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The trends of 2023: IP migration

Rick Young, SVP, head of global products at LTN, explains how moving to an IP-based transport model can help media organisations to overcome the challenge of reaching audiences at scale and drives greater cost-efficiencies.

What industry trends have particularly stood out for you in 2023, and why? 

Throughout 2023, we have noticed more of a continuation and evolution of trends that have been shaping our industry for some time. Audience fragmentation and multi-platform content consumption are increasingly pushing more media organisations to accelerate their transition to IP — this is unlikely to slow down anytime soon. Moving to an IP-based transport model helps to overcome the challenge of reaching these audiences at scale and drives greater cost-efficiencies.

The live sports landscape is another key area, especially as the sports rights market is fragmented and fiercely competitive. Content owners have to carve out ways to reach audiences with live video versioning, delivering customised viewing experiences while maximising the value of their investment in sports rights.

These trends have inevitably led to a larger focus on streamlining operations. The macroeconomic outlook is still challenging, and media companies are utilising ways to drive cost efficiencies. 

What impact are you seeing those trends having on the media and entertainment industry? 

Trends like the IP transition and content versioning create challenges and opportunities, and media organisations need to focus on how to boost innovation and benefit from new revenue streams. Media companies have to rethink their business strategies and make smarter technology choices. Partnering with a managed services provider enables media organisations to eliminate technical headaches and tap into broader pools of resources, technical knowledge, and market relationships. Managed services partners are helping to re-imagine global media distribution for high-value live content, and building strong relationships with these experts will only grow in importance.

How do you see those trends developing further in 2024? 

These trends are constantly evolving, and media companies that have their finger on the pulse will be in the best position to capitalise on the benefits. The appeal of live sports will continue to grow and in 2024, we will see a greater focus on content versioning and customisation. Audiences are after more live content, and by having a bold technology mindset, media companies can efficiently leverage their investment in sports rights to meet every viewer on any screen. This will put them in pole position to grow their audience and maximise monetisation potential.  

In the case of IP, it’s no longer a matter of if they can make the transition. In 2023, we saw leading media brands make critical business decisions about their future and put their trust in newer technology. IP is becoming more accessible for media companies across the chain, and the next year will see more of them migrating to IP and reaping the rewards, including efficiently capturing multiple revenue streams and building out new service offerings across platforms. The continued shift to IP will be a major focus in 2024 and beyond. 

Do you expect to see any new trends within the industry in 2024, and what will they be?

We can expect to see continued fragmentation and competition in the sports market as a wider number of broadcasters and streaming companies stake their claim for digital viewers and high value ad dollars. Live events will be more important than ever, and IP-driven innovation is creating new specific technology to support the customisation and versioning of live sports content, helping rights holders maximise ROI on costly investments.

As linear viewership declines in favour of streaming video subscriptions, more and more organisations will harness intelligent IP-based transmission models to scale their multi-platform distribution and content versioning capabilities. Shifting to IP isn’t just about enabling scale and greater flexibility — we’re seeing a huge amount of innovation that builds greater intelligence within managed IP transmission networks, including complex content replacement, ad enablement and rights management workflows.