How new technologies can help broadcasters compete and innovate
6 November 2018
Oliver Botti, Head of International Business Development and Innovation, Fincons Group
The media and entertainment market continues to be disrupted by global online competition. The entry of these competitors has in part been enabled by the deployment of technologies capable of transforming traditional workflows, decision making and user interactions. However, the technologies enabling these new entrants are also available to broadcasters, and when deployed in combination with their existing services, they are a powerful way for broadcasters not just to survive but also to respond and compete with the new online competition.
React to survive
Broadcasters need to develop a culture of anticipation and responsiveness to technological advances and to find ways to predict and react quickly to alterations in the consumption habits of their audiences. They are currently responding to the internet giants – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google (the “FAANG”) – by implementing M&A strategies or trying to differentiate their offering by combining the strengths of linear and online TV, and exploiting new hybrid channels via the connected TV.
Time for a new roadmap
As stated above, in their roadmaps to the future many broadcasters are still competing only with online services. They need now to invest in a “New-Gen TV” that changes the playing field to one in their favour, by combining their traditional brand-driven offering with new data-driven models, leveraging the online data and tools provided by the FAANG themselves.
This “New-Gen TV” will be built upon media-specific technologies, such as Hbb TV, as well as technologies that are already driving digital transformation in many other industries. Combined, these are capable of providing a new technical foundation for the future of media.
Technologies such as AI and machine learning, conversational UX, IoT, virtual and augmented reality and blockchain facilitate tailored offerings. They also provide a means for unbundling and personalisation in both content and pricing, new user experiences and content formats and advertising models such as interactive, addressable, programmatic and media embedded merchandising.
Numerous research studies consistently confirm that “consumers in the UK are watching more digital video content than ever before”*, and similar trends emerge from other studies focused on the European and American markets. Customers joining one platform are not necessarily leaving another. These studies reveal that the appetite for more content is expanding.
If we were to advise broadcasters what to focus on in the near future, it would be to:
- Differentiate themselves by combining the strengths of their brand with data-driven models, making the most out of user interactivity and participation
- Unbundle their offer and personalise their services
- Stay responsive by accelerating innovation through partnerships and collaborations to generate new ground-breaking models
An easier route when walking with the right Partners
Adapting to change by leveraging new technologies is a real opportunity for broadcasters to stay competitive. To implement such policies relying on purely internally resources can be difficult to achieve – the very pace of technology change is a barrier and internal resources tend to be already fully committed.
Integration remains a complex domain, requiring technology specialists capable of assessing the relevance and effectiveness of new technologies, as well as the capability to deploy, configure and optimise them.
Fincons Group is a well-established system integrator with offices in Italy, Switzerland, the UK and the US. It offers business consulting structured to match the different phases of transformation projects, such as an initial assessment of the current ICT solutions, identification of key technology enablers to support new models, drafting of a roadmap of projects to achieve the transformation, and the integration of products and services to deliver the required changes within the client’s ICT ecosystem.
Fincons Group has a history of international collaborations in research and innovation initiatives. Having made the strategic decision to put innovation at the heart of its approach to the market, Fincons has invested in an innovation lab to continually assess and test new technologies. By using its deep industry domain knowledge to generate real-world use cases, Fincons can assess the value of new technical approaches and thus accelerate the deployment of innovative technologies into the market.
As an example of how innovation can turn into a working solution, Fincons together with Mediaset launched Mediaset Play, a new service that combines linear and over-the-top (OTT) content on HbbTv. During the 2018 FIFA World Cup, users enjoyed real-time highlights on their connected TVs while also experiencing interactive advertising during the T-Roc linear advert, by being able to navigate Volkswagen’s mini-site and even booking a test drive at their local dealer.
As well as solid technical capabilities, Fincons has deep business domain knowledge through involvement in many media projects within the traditional broadcast and IP sides of the business. Fincons has been involved in the design and implementation of several OTT solutions – for example, all three generations of OTT built for the Sky Group: SkyGo, Sky Online and NowTV in Italy, Germany and Spain. In fact, this year Fincons was named as Sky Deutschland’s preferred OTT supplier.
Surviving the constant and rapid changes in the media industry is possible, and broadcasters can find in the adoption of new technologies – tailored to their own needs – the right ally to come out even stronger.
Interested in finding out more about these topics? Please find additional information and resources here.