Rahul Kawthankar, Chief Information Officer (CIO)/Head – IT, Sri Adhikari Brothers Group (SAB Group)

Nobody can Accurately predict the Future, as Broadcasters Need to Assess the Risk of their favoured New Technology.

Let us discuss this in detail: As rightly said, no one can accurately predict the future, especially in broadcasting, where technological developments will be a major driving force. As broadcasters need to assess the risk of their favoured new technology becoming obsolete within a few years, and so, we need to address this question: Is technology truly unpredictable?

These days, Internet TV is becoming a big reality and cannot be ignored and is seen as the future of television. The way in which we consume news and entertainment has changed dramatically over the past decade, creating both challenges and opportunities for traditional broadcasters. The truth is that broadcast is a robust and resilient industry that has survived existential crises before. Both mobile-savvy millennials and cord-cutting boomers still watch TV in huge numbers – they have started consuming it differently.

Do broadcasters need to be getting technical?

In past years, broadcasters generally focused on making great content, not on how to deliver it. The broadcasters are not technologists, but in the coming years, they are still going to need to become experts in video streaming. The last few years have seen a trend favouring OTT channels taking over not only our viewing habits but having to adapt to our digital lifestyles and the way we want to consume our content; and as with any trend, the winners will be the ones who can adapt. The viewers are demanding they be able to watch anything, anytime, anywhere on any device. We can say that OTT (over-the-top television) will be the new age broadcasting. Watching television content via live streaming on laptops/desktops, smartphones, and consoles have ushered in the age of television everywhere.

Let us elaborate the cloud-based broadcasting; can we say that cloud-based broadcasting is the future of TV?

According to the latest trend, the answer should be yes. Broadcasting media companies can also cut costs by virtualizing playout and getting rid of their traditional infrastructure. There are several advantages of cloud-based services — the key benefits are that the service is software-based, so one does not need a physical location to run the operations. As a result, real estate, infrastructure, and manpower cost reduce dramatically. There are many tech firms who play the role of the broadcaster and the operator, they replace the optic fibre or satellite. The broadcast service is delivered through an Internet cloud, it is completely virtual, as is self-explanatory, requires no physical infrastructure. I strongly believe that the cloud technology will transform traditional broadcasting as cloud-based feeds of TV channels come at a meaningfully lower cost. Some companies are delaying spending and trying to figure out where to go next. Some are considering utilizing SAS models or cloud services to augment the technology infrastructure that they now have. A lot of things evolved in the broadcasting field leading media-related activities to change. One of the most exciting emerging developments in media and entertainment is augmented and virtual reality (VR). As VR technology moves into the consumer space, the industry is extremely interested in its potential impact on storytelling, audiences, and revenue. Content produced for VR permits the audience to view the entire environment in every scene, creating an interactive viewing experience. These technologies offer an entirely new set of opportunities for content creation.

In the digital era, broadcasting companies should strategically reinvent their offerings to move ahead of the massive shifts happening across the industry. To stay focused and competitive, it is important to understand how the digital era has changed the key process of the broadcast industry such as consumers, technology, programming, and advertising.

Therefore, we need to understand our market first, as OTT becomes part of consumer’s everyday life, there are new methods and opportunities to drive growth and revenue in the broadcast industry. To stay competitive in the digital era, broadcast companies should be strategically focused to understand market dynamics, content consumption patterns, audience interests, and advertiser responses and so on.