It’s been a dynamic first day at IBC2023 with packed aisles, busy exhibitor stands, game-changing innovations and an inspiring programme of content across the conference and show floor theatre stages.
Broadcast & CableSat is the exclusive media partner from India for the Show.
Dinosaur’ media businesses must adapt to user-centric age
In this bold opening to the conference, media universe cartographer Evan Shapiro plots the effects of disruption across the global media ecosystem, and the opportunities to be found in navigating a brave and volatile new world.
Shapiro issues a stark warning to today’s big media players, arguing that they must adapt fast in order to survive.
Media businesses are sleep-walking into a new user-centric era which has already begun. But although the media’s Jurassic age is over and everything has changed for ever, the dinosaurs are in denial, said Shapiro, speaking at an IBC Conference session yesterday entitled ‘Plotting the Effects of Disruption’.
Shapiro, who is known for his original analysis of the tech and entertainment ecosystem, recommended refreshing the top of companies – getting rid of CEOs who are chosen from a small band of executive elites and replacing them with a more diverse management focused on user-centric business models.
One of the problems that the media businesses have is that short-term thinking is baked into its culture, based around the next earnings call, said Shapiro. “Compare that with Amazon which went for a long time before it became profitable. You need to be able to ignore the short term and hook your wagon to a big moonshot.”
Shapiro also criticised the industry’s dependence on streaming services, which he said performed well during lockdown where many consumers binged on media. “But when lockdown was over and the media companies handed out bonuses like candy canes, subscribers have not continued to consume content in the same way.”
Churn is a growing problem for many, he added: “In the last year the symptoms have got so bad that they can no longer ignore it.”
According to Shapiro the reality is that media companies that are not built for this new user centric era will not survive, but reinvention isn’t going to be simple. His advice: don’t think of different media such as video and gaming as silos, consider them more as different channel spokes off your IP hub; and realise that the US and Europe are not the centre of the media world, which is going to be dominated by faster growing markets such as Latin America, Asia and Africa.
Shapiro maintained that he was optimistic that companies who seek change will survive and thrive. “It’s time for us all go back to school and re-learn everything about our business. If this seems like an enormous effort, it is!”
AI prompts new wave of innovation at IBC2023
Day 1 of IBC2023 brought a whole host of announcements in AI.
Adobe has taken AI to the next level in both Premiere Pro and After Effects, as well as enhanced enterprise storage and new capabilities for cloud collaboration tool Frame.io.
AI prompts new wave of innovation at IBC2023
New Premiere Pro feature Enhanced Speech uses Adobe Sensei AI to make voice recordings sound like they were recorded in a studio, even if the original recording is of poor quality, while Audio Category Tagging uses AI to determine which clips contain dialogue, which contain music, and which are sound effects or ambient noise, and displays a relevant tool to work with them.
According to Meagan Keene, Principal Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Pro Video, Enhanced Speech isn’t just filtering out background noise or frequencies, it’s resynthesizing the voice using an AI process. Adobe has also improved the speed at which Premiere Pro’s Timeline UI redraws by five times, enhanced its colour management and added robust project recovery. “This is the fastest and most reliable release we’ve ever shipped,” said Keene.
IBC attendees are the first in the world to see Burano, the newest addition to Sony’s CineAlta family of high-end digital cinema cameras. With a sensor that matches the colour science of the Venice 2, Burano is the world’s first digital cinema camera with a PL-Mount to feature in-body image stabilisation. Specially designed for single-camera operators and small crews it also houses a thinner-than-before electronically variable ND filter structure alongside the stabilisation mechanism, another technological first.
Sennheiser is previewing the MKH 8030 RF condenser microphone with a figure-of-eight pick-up pattern, as well as M-S, double M-S, and Blumlein stereo recording options. The company claims the mic will also be a great choice wherever the highest attenuation of neighbouring sound sources is required.
Also previewed on the Sennheiser stand is Dear Reality’s dearVR Spatial Connect for Wwise. The software enables game designers to develop the audio directly in the VR or AR gaming environment, instead of having to switch between systems.
Imagine Communications is showing a first-of-its-kind on-prem and cloud management solution, Magellan Connect. This creates an end-to-end routing environment that enables simple single-take routing to connect signals ― regardless of whether they originate or terminate on-premises or in the cloud.
INFiLED is launching its new Studio Series, a LED modular system which aims to create tailor-made stages for broadcast, XR and virtual production that enhance the creative experience of professionals in the sector. The series provides high contrast, high brightness, high colour accuracy and ultra-black antireflective surface.
Genelec is unveiling the 9320A reference controller as a bridge to its brand new Unio Audio Monitoring Service Platform. Unio brings together all the benefits of Genelec Smart Active Monitors, GLM 5.0 calibration software and Aural ID 2.0 technology to create seamless integration between professional in-room loudspeaker and headphone monitoring services.
Grabyo, the cloud-native live production and distribution platform, and Magnifi, the AI-powered highlight generation platform, have announced a partnership aimed at delivering a powerful, human-centred video automation workflow, reshaping how sports content creators and broadcasters engage with audiences worldwide.
The partnership combines Grabyo’s live clipping, editing and publishing platform with Magnifi’s automated highlights production solution, which uses machine learning and computer vision technologies, to give sports organisations the ability to capture, edit and publish highlight clips from live sports broadcasts at speed, and at scale.
Net Insight and MediaKind have announced a strategic partnership to help leverage the MoMe platform for cloud broadcast contribution and distribution workflows. MoMe, already distributing feeds for prestigious global sports events, is underpinned by Net Insight’s Nimbra Edge Cloud Orchestration platform. This move will see the integration of MediaKind’s CE1 and RX1 offerings, underscoring the platform’s reliability and performance under high-demand scenarios.
At the Innovation Stage, visitors were presented with insights and innovative projects from manufacturers, software providers, startups and experts who are creating the future of content.
Right on trend, speaker Dr Jack Gao, Chairman of the ZEASN Global Strategic Committee and CEO of Smart Cinema, delivered a talk to a packed audience on ZEASN’s innovative approach to revolutionising the Smart TV landscape through the use of AI to understand viewers’ preferences, habits, and interests, while offering monetisation solutions.
IBC2023: Dr Jack Gao, Chairman of the ZEASN Global Strategic Committee and CEO of Smart Cinema
ZEASN have created the largest independent smart home Smart TV, second to Google TV, which aims to create tailored content via the integration of AI into Smart TV operating systems.
Gao shared their vision and solutions to transform Smart TVs into intelligent hubs where user-centric features and AI-driven enhancements converge to create the ultimate viewing experience.
He applauded the revolutionary change reflected on the IBC floor and described different phases of the internet over the decades: “Web1 as the internet of information, Web2 as the internet of sociality, and Web3 as the internet of valuation.”
Opening with Chat GPT4 as an example of creating simple chat interfaces to connect regular people to the AI engine, Gao then announced the launch of a new version of their Smart TV, the Whale OS 4, a brand-new AI-enabled OS platform which combines a hybrid system and integrates AI to enhance UX. The platform is Web3 based and AI-LLM enabled for adaptable UI customisation along with a plethora of localised popular applications.
The platform is coupled with content partners, global AVOD/ SVOD service, monetisation of user engagement. With global AVOD or FAST services on 1.2 billion devices worldwide, and 85 million units installed worldwide.
Another key feature of the platform was the ability to use “profit sharing to all the alliances,” through a tokenisation-based system, which “also provides other alternatives to the big giant of industry, which can really keep this industry healthier, and growing this society.”
Panel Discussion: Is legacy platform replacement the next industry trend set out to tackle some of the questions around legacy platforms, specifically those operated by OTT and IPTV service providers. Hosted by Russell Trafford-Jones, Chair, IET Media Technical Network – Communications Manager, Techex, and featuring Marko Hiti, Chief Marketing Officer, UniqCast, Olga Kornienko, COO & Co-Founder, EZDRM and Simon McGrath, VP Strategy & Portfolio – Merapar; the session began by setting out a definition of ‘legacy’, which was surprisingly contentious.
Both Hiti and Kornienko agreed the term implies a lack of future roadmap, while Simon McGrath, VP Strategy & Portfolio Merapar, said that he believes that legacy can mean many things to many people: “You know, one or two companies merge, then immediately the old system is called the legacy system – what is today’s legacy is yesterday’s technology.”
Tackling the legacy challenge
Olga Kornienko was keen to emphasise the value of standards in ensuring that there is healthy competition, and thus vendors are forced to continue innovating: “You can pick from providers, but once you have competition – obviously people either compete on cost or services on some sort of unique thing that is specific to their company – but once you have competition, you have potential cost savings or feature upgrades where companies are trying to win your business.
“If you’re looking at a solution that is only offered by one vendor, and there is no competition data, they don’t have a reason to keep innovating and they don’t have a reason to upgrade because they know they have you. Then they charge crazy maintenance fees, so part of it is cost, and part of it is also being able to have newer features and seeing what the future can bring”
Hiti also brought up the issue of vendor lock in, which McGrath in turn picked up, pointing out that the big cloud providers are moving away from the traditional vendor lock in tactics.
Hiti spoke frankly about the “lack of standards in general in the IPTV industry. It is causing pain to all of us” and the knock-on challenges this causes. McGrath agreed wholeheartedly: “So the whole challenge and the concept of vendor lock in and technology lock in – I think that’s something we’re trying to step away from. I think the big cloud providers are demonstrating, and what I suppose modern technology principles in software development principles are making much more open.”
Kornienko picked up the baton to dismiss on-prem concerns – often a key talking point when making hardware decisions: “We talk a lot about the cloud and talk about monolithic on-prem versus cloud versus whatever. I think a good chunk of it is making an assessment of what actually makes sense for cloud versus on-prem. We have so many people coming to us to say, ‘we need your solution on-prem,’ because we control it.
“But where are your clients? Are they on-prem with you? Are they within the city limits? Or are they within the country? Are your clients within country or are they worldwide? [If the latter] why would you want all your infrastructure on-prem? Then going back to switching from legacy systems, if the legacy system already on prem, then yes, it’s a cost to get out of that, but [potentially] delivering a much better and much more responsive service to your clients.”
Networking opportunities aplenty
In addition to a comprehensive content programme and more than 1000 exhibitors showing their latest innovations, there are also multiple opportunities for visitors to IBC2023 to make new connections and catch up with contacts thanks to a whole host of networking events throughout the show.
5G is powering the future of media and entertainment
As Tim Stevens, Global Lead, Strategic Innovation, Media & Entertainment at Verizon Business, notes: “the availability of 5G, the densification of 5G, the workflows that will move to 5G, again, all coupled with an IP framework, are going to facilitate, not only the delivery of content direct to consumer, but an enormous amount of back-office video workflows, and more.
“There’s so much that is going to happen in the industry, it’s hard to calculate the impact at this point.”
Building the Future of Tech
Nitin Mittal, President Technology, ZEE joins Brian Lakamp, EVP, Media Supply Chain, Paramount and Gabriella Vacca, CTO, Sky Italia at the IBC Conference to talk about building an effective tech stack for streaming, leveraging ML and AI.
“ZEE’s ambitions involve integrating these technologies to enhance content delivery, audience engagement, and operational efficiency,” says Nitin Mittal. “To fulfil these intentions, we have already made significant strides in automating content recommendations, optimising streaming quality, and personalising user experiences.”
Pursuing the power of “glocal’!
Accenture to explore AI and cloud-based transformation
“We’ll be looking at how this can serve as a growth engine for content innovation,” says Accenture Global Communications & Media Industry Lead Andy Walker.
“We are increasingly aware that media companies are beginning to explore generative AI – not to create whole new shows or movies, but to personalise content for users and improve the efficiency of media production.
“The goal [at IBC2023] will be to talk about the technology and explore potential applications for media in the near-future.”
Google to focus on GenAI for M&E
“AI is expected to be a compelling topic for many,” says Richard Lee, Head of Industry Marketing, Media, Entertainment & Games at Google Cloud. “While the technology is fascinating, it’s crucial to also consider the needs of the media business.
“We are eager to discuss how cloud and AI can tackle opportunities and challenges within the industry, particularly the changes in direct-to- consumer models. We will explore how cloud and AI can provide solutions such as personalisation, recommendations and content distribution.”
Pricing, Packaging & Localisation
Liza Watts, Operations, YouTube Primetime Channels and Leah Hooper Rosa, SVP, Head of Streaming EMEA, Warner Bros. Discovery discussed launching streaming services in different markets, looking at what’s working, common misconceptions and what they’ve learned along the way.
“I love solving complex problems and at a time when the industry is experiencing a lot of change,” says Leah Hooper Rosa, “figuring out how we can move ahead in an orderly fashion with speed is what excites me.”
With Halls 3 and 4 back in action this year, and 20% more exhibitor space than in 2022, IBC2023 marks the return of the industry’s most influential event to full pre-pandemic strength.
“In an uncertain world, it’s fantastic that we all have this annual opportunity to meet and discuss the present and future of media technology. I hope you have a wonderful and rewarding time,” says Michael Crimp, CEO, IBC.
IBC Technical Papers
The IBC Technical Papers programme started with the session “How AI is advancing media production.” Other sessions included “Live production – next generation technology trials” and “Live production using 5G networks – ambitious case studies.”
In The Forum, topics ranged from transformative forces in MediaTech to the rise of FAST channels. A track for IBC Technical Papers dissect the advancements of AI and 5G in media, while The Innovation Stage will explore 5G motion capture, media operations evolution, data management, and the evolution of storytelling.
The extensive Content Everywhere programme on Day 1 discussed subjects such as legacy platform limitations, cloud-native architectures and monetisation models. While The Showcase Theatre focused on the role of GenAI, security in media supply chains, and took a look at Formula 1’s digital platform.