Production for a new media age

FKT Magazin 3/2021
Grass Valley
Production & Post

As consumer behavior becomes increasingly dynamic, the way audiences now engage with content is shifting and evolving faster than at any point in the history of the TV industry. As a result, the industry must play catch up with the demand for new personalized, interactive services and access via a host of non-linear platforms. Broadcasters, production companies, and content producers worldwide are seeing the complexities in production and distribution soaring, increasing costs with lower revenue per asset.

In parallel, the twin drivers of technological advancement and evolving consumer viewing behavior is something the TV production world has struggled to keep pace with.

The industry now needs bolder innovations as it forges ahead and keeps pace with the growing number of platforms, devices, markets, audiences, and versions of content. This is the age of media choice, and it is making the complexity of producing programs of all types – especially live TV – more challenging than ever.

One big contrast to the days of schedule-driven viewing is that audiences are typically smaller than they once were for a given channel but there are more of them spread across a diverse range of platforms – with eMarketer research reporting overall video content consumption across both TV and digital combined rising by 6.6 % between 2014 and 2019.

As content producers balance the growing demand for content on the one hand with smaller, more fragmented audiences on the other, the yield per asset (YPA) has become an area of intense focus for forward-looking media organizations. Despite a significant shift in the way content is consumed, production costs have remained high – or in some cases, have continued to rise. Today, reaching new levels of efficiency – and flexibility – is very much front and center.

Searching for scale and flexibility
In today’s environment, staying ahead of the curve goes beyond merely increasing the volume of content produced – it is no longer enough to just up the output. Our customers need to engage with global audiences that can no longer be reached through one or two platforms. Future-ready production means being able to scale vertically and horizontally across formats, versions, device types, and platforms to meet an increasingly diverse audience footprint.

The shift towards the widespread adoption of standards-based IP as a more flexible and scalable replacement for SDI, alongside the greater use of software rather than dedicated hardware to reduce cost and enable more automation, is the first step in addressing this challenge. We are also seeing an acceleration towards cloud-based infrastructures that support the creation of dynamic content across multiple platforms, particularly as the need for flexibility and scalability has been strongly underlined by the global pandemic. For many of our customers, the primary aim is to address the fundamental YPA issue by creating more content, more cost-effectively, and better monetizing that program through increased advertising revenue – or extended audience reach across a growing number of distribution platforms.

At its most basic, content production equates to we capture it; we create it; and we deliver it. Finding ways to carry out these tasks with greater efficiency and, potentially, for less CAPEX and/or OPEX requires shifting the technology stack towards a more software-centric position.