edge computing implementation could slash latency in half. And I’m sure you can tell how important latency is when it comes to video streaming, for example.
You may say: “Hey, that’s just another way to say 5G will trend in 2020”! You’re right but aren’t you a bit fed up reading that every day?
More seriously, what does 5G really mean at the moment? 2020 will still be a year of rollouts and learning. But we think the real impact of 5G won’t be felt until 2021.
Let’s keep in mind that with new technologies and new benefits come new threats and security challenges. Which leads us to… security.
Cybersecurity has been trending since… well, it’s been trending since there was anything cyber to attack. And it won’t stop in 2020. Why “securities” then? Because the threats are coming from everywhere and cover more parts of our lives each day.
You know those cloud native services we mentioned? Guess what? Because the architecture is totally different with these, the threats, and therefore responses to those threats, are new. Keeping it again very short: because these services are about containers and microservices, rather than big apps, every component can be attacked and that’s more complicated, as this explains.
We mentioned edge computing and 5G. Well, it’s the same thing with 5G bringing new threats.
Ok, you might argue that it’s not 100% within range of the media, entertainment and technology industry but it will impact us…
There’s no reason to think the pressure will decrease. The move from SDI to IP will continue, media companies keep storing more and more data – about their own employees, their own projects, suppliers and about their subscribers. And all of that data is at risk at points in the chain.
Sometimes, consumer behavior is questionable, to put it politely. The Mandalorian brought a lot of people back to torrenting and/or password sharing. By the way, torrenting is likely to have accounted for 6.5% of the downstream bandwidth in the US in 2019.
Also, hacking is becoming automated. The AI that can help our industry, which is cool, can also help drive the unwanted parts of our industry too. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword.
Deloitte has highlighted the major concerns with AI and security and the picture is kind of scary.
And deep fakes will make it even more complicated: look at this one!
“With AI as part of their arsenal, cyber-criminals are getting creative. Some are starting to employ “deep fakes”—the use of AI to replicate and manipulate a person’s voice and image—as a cyber-crime weapon. Recently, a CEO’s voice was falsified using AI to execute a fraudulent money transfer.“
So definitely, 2020 will be about Cyber Securities…
Our parents company Orange recently unveiled its 2025 strategic plan. It says: “The climate challenge is the second aspect of Orange’s commitment.” More renewable energy, less consumption.
The Media Entertainment and Technology industry will have to deal with this problem. In that regard, there are global initiatives as well personal ones, as the BBC said in 2018: “For key footprints, targets have been set for 2022 to reduce emissions by 24%, energy usage and waste by 10% each and to reach a 75% recycling rate. The BBC aims to reach zero-waste-to-landfill status in this timeframe and will also purchase 100% renewable electricity for all major sites.”
Because, as is obvious, producing video content consumes energy:
“According to Albert international manager, Jeremy Mathieu, who has also been a sustainability advisor for the BBC, an hour of TV typically produces about 13.6 tonnes of CO2 – the same as running three homes for one year.”
This leads to the fact that in London alone, the media industry pollutes as much as a 20,000-people city…
So, the industry is becoming aware of the challenge. The DPP, a media industry’s business network, launched a program in December 2019 with a pretty clear aim:
“This program creates a simple and effective means for all media companies to ensure they understand how they can minimise their environmental impact – and record their progress.” Sports Video Group has also joined the initiative.
What else can be done? We clearly don’t claim to have all the answers – who does? – but green initiatives are the most obvious ones and there are a lot of programs ongoing, similar to the Orange one.
Also, with the rise of 4K and even 8K – which is not necessarily a great trend – codec performance becomes crucial.
Some techniques allow you to produce content in a more environmentally friendly way. Europe has launched the green screen initiative to “identify on a European level and apply on a regional level environmental policies that will permit a reduction in the carbon footprint of the audiovisual industry as well as the sharing of best practices.” More on this initiative here.
IBC organized a conference on the subject for the first time in 2019, so things are certainly evolving.
And it’s also a trend in the production side of the industry as more and more content is being produced that discusses this.
This should be trending over the coming years and rightly so.
We realize we didn’t discuss some other important topical trends here like 4K HDR, 8K, and ATSC3.0. And what about low latency and streaming wars? Well, have a look at our strongest 2020 trends in our streaming blog!
* If you disagree with the idea that broadcast is being replaced by M.E.T. you can read this great article: Seven facts to decide if MET is replacing broadcast