Insights from IBC 2019

Clara Nafria
Oct 1, 2019 · 4 min read
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The International Broadcasters Convention has grown since 1967 to over 1700 exhibitors and over 50,000 attendees. Taking place in Amsterdam RAI each September, the event is a perfect place for organizations around the world to meet up with their European partners, customers, and advocates. Shootr attended to present for the first time at IBC a new in-chat advertising format: Superchat.

The conference was fantastic, as we met up with old and new friends alike. Clients from all corners of the EMEA region who’ve known Shootr for a year were interested in the new solution.

A big topic of conversation on the main IBC stage was change: changing monetization models, changing consumer habits, even changing content expectations (have we reached Peak Content yet?). Everybody is talking about 5G, and how it will impact connected TV, TV Everywhere, and OTT in general.

In this context of change: Shootr offers a new solution that increases engagement and represents a new revenue stream through a brand new advertising format designed for digital content platforms.

With its interaction solutions, Shootr’s Superchat activates mobile and digital audiences with social features.

Some of the trends we spotted.

In the so-called ‘second wave of disruption’ of the TV landscape, vendors get closer to each other to better each other’s business chances in the time to come. We make sure all of our partners, including us, want to stay laser-focused on what they do best, keep improving the quality of their solutions.

A holistic approach to user management was also noticeable on the visuals and messaging at many booths. Many vendors and OTTs are looking at their solutions in a holistic way and realized that capturing insightful data from the user journey helps them improve their solutions and media companies love it. Shootr, in fact, follows this trend by allowing you to get more information and ownership on your audience.

The increased focus on retention: due to the rising costs of end-user acquisition, media brands in the subscription video-on-demand space want to increase investments in retention technologies and resources. Shootr drives engagement and retention thanks to its seamless integration and its dynamic, innovative and versatile appearance.

Jump on the Big Data bandwagon: reliance on data improves the quality of decision making. Companies like to invest more in data storage, processing and analytics to improve user experience and many tech vendors took that direction and invested in technologies supporting it.

IBC continues to be the place where cutting edge ideas and innovations are shared. We are happy that we had the opportunity to showcase our Superchat and the feedback from clients and partners gives us strong wind in the back to keep improving our chat technology in whole.

With that in mind, this is our list of the top 7 things to see and technologies to investigate at IBC2019.

Low latency

The problem of latency was a surprise topic that cropped up everywhere and it is not one that has gone away since, as more and more live content is consumed online. With the industry already looking ahead to Tokyo 2020, initiatives such as Viaccess’s CMAF are going to be of increasing interest.

AI everywhere

This has been a show where Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning progress beyond simply being media-friendly buzzwords and start to truly make an impact in the production and transmission of video at all levels.

Esports

An idea of the scale of the opportunity it represents can be seen from the fact that IBC has staged a demo tournament in the Auditorium at the RAI. As well as two professional Counter-Strike teams going head to head, the IBC Esports Showcase also held a series of esports focused scene-setters, panels, keynotes and interviews.

UHD/HDR/8K/5G

The near future, basically. 4K as a production medium is now a given, so the attention is turning to ramping up the roll out to the consumer. Pay-TV is the obvious market looking to differentiate itself and HDR is becoming an increasing part of the equation there. Meanwhile, driven primarily by Netflix and Amazon, 4K HDR is becoming an increasingly vital part of many forward-looking OTT services too.

Remote production

This was a big focus on the show floor this year. Remote production — also referred to as ‘at-home’ production in the US — is an increasing trend in lower tier sports broadcasting, with an increasing number of the processes that would have been undertaken in Outside Broadcast vehicles, such as switching, taking place back at base. Reducing the amount of equipment and the number of people that are sent to an event can produce significant cost savings, and the concept is starting to spread upwards to Tier 1 broadcasters, higher-profile events, and into light entertainment.

Increased equality

One of the key drives at IBC in recent years has been to address the gender imbalance in the industry. At the 2017 conference a mere 14% of speakers at the Conference were women, which inspired the organization to make a commitment to positive change.

Something unexpected

The largest queue of the show was for the IBC Big Screen session ‘Game of Thrones as you’ve never seen it before: panel session and screening — The Long Night, Season 8, Episode 3’ at 16.00 on the 13th. This is the ‘dark’ episode that famously exposed the lack of bandwidth in many streaming services in the US in particular, and the chance to watch it in its entirety in a state of the art cinema and exactly as the director and DP imagined.

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