Bringing killer content to viewers – part 2

September 7, 2017 Brian Morris

The first part of this blog post focused on how content is king for broadcasters. However, as we’ll see in part two, the way content is brought to an audience is also a key differentiator and can be part of a value-add service.

The local nature of the media industry due to rights issues hasn’t always kept up with peoples’ desire to access whatever content they want, wherever they want. This presents an opportunity for broadcasters to compete with their digital counterparts on exciting new partnerships and content projects of their own.

The world of sport is a good example of how the industry is evolving to address viewers’ evolving content viewing habits. Dorna, the company behind MotoGP, announced a partnership with Tata Communications in February that brings the motorcycle racing action from 18 MotoGP locations to fans globally, and across different platforms. All races are now distributed to over 80 media partners, reaching over 200 million households worldwide. Yet, Dorna also has big ambitions to transform the sport through the latest digital innovations. Recognising the need to quench MotoGP fans’ thirst for more immersive and truly real-time racing experiences, whether they’re watching online, on a TV or on a mobile device, we look to work together with Dorna on innovation projects involving technologies such as low-latency ultra-high-definition, 360º and live over-the-top (OTT) video, as well as High-Dynamic-Range imaging. The aim? To keep audiences engaged by making each race more thrilling than the last.

Looking beyond sport, broadcasters can use the turning tides of viewing habits in their favour. Broadcasters should see this as an opportunity to work more closely with content producers, agreeing from the very outset the most mutually beneficial method of distribution to reach the biggest and most relevant audience.

Empowering regional production companies

Evolving viewing habits and distribution models aren’t just exciting news for the big broadcasters. OTT broadcasting gives smaller broadcasters a more direct line to smaller, niche audiences. For example, in a country like India with lots of regional sub-communities, cultures and even languages, a small regional production company could stream a regional cricket match to local viewers. While they might not have the global appeal of the Indian Premier League, those locally relevant live events which have a captive audience are ripe for smaller broadcasters experimenting with new content delivery techniques. If the content is made available online or via mobile devices, local companies may even support the event through advertising which is beneficial for both the broadcaster and the event they are raising awareness for. Similarly, it is now possible for content creators to launch new OTT channels in a matter of days, targeting audiences globally who share the same interests – be it fight sports or knitting.

This phenomenon will likely start small, but we might see as a result is ‘new Hollywoods’ popping up – regions with the right mix of cultural, social and environmental factors mirroring the Silicon Valleys of this world. These regional content production and distribution hubs could become synonymous with certain types of entertainment, which appeal to a regional audience or particular subculture.

This way, producers outside of the traditional home of big-budget TV are given the opportunity to reach a wider audience than ever before with killer content of their own, starting a new revolution for content generation. It will take us beyond the golden age of television into something else entirely.

Read my previous blog on 4K technology and new viewing experiences.

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