Written by
Published on 3 Sep 2018

By: Marjorie Loiseau, digital marketing manager for broadcast solutions

Does Media, Entertainment and Technology still include broadcast?

Lately, there have been some contradictory ideas regarding the future of our industry. Dead or alive? That’s one question. And do we gather together to face the competition of the FAANGs or participate in the race towards immersive technologies? That’s another.
Everything is moving fast in broadcast and there are many voices that believe the future of broadcast is fragile.

So here are five questions we think the “World’s Most Influential Media, Entertainment and Technology Show” (a.k.a. IBC) might answer this year.

Is Netflix doomed?

Ok fine, your answer is no. Netflix hit 130.14 million subscribers worldwide in the second quarter of 2018, 20 per cent more than last year at the same time with 103.95 million subscribers. It is experiencing major growth globally. Why would anyone expect these numbers to go down?

Netflix is extensively investing in original and international content to attract new subscribers and retain others. The company is producing original content in more than 20 countries, and according to forecasts, it’s likely to spend up to $13 billion on original programming this year.
But local production doesn’t only appeal to local subscribers. On the contrary, Netflix has revealed that for several locally-produced shows, there were more viewers overseas than within the country of origin. A key example is Dark, a German series, but over 90 percent of viewers are from outside of Germany.

However, all this expansion has a cost. For the first time in five quarters, net subscriber additions came in below forecast, and the California-based company saw its stock fall nearly 14% after the release of its earning reports.  Netflix executives explained to shareholders that it had over-forecasted its global net subscriber increase for the second quarter, but viewing was still performing very well.  Also, if you take a look at Netflix’ website, it has an answer for worried investors: “We are in no rush to push margins up too quickly, as we want to ensure we are investing enough to continue to lead internet TV around the world.”

And speaking of leadership, I think we are all curious about what will happen with the arrival of a fierce competitor in the market: Disney. Then there’s Amazon Prime Video aggressively expanding in India, or the different European broadcasters that are looking at creating joint streaming platforms.
In Q2 2018 earnings interview, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings explained that all this was all “normal and expected”. And that the company focus was on “doing the best content we’ve ever done, having the best user interface, the best recommendations, the best marketing; many things that we’ve been doing for many years in the past and we’ll keep doing for many years in the future”.

On Friday 14 there will be several conferences on the subject that should prove interesting.

Will eSports eat sports?

We have all heard about eSports now: around 380 million viewers worldwide, of whom 165 million are frequent viewers and 215 occasional. The numbers are enormous and increasing.

Now eSports is no longer a minor trend; it’s real and significant. The next step isn’t to wonder if eSports is the next big thing; now it’s to think about how to get the most out of it.

And some broadcasters have already begun by creating eSports channels.
eSportsTV is the first global TV channel dedicated to it, broadcasting ESL’s tournaments and many others. More recently, German sports TV broadcaster Sport1 announced its plans to launch a dedicated eSports channel.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity. Discover here how esports can help you to reach millennials.

What about actual sport? Have we lost interest? Not at all.

The race for sports and live sports rights is still happening, with the cost of those rights generally rising. What has changed is the way we consume live sports content across an extensive range of devices. This has resulted in the need to ensure high-quality coverage and distribution across different platforms: linear TV, VOD, OTT and social media.
And finally, while the amount of content is growing, there’s a need to enhance that content across these platforms.
Find out here how we can help you with Globecast Digital Media Hub, our new suite of services for sports and live events.

Also take a look at the conference programme with two conferences on Monday 17th discussing this growth and the financial opportunities, and how sport engages global audiences.

Is VR the new 3D?

Ok, the real question is: is VR already dead? But we were trying not to sound too dramatic.

Two, three years ago we all witnessed the initial interest. Many companies were investing in the technology, and major players like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Sony and Samsung all had their dedicated divisions and were working on applications. (A brief history of Virtual reality here)
But what happened to VR and the associated headsets? Too heavy? Too expensive? Lack of tools to edit VR? Or was it too early at that time? Oh, and yes we also forgot: motion sickness.

Now, even if the technology has evolved, lots of challenges remain to be overcome for the technology to become mainstream.
But have we really moved on? No, VR is not the new 3D, but it needs to keep evolving along with AR, MR and XR.

So it will be interesting to see how things are developing at IBC.
Maybe we’ll get some answers on Sunday 16, with the Technical Director of Sky VR Studios and Managing Director of Muki-International sharing insights on next-gen techniques in interactive and immersive production. (More details in the conference programme)

5G, were your born ready?

2019 is supposed to be the year of deployment. But is it silly to think that it could come sooner? Well, when we think of the impact that it will have on content delivery we kind of hope so. Low latency, higher bandwidth, more data, capacity and security and particularly the opportunities for both consumers and companies alike. Most of all, 5G is expected to shake our entire industry like never before. But will it be a threat to some business areas or a an opportunity for all?

5G networks launch

Clearly there will be much talk about 5G in Amsterdam, especially on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 with several conferences on the subject and feedback on the latest trials at PyeongChang 2018 in South Korea when the country’s largest telco KT, as well as Samsung and Intel all had the chance to show 5G applications.

Is it time to learn what Blockchain is?  

Blockchain is one highly discussed topic, but let’s be honest for a moment, while Globecast has people here that fully understand the potential of it, it most of us don’t really understand what it is. So, this one is for you: “Blockchain is the technology that underpins digital currency (Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and the like). The tech allows digital information to be distributed, but not copied. That means each individual piece of data can only have one owner”, defines Paul Dughi, Vice-President & General Manager of WAAY-TV, in a blog post about how the technology works.

But what’s the likely impact blockchain will have on media? First, it’s predicted to allow far more secure rights payments. It will also help to combat piracy and fake news by facilitating the authentication of the provenance of digital content.
It’s also predicted to have an impact on video production workflows, making it easier to monitor transactions. “Blockchain technology creates an immutable record of transactions on any asset…once recorded on a blockchain, this asset can be tracked throughout its lifetime, even as ownership is exchanged, sold, transferred or assigned.” as explained in a blog post on CreativePlanetNetworks.

For now, while the benefits of blockchain are being highlighted by some people in the industry, others remain suspicious about its ability to secure valuable content transactions and workflows.

We hope IBC will give us some answers regarding what happens next.
On Friday 14, there will be a keynote on Blockchain and how the technology could empower content creators. On Monday 17 several tech talks will look at  the need to ensure the integrity of news and media assets, and other subjects around the video value chain, metadata and rights management.


So we have lots of questions but for now we will have to patient just a little while longer…

Our experts will be waiting for you, Stand 1 A.29! See you soon.