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IBC 2023: A showcase for how the media industry can evolve

Andy Walker, global communications and media industry lead, Accenture, outlines some of his key talking points at IBC 2023, including cloud, artificial intelligence and why it’s important that wise investments are made to help the industry evolve and thrive

As the sun sets on another successful IBC, it’s important to reflect on some of the trends that will help shape changes in the media industry in the months ahead.

This year’s show covered everything from virtual production to camera launches, gaming and more, but there are some themes I felt stood out that will make major waves in the industry.

Fundamentally, a new wave of innovation was paramount as industry leaders discussed how to keep their audiences engaged and businesses profitable. AI was probably the most frequently discussed topic of all, especially generative AI. That’s because the delegates at the show were all very aware of the impact it can make across the entire media value chain.  

Generative AI is already being implemented in the industry to help boost human creativity across content creation and production as a creative co-pilot, helping to speed up the production process. It is also helping to distribute content to broader, yet still highly targeted audiences and manage media assets effectively. Generative AI will turn passive viewing experiences into something much more participatory, taking engagement to the next level. And for media businesses, audience engagement is the top priority. It directly impacts revenue, brand perception, and the ability to adapt to an ever-changing landscape. Using AI and analytics combined, puts businesses in a strong position to really understand their audience and engage with them effectively to drive growth. 

The power of cloud

Another example of how technology is driving audience engagement at the show came in conversations about the use of cloud, particularly in newsrooms. The core pillars of news production have always been the same: gathering, creating, and distributing. But the way we get our news has changed, which is altering the quality and quantity of the news we consume, and the pace at which that news reaches people around the globe.

To tackle the issue of rising costs and a decline in profits, newsrooms are modernising their physical and digital workflows and associated technologies within the content supply chain and are finding new ways to remonetise content and extend its lifecycle. 

In newsrooms, time is of the essence. The faster media companies can produce, localise, and distribute content that meets consumer demands, the better their bottom line. But coordinating teams, workflows and processes in the traditional way takes time.

By centralising content in the cloud, it provides a single point for development, contribution, editing and distribution. All tasks can be performed in one production control room in the cloud and the entire workflow can be managed from anywhere, at any time. The centralised structure minimises costs, duplication of media, and reduces errors and improves security.

Access to a single storage pool enables contribution from anywhere – critical in today’s virtual world. This element of live contribution, together with channel origination and distribution means businesses are taking local products to any platform capable of receiving a stream and they are reconfiguring that content quickly to localise it and offer highly tailored experiences. 

The crackdown on password sharing

As technology evolves, so does the industry and we see that with streaming services now. We’ve already seen major companies start to crackdown on password sharing and we’re likely to see other companies making similar moves. But who will win, the streamers or the consumers? 

Consumers fundamentally want a ‘super’ streaming platform – one place to go and get the movies or TV shows they want and have only one bill to pay. But with the streaming companies unlikely to open their APIs and lose their captive audience, it will be interesting to see if the tipping point ever happens to force change. No one had answers to what the future holds at the show, but it was certainly a conversation many people had outlining their own predictions.

A final thought

Disruption will continue in the media industry, so between now and next year’s IBC, leaders need to think about how these technologies and themes can help them innovate within their own businesses. With tight budgets, it’s important that wise investments are made to help the industry evolve and thrive.