Josh Arensberg was elected Chair of the IABM Members’ Board in July this year. We asked him to share his vision for where he sees IABM – and our industry – heading.
In the ever-evolving landscape of media consumption, Over-The-Top (OTT) streaming services have emerged as the new frontier, captivating audiences with a diverse array of content. As the demand for high-quality streaming experiences intensifies, businesses face the crucial decision of either adopting an all-inclusive solution from a single vendor or embracing the intricacies of integrating multiple third-party vendors. While the allure of a “one-stop-shop” solution may seem appealing, a comprehensive evaluation reveals that a multi-vendor approach for developing end-to-end OTT streaming services offers distinct advantages that pave the way for innovation, flexibility, and enhanced user experiences.
If you run any but the smallest media business you have hundreds, and probably thousands, of pieces of technical equipment from multiple approved vendors. Not just cameras or servers, but radio microphone transmitters, portable monitors, lipsync testers and lighting stands. The number of individual items quickly spirals.
Media and entertainment is a well-established industry, with a heritage to be proud of. But maintaining a pivotal role in the consumer landscape for several decades comes with a unique set of challenges. As media and broadcast has evolved from a handful of linear channels through to a multi-platform ecosystem, more content needs to be reformatted and repurposed to reach an increasingly fragmented audience.
It is worth stating, at the very beginning, that there is nothing inherently exciting, engaging or sexy about the cloud. Or about IP media connectivity. They are, in the very best sense of the term, enabling technologies.
What they enable is a massive cultural shift in the media industry. This is the opportunity for a completely fresh look at how we do business, how we satisfy our viewers and subscribers, and how we make money.
You don’t need to be Nostradamus to work out that linear TV will one day go the way of Monty Python’s parrot: it will cease to be. The timing, however, is less predictable. Because unlike Python’s Norwegian Blue, scheduled TV continues to provide meaningful company in our living rooms. It will inevitably fall from its perch, but with a sizeable audience still feeding it, there’s plenty of life in the old thing yet. As legacy media inches towards a digital-only world, the prolonged squawk of scheduled TV is a major complication. Companies need to deliver for today while planning for a different tomorrow.
The media industry has evolved over the past century, from inventions to disruptions in communication and new-age technologies. In the early 1900s, radio was the crucial link to information, followed by television which by the mid-1900s became the most potent medium for news and entertainment. The late 20th century introduced the internet, and service & media providers entered a new evolution of connectivity. Websites and social media platforms flood the market, providing more choices than ever before. In the 21st century, smartphones are standard, and content consumption requires anytime, to any device, and anywhere access. The traditional television model is disrupted with streaming services like Netflix and Hulu and social media becomes a primary source of news and entertainment with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
Technological transformation offers a host of benefits: it streamlines workflows, reduces inefficiency, and makes life easier for media professionals. So why is such beneficial change frequently met with resistance?
The demand for free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) has exploded over the past few years, with virtually no sign of slowing. Variety Intelligence Platform (VIP+) Analysis predicts that FAST ad revenue will rise from between $3.5 and $4 billion in 2022 to between $5.3 and $6.1 billion in 2025. Moreover, Amagi’s most recent consumer report found that nearly one-third of American households said they would cut their TV subscriptions first in an economic downturn, with almost two-thirds of that group saying they would switch to FAST. The reason is simple: When subscription rates and pay-TV services chip away at already fragile consumer budgets, consumers will simply turn to platforms that stream their favorite content free-of-charge, yet with ad support.
[tcb-script src="https://players.brightcove.net/4229317768001/default_default/index.min.js"][/tcb-script]During the IABM TV interview, Sumit Rai, the Chief Product Officer, and Mo Volans, the SVP Product Marketing, both of Blackbird plc, discuss their journey to their current positions and provide insights into the challenges faced by video content creators. Furthermore, they elaborate on how their new platform aims to address these challenges.