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Published on 2 Feb 2018

We’re in 2021 now, so maybe you would like to read our latest trends report: 21 key trends in media and technology for 2021

Now that 2018 has officially kicked off, it’s time to take a look at the 2018 trends in broadcast (or media entertainment and technology as it is more often called). Yes, 2018 will be a busy year, with various topics vying for attention. Here we’ll focus on what we think are likely to become the strongest trends in broadcast in 2018.

The 2018 trends in broadcast according to our Twitter questions

Every Monday on our Twitter account, it’s question time! On the 22nd January we asked our followers what they thought were going to be some of the hot trends this year, and many of them said 5G, followed by voice control and social broadcasting.

Trends Broadcast 2018

Adding to this, we did our own research, and here’s what might be the strongest trends in broadcast in 2018:

5G comes to life

It seems that 5G is gaining traction every day, and 2018 will be a big year for it especially with A&T rolling out 5G mobile internet in some US cities, along with the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in North Korea. If 2020 is still supposed to be the year of a worldwide deployment, 2018 is the year of roll out. The benefits of 5G include low latency and up to 1GB/s throughput. The impact on video creation, transport and distribution may very well be huge, but we’ll come back to this soon.

Social Broadcasting merged with AI (Artificial Intelligence)

Let’s talk about Social Broadcasting. StarlightMediaHouse, defines Social Broadcasting as: “The broadcasting of video, text and pictures directly to an intended audience through social media channels such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and other channels as opposed to traditional channels such as radio, TV and print.” Fair enough, but this isn’t a new thing. Let’s say it means using social media to broadcast text, images, and video in a two-way communication. If AI keeps growing, this two-way communication might become more than a promise. So as a broadcaster or as a media group, you can in real time answer all your customers and route them accordingly without drastically increasing the number of people dealing with the incoming requests. This could help companies that use Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to show even better results.

Voice control getting loud

Google Home, Alexa, Siri or Cortana — each has its own personal assistant, and the same applies in China with BATX (respectively Little Fish, Tmall Genie, Dingdang, and the Mi AI Speaker). If you stick to the TV set, it either can be plugged in to the assistant, or you can use a voice-enabled remote control so you can adjust the volume and change the channel. It’s being reported that comScore says 50% of all searches will be by voice by 2020. “Tune to ESPN”, “Fast forward two minutes” or “pause” — these capabilities are already here!


Within the broadcast sector, 8K will keep gaining traction. Not only were there a lot of 8K TVs presented at CES 2018, there’s also an ongoing battle between OLED and micro-LED. But the availability of 8K content is also starting to appear as some of the first 8K cameras hit the market, such as RED with its Monstro 8K VV. Others include SONY, who unveiled the UHC-8300 at IBC 2017, which includes 1.25-inch three 8K sensors. On the media group side, NHK has been running tests recently to prepare for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics and will launch an 8K channel in December 2018. The Korean Broadcasting Corporation (KBS) is also getting ready to launch an 8K channel. As we see it, 2018 should be a strong year for 8K demonstrations reaching to audience.

Other trends in broadcasting for 2018

There are other trends to consider this year, including HDR, the move to IP, and more cloud-based services including cloud playout. AI, drone technology and VR will also remain in the spotlight. Also, the roll out of ATSC 3.0 will be another thing to watch for. For more info, check out this IBC article.

Are there any other trends we’ve missed?