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Analytics, skills sets and interop top IABM agenda

The IABM chose the theme ‘Where’s the Money in Broadcast and Media’ at its annual breakfast briefing, sizing the industry at 3,500 companies striving to turn over $48.5 billion yearly revenue.

CEO Peter White juggled cheer and gloom factors from research amongst companies turning over $8 billion/year. Most tellingly, volume is driven by just 25% of the industry. Surprisingly, R&D expenditure is secure despite growth tailing off.

The big reason for this is order project deferral: “Broadcasters are sitting on their hands waiting for proof,” said White. “The biggest issue is the lack of staff with the right skill sets.”

Some 22,000 end users who were polled identified interoperability as their main demand. And 80% want best of breed technology.

The first panel speaker was Steve Canepa, GM, global media & entertainment, IBM. His company spends $5 billion on R&D, and it is so convinced by the impact of analytics it has bought $20 billion worth of companies specialising in that area. He said: “The biggest single challenge facing the media industry, one not historically deeply based on data and audience insight, is the ability to capture, manage and get value out of this avalanche of data.

It is going to be a key competitive edge.”

Tony Emerson, md worldwide, media and cable, Microsoft said: “Typically technologies get adopted in one of two ways – faster than we all think or much slower like flying cars: never.That’s the sort of curve we are in and the question with the IP changeover is how quickly can it happen?”

Emerson used the company Next Generation Sports Network as a warning. “They are 5-10 people who built a streaming business to a new audience in the US but without a studio,” he said.

“They are venture capitalists who bought rights, hired us to stream and a commentator, and someone to do collections.

That kind of threat is very real because if 10 people can build an entirely new network what does it mean for broadcasters who carry a lot of baggage?”