Before the pandemic, remote production was gaining traction, and then COVID certainly accelerated its adoption from an emerging workflow to a day-to-day reality. There’s no denying COVID will be a daily presence throughout for upcoming years, even with the promise of wider vaccine rollouts.
We all learned to redefine innovation, speed, agility and flexibility. Many of the new practices we were forced to adopt out of necessity became a reality seemingly overnight, as the typical rate of industry change was compressed from years into months.
In 2021, we saw an increase in organizations evaluating cloud-based delivery. Even before COVID, overall cloud spending was increasing. More than a third of industry professionals have voiced plans to purchase cloud-based solutions and managed services. Cloud infrastructure costs have also lowered dramatically making cloud-based business models more practical and attractive for addressing capture and access to file storage to asset management to the monetization of content. However, as any technology improves so do the capabilities of cyber-criminals. Security will increase in focus as broadcasters adopt new cloud delivery models. Maintaining customer trust is critical for online streaming services to continue thriving, and this can be threatened by the speedy emergence of new risks.
At the same time, some organizations are not comfortable moving everything into the cloud and relying on only one delivery model. That is where hybrid networks present an attractive option, delivering content using different forms of transport based on different cost structures, geography, reliability and availability. These alternatives include dedicated fibre, internet solutions where dedicated fibre is too expensive and satellite in regions where it is the most feasible option due to geography.
Some global locations will always be fibre-heavy while others will be satellite-heavy. In other words, no one size fits all. There will increasingly be a need for hybrid networks that integrate fibre and satellite networks to serve more markets. Internet-based or cloud services can do more than simply extend fibre networks. They also present significant new revenue opportunities, providing a cost-effective method for broadcasting diverse programming over different media delivery networks.
The value chain is being dominated by larger players to meet customers’ preference for an end-to-end delivery service and management provider. Broadcasters are increasingly looking for a tiered approach to serve different markets with different technologies. For example, not all broadcast affiliates will have the same level of resources to run their platform. Some may be able to afford a dedicated fibre network or a gold level of service, while other affiliates may be more cost-sensitive and choose internet-based or cloud solutions, which may be more cost-effective but have a lower, or silver, level of service.
Nobody knows for certain what the next year will bring. But we do know that we will be ready to meet any challenge.