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Leaders face the future

In exclusive research for IBC, global consultancy Deloitte asked executives from the broadcast and communications industries who were the top innovators. The answers were the likes of Google, Amazon and Facebook – and only 5% named broadcasters.

This was the reality facing the delegates at the IBC2014 Leaders’ Summit, the invitation-only event for top business leaders in the industry. Their debate centred around the effects of disruptive technologies.

“The aggregate of all these changes over the past decade is a television service which has retained audiences and grown revenues, despite the recent surge of digital and digitally-enabled services,” according to the Deloitte research. Average viewing hours had risen between 2004 and 2013 from three and a half hours to almost four hours, with television advertising revenues rising by 12% in the same period.

In their closed-door sessions, IBC Leaders’ Summit delegates heard that short-form video clips, for all their billions of online views, would be a supplement to rather than a replacement for traditional long-form television.

Equally, while subscription services like Netflix will have a place in the new firmament, they will remain only a small part of overall viewing. But a Silicon Valley delegate warned against complacency, citing that after learning that, in the US, the average Netflix viewer was watching 100 minutes of its content a day, it would be foolish not to be paranoid.

The key message of the Summit was how quickly technical innovation, like the move to IP and new distribution platforms, could be implemented. A European broadcaster said: “I make it clear that we must innovate through the company from the cleaner to the chief executive.”

Change must cover all processes such as the way rights are acquired, he argued. Certainly there is a continuing demand for premium content, not least sports rights which are rising at 14% a year.

Continuing innovation, from IP infrastructures to the prospects for cord-cutting, will be certain to exercise delegates at the IBC Leaders’ Summit at IBC2015. To find out more about the IBC Leaders’ Summit visit