Bitcentral’s 2024 Outlook: More Pragmatism in the M&E Industry

Dec 27 2023

Published by TV Technology here

Broadcasters will increase focus on ROI as market conditions force a tighter rein on adopting new technology

Image credit: iStock/TVTechnology

The last few years have seen huge transformations across the broadcast industry. The industry will continue to evolve in 2024, but industry players will now focus on making wiser and more pragmatic decisions in response to new opportunities and challenges.

With the increased dynamism of today’s video production and new opportunities to monetize content, there is substantial cause for optimism despite widespread market uncertainty. Here are my thoughts on the key trends shaping the media industry in 2024 and beyond.

Data security best practices become key
With remote and distributed production workflows here to stay, the issue of data security requires close attention. Operators are aware of the risks of ransomware and cyberattacks; these can cause lasting economic and reputational damage that even the biggest players in the industry cannot afford.

Moving increasingly to cloud-based solutions, the industry requires a security-conscious approach. No one has a quick fix to allay these concerns. Instead, we should think in terms of an ongoing process of educating key stakeholders on the ever-changing nature of vulnerabilities, evolving security measures, and adopting best practices.

Valuable data needs to be handled with care, which, in practical terms, means a combination of vigilance for security threats, implementing key learnings from across industries, and a regular cadence of updates that guard against them.

Overcoming operational inefficiencies
Besides mitigating security risks, media companies must also contend with maximizing operational efficiency to succeed in today’s highly competitive market. Inefficiencies at any stage, from the initial technology implementation to day-to-day operational management, are a competitive disadvantage.

Time and costs are two key factors to consider when assessing efficiency. Cloud technology has excelled in saving resources of both time and money with its potential for scalability and the fact that it doesn’t require the same ongoing maintenance liability as physical facilities.

Cloud technology will continue to grow in its essential role for the broadcasting industry of the future. However, the continuing importance of the cloud does not mean that on-premise production will fall by the wayside. Hybrid models have proven to be very effective in extending the range of capabilities for on-premise production – and whether media companies go fully cloud-native or stay with a hybrid model will depend on their circumstances; there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

The rise of D2C
One consequence of the increase in cloud-based content distribution is the role of direct-to-consumer models (D2C). Thanks to the cloud’s scalability and low up-front investment required for market entry, smaller media companies and niche content owners can enter the streaming market, reach new audiences with D2C, and close the gaps in their production, distribution, and monetization capabilities.

This is part of a wider industry trend of leveling the playing field with new technologies. Media companies today strive to cover as many distribution outlets as possible to get maximum monetization from their content.

Following the FAST phenomenon, we will see more innovation to achieve that end in the years to come. There are now so many ways for viewers to engage with content that the opportunity cost of limiting delivery to a single endpoint is difficult to justify.

Taking safe steps toward the future of media
Although innovation and the opportunities for further content monetization will continue to shape the media industry in the coming year, there will also be a degree of prudence and greater scrutiny around Return on Investment (ROI) as market conditions force a tighter rein on adopting new technology.

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