- The broadcast tech market has grown 4% since 2018 to reach $67 billion by end of 2021, according to the IABM
- A lack of understanding about cloud and cloud economics is hindering adoption due to cost models and a lack of fully scalable, cross-platform storage.
- Virtual production volumes equipped with LED walls are no longer considered bleeding-edge, the report finds.
READ MORE: IABM Technology and Trends Roadmap (IABM)
The Broadcast and Media (B&M) technology market was worth $67 billion in 2021 as the industry continues to rebound from COVID. The market will grow between now and 2026 at 1.6% a year, according to the latest annual survey by the IABM (The International Trade Association for the Broadcast & Media Industry) and research company Caretta Research.
Much of the decline in 2020 and the subsequent rebound in 2021 was driven by the production and post-production services industries as the creation of new content was postponed until after the worst phase of the pandemic.
Many areas of the industry are expected grow at closer to 3-5% CAGR, such as technology used in the production of content. For instance, the report expects rapid adoption of camera-to-cloud tools despite lack of a common interchange format between vendors. Remote collaboration and IP intercom systems are prime examples of the “enormous improvements” to efficiency forced into being across the industry by COVID.
PTZ cameras with more sophisticated optics and automation are being increasingly used for a vast array of events. PTZs with AI, for instance, are being used to assist in flagging and referee reviews of off-sides in sports. Distributing more live feeds from an event is now becoming a requirement yet “there is no prevailing format, metadata or rights management for this presently,” notes the report.
Most concern in the IABM report is placed around the shift to cloud.
“The words ‘cloud’ or ‘the cloud’ raise many different thoughts, prejudices and different meanings among our peers,” writes Lorenzo Zanni, lead research analyst at IABM. “To some, cloud is playout, others distributed computing, and yet some only think of this as offsite public storage within our industry.”
The vision of running everything in an off-prem cloud — whether public or private — still has limitations, the IABM finds. These limitations are typically overcome by using hybrid solutions, and sometimes even by including dedicated hardware. The trend towards object storage is clear, which means this scalable solution is quickly becoming a commodity. However widespread lack of understanding about cloud and cloud economics “has mid-size companies hesitant due to cost models and lack of fully scalable storage across various platforms.”
Uncertainties also remain over the understanding of public cloud security, meaning not so much concern about hackers stealing content but more about users having the know-how to configure security.
Overall, though, whether the cloud is public, private or hybrid, the IABM finds the infrastructure continuing to move away from dedicated hardware to more virtualized edge computing.
Although AI/ML are considered mature for closed captioning, script and data generation, AI is not widely used yet for QC and surveillance of networks. The use of AI for creating short-form advertising is underway. In sports AI is being used for player and ball tracking, off-side calls, and sound mixing.
“AI chatbots must be factored into new workflows especially on the creative side,” says Zanni. “AI video creation platforms are bleeding edge and many are finding this fascinating yet not ready for prime use yet.”
The creation of deepfakes with the assistance of AI is a worry, the IABM says, citing the use of Respeecher by sound editors without first securing permission from talent.
“ML systems leveraging complex language models will continue to improve interactive chat, and automated creation of editorial content, but also SPAM, Phishing and other security threats, including the building and drop of malicious code.”
LED wall virtual production using game engines for volumetric productions is no longer considered bleeding-edge according to this study, with traditional studios quickly adopting XR within their sets and production.
There are no recent dramatic breakthroughs in image sensors with momentum towards 8K slowed due to the COVID hiatus.
Media companies must learn, understand and respect the video game world, the IABM advises, as this will help them to quickly gain newer viewers, which in turn will give them the all important brand recognition within an interactive space.
Sustainability is starting to move beyond “nice to have” toward becoming a requirement. Companies that are merely greenwashing are being called out, and hard facts are becoming a requirement as carbon footprints are becoming part of the RFP process, along with surcharges, though “there is little balance yet between the costs of sustainability vs. profits.”