Time For The Bold

Opinion by Niklas Eckstein, mebulive

It's no secret that the media and broadcast markets are constantly changing. But the pace at which new technologies are coming to market is so rapid that media companies of all sizes would be well advised to take a hard look at their production and content strategy and work on convincing concepts.

It is clear that not every new technology is suitable for use in large Tier 1 productions from the outset - it is too uncertain. Early adopters are often those with nothing to lose, such as companies that want to use moving image content for internal communications. Or production companies that otherwise would have no chance of cost-effectively producing the fourth division of any sport.

For large media companies in particular, it is a balancing act. On the one hand, they must not get carried away by the big sales promises of the manufacturers; on the other hand, they must create a corporate culture in which new paths are regularly tested and explored. Just as the DFL does with its partners, for example, by inviting them to SportsInnovation every two years to take a look at the future of production technology in German football.

Important trends & developments that will permanently change the world of broadcasting are a mixture of technological innovations and strategic adjustments. Here is a brief overview of what I consider to be the four most important:


  1. Hybrid cloud and IP workflows: The broadcast industry is increasingly moving towards hybrid technology setups that leverage cloud technologies for profit. I expect to see universal adoption of SMPTE ST 2110 in 2024 and a deeper understanding of how to better exploit the potential of the cloud and how business models will more often outperform SDI in terms of cost-benefit.
  2. 5G technology: 5G, combined with private low-latency networks, known as campus networks, will be increasingly used in live production this year, where cabling is difficult. But the use of 5G will also be important for news reporters in the field. Combined with advanced cellular video bonding solutions, there are opportunities that promise greater broadcast reliability.
  3. Social broadcasting: On the distribution side, the convergence of broadcasting and social media will change the way broadcasters interact with their audiences. In 2024, the focus will be on creating interactive experiences to extend the reach and time spent with a programme.
  4. Artificial Intelligence (AI): No annual forecast without AI - including this one. Let's face it, AI is already being used everywhere, in every business, including the broadcast industry. For generative, creative work, for workflow automation or as a content scraping tool to combat copyright infringement. I think the fear that AI will take over entire productions in the future and put us all out of work is (still) unfounded. Rather, it will be important for media companies in 2024 to identify individual efficiency-enhancing tools for specific micro-tasks and use them wisely.


The bottom line is this: This is the time for the bold. New technologies and changing viewing habits are driving major disruption in the market. Those who proactively invest their budgets in the future in this financially challenging market environment will reap the rewards in 2024.


See you soon at SportsInnovation, Niklas Eckstein

Chief Editor, mebulive & mebucom.de