It would be no exaggeration to say that the last three years have been especially turbulent for news and media organizations. Broadcasters, content creators and aggregators around the world have had to rethink their workflows, their staffing, and their technology investments. The cloud has become an accepted part of the production infrastructure. Employees are no longer tethered to the office. And streaming has become a preferred method for consuming content. Nostradamus himself couldn’t have foreseen all of these changes.
Luckily, we have the DPP to help the industry understand where it’s been and, more importantly, where it might be headed in the coming 12 months.
The London-based DPP brings together companies from the media supply chain to share knowledge, solve problems, and create business opportunities. Now in its seventh year, the DPP Predictions report is the output of 34 industry professionals who run all types of media businesses. These experts assess the impact of the 2022 predictions, then make eight new predictions based on several themes: Sustainability, Actionable Insight, Growth, Adaptability, and Culture. Their 2023 predictions are intended to serve as guideposts for anticipating this year’s challenges and opportunities as the result of ongoing media production trends.
Here’s what the experts are forecasting:
1. Automation-augmented operations will enable scale
ChatGPT and other forms of generative AI programs can be applied to a range of data, including graphics and image generation, and are expected to play an increasingly large role in M&E in 2023. The expectation, however, is that forms of automation that reduce mundane tasks will have the most impact.
2. The use of FAST will mature
FAST (free ad-supported streaming TV) channels offer ways to diversify an organization’s content offerings, reach a wider audience, and test program concepts with minimal investment. For linear broadcasters FAST channels are especially beneficial as a means to monetize existing content and transition onto converged distribution platforms.
3. Media companies will diversify their content monetization channels
The evolution of FAST channels is viewed as part of a bigger conversation about the evolution of revenue models. AVOD (ad-supported VOD) and SVOD (subscription-supported VOD) are no longer the primary areas of focus for content aggregators, as FAST channels and innovations in areas such as ad-serving technology offer new monetization opportunities without the need to make large technology investments.
4. Organizational transformation will outweigh technology transformation
Media organizations understandably look to maximize their ROI on legacy technology. Moving to the cloud via hybrid workflows that utilize on-prem infrastructure can help with this endeavor, but many organizations are more focused on taking “the longer step”: educating their teams on more agile ways of working with currently available systems.
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5. Sustainability decisions will be driven by ROI
Environmental sustainability has morphed from a strategic imperative that must be delivered even if it adds to costs to one that is tied directly to cost reduction. Companies today are looking to protect profits by adopting cost-effective practices that simultaneously reduce their carbon footprint, including reduced travel and conference attendance.
6. Live cloud production will go mainstream
Cloud-based live video production, along with advances in ad-serving technology, offers new direct-to-consumer (D2C) opportunities for broadcasters, rights owners, and viewers. A growing number of sports teams, for instance, now offer D2C programming packages. Moving forward, improved fan engagement made possible by cloud-based production is predicted to become a cornerstone of how viewers interact with sporting events, live concerts, and artists.
7. There will be market disruption and consolidation
Now in its third year on the DPP list, concerns about industry consolidation continue to be on the minds of media executives. Interestingly, market disruption brought about by consolidation was deemed to be more significant in 2022 than anticipated. Look for 2023 to continue the trend as organizations seek synergies and scale as methods for lowering costs and growing revenue.
8. Businesses will focus on their core strengths
In times of change it may seem counterintuitive for media companies to hunker down and rely on their tried-and-true business practices, but that’s exactly what’s happening. It might even be said that “pragmatism trumps optimism.” With consumer confidence at all-time lows, sustaining a media brand’s customer base is more important than ever.
Transformation is a fact of life in our industry, making the 2023 DPP Predictions Report an especially valuable business tool. With so much changing so fast, however, the safe bet is to move cautiously yet steadily toward a future that offers greater workflow efficiency, business agility, and opportunities for content monetization.
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