IBC 2014 – What can we expect?

Simon Kay, managing director, RRsat, discusses the trends and technologies we can expect at IBC 2014.
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IBC is regarded as one of the most significant events in the broadcast industry calendar, attracting industry professionals from around the world. This year looks to be no different with over 52,000 content owners, distributors and broadcasters expected to make the yearly trip to Amsterdam to discover the latest in viewing technology.

Simon Kay, managing director, RRsat, discusses the trends and technologies we can expect at IBC 2014.

Metadata management

Metadata is fundamental in the way broadcast is changing, having the power to impact every stage of the business chain – from pre-production to the consumer. Fuelled by customer demand, understanding metadata can enable the delivery of an improved viewing experience and more successful advertising solutions. Personalised recommendations is just one of the possibilities available that provides a more effective route to consumer content discovery.

IBC is expected to be awash with metadata implementation and management solutions, and with consumers now having infinite amounts of content at their fingertips, metadata is an essential component of broadcast business strategy.

Navigating convergence

Online video is now an inevitable part of broadcasting’s future, spurred on by the increasing global ownership of tablet and smartphone devices. Global audiences expect content to be accessible anywhere, anytime, on any connected device and in a variety of consumption options including linear channels as well as video on demand (VOD).

This year has already seen numerous high profile examples of broadcasters adapting their services, including Dish Network, an American broadcast satellite provider that secured the rights to include high profile Disney-owned channels, in a TV service delivered entirely over the internet. This new deal is groundbreaking, revealing a new era of quality online video content, targeted to meet changing consumer demands.

A new broadcasting business model is emerging and online video providers, such as Netflix, are leading the way in terms of offering the tools necessary to adapt to the changes in viewer habits. Navigating this convergence is undoubtedly expected to be one of the hottest topics at this year’s IBC.

Bringing back the Classics

An archive is a valuable asset to content owners, with restoration of popular content opening a new revenue channel. Additionally, series that have yet to be digitised or restored offer a profitable option for broadcasters looking for proven quality content. Good content stands the test of time and with consumers now having access to an infinite amount of content across devices, archives present a new monetisation opportunity for production companies at low cost/high profit.


With classics such as Jamaica Inn and Prime Suspect proving big hits this year, the next IBC will see many content owners deploying new workflows and technologies to rejuvenate their content for a new generation of viewers.

Making the most of multi-screen

Multi-screen developments are constantly being redeveloped with the changes in viewing behaviour presenting new montenisation opportunities for broadcasters, content providers and platform owners.

Sporting events in particular have only served to increase the popularity of mobile channels, with the World Cup hailed as the most sociable tournament ever – driven by second screen viewing, video on demand and mobile applications. The World Cup also saw the arrival of 4K technologies, with broadcasters, including EBU, announcing new services and developments to their uplink facilities in order to showcase the new Ultra HD technology.

However, the challenges faced include the implementation of a successful multi-screen strategy that enables interaction with audiences, keeping the experience moving in a meaningful way. Viewers now expect this to be delivered as part of their TV experience and implementing a multi screen option for the sake of technology is no longer enough.