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There is much for the region's broadcast industry to be positive about
Roger Field is group editor of the Digital Production group at ITP Business Publishing.
Roger Field is group editor of the Digital Production group at ITP Business Publishing.

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There is much for the region’s broadcast industry to be positive about as we move into the busy fourth quarter, and I hope this is reflected in the bumper September issue of Digital Broadcast (click here to read the digital edition).

You need look no further than page 6 to start reading about positive developments in the industry. Indeed, news that the region’s Anti-Piracy Coalition is gaining traction and has already taken some firm action to tackle the scourge of content piracy is a huge relief. It signals not just that action is being taken, but that the coalition itself is actually functioning and up for the difficult task in hand.

Piracy robs legitimate players in the industry of the fruits of their labour, and instead allows illegitimate players the chance to cash in on content that they have not paid for. Ultimately, the hard working broadcasters and content producers suffer, which makes it imperative that the Anti-Piracy Coalition maintains the momentum and continues to up the pressure against piracy. Digital Broadcast will be following the battle-lines closely.

But it’s not just piracy that is holding back the region’s broadcast industry. A lack of genuine TV audience measurement has long been a problem that has starved the industry of the kind of international advertising investment that most other regions enjoy. But this does now look set to change, in the UAE at least. As you will see from our interview with Chris O’Hearn, general manager of the Emirates Media Measurement Company (EMMC), which is better known as tview, is driving forward with its people-meter initiative and refining the way in which it generates data. This, further down the road, will have a huge impact on the UAE’s broadcast and production industry by giving advertisers’ greater ability to measure and monitor their investments.

Theoretically it should, over time, lead to far greater TV advertising spending in the UAE, which in turn should generate more money for producing world-class content. It’s a virtuous cycle that stands to benefit the entire industry. Of course, the UAE is not the region’s biggest TV advertising market, but it is setting an excellent example to the rest of the GCC and wider region. Saudi Arabia is also in the early stages of establishing an audience measurement platform, so the industry appears to be moving in the right direction.

It was also interesting to speak to Sami Boustany, CEO of Yahlive last month. As you will see from the interview on page 28, he had much to say about the quality and value of content, and the importance of content to Yahlive as a distribution platform. It was inspiring to hear how Yahlive is working to bring different but related parts of the ecosystem closer together so that they can each learn from their individual experiences.

IBC is just round the corner and will, once again provide attendees with an unrivalled opportunity for checking out the latest technologies, sharing best practice and catching up with old friends and colleagues.

I look forward to seeing you there.

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