Learning curve

    IBC lived up to its reputation in 2014
    Roger Field is group editor at ITP.
    Roger Field is group editor at ITP.


    Another IBC has come and gone, heraliding the beginning of another busy events season. It was certainly an impressive show and theere is no substitute for actually attending an event of IBC’s scale.

    It’s not only the ideal place to catch up with colleagues from the industry but also to keep abreast of the latest trends and to get an idea of where the industry is heading.

    After spending many hours walking the halls and attending some fascinating conference sessions, some clear trends, challenges and opportunities emerged.

    From visiting many of the companies exhibiting, one area of real opportunity appears to be the falling cost of much equipment in the industry, with smaller OB vans and mid-range studio cameras. This trend could encourage more producers and smaller channels to establish their own studios and production capabilities, while easier access to OB vehicles could lead to greater localisation, such as coverage of community events that would normally be off the radar of bigger broadcasters. Check out the October edition of Digital Broadcast to read more about IBC.

    In terms of challenges, it is clear that the industry continues to grapple with issues such as competition from OTT players and the need to push content to ever more devices in order to compete or keep pace with the OTTs.

    This subject was broached in many of the conference sessions including the 2020 TV Experience panel discussion on Friday 12 September. The panel, which included industry experts such as Erik Huggers, former president, OnCue; John Honeycutt, CTO, Discovery Communications; and Patrice Slupowski, VP digital innovation at Orange, raised some interesting points including the importance of being able to take viewers across different screens seamlessly. Some of the panellists also raised concerns about the low price points of adverts of video on demand platforms, a trend that could ultimately starve the industry of the funding it needs to generate and distribute world class content.

    The pattern of mergers and acquisitions also continued last month, with many deals announced. Charlie Vogt, CEO of Imagine Communications (see pages 8-9 of the digital edition), said that he expects to see this trend continue to grow. With smaller players unable to invest enough cash in R&D, consolidation is inevitable, he said.

    How did you find IBC this year? What most impressed you? As always, we’re interested to hear your views.

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