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The growing importance of lightweight productions and workflows

Steve Wind-Mozley, CMO, LiveU, on why simple, tried-and-tested solutions for lightweight, ground-to-cloud-to-crowd workflows has been a game changer

The standout trend of 2023

I know I am a marketer, but I am going to buck the trend and not say AI; but instead, the growing trend for lightweight productions. What I mean by that is the upswell of storytellers and content creators looking to get contribution sources on the ground to their production facilities, remote or in the cloud, and then out to their targeted crowds or audiences in ever more efficient ways. Efficiency – from a cost, time, effort and sustainability standpoint – has never been so important. Easy-to-use, tried-and-tested- solutions for lightweight, ground-to-cloud-to-crowd workflows has been game changing for many.

Market impact

LiveU hasn’t spoken to many customers who have told us their content budgets have grown, but we have spoken to many who need to shorten their workflows by removing complexity so they can reduce the time, cost and effort between capturing content and playing it out. This ultimately leads to the production of more engaging content. Lightweight workflows are allowing creators to bring a more diverse range of stories to a highly distributed set of audiences. This has led to news, sports and event coverage that was previously deemed uneconomical to produce now being bought to market, serving a wider range of viewers with content they crave. Because the workflows that succeed are not only efficient but also easy to use, the reduced complexity of live video production has led to the advent of more nimble, smaller crews, able to deploy and go live in ever shorter timeframes.

Emerging trends

Audiences will continue to fragment, spreading their attention ever more thinly across an ever-increasing number of screens and touch points. The ability for live video content to augment an experience, be that of a sports, news or consumer brand, will deepen value creation opportunities as the technologies become more accessible. The days of needing to equip a physical live production facility, tying up hundreds of thousands of dollars are coming to a close. Instead, subscribing to hardware, like IP-video over bonded cellular encoders and utilising a software defined production stack as a service, will place broadcast quality and reliability into the reach of an increasing circle of creators.

Next year is set to be a huge period for live content; for some good reasons and for some less auspicious ones. We have a monumental season of sport ahead of us, from the Paris Games 2024, the Euro 2024, Six Nations to Copa América and beyond, plus we have elections in over 55 countries and regions, including the US, the European Union and the UK. On top of all of that, geo-political, social, economic and environmental events will continue to generate headlines, making the work we support our customers in doing even more critical.

I’m not sure that they will be new trends, but I expect to see an increased demand for efficient production solutions driving more technical innovation. As we saw for the Coronation, private 5G and 5G network slicing are no longer science experiments, but viable solutions for specific contribution challenges. Cloud live production is not hot air, but an essential creative enabler and interoperability between best-of-breed solutions from multiple vendors within environments like LiveU’s EcoSystem will help customers thrive, rather than merely survive.

As the world’s best storytellers and content creators step forward to meet the challenges of 2024, LiveU will partner with them; and yes, a quick peak in the R&D lab does tell me that AI will have a role to play.