Reimagining media: succeed in the new digital age
I was so sorry to hear the news that the IBC show in Amsterdam isn’t going to happen in person. A sign of the times, of course – and another reminder that we all need to keep adapting in the way we communicate and connect. That’s why I want to share now just some of what we’d be discussing with media & entertainment leaders and partners at the show.
So much has happened – and there are clear pointers for companies about where change is still going on. As we look to 2022 and beyond, what are the key disruptors and enablers for the business of media & entertainment and the operations that support it?
More, more, more
Audiences are more empowered, with more choice and higher expectations than ever before. One thing is constant: content is still king. Consumers have shown they’re ready to pay and to see advertising, as evidenced by the growing millions of subscribers to over-the-top (OTT) platforms. Live content, especially sport, remains a major revenue stream.
Given this unprecedented demand, there’s competition along the value chain, with hungry new digital and established players threatening aggregators and traditional broadcasters. Success for companies demands strategic and technological change to the way they operate. And that extends right across the media & entertainment space, from back-office and media operations to content production, management, distribution and monetization.
Transforming media production
The shift to remote, centralized and digitalized working has happened. As well as the usual time and cost pressures, this demands the often-intricate orchestration of multiple physical and virtual media resources, especially for live shows. And with this comes the chance for producers to redesign and refocus the hubs that control the flow of content – the Master Control Rooms.
In this context, production and control teams rely increasingly on high connectivity and low latency to do their jobs. Having a powerful digital media orchestration and control platform can be a game-changer to flip facilities easily to different productions, and to dynamically manage more and more sources, outputs and delivery platforms, from broadcast and OTT to social media.
Automating content supply
Automation is also an increasingly important differentiator; it accelerates processes, improves efficiency, maximizes assets and reduces errors. In media, the area most often seen as ripe for automation is the content supply chain, from pre-production to consumption.
This is a hot topic for all those who play a part in content supply; while the technologies are mature, expertise is needed to make sure workflows are designed for automation and that media files and assets can be seamlessly integrated.
Maximizing revenue from content
We know that every piece of content is worth something, from movies to news stories. Given market pressures, the challenge is how to maximize the availability of every piece of content and turn that availability into revenue. Monetization of content doesn’t stop at the point of consumption; there’s increasing appetite from consumers for greater engagement around content, especially in live entertainment and sports. Put simply, phase one is about turning content into cash and phase two is doing the same for engagement.
Media technologies have an exciting contribution to make in transforming possibilities for content monetization end to end, from tape digitization, media asset management and metadata tagging, to recommendation engines, transcode systems and online video players.
Transforming the back office
We’ve looked at the core business of media, but the back office that supports it is also undergoing a seismic shift. Just as the value of content can be maximized, so too can relationships – with advertisers, subscribers, agencies, producers, providers, industry bodies, fans, viewers and website visitors.
Next-generation customer relationship management (CRM) platforms can help marketing and other functions to enrich relationships, develop new experiences and drive revenue at every touchpoint. By creating one single view of each ‘customer’, these platforms can be used to streamline and automate processes and experiences, with a growing repository of rich data turned into actionable insights that create new opportunities and new revenue streams.
Equipping people to succeed
Automating processes goes much further than CRM. Across the back office, companies are turning to automation for the same cost, time and productivity advantages they can reap along the content supply chain. From onboarding and pitch management to complaints and compliance, automation frees people up to focus on creative and higher-value work, from concept to screentime and beyond.
Doing this work – especially with more and more virtual teams, contractors and third parties – means giving people modern and secure digital work tools, as in other sectors. New smart digital workspaces are becoming the norm so that individuals and teams can work remotely and securely, while having instant access to the people, tools and data they need anytime, anywhere.
In these times of change, it’s clear that the battle lines for audience attention have been drawn. Every company faces the same challenge of doing more with less; and while content will always be king, it’s consumer engagement that will become emperor. That’s why digital technologies are such critical enablers for anyone involved in media & entertainment. This is an industry that has always excelled at pushing boundaries of every kind: the same is true of this new digital age.
While content will always be king, it’s consumer engagement that will become emperor.