2020 has been like no other – the COVID 19 pandemic has caused unprecedented change for consumers, businesses, and communities alike on a global scale. Despite lockdown measures causing many to remain within their homes, prompting an increase in free time and rising media and TV intake, the broadcast media industry still felt the effects of the pandemic. Advertising revenues declined as consumers tightened their belts, streaming consumption increased as production efforts and live sporting events grinded to a halt and remote working became the new standard for our industry.
PlayBox adapted to these changes quickly and effectively, calling upon tried and tested remote working mechanisms to ensure that our team can work safely at home.
For our customers, we recognised their immediate needs for seamless remote transitions. We introduced centralized tools across both the Neo platform and Cosmos for remote configuration, management and monitoring of video links between multiple locations. We also diversified the output options available to users, with SRT as an available replacement for RTMP. Looking to the future, our development team has been working hard by improving overall codec support for 8K media within our cloud-based Cosmos software. To provide further support for those hosting the new age of virtual events, we enhanced the SocialMediaBox plugin for TitleBox, which provides accurate filtering by utilising a semi-automatic moderator engine - reducing the time needed to moderate featured posts on live events.
As a result of customer and industry feedback, we decided that we wanted to rethink our approach to Ecommerce. Amongst the playout automation and broadcast solutions market, it’s too often cumbersome and increasingly difficult to get a quick, easy quotation for your project. Furthermore, as a result of COVID-19, we could not visit customers and finalise deals in-person. We knew that we wanted to streamline that process - which led us to create the PlayBox Marketplace. The Marketplace allows our customers to purchase software licenses, full turnkey systems and renew their annual maintenance packages easily via our website.
Our global presence and flexible structure as a company has ensured that the remote working transition has been a smooth one. Our dedicated support team have been delivering exemplary service throughout, hosting free online demonstrations and providing timely 24/7 assistance to our customers.
As Covid-19 lockdowns expanded this year, PlayBox Technology saw both software only and turnkey solution sales of its PlayBox and Cosmos series rise along with the industry interest in remote broadcasting.
The company is proud to announce a 56% increase in sales compared to the same period of the previous year. The results were fueled by winning an international tender and by the record revenue growth from the company’s entry level playout solution, PlayBox Neo, which grew 131% YOY, from its portfolio advanced playout solution, PlayBox Mega, as well as a continued growth of PlayBox SaaS solution, which grew 54% YOY.
Approximately 98% of PlayBox’s new business revenue was generated outside of the UK. Both the North American and Far East market constitute PlayBox Technology’s largest market, with 78% YOY growth, generating more than one-third of PlayBox’s revenue in 2020. Additionally, revenue in the Middle East grew 56% YOY.
“We are very excited and thrilled about our achievements in 2020, including acquiring new customers beyond our estimates,” says Phillip Neighbour, PlayBox Technology’s COO. “The team also nearly doubled in size in one year, which has allowed us to focus on our cloud solutions, as well as innovation and product development.”
August saw us premiere the very first episode of our brand new podcast - In the Hub - onto all major streaming platforms. It’s our way of speaking to both up-and-coming entrepreneurs and legendary figures within the broadcast and media industries, discussing their stories and experiences and hearing their predictions for the future of broadcasting. We can’t wait to see how our new platform excels and grows into 2021 and beyond.
“It’s been an exciting and incredibly insightful process,” says Neil Thacker, Go to Market Manager. “It’s an honour to be speaking to some legendary figures within the industry and enhancing our digital content offering through our weekly podcast.”
We also launched the Knowledge Base - our platform for FAQs, articles and guides that customers can access directly through our website. It’s a constantly evolving support hub, and we’re always looking for additional content to add. For the customers who want to know more about our solutions, it’s all in the Knowledge Base. PlayBox users can also share ideas and feedback within the Community. We also took time to create some helpful video product tutorials for our solutions, which can be found on our website.
With trade shows and conferences cancelled and postponed, we wondered what the future of large-scale, in-person events would look like. In May, we opened our virtual event stand - highlighting our products, learning materials and hosting interactive product demonstrations, also published on the company website. We saw some incredible traction from new and existing customers alike, and we have built some exciting new partnerships and relationships as we venture into a new age for playout. As much as we tried, it still doesn’t beat seeing our customers and partners in a face-to-face capacity and sharing a drink (or two).
Despite 2020 not playing out how any of us expected it to, we’re confident that the industry as a whole will emerge stronger for it. The team at PlayBox Technology UK have come to welcome the pressure that such unprecedented times can create. We’re innovating at every step of the way and we aren’t afraid of change - and our worldwide customer base with over 20,000+ playout systems deployed are reaping the benefits of our flexibility. We can’t wait to show you what our development teams have been working on - further enhancements, initiatives and an entirely new product line. Exciting times ahead!