While many broadcasters are attempting to straddle the divide between streaming and linear platforms, Microsoft believes the industry is reaching a crossroads.
“We’re at a tipping point where [broadcasters] are having to decide between fully committing to streaming or keeping their linear platforms,” Simon Crownshaw, director of worldwide media and entertainment strategy at Microsoft, says to Technology Record’s Alex Smith. “Most organizations are trying to make sure that their streaming platform is where most of their content lives and appear first. There’s no doubt that we are going to be experiencing content beyond just a flat screen.”
While streaming is upending the economics and consumption habits of the traditional TV industry, there are ways that broadcasters can respond.
Crownshaw points to ATSC 3.0, the latest version of the Advanced Television Systems Committee Standards, which is being rolled out in North America.
“ATSC 3.0 will allow live broadcasts to reach up to 4K picture quality in high-dynamic range, at up to 120 frames per second, reaching the picture and sound qualities available from European standards,” Smith explains. “It will also provide broadcasters with more sophisticated metrics on audience data, depending on regulatory limitations, and the possibility of delivering emergency alerts during a crisis.”
Another development Crownshaw highlights is the broader use of 5G and 5G devices (including TVs) where creators and viewers can leverage those networks across the value chain. “We will see more devices with embedded 5G technologies including standard TVs and cameras, without a doubt,” he said.
Furthermore, the life cycle of content has been significantly compressed, limiting the time it can capture the attention of viewers.
“Content is talked about for 24 hours and then it’s already gone, whereas in the past it would have been talked about for weeks or even months. Broadcasters are going to have to take the step of using technology like artificial intelligence to serve content up to users in the most relevant way,” Crownshaw notes.
Crownshaw predicts that “winning is not going to be defined by how much content you can throw out the door, it will be about how you connect the dots between those pieces of content to stay relevant in the daily lives of the people consuming it. Technology that can facilitate that relationship, taking advantage of the cloud’s ability to scale anywhere, is what I see as the future.”
The cloud is foundational to the future of M&E, so it’s crucial to understand how to leverage it for all kinds of applications. Whether you’re a creative working in production or a systems engineer designing a content library, cloud solutions will change your work life. Check out these cloud-focused insights hand-picked from the NAB Amplify archives:
- Get Onto My Cloud: Why Remote Production Tools Are Used by 90% of Video Professionals
- TV Production in the Cloud: The Whys and Hows
- SaaS, IaaS, PaaS: Cloud Computing Class Is in Session
- Take a Tour of the Global Cloud Ecosystem
- Choosing Between Cloud-Native and Hybrid Storage (Spoiler: You May Not Need To)