Tim Thorsteinson , CEO, Snell Advanced Media
Much like in 2016, further evolution across the broadcast industry is expected in 2017 in line with changing consumption habits, as on-demand viewing via handheld and tablet devices continues to become the norm. Our big customers are adjusting to this changing business model, so we too must adapt to support their operations, and enable them to succeed in this advanced media landscape.
Product development will remain a core part of our 2017 strategy. We will be strengthening our product range with solutions that not only offer enhanced performance to our customers, but also enable us to build a presence in new vertical sectors. I expect a third of our revenue to come from entirely new products in 2017. We have high growth projections in place – hitting these comes down to having new products to offer the market. I believe the products launched in 2017 will be more impactful than those in 2016. As always, NAB will be a core milestone, where we will bring a new low-cost server and a new 4K server, in addition to an IP playout solution and a complete master control solution, to name but a few.
Areas of Growth and Focus
For us, the key areas of growth are going to be 4K/UHD, IP, workflow automation, non-broadcast publishing, and data center-centric software, which make systems easier and simpler to deploy. The demand for evolving technological solutions stretches worldwide, and we have responded to this by bolstering our channel structure over the course of this year to reach every market, but within this we recognize that requirements differ by location. For example, the focus for the Japanese market is currently 8K, whilst in EMEA it is 4K. We will be watching these trends closely over the next 12 months and adapting accordingly, depending on market demand.
We want to build on our 2016 successes – in particular, the transformation of our news business, our successful entrance into the sports replay market, and the deployment of our IP systems to customers including NEP The Netherlands and BCE. As part of this, we will also be looking for opportunities to build further synergy between our product portfolios. The integration of our momentum workflow technology to our editing line up, which offers ultra-fast editing, automated versioning, and multi-platform publishing, is one area we have seen this happening already. The deal with NEP The Netherlands has also provided a great starting point and something we want to encourage more in the year ahead.
Addressing Future Needs
I expect industry consolidation to continue for the next 5 or 10 years – survival comes down to finding ways to create differentiation from our competitors. This is anything from the unique solutions we offer, such as Media Biometrics, to the talent we attract. R&D remains a core focus for our business, with 20 percent of revenue going toward it to ensure we are always innovating and standing out in a challenging market. As our customers increasingly demand a consultative approach in the deployment of technology, it is vital that we can offer a large support structure. We will be continuing to build up our technical talent pool next year, with a target set to hire eight to ten graduates.
In this evolving landscape, it is crucial that we continue to understand our customers' needs and keep adapting to meet them. For me, this year like most, we have learnt that despite moving quickly to adapt to changes in the market, you can never move fast enough. Technology continues to evolve and we must be prepared to go with it, if we want to secure our place in the future.