Broadcasters see inevitable shift to cloud – unsure of how to get there

While we are never going to be in favor of the trend of tech firms introducing their own research – a report out this week from Imagine Communications did pique our interest, as it was a survey of the broadcast eco-system – previously the most dyed in the wool, technology resistan community on the planet.

But this survey showed a huge element of doubt creeping into the minds of broadcast engineers and their like, worried about numerous things, not the least of which is moving all their internal systems to IP and the cloud.

Almost 35% of media professionals say they plan to accelerate SDI-to-IP
transition plans, and there is a desire, but not enough knowledge on becoming cloud native as swiftly as possible – taking all workflow to the cloud.

This is hardly surprising since Imagine has been one of the companies offering editing, playout, transcoding and storage in the cloud as one of its main product pushes. The engineers were also keen to see this bring intensive data targeting to broadcast advertising with almost 60% seeing this as the most important requirement of dynamic ad insertion.

And the personalization message is finally getting across, with the survey suggesting that good content is still king, but with 60% of media professionals, saying that personalization is gaining in importance on pure content strength.

But interestingly it was security that was the top concern of media professionals because they are worried that once they put everything in the cloud, their outputs might get highjacked.

In one area the broadcast industry agreed with Faultline Online Reporter, with less than 50% believing that virtual reality or augmented reality would have a significant on video.

Other conclusions from the report suggest that the media industry is overlooking the reach and revenue potential of social media and the fact that everyone in media sees cord cutting as unstoppable.

The survey took in 400 professionals from all segments of the Media and Entertainment ecosystem involved in creating, distributing and monetizing video information and entertainment from North America, Latin America, the Asia Pacific and Europe.

A new development in this year’s survey is that much of the uncertainty surrounding the future technology landscape has dissipated. Most media companies now recognize the migration of operations from purpose-built hardware to software-driven environments based on commercial off-the-shelf platforms as a competitive and economic imperative.

All indications suggest that at some point in the future — 54% of survey respondents believe it will happen within 10 years — a majority of video content will be delivered over the Internet, directly from content owners.

More than a third of respondents cited a lack of required skills and knowledge among broadcast engineers to architect broadcast-quality and reliable facilities in an IP/IT domain as one of the most worrying obstacles to change.