Aligning production and distribution in TV’s web-based future: part two

5 pillars that all broadcasters should address right now

In our last blog post looking at the ever-changing nature of TV production, we discussed how the internet is re-defining broadcast operations by presenting opportunities for broadcasters to merge upstream and downstream processes and keep pace in today’s extremely competitive TV landscape.

 

However, recognizing this shift and capitalizing on it are two different things. The big question for broadcasters, particularly as consumer demands continue to evolve, is what does a web-inspired approach actually mean to them? What new possibilities will it enable and how can they get started?

 

We believe the re-defined area of broadcast is being driven by five core pillars, which all broadcasters must keep in mind if they truly want to transform the way they produce and distribute content.

 

1.     Make all content available for distribution

Broadcasters today are creating more content than ever before. So why let it go to waste? All content is King for someone and adopting a web-first approach ensures that every piece of content ever created will be available for distribution.

For example, cloud-based storage means that all content can be quickly and easily accessed whenever it’s needed, gated by policies rather than technology to provide security without hindering distribution activities. 

 

2.     Connect cameras for contribution

Traditionally, broadcasters have been restricted by physical camera connections when producing content. Shows only had access to a specific pre-determined set of cameras that were plugged into the environment in advance, presenting a clear lack of flexibility when it comes to adding cameras to production pipelines in real time.

A web-based approach removes this barrier. Much like all connected screens can consume content, all internet connected cameras can contribute to the production process at any time. Consumer devices such as smartphones can be used by professionals or citizens to unlock new content opportunities.

 

Broadcasters can then synchronize amateur feeds with their own feeds to tell stories in new ways and engage different audiences, merging the production domain with the consumer domain. Remember, the best camera is the one at the right place.

This also means camera feeds don’t have to be compromised to one feed, providing resilience in the event of disruption.

 

3.     Take personalization beyond recommendations

Spearheaded by the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime, personalization has quickly become vital to modern broadcasting. Viewers now want access to programming that is tailored to their tastes.

 

By putting the internet at the core of the distribution process, broadcasters can go beyond suggesting which shows to watch next. They can personalize the experience and content to the user and context. They can select and curate content based on factors such as users’ interests and locations – a process that can be automated or streamlined using AI.

 

And the good news for broadcasters is that unicast distribution means personalized content versions can be distributed without driving additional costs. What’s more, what and how content is curated can be restricted by policies instead of availability.

 

4.     Augment broadcasts with influencers

One of the great benefits of a web-based production and distribution strategy is that it can unlock the power of the people. Citizen communication and interaction can be integrated with content much more easily, thereby turning TV personalities into influencers. As a result, the anonymous ‘broadcast’ model can be transformed into a relationship model.

 

For example, broadcasters can make their viewers active participants with instant feedback and reactions. Or, they can invite a popular artist to create their own version of a high-profile event – such as the Grammys or The Voice – by mixing their content into the main programming.

 

Depending on how far broadcasters want to go, broadcasters could invite influencers to regularly appear on certain productions to provide a wider reach and more relevant content for audiences. This level of collaboration can help broadcasters take their programming to the next level and to reach new audiences.

 

5.     Drive optimization and innovation

Finally, the use of web- and cloud-based technologies enables real-time optimization between latency and quality, all optimized for the content and user. From a cost perspective, cloud platforms ensure that costs are based on actual usage, providing superior value for broadcasters.

 

There’s also a valuable innovation element. As well as naturally accelerating the pace of innovation, having the right digital infrastructure makes it easier for broadcasters to find skilled developers and operations personnel.

 

This then feeds into service development, driving product innovation and helping broadcasters keep pace with today’s digitally savvy generation of streaming providers.

 

Do you want to learn more about how Agile Content can help you align production and distribution? Book a demo of our cloud production and FAST channel solutions. 

 

Johan Bolin

by Johan Bolin

CTO of Agile Content

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