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What’s in store for the media tech industry in 2023: Cloud, security, FAST and ad-tech

From how it will shape production to security and its impact on advertising technology, the industry is embracing the cloud like never before. TVBEurope hears from key industry executives on how they expect it to influence a number of technologies in 2023

Our penultimate look at what key figures within the media tech industry expect to see during 2023 takes a look at numerous aspects of the cloud.

From shaping the future of production to security and its impact on advertising technology, the industry is embracing the cloud like never before.

Tim Burton, managing director, 7fivefive

There are a lot of sweeping statements made about next-gen broadcast infrastructure, but we operate in a diverse industry and solutions need to be adaptable rather than restrictive. This is as true for cloud-based systems, as it is for on-prem. One thing we’re seeing now, and we expect this to continue throughout 2023, is a more pragmatic approach from media organisations. The cloud is a tool, and like any tool, you need to know what you’re asking from it – as well as what you’re willing to change so it can work for you. There is no one-size-fits-all media workflow, so taking a more flexible approach means systems are better integrated and can respond to nuances within a range of organisations. 

In the past, having a 5-year plan for business and technology requirements, was a way for broadcast and media companies to try and future-proof operations. But we’re starting to see a different outlook emerging. Instead of trying to future-proof workflows with the latest technology deployment, then leaving it unchanged for the next 5 years, companies are taking a more iterative approach. None of us can predict how technology will evolve with a hundred percent accuracy. Therefore, leaving more room to react to change and then seize opportunities as they arise will be essential in 2023 and beyond. 

Rob Waters, global sales director at Dejero

Alongside the growth of remote content gathering and production we will see further adoption of cloud production tools in 2023. Technology in cloud production products allowing collaborative workflows will continue to evolve into stronger value propositions with skilled workers able to be based from an office or home. Connectivity solutions to support this will increase in importance as demand for network bandwidth grows and the need to avoid congestion.

Nick Pearce-Tomenius, co-founder, Object Matrix 

As we move into 2023, there will be a growing cooperation across the media ecosystem and a renewed focus on technical partnerships. This ethos responds to a very real need for interoperability and portability of content, as media organisations take more of a pick-and-mix approach to working with technology vendors. The seamless integration of solutions at different points in the content chain, offers an element of customisation while driving down cost. 

For industries that require instant access to their archive content (sports, news etc.) the move from legacy archive technology, to on-prem and hybrid object storage platforms, will continue at pace. There will also be more of a focus on hybrid workflows where tailored storage can be leveraged, and content can be stored where it makes the most sense. This will enable organisations to maximise efficiencies and provide instant access to all media assets from anywhere, whilst ensuring they are not held ransom by putting all their eggs in one public cloud basket.

Venugopal Iyengar, deputy COO, Digital, Planetcast International

The move to the cloud has accelerated in 2022, with many areas of content production, processing, and distribution increasingly becoming either wholly cloud-based or hybrid.

The meta trend of the 2020s is that innovation is fast moving from being hardware-based to being software-driven, as edge compute, the cloud, AI, and increasingly software-defined networks continue to drive efficiencies in processes and costs

Geoff Stedman, CMO, SDVI

The pandemic drove many media organisations to embrace new cloud-enabled workflows much faster and sooner than they had originally planned. Today, in the ultra-competitive media market, cloud-based media supply chains are more necessary than ever. With the right media supply chain, organisations become more agile and efficient, with more cost-effective content preparation, virtually unlimited content capacity, and accelerated time to market.

What does this mean for 2023? The industry’s focus on profitable growth will drive greater need for operational efficiency and content ROI. These demands, in turn, will translate to increased use of cloud technologies and greater use of automation and AI/ML tools to replace repetitive manual tasks. In 2023 we also expect to see a rise in B2B content deals, particularly for international markets, in response to global demand for content. The media supply chain will play a critical role in enabling companies to scale up the content localisation processes key to broader distribution. And finally, the supply chain itself will be redefined — expanding on both sides to include content suppliers and content distributors, as well. Going beyond simply factory automation, this model of interconnected media business partners will significantly reduce friction for an even more efficient content flow and greater content ROI.

Janice Pearson, senior VP of sales and strategy, XL8

Cloud-based production and live linear video distribution over IP networks have already opened the door for more automation, scalability, and accessibility. When AI-powered machine translation is introduced into the mix, broadcasters and streamers can expand their global footprint, improve engagement, and increase ROI for their live programming. Delivering high-quality and cost-effective live translations that address multiple dialects, formalities, and colloquial phrases will engage a more diverse audience and position 2023 as the year for building stronger community engagement and bridging language barriers so live content can be enjoyed globally.

Michael Pfitzner, vice president, CGI

Combating misinformation and cyber security risks are key concerns that continue to be at the forefront of issues for the coming year. Recent turbulent events have put news producers under renewed pressure to manage profound technological and logistical obstacles.

With a recent increase in hacker attacks, cyber security is, therefore, one of the major current priorities for broadcasters to ensure the safe transfer of information. Enhancing cyber security for broadcasters coincides with ensuring the authenticity of information and sources.

The growth of ‘fake news’ has heightened scrutiny for news broadcasters to deliver accurate and credible reporting and analysis. AI technology is already playing a pivotal role in verifying whether video and audio material has been modified and will continue to do so. Supporting broadcaster’s editorial teams as they invest in combating misinformation will be crucial in the year ahead to maintain authenticity in broadcasting.

Laurent Petit, SVP markets and business alliances, EVS

With the adoption of new technologies, new ways of working, and the migration to the cloud, comes a new range of cyber-threats. Broadcasters must become better prepared to defend themselves against attacks that are becoming more and more frequent and sophisticated. As a matter of fact, local governments and other stakeholders have begun pushing for more cyber-defense, as well as more transparency in their cybersecurity policy making — especially when it comes to the production of large-scale events. Given their wide coverage and international influence, these events are prime targets for hackers, and broadcasters who fail to properly secure their networks are putting their operations, their long-term brand reputation and their valuable partnerships at risk. We expect to see an uptake of security tools that integrate zero trust policies and that can be added on top of existing infrastructures, enabling broadcasters to safeguard their operation at the micro-segment level.

Simon Brydon, senior director of security business development at Synamedia

The pressure on household budgets is intense, as inflation and interest rates soar alongside an energy crisis. These tough economic headwinds have coincided with a plethora of new SVoD subscriptions. In the UK, the monthly bill for legitimate services providing all major sports and entertainment reached £150 per month, and that doesn’t include the broadband service. This is why consumers are cutting their outgoings by paying for pirate services alongside legal services. 

Our research with pirate consumers, conducted by Ampere Analysis, identified the scale of the problem, with 84 per cent of those surveyed watching sport illegally. 89 per cent of pirate viewers also have a legitimate pay-TV service and 44 per cent have a legal sports streaming service, demonstrating that they’re prepared to pay for media and sports media within their means.

This can only mean one thing in 2023, an increase in the consumption of pirate services. Streaming technology makes it simple and cheap to steal, aggregate, sell and deliver content illegally, rubbing salt into the wounds of broadcasters who face spiralling rights costs. For a get-rich-quick criminal enterprise, piracy is a winning business model and requires no technical know-how. The super-aggregated illegal pirate service offers premium sport and entertainment content at a price point that no legal service could ever come close to rivalling.

Steve Reynolds, president of Imagine Communications

The hot topic of 2022, which looks to continue to have traction in 2023, is FAST ― free, advertising-supported streaming television. Something that looks like a linear television channel, but delivered over ubiquitous broadband. It has hit a sweet spot with consumers, not least because it offers the prospect of really niche channels that people love to dip into.

The agility that the cloud gives us in setting up complete channels — including, critically, monetisation ― means that FAST services can be established very quickly in response to market demands. Equally, it is easy to try new things: if the channel finds an audience, you can grow it; if it does not, you can take it down and try something else. 

Content and services in the cloud allow you to move to unified origination. Rather than silos for broadcast, VoD and streaming, a single system to plan, make, and monetise content can deliver to any platform, linked by a common advertising platform — streamlining operations and slashing costs.

Krsto Lazic, sales manager, iWedia

Following a year in which we’ve seen an increasing interest from broadcasters and advertisers in targeted advertising technology, in 2023 we should see many Tier 2 and 3 operators starting trials, following the success of early bird adopters such as SK Broadband and LG U+. FAST will continue to be a big topic in the new year, as many will see it as a cost-effective way to test this market while avoiding complex ecosystem management. We expect more investment from TV platforms such as Samsung, LG, Roku, and Android TV in this as well, which will help consolidate the FAST market.

In this new scenario where targeted advertising is at the centre stage of the industry, investing in data and audience measurement will be key to maximise the output of ad campaigns. We may also start seeing more ad tech companies investing in their own TV platforms to take market share and maximise revenue.

Julien Signes, EVP and general manager of video network at Synamedia 

We are witnessing first-hand a FAST land grab as content owners rush headlong to adopt a YouTube-style business model so they can quickly start monetising their VoD catalogue. However, this locks content owners into a proprietary platform with unfavourable rates of ad revenue sharing.

In 2023, we expect to see a new approach take off – one that uses modular workflows to give content owners control of their FAST channels so they can regulate what advertising appears and keep the revenues. It also opens the door to add that all-important live streaming to attract viewers.

Matt Cimaglia, co-founder and CEO of

We’re going to see a lot more user-generated content than we’ve seen in the past. Major brands have been cutting their agency spends over the last several years, and we are at the point where technology is empowering everyday creators and influencers with affordable tools (such as high-resolution cameras and collaborative software) on par with what was once exclusively available to agencies. Ad-tech shapes the way advertisers communicate their brand; as the production industry becomes more democratised, user-generated content will become more sophisticated—and accessible.

Craig Buckland, technical director, Broadcast Traffic Systems

Although 2022 was a transformative year for the broadcasting industry, 2023 promises to bring new opportunities to connect advertisers with their target audience. The growth of AVoD and FAST channels, and the introduction of SAVoD tiers at Netflix and Disney, have highlighted opportunities for monetisation. Improvements to analytic tools will assist with targeted distribution of ads in the next 12 months. Further integration with distribution platforms, along with an increased focus on metadata, will allow advertisers to boost ad revenues even further. AI/ML will hold a pivotal role in optimising ad-tech solutions – improving automation will streamline ad campaign management and enable advertisers to reach more targeted demographics.

Eric Gallier, vice president, video customer solutions at Harmonic

The video industry is seeing rapid growth in free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) services. In 2023 we expect FAST experiences will evolve, providing viewers with access to more original content, premium movies and live sports content. As viewers enjoy premium movies and sports on FAST services, viewership and revenues will spike. 

We also expect to see a change in how FAST channels are discovered. Service providers will deploy cross-platform or universal search and discovery and recommendations, making it easy for viewers to find engaging content. In the not-so-distant future, FAST platforms will start collaborating and make content even more discoverable.

In addition, the market for targeted advertising will grow in 2023, enhancing the streaming experience. As addressability and content improve, CPMs will increase for ad inventory. As live event streaming ramps up, we believe that cloud-native video streaming workflows running in the public cloud will play a critical role in enabling service providers to effectively scale targeted advertising.

Steve Reynolds, president of Imagine Communications

Media enterprises are looking for a transformation in how advertising is managed and delivered. There has always been a gulf between broadcast ― high-intervention buying and selling of spots,  along with high-quality management of placements ― and digital selling, with little or no buyer control of placements and product associations, high levels of repetition and blank air.

Now the move is for a single platform that can deliver broadcast-quality digitally and automated campaign planning and ad serving for broadcast. Ideal for cloud hosting, the next generation of ad tech needs to make huge numbers of placement decisions across multiple platforms in real time to deliver guaranteed viewership while optimising all inventory.  We also see topics like brand safety and regulatory compliance moving from the broadcast world into digital and CTV delivery.

Rick Young, SVP, head of global products, LTN

With future-ready advertising workflows and a bold digital mindset, media companies around the world can capture staggering revenue opportunities in 2023. Innovation in the ad-tech space will play an important role next year, as industry players come together to drive greater collaboration and open up advanced monetisation workflows. Bringing together disparate traditional advertising systems and methodologies while fostering smooth integration between technology providers has been a complex challenge, and so media companies are on the lookout for digital pioneers, both internally and externally, to unify a fragmented and siloed ecosystem. Universal signaling solutions and intelligent IP-based transport can empower dynamic ad insertion and fuel the rollout of linear addressable advertising across platforms, providing viewers with personalised, relevant ad experiences while taking ad revenue to new heights for media businesses in 2023.

Mike Shaw, director, international ad sales, Roku

For advertisers and agencies, streaming blends the best of TV and digital by combining the creative canvas that comes with TV’s big screen with the best of digital interactivity and data. TV buying is entering a new era and 2023 will be the year in which control over the buying process shifts away from the content provider and into the hands of the media trader, driven by the launch and adoption of self-service ad platforms.

Pete Blatchford, CMO, Starfish

With the inevitable growth of linear OTT platforms, comes huge possibilities for more granular distribution and localised content. This localisation could involve local news, regional programming and obviously advertising insertion and replacement. The commercial benefits of regional advertising can be very significant, and the technology exists to enable progressive broadcasters to fully exploit this opportunity whilst maintaining signal quality.

Peter Docherty, CTO at ThinkAnalytics

In 2023, we expect to see an expansion of targeted advertising to reverse the decline in TV and video ad revenues, alongside the emergence of FAST services. Targeted advertising 1.0 has been all about getting the plumbing in place and evolving the ecosystem’s business model, particularly for brands and ad agencies. However this has involved fairly limited targeting to date. Now the elements are coming together, the time is right to really start maximising on those investments with the latest generation of contextual advertising technologies alongside data clean rooms to protect data privacy.

Pierre-Alexandre Bidard, executive vice president of products and services at Viaccess-Orca

Targeted advertising has become a critical monetization strategy for pay-TV operators and broadcasters, and we think 2023 will see an accelerated adoption of targeted TV advertising. However, its success relies upon attaining valuable, in-depth insights into viewers’ behaviours and preferences. In the near future we’ll see more operators applying AI and ML techniques to TV data to deliver targeted ads that drive viewer engagement and additional monetisation.

We envision that most operators will start with simple use cases and build up to granular segmentation as they gain more experience in targeted TV advertising. The use of AI/ML is a game changer for targeted TV advertising to achieve accurate and granular targeting. AI and ML techniques help to deduce granular segments such as geolocation and demographics from usage data. Advanced AI/ML techniques can give operators a deeper understanding of viewers to deliver highly relevant ads and increase monetisation.