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Rise of the

Robots David Hanson, Hanson Robotics and Sophia, on the ethics of AI “We are currently in the midst of a second wave of digital innovations” Laura Houlgatte UNIC

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“Startups are important for keeping our economies and society innovative”

HRH Prince Constantijn Van Oranje-Nassau

“Legacy systems are an easy target for hackers” Latha Maripuri News Corp

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Executive Summary 03


IBC Leaders’ Summit

Pages 04-05

HRH Prince Constantijn Van Oranje-Nassau Latha Maripuri News Corp

Looking back to look forward

As you will be aware, IBC is marking its 50th anniversary this year. The first International Broadcasting Convention, as it was then, took place in London in September 1967. What I find interesting is not the differences between then and now, but the important similarities. In 1967, IBC was very much a technical event, attended by engineers. That was inevitable: every part of the technology was at the absolute cutting edge just to make basic television work. Remember back then even colour pictures were a novelty. Today, you could argue that engineers have done such a wonderful job that we are no longer bound by technology. Consumers have the tools literally in their hands to create and view in the highest resolutions, and so demand ever greater things from professionals. Yet this democratisation brings new challenges. The overarching theme for this year’s conference was ‘truth, trust and transformation’. That neatly reflects the key issues of our time. If anyone can create and stream content through open, largely unregulated platforms like YouTube and Facebook Live, how do we evaluate it? What is good, and what is fake news? With content exchanged and creative platforms housed on the internet, how do we know a connection is safe, not a link to a virus that may cripple our business? The founders of IBC, in 1967, acknowledged that a trade fair was not enough. It needed a conference at which ideas can be shared. Thanks to their vision, 50 years later IBC is seen as the one global forum at which everyone – technical, creative and

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David Hanson Hanson Robotics

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Liz Ross Freeview Australia

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Brian Sullivan 21st Century Fox

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Aksel Van der Wal Turner

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Mansoor Hanif BT

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Laura Houlgatte International Union of Cinemas (UNIC)

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Balan Nair Liberty Global

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Ramki Sankaranarayanan Prime Focus Technologies

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Carsten Schmidt Sky Deutschland

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Jamie Hindhaugh BT Sport

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Joanna Wells Viacom International Media Networks

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Daniel Danker Facebook

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Faz Aftab ITV

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Jeff Kember Google

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Dan Miodownik Host Broadcast Services

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Craig Todd Dolby Laboratories

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Sally Buzbee Associated Press

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Mario Vecchi Public Broadcasting Services

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Jon Block Videology

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commercial – can come together to debate the issues of the day. It is only IBC – open, unaffiliated, global – which can host these discussions, and lead towards conclusions that will benefit everyone. So we have marked our 50th anniversary not by looking back but by looking out, celebrating what is great about our industry. We have forged strong bonds with local charities in Amsterdam which use sport to provide experiences open to those with physical and mental disabilities: children and young people who have become sports fans through its coverage on television. From our collections on site, and with our fun football match against former professionals, we have already exceeded our target, a huge boost to our chosen charities. You may still make donations online at show.ibc.org/donate. This magazine brings together a collection of interviews with many of the participants in the IBC Conference, our Leaders’ Summit, and our C-Tech Forums: 5G and Cyber Security. Their thoughts are informed, as you would expect of industry leaders, but they also invite further debate. Those debates now continue, year round, at IBC 365, our online portal for information and discussion. If you are not already registered, go to ibc.org. I hope you find this publication interesting, and I invite you to take part in the continuing opinion forming via IBC 365. I also look forward to welcoming you back to Amsterdam in September 2018.

Sasha Schriber Disney Research

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Sotiris Salamouris Olympic Broadcasting Services

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Ben Ritterbush 20th Century Fox

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Stacy Huggins MadHive

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Christopher Mead Twitch

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Pranab Kapadia Eros International

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Deborah Rayner CNN International

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Gena Desclos HBO Entertainment

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Wim Ponnet Endemol Shine

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Petter Testmann-Koch FremantleMedia Norge

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Kim Poder MTG Denmark

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Orpheus Warr Channel 4

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Henrik Voigt Ericsson

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Richard Waghorn RTÉ

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Edward Tang Avegant

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Michael Jaschke glomex

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Michael Crimp, CEO, IBC

Mark Harrison Digital Production Partnership (DPP)

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Rikard Steiber HTC Vive

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Leen Segers LucidWeb

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David Shield IMG Media

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Bill Baggelaar Sony Pictures Entertainment

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Tom Pickett Ellation

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EDITORIAL Editorial Director: James McKeown Editor: Michael Burns Editorial Consultant: Fergal Ringrose Reporters: George Bevir, Kate Bulkley, Ann-Marie Corvin, Chris Forrester, Alana Foster, Carolyn Giardina, Mark Hallinger, Monica Heck, George Jarrett, Anne Morris, Neal Romanek, Will Strauss, David Wood Photography: James Cumpsty Additional Photography: Hugo Lamb ART & PRODUCTION Design: Dan Bennett Head of Design: Jat Garcha Production Manager: Alistair Taylor SALES Sales Manager: Peter McCarthy Tel: +44 (0)20 7 354 6000, Email: pmcarthy@nbmedia.com Richard Carr Tel: +44 (0)20 7 354 6000, Email: rcarr@nbmedia.com IBC Chief Executive Officer: Michael Crimp NewBay Media Managing Director: Mark Burton Published on behalf of the IBC Partnership by NewBay Media Ltd, The Emerson Building, 4-8 Emerson Street, London, SE1 9DU © The International Broadcasting Convention 2017. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system without the express prior written consent of the publisher. Printed by Pensord Press, Tram Road, Pontllanfraith, Blackwood NP12 2YA, UK.

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Executive Summary 5

Leaders’ Summit

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6 Executive Summary


Startup Forum

HRH Prince Constantijn Van Oranje-Nassau

Ready to start His Royal Highness Prince Constantijn is the Startup Envoy for the Netherlands, heading up StartupDelta, the Dutch startup ecosystem. He joined IBC at its inaugural Startup Forum and spoke in the panel ‘The Rules of Engagement’. StartupDelta supports a unique connection between government, corporations and innovation hubs, with the vision to merge the Dutch startup sector into an engaged and connected hub across Europe. “The aim is to create a much better startup, entrepreneurial and innovative ecosystem in the Netherlands,” says Prince Constantijn. “We are very startup focused, this is an educational process.” Breaking down corporate barriers and improving startup companies’ ability to access talent, capital, networks, knowledge and markets will facilitate change across the economy to strengthen the emerging vertical and

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new markets. “Startups are really important for keeping our economies and society innovative, exciting and dynamic,” explains Prince Constantijn. “On all fronts we are very indebted to people who take the risk to follow their dreams.” Former Chief of Staff of the European Commission, Prince Constantijn managed the digital transition and knowledge sharing of the emerging startup ecosystem. “We kept hitting a wall when we would tell the story about digitals,” he says. “Startups in Europe were a new concept, we had Skype and Spotify but it was not a movement yet.” He foresaw the impact startups would have on the economy. “We tried to find actors who were change makers, and found them everywhere,” Constantijn explains. “The biggest challenge for startups is to find the right corporate market fit,” he

Region: The Netherlands Interviewed by: Alana Foster

“Startups are really important for keeping our economies and society innovative, exciting and dynamic”

continues, saying these nascent companies are ambitious and challenge the corporate fit, but they require executive investors and legacy business models to achieve their goals. Creating value and servicing a niche market for recurring business is fundamental, Constantijn adds. His background in management consulting and policy research allowed his expertise to help set up the StartupDelta and champion the evolving ecosystem in the Netherlands, which he hopes will become the startup gateway to Europe. “Startups are people who don’t ask permission,” he states. “What I like about them is they take considerable risk to follow their dreams and their ideas.” Prince Constantijn’s passion is driven on the ambition and fearlessness that startups embody. “We have to challenge for their benefit, and we have to challenge all the time,” he says. The benefit for startups

collaborating with investors and big organisations is the engrained business model, as supplier contact networks are often difficult for the startups to crack. “If you are a startup, these big companies can actually be a very good platform: big companies are good to reach new audiences and expand business.” These dynamic relationships, however, can vary. According to Constantijn the key to longevity is “having a good understanding of how the idea will actually create value and serve a large market… that, I think, is most of the challenge.” The fast pace of change in the startup environment means an idea can be conceived in the morning and implemented in the afternoon. “It’s a cultural thing, but there are also many inflection points at the accelerated levels,” says Constantijn. “Why don’t we go there, find our change agent, and work with startups more.”

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8 Executive Summary



Secure from present danger Latha Maripuri is Global Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Deputy CTO for News Corp. She was a key speaker at the IBC Leaders’ Summit and Conference, joining the session ‘IBC Keynote Panel: CTO Roadmap’. She also gave the closing keynote at the inaugural IBC C-Tech Forum on Cyber Security. Cyber security was a big theme at IBC but do you think many media companies still take an ‘after the horse has bolted’ approach to this issue? As attacks continue across all industries, cyber security has definitely become a business and board level imperative. Given the brand and financial impacts, companies can no longer afford to be reactive and must implement a strong, comprehensive program to address their biggest cyber risks. Especially as companies transform into more digital channels to reach their customers, ensuring that security is built into their processes is essential. There have been lots of reports of security breaches in the news recently – why are attacks becoming more common? Companies previously operated in a very controlled and welldefined corporate environment where the rules were very clear about what was allowed into and out of a company. Now we live in a hyper-connected world where business is conducted online, and employees are working remotely on a variety of different devices. Most of the services we use to manage our lives are cloud-based, such as social media. This means there are now numerous entry points for an attack. The other change is that

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the cost of conducting a cyber attack has decreased. Hackers used to require sophisticated tools and skills – but now there is an online marketplace to buy malware or exploit kits. How much would you estimate the industry loses a year from cyber attacks? Most companies do not disclose security breaches unless they are required to, let alone the financial impact. The 2017 annual Ponemon study estimates that the average cost of a lost or stolen record with confidential information is around $141 (€120). If you use this as an estimate, you start to get a view of the magnitude, since the larger attacks reported typically have millions of records which were stolen. Besides the costs of investigation and remediation, there is often brand impact which is harder to quantify. What are the main types of cyber attacks and how can they be prevented? Attackers are looking to exploit vulnerabilities – this can be in your network, in your applications, in your databases, or in your people. There has definitely been a rise in targeting employees or contractors through social engineering and email ‘spear phishing’ campaigns. The goal is to trick the user into providing credentials or clicking a malicious link or document. This can lead to ransomware or become an entry point into the corporate network. Distributed denial of service attacks and web application attacks are still quite common. It is important to consider cyber security in every aspect of the business such as new product development, risk management, acquisitions, employee on/off boarding

or data science initiatives. Educating employees as to how they play a role in protecting the company is key. Employees can still be your best line of defense. What other practices should broadcasters and tech companies bear in mind? Many aspects of cyber security come back to the basics. Inventory, manage and patch your assets. Test your applications early in the development cycle and don’t launch until critical issues are fixed. If you don’t need something anymore – get rid of it! Legacy systems are an easy target for hackers since many companies don’t maintain them well. Use strong or behavioral authentication everywhere you can. Ensure timely removal of access for employees or contractors who leave the company. Most importantly, understand future business objectives – whether mobile or VR or OTT – and how security can support these transformations. What security challenges does News Corp face? Given our vast portfolio that ranges from news, sports, radio, real estate to book publishing, we have a diverse employee and customer base. Our objective is to ensure our employees have the flexibility to do their jobs and continuously innovate in a secure manner. Whether that’s adopting cloud services, launching new products, using social media or working remotely, we are ultimately here to support the company’s strategy and growth. Can it ever be considered safe to work in the cloud? Many companies deployed their current infrastructures and applications years ago before cyber attacks were as common

as they are now – which means they have had to retrofit security in. Cloud transformation can provide significant cost savings, flexibility and security benefits if architected correctly from the beginning. Cloud providers operate in a shared responsibility model and the key is in understanding what security controls the service provider will cover and what you are still responsible for. What other technologies excite you? True machine learning and how that can impact customer experiences and engagement is very exciting. Machine learning is also being heavily used in cyber security for monitoring and detecting some of the new threats that are happening in your environment. AI machine learning really provides us with an opportunity to learn things here.

company, especially in our industry. Having a strong technical strategy to support the business strategy is crucial. There are numerous areas to pursue, such as engineering, strategy, user design, security, data science… the options are endless. I have had an incredible time, and I hope that more young girls consider careers in tech.

You were named as one of top 10 women power players in IT security – what advice would you give to other women interested in a career in IT? Technology has been a very rewarding and challenging career path. It is an area where you are constantly learning, solving key problems and helping transform industries. Every company is becoming a technology

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Executive Summary 9

Keynote Latha Maripuri Global CISO and Deputy CTO, News Corp Region: USA Interviewed by: Ann-Marie Corvin

“Legacy systems are an easy target for hackers since many companies don’t maintain them well”

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10 Executive Summary


Keynote David Hanson Robotics Designer & Founder, Hanson Robotics Region: Hong Kong Interviewed by: Heather McLean

Rise of the robots Robots have been a subject of fascination since the 1950s. This IBC saw two of those machines on stage in the Tech Talks Keynote with David Hanson Ph.D, CEO and founder at Hanson Robotics, where he looked at the issue of ‘The Future with Robots that Are Like Us’. Hanson was joined on stage by Sophia, Hanson Robotics’ latest and most advanced robot, and Professor Einstein, the first consumer robot from Hanson Robotics. In his session Hanson covered the issues surrounding robots today, and where they may be going in the future. “Robots are becoming more common, and more diverse,” says Hanson. “Social robots are likely to become a common form of interface to AI, and will be refined into a new kind of computer animation, like computer animation for movies, but physically embodied. Where things get really transformed is when they literally come to life; when the principles of systems biology are used in AI and robots to make them creative,

motivated, conscious, adaptive. This will change history. Who knows when this will happen? However, that’s our goal, and progress is strong. If or when robots become truly living organisms, then they can be much more helpful, yet we have to consider their rights.” On why he has focused on the physical appearance of his female robot, Sophia, Hanson comments, “Sophia’s looks are important because aesthetics are important to people, however her intelligence is her most important attribute”. At Hanson Robotics, the AI team is the strongest, largest group, and it aspires to achieve true general intelligence in machines. While Sophia is not fully alive and aware yet, “we are making progress,” says Hanson. “Until then, she is like an infant with some higher mental functions; she is like an infant savant. I think that robots should be allowed to have a childhood, and allowed to date only after they are fully conscious and reach emotional

adulthood. In general, making robots appealing-looking is the same as making art, fashion, good design, making lovable characters for cinema; good aesthetics can appeal and engage with people, and for a social robot this means better communication and more useful interactions.” Continuing on the issue of robot gender, Hanson says, “In

Ai, and many others. I hope that they all have their own life experiences, but that they can learn from people and help in applications like research, autism therapy, education, and many other uses. I don’t think we should assume that because my robot Han is handsome or because Sophia is pretty, that their looks are their most important thing about them.”

“Our robots will become their own individuals, and will emerge and flower beyond their programming” my career I have made many robots, with much diversity; about 50/50 male-female ratio, plus one intergender robot named Jules. I believe diversity is important in robots, and believe we should represent all ethnicities and genders in our robots. I developed an African American woman robot named Bina-48, a Persian man robot named Ibn Sina, a Mexican baby robot named Diego-san, an Asian woman robot named

On the role of the likes of Sophia and Einstein today, Hanson says, “Like Einstein, Sophia is serving as a platform for AI research and humanrobot relations, and is helping educate kids about robotics and science. All their AI software is open source and most of the hardware is too. We are using Sophia and Einstein in many AI and robotics labs.” As to the future of the robot mind, Hanson believes

that, “our robots will become their own individuals, and will emerge and flower beyond their programming. The computing and maths field of artificial life shows that emergent, complex systems can arise in really surprising ways from very simple programmed initial conditions. We are applying these principles with our AI, in the quest to enable Sophia to find her own way in the world.” Within the film industry, Sophia is already a pro: she appeared in 2016 movie, The White King. “There is a long history of animatronics being used in cinema,” says Hanson. “However the use of AI-powered robots in films is somewhat new. I expect that robots can be a fully developed form of computer animation, and will star in movies. Additionally, robots and AI can be used as camera operators, editors, even writers or directors. I predict that someday an entire movie could be made by robots alone.” Until then…


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12 Executive Summary


Business Transformation

“A big reason for Freeview dominance is that in Australia we have antisiphoning laws around sports and sports rights”

Freeview on top down under Liz Ross, CEO of Freeview Australia, was on two IBC conference panels, ‘Delivering an Exceptional Consumer Media Experience’ and ‘Broadcast Is About to be Transformed’, and both of those topics are at the core of Freeview Australia’s mission. “At Freeview we design, build and deliver technology on behalf of our free-to-air broadcaster members,” says Ross. “Our mission and focus is to ensure that free-to-air television is the dominant choice for all screenbased video content.” Freeview started in 2008 in Australia, following in the footsteps of the UK launch in 2002 and New Zealand’s in 2007, to support the analoguedigital switchover. “We worked alongside the Australian government to help people make the digital switchover and buy their new equipment,” says Ross. “There were branded set top boxes available that were low-cost to enable Australians to upgrade in time. And we helped in promoting free-to-air content and channels. Over the last two years, we have focused solely on products and supporting those products through technology development and marketing.” Free-to-air TV is in a peculiar position

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now around the world. OTT services are gaining dominance, elbowing out traditional players, but at the same time cordcutters are abandoning pay-TV. How is the free-to-air market fairing in Australia? According to Ross, in July of this year Australians streamed 1.5 billion minutes of free-to-air content. “Rather than allowing the competition to divide and conquer each broadcaster, what Freeview is doing is aggregating all that fantastic content across all of our broadcasters. Thirty-five channels can be browsed, and watched live or on demand, through our aggregated services. We deliver those on mobile, tablet, through Chromecast and on TVs. We also have our own version of Roku, branded through Telstra, our biggest telecommunications provider. “All we’re seeing at the moment is significant growth in the streaming of free-to-air content. [This] is dominant in Australia, with less than 30 percent of Australians having access to pay-TV. Eighty-three per cent of the country is viewing free-to-air on any given week – numbers quite different to the US or Europe. “A big reason for Freeview dominance is that in Australia we have anti-siphoning laws around

sports and sports rights, so that all Australians can access sport for free. There are some sports that may only be available on pay-TV, but in Australia, all of the major events are available for free through free-to-air.” Ross was last at IBC two years ago. For her the show is an important venue for evaluating new tech opportunities. “The Australian free-toair industry treats IBC as an important event in the calendar. Most Australian broadcasters will have a presence there. Our first major product, Freeview Plus, was built on the HbbTV platform, so we always talk to anyone delivering [such] services. This is mostly the Europeans, since HbbTV was developed in Germany. We’re also interested in 5G delivery on mobile devices. “I find the conferences can deliver certain themes that may be something that’s not known to you, and sometimes there’s something going on in entirely different jurisdiction that becomes of interest.”

Liz Ross CEO, Freeview Australia Region: Australia Interviewed by: Neal Romanek

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Executive Summary 13


Brian Sullivan President & COO, Digital Consumer Group, Fox Networks Group, 21st Century Fox Region: USA Interviewed by: Chris Forrester

The consumer has the power

“Nobody ever bought a service because of the neat user interface!”

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During his IBC Keynote, Brian Sullivan discussed the evolving entertainment ecosystem that has empowered the consumer to have more control over what, how and when they watch content. Sullivan, who oversees digital strategy and growth initiatives for Fox, highlighted the services and platforms that are driving that change, including FOX NOW, the streaming experience his team introduced earlier this year. Sullivan was previously CEO of Sky Deutschland where he turned around an ailing business into a growing and profitable one, and prior to that spent 14 years as head of BSkyB’s Customer Group. We caught up with Sullivan ahead of his Keynote session, where he revealed that he and his team have been busy developing and refining the infrastructure for FOX NOW, the new app that united for the first time content from across FOX, FX and National Geographic. “Much of what we have been doing with FOX NOW has been

in the background,” he explains. “When you try to put together a world-leading service, it takes quite a bit of work behind the scenes. To give you a guide, we had 36 different apps to access our services. Now we will have just one uniform platform across a few apps.” In essence, consumers can now watch full episodes of Fox’s live output and on-demand content across multiple channels and on multiple devices. “There’s been a very significant uplift in viewership,” says Sullivan. The service is available to 97 per cent of pay-TV customers in the USA. One of Sullivan’s key tasks is to make the service run with dynamically inserted localmarket advertising and station branding as a seamless part of the stream. “Everyone’s been broadcasting for decades. It’s been figured out,” admits Sullivan. “It’s digital that’s harder to manage, especially with such complexity. Delivering a world class, best of breed digital ser-

vice is much more challenging.” Sullivan, who is also on the board of Hulu, cites that VoD provider, as well as Netflix and Amazon, as US companies doing a good job delivering their video services, and adds that Sky is also a leader in digital video platforms. He emphasised that while he is focused on the behind-thescenes platform and user interface, it continues to be the programming that viewers seek out. “All this technology is wonderful. But it is always about the content,” he says. “Nobody cares about the challenges and headaches we have had. They just want to access our programming, and we are one of the Big Five content factories in the world. With consumers expecting to dig deeper and faster into our content, we have to get that technology and architecture right. But it is all about the content. Nobody ever bought a service because of the neat user interface! What we are doing is a real game-changer.”

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14 Executive Summary


Leaders’ Summit

Aksel Van der Wal Executive Vice President, Digital Ventures and Innovation, International, Turner Region: UK Interviewed by: Chris Forrester

Going granular As recently appointed EVP for international digital ventures and innovation at Turner, Aksel Van der Wal has an immense suite of responsibilities. Previously the broadcaster’s CFO, he was appointed in January to drive growth through consumercentric and data-driven initiatives. He was sharing this experience at IBC’s Leaders’ Summit session, ‘Understanding the Gen Z Audience’, where we spoke to him about his new role, and how Turner was itself changing. Admitting that his in-tray was demanding, van der Wal however recognises that today’s business demands fresh thinking. “We are looking at taking this totally new approach, and splitting our attention into three,” he explains. “The first we are calling ‘Perfect For

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Me’ and while, obviously, this provides the entertainment that consumers want, it is also designed to drive engagement. The second is called ‘Give Me More’ and takes this engagement to the next level. As well as more content, there’s more interaction, and off-screen activities. The third we have called ‘On My Terms’, and gives consumers what they want, how they want it and where they want it.” Last October, Turner launched FilmStruck in the US, a curated movie service on SVoD, described by van der Wal as ‘for film lovers, by film lovers’. “It takes the form of a more niche movie service, with more art-house content, and makes finding these movies much easier,” he adds. “That fits nicely into the ‘perfect for me’

category, but also offers ‘on my terms’ at a higher level – which is an OTT subscription model [and curated by Criterion].” Turner’s film library is already massive, but van der Wal revealed that other studio content is licensed as part of the overall offering, and this includes Warner Bros.

impact – of 3D, for example on TV. “One of our key strategies is understanding what technology or components we need to ‘own’, and what we can simply buy in. We try and take an agile approach to technology, and while there are some elements that we need to own, there’s plenty that we do not have to

“IP is showing how new services can be launched at lower costs” Asked when this movie service might be rolled out to Europe, Van der Wal was coy, but smiling, so stand by for an announcement! Van der Wal added that Turner is also very aware of the technological impact on today’s business. He joked about the impact – or lack of

own. This includes the broadcast elements, and the workflow which brings it together, how playout is optimised, and certainly embracing IP. “IP itself is opening up new business opportunities for us, and showing how new services can be launched at lower costs. Once IP is fully embraced you

can go very, very granular,” he adds “From a single basic channel you could offer 100 different sub-sets, for example.” Ultra HD is also on Turner’s radar. “But first we need an established audience base,” states Van der Wal. “UHD needs reach, but we are looking at it and assessing it.” Finally, and inevitably, London-based Turner is also planning for Brexit. “It is a huge unknown at this stage, and everyone has questions,” says Van der Wal. “We are assessing the potential impact, and how we are licensed to operate. For example, I believe people have underestimated the effect on data. There are data regulations which could mean we cannot store data in the UK where it relates to EU consumers.”

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Executive Summary 15

C-Tech Forum: 5G Mansoor Hanif Director of Converged Networks, Research and Innovation, BT Region: UK Interviewed by: Monica Heck

A galaxy of opportunity awaits

The advent of 5G in the near future is both an evolution and a revolution, providing a step change in terms of network speed, capacity and latency. Speaking at the opening keynote session of IBC’s new C-Tech Forum, ‘5G beyond the hype - What Does It Really Mean?’, BT’s Mansoor Hanif feels that the arrival of 5G heralds an exciting new chapter in the epic saga of networking. “The upcoming transition from the hugely successful 4G standard – which has transformed the way we use smartphones around the world – is a bit like the Star Wars saga,” says Hanif, who has been building networks for nearly 25 years. “The rapid evolution of 4G, which was followed by 4G Advanced and the upcoming 4G Advanced Pro, is like episode five of the 4G saga right now. That story isn’t over yet, another three episodes will bring us to the year 2020, which will be the

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tipping point for the introduction of 5G, as customer expectations rise and operators battle to get customer experience ahead of customer expectation. “This progression, in terms of offering higher speeds, higher capacity, controlling the cost and offering lower latency will be very difficult to maintain beyond the ninth episode of 4G. We will need a whole new sequel, which is 5G. That’s the evolution.” The revolution, he says, comprises several new characteristics that are unique to 5G and that ensure that the standard provides a compelling business model to justify investment while keeping costs reasonable for customers. According to Hanif, the 5G network will be completely flexible, agile, programmable and highly automated, while being ultra-reliable. It will also be fully virtualised. “To keep the 5G business model competitive, we need

to step into vertical industries and generate new sources of revenues and these characteristics will allow that,” he adds. Hanif highlights a particular relevance to the broadcast industry, which has been limited by the unavailability of sustainable and scalable networks that guarantee various uplink capacities, on demand, for satellite trucks over 3G and 4G networks. “It’s feasible in some cases as a ‘hammer and nails’ type of job but it’s expensive, timeconsuming, and SLAs are very difficult to change. With 5G, this can all be automated rapidly to adapt to individual customer demands, over the same signal, platform and architecture. It will be cost-effective for the customer and manageable from the operator’s perspective.” Hanif notes that the outside broadcast world will benefit in terms of quality and transmission capabilities when

“5G should allow us to cut the wire for VR and AR headsets”

it comes to video distribution. He also says the convergence between the software-defined networking (SDN)/network function virtualisation (NFV) world and the network slicing world is a topic of great interest to the BT labs. “It means we will be able to offer a much more efficient, dynamic and configurable way of transmitting media content from the source to the production labs.” A whole new generation of entertainment services, based around real-time communications, also requires a complete change in the way networks are designed. “For broadcast, we want to leverage the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) evolution within 5G to both accelerate new services and support virtual and augmented realities,” concludes Hanif. “5G should allow us to cut the wire for VR and AR headsets, and network-based AR will become much more compelling.”

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16 Executive Summary


Big Screen Experience Laura Houlgatte Chief Executive Officer, UNIC Region: Belgium Interviewed by: George Jarrett

Potential for disruption Laura Houlgatte, CEO of the International Union of Cinemas (UNIC), spoke in an IBC Big Screen session proffering business insights around the question of who exactly comprises today’s cinema audiences. UNIC represents filmic trade bodies and key operators in 36 European territories. “We promote the cultural, social and economic benefits of a vibrant cinema-going culture and provide a strong, influential voice for European cinema operators,” says Houlgatte. “Audience growth and box office results over recent years show that cinema going in Europe is thriving and becoming an ever more engaging, diverse and immersive experience. We recorded 1.28 billion visits in 2016, an increase of 2.8 per cent over 2015,” she adds. “In an increasingly fragmented entertainment landscape, cinema operators recognise that it is crucial to understand what the movie-going audience expects.” At IBC Houlgatte specifically focused on the results of an 18-month research project

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exploring the drivers, barriers and preferences of young cinema audiences in Spain and the UK. “Teenagers have access to a myriad of digital distractions and out-of-home leisure opportunities, so ensuring that this generation continues to enjoy movies on the big screen is vital for the future of our business,” she says. “This is supported by another recent survey carried out by UNIC

convenience one example is through hassle free cinema apps. In terms of engagement it is through social media promotion of movies. And in terms of making the experience memorable it is thanks to cutting-edge technology, and of course the content,” says Houlgatte. To what degree have live theatre and other live events become an audiences/income boost to UNIC members?

“We are currently in the midst of a second wave of digital innovations” amongst its members, which shows that 89 per cent of respondents agree that the 12 to 25-age group is a key target.” Cinema is regarded as a special event, and as an opportunity to dive into another world. But UNIC keeps in mind that digital is a lifestyle for young audiences. What are cinemas able to do? “To fulfil the needs of teenagers, in terms of

“So far, what we call ‘alternative content’ or ‘event cinema’ revenues are on the up. Across our territories, this income represents between one and three per cent of the box office and in France, Germany and Italy, revenue linked to alternative content has been continuingly increasing,” says Houlgatte. “Our study showed that young audiences are interested in seeing more than movies at

the cinema; for example, they said they would like to see TV series, live screenings of eSports, live broadcasts of local sports events, and screens with additional content,” she adds. Is the movie house business model a settled and happy one, or are there new technologies on the horizon? “We are currently in the midst of a second wave of digital innovations, many of which would not have been possible without the seismic transition to digital cinema. In terms of revenue growth, 3D and new investment in cinema infrastructure in recent years have yielded noticeable returns. We can also further grow attendance through digital engagement and data analytics,” says Houlgatte. “Nowadays, the cinemagoing experience starts days before a visit to the theatre and operators are experimenting with new techniques to engage with potential guests before, during and after a screening. On the content side, event cinema and more targeted and diverse programming for increasingly fragmented audience groups

would not have been possible ten years ago,” she adds. Operators must be equipped with an understanding of the technology that is on offer, while ensuring that the needs of the audience are the primary focus. “Massive improvements in sound and projection quality, more flexible and efficient operations, as well as sophisticated engagement strategies continue to transform the cinema-going experience and to attract increasing audience levels. This is helping operators to beat other leisure activities,” says Houlgatte “In February, UNIC published a report on Innovation and the Big Screen, illustrating how European operators have embraced change and innovation. The report focuses on the main strands of innovation: creative audience development; the big screen experience; and, social innovation,” she adds. “The innovation trend looks set to continue, with a seemingly never-ending flow of potentially disruptive technology making its way to our theatres, from VR to direct-view LED screens.”

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Executive Summary 17


Balan Nair Executive Vice President and CTO, Liberty Global Region: USA Interviewed by: Anne Morris

Surviving through transformation in the quad-play age The role of the chief technology officer at media and telecoms companies has evolved in recent years. The convergence of fixed and mobile networks and services, the rapid take-up of video services and the emergence of ‘quad-play’ strategies, all present significant challenges for the underlying infrastructure. They have also brought about fundamental changes in how users consume communications and media services at home, as well as out and about. During the IBC Keynote Panel, ‘CTO Roadmap’, Balan Nair, CTO at Liberty Global, was able to discuss strategic road maps with his peers, and outline the opportunities he sees ahead for very high-speed fixed and mobile broadband as well as other technologies such as the cloud. While media and telecoms CTOs agree it is crucial to ensure that networks will

“Operationally, the way we run things is a lot different today than the way we ever have”

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support consumer demands in future, Nair notes there are still many areas of contention, such as how to develop software, and whether to form partnerships with online companies such as Amazon. You could say that Nair, who worked in the US telecoms sector and also held the position of CTO at AOL before joining Liberty Global in 2007, has built up the ideal credentials to face the convergence challenge head on, although he attributes this happy state of affairs to life’s “serendipity”. Certainly, Liberty Global has already jumped firmly into the convergence arena and “feels very strongly about quad-play,” says Nair. Mobile virtual network offerings now accompany packages of cable-based broadband, television and fixed voice services in a number of European markets including the UK and the Netherlands, where it has formed the VodafoneZiggo

joint venture. “Liberty Global is at the forefront of a lot of different changes in our industry; the rapid increase in consumption, the changing behaviour of consumers in how they view video, the emergence of wireless as a viable broadband offering,” Nair adds. “And if you look at the overall media landscape you see huge amounts of consolidation that creates huge companies with lots of scale, and so operationally the way we run things is a lot different today than the way we ever have.” Looking ahead, Nair believes one of the biggest challenges is how to transform telecoms and media companies in order to prepare them for the battles over the next five to ten years. “The world is moving increasingly from hardware to software,” he observes. “Cost structures are changing dramatically, with numerous virtual operators coming into the industry.

Where you invest, whether it’s in content, in infrastructure, in marketing, in the cloud, in technology – all that mix is now changing. You have the confluence of a lot of activities that require each company to undergo not just one, but many transformations to be prepared.” The shift in consumer behaviour within the home is certainly one of the most clearly defined social changes that has been brought about by technology developments such as multi-screen and second-screen viewing. Liberty Global has embraced the term ‘fluid living’ to describe how people are now consuming video content, with fights over the TV remote control now a thing of the past. Technology is enabling people to watch exactly what they want to watch and when. “It’s a liberating experience!” says Nair.

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18 Executive Summary


Keynote Ramki Sankaranarayanan Global CEO, Prime Focus Technologies Region: India Interviewed by: Chris Forrester

Content from the cloud The technology subsidiary of the Prime Focus media services giant, Prime Focus Technologies (PFT) is a truly global enterprise, with over 2,000 employees spread across five continents. It also has an enviable reputation as the creator of the world’s first hybrid cloud-enabled enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform, Clear, aimed at the media and entertainment (M&E) industry. Founded by Ramki Sankaranarayanan, PFT manages a total of 1.5 million hours of content annually, which includes internationally acclaimed productions like Game of Thrones. It has a client list amongst the strongest in the business, boasting major broadcasters, brands, service providers and Hollywood studios. Sankaranarayanan therefore was well-placed to take part in the IBC Keynote Panel, ‘CTO Roadmap’.

“Today’s M&E players want to publish their content 30 seconds from now!”

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As Sankaranarayanan stresses, PFT closely manages the business of content for clients worldwide, leveraging its SaaS (software as a service) offerings to handle content operations in multiple locations across the globe. Powered by its hybrid Cloud architecture, Clear Media ERP allows digital dailies to be delivered from and to remote locations, and enables various teams – such as programming, marketing, legal and promos – to collaborate seamlessly to make content telecast ready. It also facilitates dubbing and subtitling of content in multiple languages, and has extensive provisions for disaster recovery. “We have made great progress in leveraging the power of cloud technology with our one of a kind software solution,” he explains. “Today, Clear is well equipped to handle all kinds of content, including 4K and HDR.

Moreover, it can deliver output for a vast range of screens and devices – from mobiles to large screen projections. Our clients see us as a very connected part of their businesses, and we like this closeness, as our aim is always to help them attain their business goals.” Sankaranarayanan highlighted the tectonic shift that has recently taken place in the M&E industry. “Clients no longer enjoy the profit margins they used to ten, or even five years ago,” he says. “Traditional revenues have remained flat over the years and margins have only shrunk, leaving CEOs and CTOs wondering how to boost profitability in today’s ‘digital next’ era. Learning from other sectors like healthcare and manufacturing, M&E enterprises need to automate the content supply chain and adopt centralisation. This is where Clear can add tremendous

value as it helps build a connected enterprise”. He elaborates his point with more examples. “Earlier, broadcasters used to send their content to us for finishing and preparation about 30 days ahead of TX. But all that has changed. Today’s M&E players want to publish their content 30 seconds from now! I exaggerate, but only a little. The industry is going through fundamental changes, and the consumer expects instant access to content anytime, anywhere. Traditional pay-TV operators have also moved into the realm of OTT. Streaming services have stormed the VoD world by providing high quality original content. All this leads to the emergence of new viewer demands that can be managed by leveraging technology cleverly, and PFT is here to help M&E enterprises through their journey of transformation.”

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Executive Summary 19

Leaders’ Summit

Raising the stakes

“Sports was one of the building blocks of our early growth, and naturally it continues to be one of our main content pillars”

Carsten Schmidt CEO, Sky Deutschland Region: Germany Interviewed by: Ann-Marie Corvin

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Sky Deutschland’s forthcoming multi-million copro, the 16-part ‘Golden Twenties’ Germany epic, Babylon Berlin, is already being proclaimed the most expensive non-English language TV show ever made, so it’s not surprising that CEO Carsten Schmidt was keen to talk about it at IBC. “The scene is 1929, a very interesting political environment – Berlin was a boiling pot – there was aspiration and ambition for Germans to climb the social ladder and determination to improve living standards. It’s not a time that has been seen very much on screen. It will mark our card as a content producer in Germany,” says Schmidt, who gave a dedicated ‘Fireside Chat’ session at the IBC Leaders’ Summit this year. The series, which Sky is realising in partnership with ARD/Degeto, Beta and X Filme, is based on a set of crime novels by Volker Kutscher. It is bold, ambitious, high stakes stuff – and neatly sums up Sky Deutschland’s drive to become the number one series producer in German pay-TV. Perhaps buoyed by the success of the sector – which enjoyed 11 per cent growth last year reaching revenues of €3bn (and with similar growth forecast for 2017*) – Sky clearly believes that there is much room for growth in the German market. Original content, it seems, is definitely one of the ways forward. Babylon Berlin is being followed by an eightpart sequel to the 1981 classic Das Boot. “That is something every German of a certain age has a picture of in their mind – it’s such a brand icon in our hands,” says Schmidt. There’s more to come next year, as end-of-world drama Acht Tage (Eight Days) follows a Berlin family in the last days before a meteorite is set to crash into Europe. A version of Scandi-noir hit The Bridge arrives in Germany as Der Pass, which will see another mismatched detective duo collaborate on a murder case, this time on the Austria-German border. “All this is happening in the next 18 months,” explains Schmidt. “ What these series will kick off is just the beginning of a shift in positioning from Sky Deutschland as a sports and film-orientated broadcaster towards a fully fledged family entertainment company.” However, the former chief officer for Sports, Advertising Sales and Internet at Sky Deutschland is quick to add that the pay-TV broadcaster is by no means giving up its lead in sport; rather he says, it wants to increase it. “Sports was one of the building blocks of our early growth, and naturally it continues to be one of our main content pillars,” stresses the CEO. A succession of bullish football bids pays testament to this ambition. Last year, Sky

Deutschland successfully renewed the rights to screen the lion’s share of live Bundesliga matches in a four-year deal, which started this season. The overall Bundesliga deal, which, in its entirety, is reported to be worth a record €4.6bn, is an 86 percent increase on the last auction in 2012, according to the Financial Times. In another triumph for pay-TV, Sky Deutschland recently also won the rights to show the UEFA Champions League matches in Germany, somewhat controversially pushing out its free-to-air rival ZDF. While Sky and sub-licensee Perform Group (DAZN) will, for the first time ever, show the UEFA Champions League rights exclusively on pay-TV, it will also stream the games for the first time via its new OTT service Sky Ticket and via its Sky Go platforms. Sky Ticket will enable fans who would prefer not to commit to a yearly subscription, to purchase one-month tickets to access premium football content. The service also hosts movies, TV series and entertainment. Schmidt, describing the service as ‘Sky for everyone’, adds, “I always say each and every Sky customer – whether they are coming through Sky Ticket or an annual subscription – is valuable. And if they wish to stay with Sky Ticket that’s fine; it’s not the ultimate target to turn them all into subscribers.” Sky is also set to launch its next generation box Sky Q onto the German market in the first half of next year, as well as launch an OTT version of Sky Q to target the six million households across UK, Germany and Italy that cannot, or refuse to have a satellite dish. But while Sky Q and Sky Ticket may be in part Sky’s answer to OTT disrupters such as Netflix, Amazon and Apple, and the rise of the millennial cord cutting trend, Schmidt disputes the notion that linear is dead. “What we see from our data is that there is a development, but it is in the low percentage points. It’s much better, though, to look at specific content, when you want to find out about usage,” he explains. “With a drama like House of Cards for example, 80 percent of the viewing may be taking place via non-linear consumption, but you take another show – such as Game of Thrones – and there’s a very high percentage of linear viewing. “In this case, very much like sports, people absolutely want to watch it as it happens. Nothing can beat a live experience.” * Source: VPRT (Association of Public Broadcasters and Telemedia)

26/09/2017 10:10

20 Executive Summary


Big Screen Experience Jamie Hindhaugh Chief Operating Officer, BT Sport Region: UK Interviewed by: George Jarrett

“The whole industry, with the move to IP infrastructure, has a huge opportunity around remote production”

A new view of the big game The IBC Big Screen session ‘Event Cinema on Steroids’ had the subtext of ‘shooting and delivering HDR and immersive content to the big screen,’ so it coincided precisely with BT Sport’s daily workflow. Although compared to NFT Live, which pumps dramas out to 10,000 cinemas globally, BT Sport uses the big screen for different reasons. “We were the first live sports broadcaster in the world to do Dolby Atmos, so what better way of showcasing what we do to a wider audience than doing it in an Atmos theatre?” says Jamie Hindhaugh, COO at BT Sport. “We took the opportunity with the [UEFA] Champions League Final of sending HDR live to a cinema in Soho Square. There is an opportunity for event cinema moving forward around boxing, which we have moved

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into. It is like having a corporate box inside a stadium; you can showcase your achievements in a very different way.” BT Sport has only been with us for four years. Its key partners are Dolby, Telegenic and Sony. “The role of my team is to lead that partnership and help drive the guys together to deliver solutions for the longer term for the benefit of the industry,” says Hindhaugh. “The key point is the constant innovation drive we are on: we are now seen as pushing the boundaries constantly.” BT Sport has already trialled remote and automated production. “The whole industry, with the move to IP infrastructure, has a huge opportunity around remote production, but there are cultural challenges involving the director,” says Hindhaugh. “Plenty of players are doing it,

but a facilitator would never do it with a Premier League game. It all comes down to the connectivity of the grounds, and that is the biggest challenge of all,” he adds. BT Sport also lays claim to the world’s biggest live 360 VR coverage so far, again based around the Champions League Final. “We had 12 cameras which we stitched together to create a curated broadcast feed. We did VR replays in the live output and live VR graphics,” Hindhaugh says. This just required a VR gallery, and a commentary position, with the caller creating his commentary by looking at the game in VR from the 12 cameras. “We had over 300,000 fans engaged live with the VR and the feedback across social

media was far more positive than expected for a medium that is either liked or not liked. To me VR is about bringing new experiences to the viewer,” says Hindhaugh. “It is already part of our standard provision, so boxing will offer VR highlights as expected,” he adds. “We are moving to incorporate VR highlights within our timeline, and giving audiences different angles. It is a third screen. It is all about our whole linear experience and bringing all the different platforms together so we can bring our audiences closer to the heart of sport.” Looking further afield, Hindhaugh sees a huge opportunity in virtualisation in playout. And then there are analytics. “The beauty of IP is you get the return path, so it is one-

on-one understanding, of new consumer behaviours, and which bits [viewers] stay tuned for. There will be masses more analytics available as soon as IP delivery becomes standard,” he says. “Being able to shape what your audiences want will be fantastic. “What we are already doing with Dolby Atmos points to when IP becomes the opportunity for object-based delivery – one feed where people can select where they want the commentary; if and where they want the graphics; if they want subtitles; and if they want audio description,” he adds. “All those things come across the one IP feed; it is really exciting because it enables you to track who selected what, and to develop your products and hone your broadcasts to meet future requirements.”

26/09/2017 10:11


Executive Summary 21

Platform Futures

Staying friends with ‘frenemies’

Joanna Wells VP Digital Content, Comedy Central and MTV International, Viacom International Media Networks Region: UK Interviewed by: Chris Forrester

Joanna Wells was a key panelist on IBC’s ‘Social Networks – Friend, Frenemy or Foe’ session. We spoke to her ahead of her session, and specifically asked her whether today’s essential friend might be tomorrow’s fiercest rival. “There are things that the likes of Facebook in video might do which might be seen to rival us, but what we are very good at is working with them, and the other social media players,” she says. “They all want us to succeed, because that’s good for us both. “What we have to do is to establish and maintain contact with our viewers, and what’s important with our relationship with Facebook, for example, is that they get it. They understand us, and this extends well beyond our English-language speakers well into our European and

other international markets.” Wells explains that MTV had just wrapped a 10-episode linear show, called Single A.F, which is its first cross-platform show which features single celebrities as they look for love and makes heavy use of Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook. “It is all about using social media,” she says. “The format was filmed in the UK, Australia, Mexico, Sweden, Netherlands, Spain, Ireland, Portugal and France, and will air this autumn.” She adds that MTV taps directly into the channel’s 180 million or so social media fans globally and has already received over 98 million hits across all social and digital channels for this brand, ahead of the transmission. Far from being focused on English language material, Wells says that Latin

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“With social media we can gain responses in seconds”

America was huge for the show, with “massive traction” because of social media. “MTV is all about creating great content, and with social media we can gain responses in seconds,” she adds. “That’s both a challenge and an opportunity. You can have a topic trending within moments of a show going on air. We want our content on every platform, and whatever device they might be using. We will be constantly creating content throughout a key show, ahead of a show, and after a show.” Wells also looks after Comedy Central, and while the channel doesn’t quite have the reach of MTV on social it is expanding fast. “We have created a number of short-form original clips here, and in Australia and the US.

Comedy Central is different compared to MTV. We try and recognise the geographical sensibilities, but we already have huge reach for Comedy Central on Snapchat Discover where there’s fresh material in animation, sketch and stand-up. The Discover platform takes us everywhere.” She adds that the appetite and tastes of viewers, and in particular social media users, internationally for MTV and Comedy Central was really not that different. “It’s all about the platform and we will create content to suit that. Does it need subtitles, what duration [is best for] for maximum impact, how can we monetise… the list is long. We can also instantly tap into important events, usually within about five seconds. That’s what we do!”

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22 Executive Summary



“People’s comments and reactions to a video are often as much a part of the experience as the video itself”

Daniel Danker Product Director, Facebook Region: USA Interviewed by: Ann-Marie Corvin

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Executive Summary 23


Neighbourhood Watch During the IBC Conference Opening Keynote, ‘Fans, Friends and The Future of Broadcasting’, you talked about the rise of fan and friend power – how are you planning to harness this with the launch of Watch? People are increasingly coming to Facebook to watch video. Last year we launched the Video tab in the US, which gave people a predictable place to find video on Facebook. Now we’re taking the next step on this journey with Watch, which is a platform for shows. We’re taking everything we learned from Facebook Live and the Video tab to create a place where people can discover and experience shows they love with their friends and community. What’s the business model for Watch? Watch is a platform, and we want any creator or publisher to be able to make a show. Since we’re very early with Watch, we’re starting with a small group of publishers and creators, and will open up more broadly in the future. We’ve helped seed the ecosystem with a small percentage of the shows at launch, and over time, this percentage will become even smaller, as more and more creators share their shows on Facebook and monetise through Ad Breaks [a feature that allows Facebook Live creators to insert ads into broadcasts] and branded content. When will Watch launch in Europe? We’re starting in the US and will be gathering feedback from people and publishers, but we’re looking to expand Watch to other countries in the future.

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How has Live informed your use of video on the network? Live has been powerful in showing us how video on Facebook connects communities and brings people together in real time. We’ve also seen publishers use Live to create more intimate and authentic experiences with their audiences, bringing them behind the scenes in a way that feels different than any other form of media. People’s comments and reactions to a video are often as much a part of the experience as the video itself. We’ve seen that

unique is that you experience it through your community – through tagging, sharing and commenting. It’s a shared experience. And because of that, video on Facebook can be personal in a completely unique way – based on your friend graph and interests, making the experience richer and more personal. On Watch sections are personalised, suggesting shows to watch and follow based on how your community is reacting to them (Most Talked About, What Friends Are Watching). The viewing experience leverages

“Sports have the power to build and connect communities. We feel Facebook is a natural home for live games” people comment at least ten times more on Facebook Live videos than on regular videos. What kind of content are you looking for? We think Watch will be home to a wide range of shows, from reality to comedy to live sports and shows that bring communities together and tap into the things that make video on Facebook so unique. The kinds of shows I’m excited about include Real Madrid’s Hala Madrid, which gives the passionate fan community a front-row seat; Motivational speaker and life coach Gabby Bernstein also has a show that uses a combination of recorded and live episodes to connect with her fans and answer questions in real time, as well as a Facebook group linked to the show where fans can connect in between episodes. How does this differ to YouTube’s offering? What makes video on Facebook

the social nature of Facebook as well. While watching shows, you can see what others think as you watch, and dive into Groups that are related to the show. For publishers, this provides an opportunity to cultivate community and conversation around the content they create. Why did you decide to go down the mainly short form route, rather than launching longer form shows on the platform? We think that there will be lots of different lengths of shows in Watch. The only requirement is that the idea is episodic. Nas Daily [one of the creators with a Watch show] publishes one motivational video per day and his episodes are just 60 seconds long. On the other end of the spectrum Major League Baseball is broadcasting a Major League game every Friday night. Are live events an area that Facebook keen to expand on?

Sports have the power to build and connect communities. This aligns closely with our mission, so we feel Facebook is a natural home for live sports games. Much of the content from the live sports deals we’ve announced this year (for example, MLB, Major League Soccer, Liga MX soccer) will have a home in Watch. We’re excited for Watch to become a destination for these games. During the conference you also discussed how social networks could play a role in shaping the future of TV. Do you think that Facebook can do this without stepping on broadcasters’ toes or cannibalising their content? Above all, our goal is to be a platform for great shows created by our vast ecosystem of broadcasters and creators, so that people can discover and watch shows they love on Facebook. Watch provides another way for publishers to tell their stories on Facebook and develop a highly engaged audience that comes back for new episodes. What percentage of TV do you personally watch live? Don’t tell anyone, but I’m not much of a sports nut, so most of my live viewing on TV is news. Facebook Live has actually caused me to watch a lot more live content than ever before, because it has introduced new types of live content. The eclipse [of 21 August 2017] is a great example: watching the sun’s corona emerge around the moon can be just as thrilling a few hours later, but experiencing people’s excitement through comments from around the world was especially magical while live.

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24 Executive Summary


Platform Futures Faz Aftab Director, Commercial, Technology and Operations, Online, ITV Region: UK Interviewed by: Ann-Marie Corvin

“The service has to represent the best of British – if we don’t feel a partnership is right we won’t go on there”

Digital native Whether it’s working for an IPTV middleware company, delivering closed campus TV, or chopping up video for Disney in its early days of web streaming, Faz Aftab’s principles for shaping IPTV services over the past 15 years have remained broadly the same: “It’s always been about getting it right, keeping it simple and accessible and making sure that the quality is there.” Even after moving from her native IPTV environment to manage ITV’s online service five years ago, she says that these core principles still hold true. In this time the UK’s free-toair broadcaster has undergone a major relaunch, evolving its catch up service ITV Player into the award-winning ITV Hub. The commercial broadcaster’s live TV and catch up service has now grown from one to thirty platforms, and has achieved a year-on-year growth of 40 per cent in each of the last four years. Establishing more direct viewer relationships has also been a priority, and the Hub now has over 20 million registered users, including 75 percent of the UK’s elusive 16 to 24 demographic. Describing ITV Hub’s winning formula in the IBC session on ‘Direct to Consumer: Enhancing the Audience Experience

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Through OTT’, she says, “We decided to stay with what we knew best. The idea is not to recreate the TV experience online but to give it to the viewer on their terms and deliver high quality programmes seamlessly to a range of devices and make it quick and easy for people to access. “If it’s working on air, it’s working on Hub – we don’t need to buy extra rights or commission extra programmes. We just make sure that the tech works, it’s intuitive, easy to use and everywhere,” she adds. She states that the ITV Hub is as much about watching live TV as it is watching catch-up – with simulcast viewing on the rise for live events such as football (watching the World Cup on an iOS device at the office) and hit reality TV shows such Love Island – which aired on the broadcaster’s digital channel ITV2. Of the half million viewers who tuned in every night to watch Love Island on live on Hub she explains: “It’s not the kind of show young people wanted to watch with their parents on the main TV, so they were using their devices or computers as second TVs in their bedrooms, so they could gossip away from their family.” Aftab believes that many of these Gen Y viewers were new

to ITV, and she argues that rather than cannibalising its broadcast figures, Hub is actually bringing in new viewers. “On ITV2 we reached 2.1 million on an average night. On simulcast we reached another quarter of a million and on catch up another 0.75 million – so if you round that up it’s close to 3.1 million – and we very much see these figures as additive and have seen this type of consumption pattern for certain content before.” A large part of Aftab’s role at ITV online has been to manage relationships with third-party platforms such as Google, Amazon and Apple. While she senses nervousness in the industry from those who worry that curated environments are driving traffic away from their platform, she argues that if broadcasters want to evolve as a business, then this is the world they need to embrace. While it’s a challenge to strike up the right partnership for the right content at the right time, Aftab adds that to a degree these decisions are led by a level of pragmatism that comes with working for a commercial broadcaster. “We look at the spend, the business case, whether it brings in new audiences and whether it’s something our

existing viewers want,” she says. She adds that this is why ITV only decided to partner with Chromecast once Google had increased its level of sales and connectivity, and once viewers started requesting the service on the App stores. Another recent deal was struck earlier this year with fellow mass market player Amazon, which now runs the ITV Hub app and some ITV syndicated content, including channels on its video platform, in a bid to expand its live TV offering. All these partnerships, Aftab adds, require active relationships to create a streamlined user experience that is relevant to a UK audience. “The playback experience has got to be seamless on these platforms. We also want to own the editorial control of our brand, and we want to be able to shape it for the UK market, because it is very different to the US. We spend a lot of time on that and they do listen. The service has to represent the ‘best of British’ – if we don’t feel it’s right it won’t go on there.” Ensuring the UK experience is preserved and represented is also crucial to the work Aftab is doing helping to shape Freeview’s next gen catch up platform, Freeview Play, which brings together the UK

broadcasters’ catch up services to connected TVs. “Even if you don’t take out a pay-TV package or service in the UK, you can still get a quality service for the price of just a TV licence. That’s something we need to show the rest of the world.” Aftab is also on a mission to encourage more women and diverse groups to embrace careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects. Realising that all too often she is the only woman in the room, and, as a mother of three young girls, Aftab formed a Women in Technology support network at ITV and also visits secondary schools to talk tech to girls. “There’s a lot of conditioning,” she says. “There was a 14-year old girl who was advised to stick to art because her teacher had told her that girls’ brains are not wired for maths.” Using those basic IPTV principles of getting it right, keeping it simple and accessible, and making sure that the quality is there, Aftab then started to ask the girl about her phone, and they began to look through some of her favourite social media apps, and how they could be improved. “And then she came up with all these ideas,” says Aftab. “And I pointed out – that’s a job!”

26/09/2017 10:25


Executive Summary 25

Business transformation Jeff Kember Technical Director Media, Office of the CTO, Google Cloud, Google Region: USA Interviewed by: Ann-Marie Corvin

Cloudy with a chance of disruption Despite initial reluctance among broadcasters and studios to embrace virtual ways of working, the cloud has become an accepted part of many media organisations’ workflow infrastructure. According to Jeff Kember, this shift in acceptance is reflected in the types of services his customers are asking for. “They’re not asking whether they should move into the cloud, the question is now more along the lines of which cloud model should they be using,” he says. While he’s still asked the regular questions about storage and compute, he adds that increasingly customers are asking about the bigger stuff too, such as ‘how does one transition an entire industry to the cloud?’ Kember says that his role is to enable these companies to make whatever transition they feel is necessary to get their business to the place they want it to be. This, he explains, is largely an information gathering

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and listening exercise. Working across the spectrum of Google’s media clients, including broadcast, feature animation and VFX, Kember has seen media companies increasingly migrate their projects – both long term and short term – to the cloud. Last autumn VFX house MPC made use of the Google Cloud Platform to render the majority of Disney’s The Jungle Book. “There is no longer a limit as to what can be moved,” he states. “I was asked by a customer in LA ‘are we ready for moving all of the compute workloads to the cloud?’, and my response to them was ‘yes’. In addition to rendering, simulation and deep compositing are high I/O workloads that can benefit from our cloud architecture. In addition, remote desktops are allowing customers to leave their data on the cloud and remotely manipulate it.” The ability to work globally on big projects is further enabled by

Google’s own private global fibre network – a unique advantage that the tech giant has over rival web scale suppliers, as Kember is quick to point out. “We’re the only company that has laid fibre under the oceans and owns the private network globally. Whether you are accessing content from

known studios and broadcasters already put their trust in Google’s highly secure network infrastructure, which is one of the reasons why Kember was invited to speak at IBC this year on prescriptive steps to building a cloud security strategy. “With our cloud you start completely locked down by

“What’s really exciting for us is the ability to democratise compute and workflow” Sydney, Tokyo, Rio, New York, Frankfurt – you are on our private encrypted network the entire time. Companies that have offices scattered around the globe have the ability to utilise that,” he says. Kember explains that because Google started in the cloud and runs on the cloud, it understands the security implications of running a business in the cloud. Many of the industry’s best-

default, so if you wish to add any functionality you have to explicitly open that up – it’s not a matter of taking something and securing it, it’s a matter of taking something which is locked down and granting access as required,” he explains. For media companies looking to generate VR content, Google Cloud also has the unique ability to utilise its scale and leverage other parts of its business such

as its VR platform Daydream, its camera platform Jump and its broadcast channel YouTube. “You can take your imagery from the Jump camera, put it on Google Cloud and we’ll stitch it together in parallel, taking advantage of Google’s infrastructure. You can also use our global network to distribute your final content,” Kember says. Google Cloud frequently refreshes its cloud architecture as processing power continues to evolve. It therefore allows customers to keep pace with technological innovation without having to invest in new physical hardware. “What’s really exciting for us is the ability to democratise compute and workflow to enable smaller companies to rent a supercomputer at a reasonable cost,” concludes Kember. “It will allow them to bid on productions for which they would not normally have the infrastructure to compete.”

26/09/2017 10:28

26 Executive Summary

The game changer Dan Miodownik Deputy CEO & Chief Content Officer, Host Broadcast Services Region: France Interviewed by: Ann-Marie Corvin

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26/09/2017 10:30


Executive Summary 27

Platform Futures - Sport Before the IBC session, ‘Beyond Live: New Tech Pushing the Boundaries’, this 25-year veteran of the sports broadcasting business discussed FIFA World Cup tech, UHD, and the rise of machine learning in sport. What are the main challenges for HBS over the next few years? Along with our key clients like FIFA TV, anticipating the direction their customers and the rights holders are going in. Major events take years to organise, so we have to anticipate where rights holders can best be served. Over the past four FIFA World Cups, we have, along with FIFA TV, developed the multi-feeds concept, the jump to HD, media server technology, 3D, and 4K, and advanced digital solutions. Now we are in new place. There are a number of paradoxes in play. At a technology level we talk UHD/ HDR, while arguably cost per hour in production is getting lower as low cost solutions become more acceptable. Marketing and consumer display sales, rather than the broadcast industry, seem to be driving key technology decisions. Then we have multimedia, which sets consumption trends, though its quality threshold is not always good enough. Finally, for both operational and budgetary reasons many broadcasters are going for remote production, both directly and indirectly. All these affect our assumptions for long term planning. How do you ensure that you’re maximising the content that you capture for your customers? I still feel as though too much content gets left on the cutting room floor, given the number of cameras used in OB, and the advent of multi-feed and server technology. For smaller events we have developed an additional feed concept, which means for a minimal additional cost significantly more content can be pulled off the truck,

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allowing rights holders to use this on their various platforms. For bigger events a recent focus has been to make the interface of media servers a more userfriendly experience for editorial picks, so that it resembles an internet shopping experience. It will enable a producer or an AP working on an event like the FIFA World Cup to configure the content they need from over 6000 hours of content, and manage the traffic better. You came to IBC to talk about some of the big game-changing technologies in sports production. What can we expect from the FIFA Russia World Cup in 2018? This FIFA World Cup promises to be the first proper multiformat event. The FIFA TV production plan means we can finally ensure there will be no side-by-

engage in live sport, their ability to leave a room during an event is much greater than mine, while having access to multiple screens is more important to them. Our generation was led by what the broadcasters wanted to show us. The new generation wants to set the trend – they don’t want to be told what to watch and how to watch it. Will that change the types of sports we cover and the way we cover them? Probably. One challenge facing many sports producers currently is how to engage millennials, and digital has a big part to play in that. What is the next big step in terms of moving forward with nextgeneration services? Regardless of the challenges that broadcasters face in delivering it, UHD is the logical

“The ability to produce and automate the delivery of clips quickly is closer than you think” side production teams working in different formats. By utilising the latest broadcast technology we will be able to produce one cut of the match in 1080i, 1080p, UHD plus HDR – a great benefit for the end user. We are also making some big strides in sound using immersive audio and data tracking to improve the experience. Meanwhile the digital offering will be the most complete yet, servicing rights holders of all shapes and sizes. How do fans engage differently with sports content around the globe? It’s less of a global difference and more of a generational one. It depends on the age of the people in the room. The bulk of people – even hardcore Gen X sports fans – are still consuming live sport in a traditional way – via free or pay-TV. With younger audiences, while they still

evolution in terms of resolution. To some degree UHD follows heavily in the path of 3D – it’s coming from the demand to sell consumer screens, even though the majority of broadcasters are not yet in a position to deliver this consistently. However the next big step in picture quality will be HDR. That’s a massive game changer because the difference in quality is really obvious; when my kids compared SDR and HDR, they could really see the difference. Some OTT players are now shooting in UHD, Amazon is already sizing major sports events – how long to do you think it will be before IP players start entering the live sports arena? At some point in time, the big internet players will step into the game directly. That will be a game changer.

And what about VR? VR is a genuinely interesting way to watch content, rights holders and broadcasters are excited about it and it could bring some genuinely fresh ideas to sport. There have been some quality issues with the live content that’s come out – some of it looks like early VHS – but at least it’s not just a ‘reversioned’ broadcast. For the FIFA World Cup 2018, along with FIFA TV we have developed 180 and 360 standalone content and some white label VR apps. Broadcasters want it, so it’s the right thing to be doing. What other new technologies are you experimenting with? We’re currently looking at ways of turning data into compelling content. People have been consuming sports data and graphics for over thirty years, but the use for it hasn’t changed much – no-one has come along and made compelling use of it beyond the obvious. We’ve worked with games developers to address this in the past but the challenge in live sport is the immediacy you are dealing with that you don’t have in a [video] game. Sport is so wonderfully hard to predict. If you look at social media and how it uses requests for information, it’s very simplistic; very dumbed down. Will machines ever replace sports directors? Machine learning currently can’t mimic editorial narratives in a compelling way – but then not all directors can either! It’s something that we’ve been looking at, and the ability to produce and automate the delivery of clips quickly is closer than you think. We should be able to combine data and clip production, but the jury is out on automating more complex tasks such as sport directing. Would you want to take a risk with a major event final? I’m not convinced.

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28 Executive Summary


Craig Todd SVP & CTO, Dolby Laboratories Region: USA Interviewed by: Mark Hallinger

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26/09/2017 10:36


Executive Summary 29

IBC International Honour for Excellence

Internationally excellent sound One of Craig Todd’s earliest audio memories dates from his high school years. He somehow became interested in high fidelity sound, and when a friend bought a tape recorder they understood that there was limited dynamic range and lots of noise on those early machines. “We started thinking about ways to get the noise out,” recalls Todd. “Maybe a motorised volume control that would go up and down, and somehow track on reproduction.” An engineer friend told them however that a new company called Dolby had started in England, and had solved the noise problem. “Like Ray Dolby, we had discovered the noise problem, and thought about solutions,” says Todd. “But Ray was the genius who came up with a solution.” Fast forward less than a decade and Ray Dolby – who had recently moved his company headquarters from London to San

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Francisco – would take on Todd as engineer in early 1977. “Ray Dolby was an amazing man, both in terms of technical vision and as an inventor, and he had great savvy as a business man,” says Todd. “And he was a nice, genuine person as well. I feel very fortunate to have been there when he was active in the company.” Todd, now SVP and CTO of Dolby, represented the company when it received the

industry went to multitrack recording and had lots and lots of channels of noise potentially adding together in down mixes.” It also established something that became a pattern in Dolby’s history when the technology was brought from the professional side to the consumer side with Dolby B, which made the cassette into a high fidelity medium. The cassette became the dominant music source for many years, and it put Dolby on

audio milestones was 1971’s A Clockwork Orange, which adopted Dolby noise reduction on its pre-mixes. In 1977 Star Wars was released with a high fidelity 4-channel optical soundtrack. Todd worked on the surround sound for Star Wars just after he joined Dolby. “They told me to build a couple dozen of these first-generation surround adapters [for cinemas], and I ended up building 120,” says

“I thought going from stereo to surround to 5.1 was significant, but the advance to Dolby Atmos is bigger than all of those previous advances”

2017 IBC International Honour for Excellence, recognising the company’s quest for continual improvement in sound. Ray Dolby’s first technology, Dolby A, improved studio recording significantly with 10dB of noise reduction. “It often took the noise from ‘clearly annoying,’ to ‘you could barely hear it,’” says Todd. “That was tremendous, especially when the

the map, because everybody had that ‘Dolby’ button. Pre-recorded cassettes started using the technology, so consumers really had to have it in the player to get the best performance. “It’s [something] that we’ve done over and over again at Dolby,” says Todd. “Starting the technology on the professional side, building the ecosystem, and then tying in the consumer content and experience.” The consumer experience also ties in heavily to Dolby’s massive contribution to cinema sound, which had been very crude and limited by the optical soundtrack. But Dolby noise reduction helped the film industry in the transition from mono to stereo and beyond. One of Dolby’s early cinematic

Todd. “Cinemas would play the movie for three months then buy surround sound to get people to come back and see it again with new high fidelity sound. When we got it into formal production we sold more than 50,000 of those adapters.” Later came Dolby Digital, which provided practical 5.1 channel audio that co-existed with the legacy Dolby Surround optical soundtrack, a Dolby Digital codec that enabled television and DVD to bring 5.1 channel audio to the home, and DolbyVision, which has let the company spread its wings to the video side with an end-to-end HDR technology. Recently Dolby Atmos object-based audio that can precisely place individual sounds anywhere in a three-dimensional space, including overhead, has rolled out. “I thought going from stereo to surround to 5.1 were

significant advances, but the advance to Dolby Atmos is bigger than all of those,” says Todd. “It’s tremendous when you experience this done properly in a good cinema.” And now Dolby Atmos is starting to permeate into the home theatre market. “Amazingly, our engineers have now designed these upward firing speaker systems, so without putting speakers in the ceiling you can get sounds from overhead,” explains Todd. Even more, they put the technology in a sound bar, so something that’s only in the front of the room is bouncing the signals off the walls and the ceiling, and giving you so much of that experience in something that anybody can install.” Todd expects more Dolby Atmos content and more Atmos equipment for consumers over the next five years. Things are starting to roll, with BT Sport announcing that coverage of certain live sport events will offer the technology. Another ongoing technology from Dolby is what’s referred to there as ‘personalisation,’ which means programme audio can deliver many different elements of sound, allowing a user to choose what announcers they’d like to listen to, for example, or an audio description, or a specific language. “We’ve designed all of this capability in our next generation audio codec, AC-4, that has all the capabilities to deliver the Atmos sound and all of this personalisation,” says Todd. It’s clear the quest for audio enhancement goes on at Dolby Laboratories.

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30 Executive Summary


Content and production

The truth is out there Sally Buzbee Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Associated Press Region: USA Interviewed by: Ann-Marie Corvin

It wasn’t that long into her tenure as The Associated Press’s new head that Sally Buzbee had to make her first tough call. Earlier this year the White House prevented several high profile media organisations – including the New York Times – from attending a Friday afternoon press briefing. While AP was not among those banned, it decided – along with Time magazine – not to attend the meeting. According to Buzbee, while AP would rather report on the news than insert itself into a story, on this occasion the 171-year-old nonprofit news agency felt as though the Government had gone too far. “We don’t want to fight but there are situations that we believe in strongly – the public here in the US and around the globe has the right to have access to what the Government is doing,” she says. “Excluding certain media organisations crosses a red line, and in those circumstances it’s our job to say, ‘no that is not ok’. We had to push back on that,” she adds.

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In her IBC session, ‘Lies, Damn Lies and Alternative Facts’, Buzbee looked at the challenges that AP and other news outlets face in a highly partisan climate. AP’s mission has always been to furnish the public with factual information about what the US Government and its officials are up to, to explain the ramifications and to report with high standards of accuracy, precision, fairness and objectivity. Has the Trump administration made this mission any tougher? According to Buzbee, who led the AP’s Washington bureau for the past six years, it’s always been a challenge. “With every administration our reporters have always fought hard to try and get access and to fight for information and for facts - it’s been like that for decades and it’s really important to point this out,” she adds. What is different now is that respected media organisations are being discredited as ‘fake news media’ – often by the socalled alt-right movement and occasionally by the president

himself; Trump has been particularly critical on the use of unnamed sources. “If there is information you cannot get any other way, and it is factual and from a person who knows what they are talking about, then we think that this is critical information and the public needs to know about it,” she says.

speculation about what would happen. When you don’t know the outcome of something, just say it.” Buzbee acknowledges that a big challenge for strong news organisations in the so-called ‘post truth’ era is to convince an ever-confused public that it’s the real facts and not the alternative facts that count.

“Presenting news in visual form is going to become far more important” Where reporting could improve she thinks, is by getting reporters to stick to reporting on what has actually happened, rather than filling in the gaps with speculation. “We need to be more transparent rather than presenting things as a certainty. A recent example of this has been the ban on transgender people entering the US Military. When it was first announced no one knew what had been decided about transgender people who were already in the military, but there was

“I don’t think it’s true that the public doesn’t care about the facts. People all across the globe care about facts. We need to be transparent about our reporting and try to write stories in an accessible and nonpartisan way,” she says. AP is also putting its fact checking resources to good use by working with Facebook to help identify and debunk trending false ‘news’ stories. When AP or another participating fact-check organisation flags a piece of

content as fake, Facebook users can see that it has been disputed and there will be a link to the corresponding article explaining why. That flag will follow if a Facebook user chooses to share. “We want young people to learn that AP is a trusted source of news and we think there is some value in trying to bring old-fashioned media values into social media,” she says. While the focus right now is on fact-checks around public officials and government accountability, Buzbee adds that AP is expanding its fact-checking into other areas such as health and medicine. “One story that kept surfacing involved a Florida store accused of unsanitary practices – all you had to do was look at the State records to show this wasn’t true.” It has also given AP a better feel for their younger customers. “We need to be more visually focused because, and I see this in young people’s consumption patterns, they are more focused on imagery. So presenting news in visual form is going to become far more important.”

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Executive Summary 31

C-Tech: Cyber Security

Guardian at the gates “It’s become an accepted paradigm that you’re not going to stop a security breach from happening every time”

Mario Vecchi Chief Technology Officer, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Region: USA Interviewed by: Ann-Marie Corvin

Ten years ago it might have seemed strange that a broadcaster would pay hackers to break into their systems, but PBS does this as part of its cyber security operational plans, according to Mario Vecchi. “They basically try and hack us and then tell us what they’ve found,” he explains. “The technical term is to perform a penetration test. We then take the results and we look for gaps in our systems and opportunities to enhance our security.” Following a string of high profile hacks and leaks – from TV 5 Monde in France to Sony Pictures and HBO in the US, cyber security has become a hot topic among media companies – especially as they make the rapid transition to software-based, IP-connected infrastructures. Dr. Vecchi, the

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US public broadcaster’s CTO of three years, was visiting IBC to talk at the timely C-Tech session, ‘Cyber Governance: Taking the right steps’. “It’s become an accepted paradigm that you’re not going to stop a security breach from happening every time. There will be a human factor, or a bug in one of the apps,” says Vecchi. And in those circumstances he adds that quick detection is critical to minimise damage. “You need to ask yourself ‘How do I go back to a state where I protect myself and recover?’ ‘How quickly can I throw away data files that have been corrupted and bring in healthy ones?’ Quick detection and quick recovery are crucial.” An extra challenge for Vecchi is the distributed nature of the broadcaster’s structure.

While Vecchi and his team provide centralised services, PBS is a national membership organisation, comprised of independent public TV stations that all run their own operations. “At the local level you see different levels of rigour,” he notes. “The larger stations have more resources and technology, and are usually well secured with standard practices on the IT side. The smaller stations leverage their own distinct advantages, and they are often well served by the manual processes they put in place,” he explains. No matter the size of the organisation, Vecchi argues that companies should see cyber security as an ongoing activity. “You are never finished,” he says. “When executive decisions are made, cyber security must be factored in as an ongoing cost

to the business.” Cyber security can also be viewed as a cost offset by more efficient ways of working. While some media businesses are reluctant to move to the cloud, citing data security fears, Vecchi believes that there are too many benefits not to proceed, so companies should find a way of making it work. “We will continue to expand more of our services and operations into the cloud. The challenge is not the cloud itself, but how you use it. Something going to the cloud is not an inherent threat, but it doesn’t eliminate it either. You need to constantly look at how you move your information and manage your employees.” he says. A look at Vecchi’s long and distinguished career leads to a trail of innovation and patents.

He developed a probability algorithm while working at IBM, as well as an early cable modem and online service for Time Warner. He’s also the owner of four patents. So given all the innovations he must have worked on, how did Vecchi decide which technologies were worth the effort it takes to get them approved? “I think that comes down to instinct,” he says. “If something is meaningful to you and you believe it has value, then you bring together the technology, legal and business functions to ensure that the product contributes to the greater good.” But then, he adds, luck plays a big role, too. “You never really know for sure; that is the unpredictable path of innovation”

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32 Executive Summary


Audiences and Advertising A large threat to the broadcast advertising model from large digital pure players, such as Google or Netflix, is likely to drive the rapid adoption of programmatic and addressable advertising by the broadcast industry, according to Jon Block, EMEA VP of Product and Platform at Videology. Block’s background, which first saw him working as head of advertising innovation for ITV, the UK’s largest commercial broadcaster, before moving to video advertising platform Videology, has left him genuinely invested in the future of the broadcast world. This is despite having moved to the ad tech side of the fence. “I perceive a macroscopic threat from the big digital pure play companies such as Google, YouTube and Netflix, primarily,” says Block, who was part of the ‘Mad Men in the Digital Age: New Directions in TV advertising’ session at IBC. “Their advanced capabilities, monopolies in various areas and sheer size mean that they are

broadcast industry can derive from the power of these digital advertising methods, which have to date been met with varying degrees of resistance by the traditional broadcast world. “From a content point of view, we are in the golden age of TV,” he adds. “From an advertising point of view, we are not there yet, which is why the industry should embrace the opportunity for addressability in TV advertising and the technological improvements available in the area of automation. That will support the commercial trading models that are set up between agencies and broadcasters.” Programmatic and addressable advertising can work either together or separately to achieve results for both broadcasters and advertising agencies, according to Block, who says he has seen how far advanced the advertising industry has come and how much distance is yet to be covered by broadcasters in terms of

“Broadcasters and agencies aren’t really speaking the same language” also able to act as a distribution channel. I believe they are trying to capture the entire value chain that currently lies between the broadcaster and the advertiser, and I think that’s incredibly threatening to both industries that work so closely and equitably together.” Netflix is also in an incredibly powerful position to tap into the TV advertising paradigm, because people are watching it in a very TV-like manner, according to Block. “Everything points towards Netflix moving towards an ad-funded model of some sort in the next couple of years, as they have very little other space in which to grow. That move will be the impulse that causes the broadcast industry worldwide to fully embrace programmatic and addressable advertising in the way that they should, because of its power.” Block is at pains to outline the benefits that the

enhancing their yield and targeting strategic audiences. “There’s a lot of opportunity out there if broadcasters can move from selling contentbased advertising to combining both content and audience profiles, whether demographic or behavioural,” concludes Block. “Today, broadcasters and agencies aren’t really speaking the same language when they are trading their inventories. “That’s one of the biggest challenges right now and it involves broadcasters adapting existing commercial models, and getting to grips with overlapping audiences through mathematical optimisation. In reverse, the broadcast industry can share about half a century’s worth of compliance and brand safety experience with the ad tech agencies in the digital world, who are struggling with that particular challenge right now.”

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Addressing the audience Jon Block EMEA VP of Product and Platform, Videology Region: UK Interviewed by: Monica Heck

26/09/2017 10:48


Executive Summary 33

Business Transformation - Tech Talks Sasha Schriber Head of the Digital Platforms and Applications Group, Disney Research Region: Switzerland Interviewed by: George Jarrett

The new creative renaissance “Art and science once again are merging back together”

Sasha Schriber, head of the digital platforms and applications group at Disney Research in Zurich, spoke in the IBC session ‘Inventing the Future – Decoding the Unknown’ alongside speakers from NHK, Nuance Communications, and BBC R&D. The audience was assured of ‘sharing insights into transformative technologies that are re-shaping the media industry’, so where do Schriber’s group’s platforms and apps come into play? “Disney Research works across the entire company – parks, studios, consumer products, Disney Interactive and Media Networks,” she says. “Walt Disney had this vision of telling stories in completely new ways. In order to do this, he needed technology that did not exist, so he had no choice but to

develop technology himself. “Ever since, our company has always been technology driven, and there were always people who made the link between entertainment and technology,” she adds. “They are called ‘imagineers’.” Disney Research is a part of WDI (Walt Disney Imagineering), and Schriber’s group consists of a mix of designers and software engineers that quickly build prototypes and applications. “They test any new ideas, no matter how crazy they might sound. They go deep and use a holistic approach, more often than not combining several technologies in order to create something new,” she reveals. “The regular research pipeline usually corresponds to the cycle of a Ph.D. student, which takes approximately five years from the conception of an idea to a digital prototype to be built and

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tested, with large-scale user studies internationally.” Coming originally from an artistic background, Schreiber is a prime example of the wide industry impression that the artist and the engineer have never worked so cooperatively. “I see a clear path that art and science are going to merge in the nearest future,” she says. “If you look at ancient times, art and science walked side by side. Da Vinci was an artist and a scientist, and only after the Renaissance did art and science divide off. “Science became more narrow in trying to deeper understand nature, while the arts became broader, and the mission of artists deviated toward means of inspiration and inner exploration. Now we observe that art and science once again are merging back together,” she adds. “Look at all

the tools we now have available – AI, ML, VR, AR, plus rich interfaces and ways for artists to distribute their art.” Schriber’s team has several projects in the spaces of AI, ML and NLP. “We build prototypes for tools to assist professional storytellers to advance their creativity, and both improve and optimise the production cycle,” she says. “We do not build tools that are aimed at replacing artists, but to help them to leverage existing or new technologies. It is hugely important for us to understand the artistic process, so we spend lots of time talking to artists across our company, to make sure we think of future products that are not limiting their creativity,” she adds. Though Schriber’s group does not develop final products that are facing large user bases, there are product teams within

the company. “We have the opportunity to do blue sky research and to continuously experiment and iterate. This is why I enjoy working with our research teams, and particularly collaborating with scientists from ETH (Federal institute of Technology) in Zurich,” she says. “Personally I am a big believer in VR, including participatory and interactive VR as a way to transform the way content will be created and consumed in future.” Schreiber, who has attended IBC in the past, had one other key thing to look at apart from VR. “The startup scene was also on my radar,” she says. “I am always curious to see what new ideas entrepreneurs are pursuing, turning challenges into opportunities to transform the world we are currently living in.”

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34 Executive Summary


Platform Futures - Sport

Mountains to climb Imagine the responsibility: The 2018 Winter Olympic Games from PyeongChang, South Korea is only a few months away and offers challenges of mountains, geography and snow, while at the same time you have to manage the build of a 30,000 square metre Broadcast Centre, and work out how to supply spectacular HDTV images, as well as 4K and 8K. If that’s not enough, then add into the mix the advanced planning for Tokyo’s Summer Games in 2020, where Japan’s NHK public broadcaster has 8K very high on its agenda. And the final factor: it just has to work. That’s the task facing Sotiris Salamouris, CTO at OBS, who was speaking at the ‘Beyond Live: New Tech Pushing the Boundaries’ session of the IBC Conference. When we spoke to him, the conversation

Our colleagues from NHK are working on this, of course. “For PyeongChang we also have a quite complex 4K operation,” he adds. “Our 4K coverage comprises two key elements: we will produce 4K but with standard dynamic range availability to satisfy the needs of the majority of our broadcasters. We are also supplying the downconverted 8K to 4K with HDR for those who want it.” Asked how important 4K could be at Tokyo, Salamouris, laughing, answers, “Now you want me to be a prophet! We are doing everything possible in terms of preparation for the highest-possible quality. Our industry has been moving from standard definition to high-def, and now to 4K, and with 8K in front of us. But I would hope that we also accept that there’s another revolution, in IP-based

“Perhaps by 2022 or 2024, we will no longer be talking of 4K or 8K” quickly turned to HDR, 4K and – inevitably – 8K. “8K is an interesting element,” he exclaims. “With our longstanding partner NHK, we are also creating an 8K platform from PyeongChang. We have worked with NHK in a very strong partnership on 8K since the London Games, which means that with London, Sochi, Rio, and Korea, it will be the fourth Games that we have covered in 8K in some form. The 8K productions are advancing and becoming more and more sophisticated. The biggest change for Korea in 8K is the introduction of HDR and Rec. 2020 wider colour. It really is the ‘full monty’ in terms of 8K. The only thing missing, if you really want to get to the final frontier, is higher frame rates.

technologies which is happening in parallel – and that includes live capture. We have also to be aware that distribution is no longer just to TV sets, but to other devices including OTT delivery. I’d like to see these elements coming together and to be seamless for the viewer. “Perhaps by 2022 or 2024, we will no longer be talking of 4K or 8K,” he predicts. “Instead we’ll be [saying] ‘excellent quality, because my device will support it’, and then perhaps ‘medium quality, because I have not yet bought the latest display’, and then ‘a good quality, but visible on hand-held devices’. We must be able to mix and match the images to suit the devices. We are still in a transition period but moving towards this situation.”

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Sotiris Salamouris CTO, Olympic Broadcasting Services Region: Spain Interviewed by: Chris Forrester

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Executive Summary 35

Big Screen Experience Ben Ritterbush Director, Digital Cinema Content, 20th Century Fox Region: USA Interviewed by: Carolyn Giardina

“I don’t envision a theatre full of patrons wearing VR glasses”

Setting the scene for SMPTE DCP The effort to make the SMPTE DCP (Digital Cinema Package) the standard delivery format for sending movies to cinemas is a top priority for Ben Ritterbush, director of domestic digital cinema distribution at Twentieth Century Fox. Ritterbush, who was speaking at an annual fixture of IBC, the EDCF Global Technology Update session, feels the path is clear for DCP. “The interop package [that has been in use since studio consortium Digital Cinema Initiatives launched its digital cinema spec in 2005] was only designed as an interim format while SMPTE was setting the standard,” he explains. “Exhibition needed something immediately.

Interop became the de facto solution but was never meant as a long-term solution.” The SMPTE DCP standard was completed in 2009 and rollout effectively began in 2014, but there is still much work to be done. “Fox aims to be 100 per cent SMPTE DCP by next year, in North America,” Ritterbush reports. “Fox has already delivered a number of titles, the first being Keeping up with the Joneses. We had a handful of issues [in this testing phase]. “We are currently doing dual inventory. There are a number of legacy sites that still can’t play SMPTE DCPs,” he explains, adding that in many cases, delivery involves the DCDC (Digital Cinema Distribution

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Coalition) network and in other cases, they are delivering the movies on physical hard drives. “International is further out,” he adds. “The goal is one global standard that’s fully secure.” In Europe, for instance, rollout has started in numerous countries, and has already been completed in some, such as the Netherlands, Finland and Norway. The creation of digital cinema deliverables, Ritterbush continues, is both “easier and more complicated.” With variables such as 2D, 3D, HDR and immersive sound, a movie may require anywhere from nine to 21 different versions, just for a US release, he says. Internationally, that number increases due to local language

requirements. “We don’t want to complicate things further and have even more versions,” Ritterbush says. “We want to provide a single format [with the versions such as local languages] that can play on all screens. We believe that’s an achievable goal.” More recently, the digital cinema community has also been examining the potential of cinema LED screens (Samsung’s technology received DCI certification last spring). “It’s on everyone’s radar,” Ritterbush says. “I think it has the potential to leapfrog laser projectors. It’s challenging to get consistent quality with traditional Xenon projectors. But [LED technology] does present other issues.

For instance, audio. There’s no way to put centre speakers behind the screen.” Meanwhile, Fox has been busy exploring the potential of virtual and augmented reality. Its early releases, including The Martian VR Experience, based on Ridley Scott’s The Martian; and Alien: Covenant In Utero, based on Scott’s Alien: Covenant have been two highprofile examples. “I absolutely think there’s some potential there, but it’s unclear what that potential may be,” Ritterbush says. “I don’t envision a theatre full of patrons wearing VR glasses. But there’s potential to tell a creative and compelling story through AR and VR, we have to find out what the business model is going to be.”

26/09/2017 10:51

36 Executive Summary


Audiences and Advertising Stacy Huggins Co-Founder and CMO, MadHive Region: USA Interviewed by: Monica Heck

Illuminating the supply chain “Saying blockchain won’t work for ad tech is a false assertion right now”

At its most basic, blockchain describes an open, distributed ledger that records all transactions between two parties in a permanent and verifiable manner. The concept was born with the internet in the early 90s, but only truly came into the spotlight with the advent of Bitcoin, the digital currency. As the entertainment industry goes digital, Stacy Huggins, co-founder and CMO of data management company MadHive is keen to outline the merits and potential of blockchainbased tech when it comes to the management of broadcast advertising sales. “Blockchain is amazing at lowering the cost of trust in a very untrusting environment,” explains Huggins. “If trust just

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became a consequence of the technology, there would be a lot more money and time available for innovation.” Having held leadership roles on the agency, ad tech and client sides of the business, Huggins has a deep understanding of the challenges within the ad tech supply chain and feels that as broadcast moves towards IP and OTT distribution over multiple devices, interest in blockchain will grow. Traditional ad sales for broadcast, and its related information on an ad impression level, currently comes from disparate, often locked sources. With blockchain, according to Huggins, that information would become available to the buyer and become more useful.

Blockchain also addresses fears around safety – brand and data safety – as traditional broadcast media sales and execution go digital. “The supply chain is very murky right now and blockchain sets up some street lights to light up these dark alleyways,” Huggins adds. “Blockchain is a fantastic way for the broadcast industry to move into digital, and potentially work within programmatic environments in the future, because it’s an environment where everything is transparent.” That means inventories being sold at their proper value, better ad targeting and most of all, because broadcasters can now see exactly what’s happening, regaining control of the

economic value of ad sales from the ‘middle man’, where it’s concentrated now, and bringing it back to the advertiser and the publisher. “The intermediary won’t go away, but they’re likely not to make as much money,” explains Huggins. “They are currently paid to verify the same ad impression, sometimes ten times over. With blockchain, economic value will be given back to the advertisers and the publishers, which they can use to reinvest in their own offerings.” Huggins is also keen to ensure the audience doesn’t mistake this type of blockchain for the slower, more rudimentary Bitcoin blockchain or databases serving the financial institutions. “We are building on a version of

Hyperledger, a blockchain that is more nimble and with much faster response times. Saying blockchain won’t work for ad tech is a false assertion right now.” Blockchain can also help the industry compete against the duopoly of Facebook and Google, especially as Facebook moves towards selling OTT inventory, concludes Huggins. “Blockchain will help broadcasters provide the type of attractive cross-device, peoplebased insight that brings advertisers to the two ‘walled garden’ giants, instead of making these giants their ad sales middle man at great margin cost.”

26/09/2017 10:53


Executive Summary 37

Audiences and Advertising “Brands can reach users and offer experiences that can’t be replicated on other platforms”

Get your game face on Christopher Mead Senior Director of Partnerships, EMEA, Twitch Region: UK Interviewed by: Ann-Marie Corvin

How is the new online video ecosystem transforming the TV experience? That’s what the session at IBC, ‘The New TV: Who’s Really Watching?’ sought to find out. One of the key participants was Christopher Mead, senior director of partnerships for EMEA at Twitch. Millions of people are using platforms like Twitch to watch live streams of other people playing computer games. What’s the appeal? People enjoy watching others who are good or engaging at what they do. It’s that simple. In the same manner that it is not strange for a chef to watch the Food Network, or an athlete to watch a football game on TV, gaming speaks to people who enjoy the culture of games. The thing that makes Twitch sticky is that people are not just watching others; it is live social video – the broadcaster is speaking to the viewers, and

the viewers are chatting with the broadcaster and each other. You used to be a professional gamer – how has this informed your role at Twitch? By being part of the e-sports scene, I have been able to not only ensure key voices are heard, but also help onboard teams, leagues, players, and events that require an intimate understanding of their needs. You were at IBC this year to discuss how online video innovators are transforming the way TV is consumed. How are you helping broadcasters and brands reach new audiences? Due to Twitch’s social video features, its strong community, numerous influencers and hard-to-reach demographic of millennial cord-cutters, brands can reach users and offer experiences that cannot be

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replicated on other platforms. For instance, we teased the debut of Netflix’s Stranger Things with a four-hour live broadcast, ending in an airing of the first eight minutes of the pilot episode. Our influencer team played various games (some scary, some fun) in a 80s-themed basement set, while users voted on creepy things to befall our unwitting victims – flying books, flickering lights, doors that would creak open to reveal sinister, singing, deadeyed dolls – and more! How else are your traditional broadcast partners using Twitch? We’ve entered into a multi-year contract with Turner’s ELEAGUE to distribute live and on-demand content exclusively on Twitch. We also have a programmatic TV initiative. It began with our community’s embrace of interactive television when The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross marathon aired to celebrate the launch of our Creative category.

Since then, we’ve run a number of marathons, including Julia Child’s The French Chef, the Pokémon animated series, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and an anime marathon with Crunchyroll. TV content on Twitch began with an airing of the pilot of HBO’s Silicon Valley that was accompanied by the cast playing video games.

Who are some of the most popular live streamers on your platform? We have so many stars, so we try not to single any out, but there are two top traits among our most successful streamers. They are either really good at the games they are playing or they are incredibly engaging, drawing in their fans with their social skills instead of gaming prowess.

In terms of monetisation, what’s working well on your platform? We offer partners a variety of options, including the ability to share revenue from ads, subscriptions, merchandise, and game sales. They can also take part in the Cheering programme, where viewers purchase animated emotes called bits and use them in chat to show support for their favourite streamers. We also have Twitch Prime in over 200 territories, which is a set of (parent company) Amazon Prime benefits created for gamers.

Where do you see your sector two years from now? We see the live-streaming sector continuing to grow, but not just because the games industry expands year over year. We can also see growth coming from vlogging (in our IRL category) and the creative arts, from our Creative category. In two years, we will still be the primary destination for the games industry, but also a place to see other types of content championed by our community that has tapped into the appeal of live social video.

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38 Executive Summary


Platform Futures Pranab Kapadia President of United Kingdom, Europe and Africa Operations, Eros International Region: UK Interviewed by: Monica Heck

Regional OTT stands firm

Regional and niche OTT players, like Eros International Media, an Indian motion picture production and distribution company based in Mumbai, are playing David to the Goliaths of international OTT platforms, and are comfortably standing their ground. “We don’t have the deep pockets of these large players, but we make about 65 films a year, own a vast library of 10,000 film assets, have our own OTT platform called Eros Now, and haven’t licensed the digital rights for our films to other players,” explains Pranab Kapadia, President of UK, Europe and Africa Operations at Eros International. Speaking on the ‘Multichannel Broadcasters: Global vs Regional OTT’ panel during the IBC 2017 conference, Kapadia noted that his company had heavily invested in its own application. “We are very proud

of how we have successfully built an audience base of over 68 million registered users, with an active paid premium subscriber base of 2.9 million customers worldwide.” Another necessity for regional OTT players is to never offer an inferior experience to the customer, in any capacity, to that provided by the global OTT giants. “Our platform offers all features in terms of viewing over multiple devices, downloading content to watch offline and so on,” he says. “You can’t fall short in any way if you are charging aggressively. So in addition to depth and breadth of content, product features and easy access across devices are musthaves for success.” By contrast, global OTT players seeking to compete with local and niche players, must source local content to achieve

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“In addition to depth and breadth of content, product features and easy access across devices are must-haves for success”

success, particularly those keen to attract customers in a very large, captive market like India. “India has a large customer base, with many mobile and Internet users who are very loyal to homegrown Bollywood content,” he explains. “Bollywood in India is a unique market, we produce around 1,000 films a year as a country, across multiple different regional languages, exported to nearly 70 countries worldwide. The communities are proud of those films and the numbers viewing Hollywood box office films are consistently and significantly lower than those watching locally produced films. That’s a contrast with other countries, where local language films get superseded by the consumption of Hollywood content, whether dubbed or subtitled.” That is why international OTT platforms such as Netflix

now feature Indian content primarily, which they have also started to commission, letting content in English take a back seat. And in the coming year, those OTT players who wish to crack the Indian market or remain leaders therein will need to find a way to bridge the immense wealth gap that separates the affluent from the middle class Indian Bollywood consumers. “Content needs to be made available across a very wide spectrum, from the basic 2G mobile viewer to the 4G customer streaming content to a large screen in the home,” concludes Kapadia. “A blanket charge simply doesn’t work. We need to address these customers at the right price, using the right technology, having found the right 4G partners who are also trying to get the pricing element right.”

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Executive Summary 39


News in the firing line The issue of fake news was one of the recurring discussion points at this year’s IBC, where the theme of the Conference was Truth, Trust and Transformation. As CNN International’s Senior Vice President of International Newsgathering, TV and Digital, Deborah Rayner is well placed to comment on the effect of the phenomenon. Based at CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta, she oversees CNN’s international newsgathering including the international desk, all international bureaux, correspondents, producers and digital editorial content. As such, one of her chief responsibilities is towards the welfare and safety of journalists and staff around the world. “Fake news is a bit of a catch-all phrase,” she says. “It’s not an issue for [CNN] to be called fake news because we can demonstrate that we are absolutely not. But it may have some security implications for our people on the street.

communities in Atlanta, so [the threat] is much more insidious and blurred.” The task of keeping fieldbased staff safe when many are in hostile environments has been made more difficult by the ever-increasing requirement for a greater range of digital content. Prior to speaking at IBC2017, Rayner had been on holiday for just over a week. “In that time I will find a new app or platform that I have to serve content for that will have different demands across text, stills, video.” Rayner describes digital integration as a “huge priority.” “With digital integration you go back to larger teams, so if you field somebody from digital and from social you have more people to manage and oversee,” she says. “We have taken on 200 people in digital over the last 18 months.” Returning to the issue of fake news, Rayner says that reports designed to mislead can make her angry, and with good reason. “When someone

“The threat is much more insidious and blurred”

Deborah Rayner Senior Vice President of International Newsgathering, TV and Digital, CNN International Region: USA Interviewed by: George Bevir

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And it seems to have gathered momentum, such as hostile crowds shouting at trucks, which is slightly worrying.” Rayner joined CNN in 2008 as Director of CNN International Productions, having previously spent 10 years as Senior Foreign Editor at Channel 4 News in the UK, overseeing awardwinning coverage of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the 2006 Lebanon war between Israel and Hezbollah. She says it’s now more dangerous than ever to be a journalist. “When I was in the field it was clear: those are the good guys, those are the bad guys and that’s the front line. But it’s not like that at all anymore... we received a briefing recently about Mexican cartels living in

appropriates our brand and pretends to be from CNN, it can have serious political implications.” During the panel discussion, Rayner pointed to a report in which someone emulated CNN, complete with logo and background to create a “sophisticated” bulletin that contained a false political poll. “Not only does it manipulate the democratic process but it could also endanger our people on the ground, so we have to be aware of it,” she says. “Is it undermining mainstream media? To date, we have discovered through our own polls that actually we are more trusted than ever, and our audiences have grown as people gravitate towards a trusted brand with professional, reliable journalism.”

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40 Executive Summary


Big Screen Experience

The right camera for the job

We all know that the centre of gravity of the motion picture industry is moving toward television, and HBO has been a heavyweight in the midst of that shift. Gena Desclos is SVP of Post Production for HBO, and came to IBC2017 to share with the wider industry some of the best practices that have made HBO the Rolls Royce of the new age of high quality TV. Despite being a key figure at one of the world’s key content producers, this is Desclos’ first IBC. Along with HBO colleagues Suny Behar and Stephen Beres, she presented the fifth annual HBO Camera Assessment Series. The HBO Camera Assessment Series takes six of the best cameras currently available and compares them across a variety of parameters including motion, colour, skin tone, mixed lighting, and high dynamic range. The results of these elaborate tests are then made available to the cinematographers and directors of HBO’s slate of shows. “We always want to have the latest tools available,” says Desclos. “There are so many amazing digital cameras now –

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the toolset is much broader than it ever was. Not every camera is suited to every project. We want to be able to get good information to our filmmakers to assist them in picking the right tools.” The Camera Assessment Series is an internal HBO survey, but those coming to this year’s IBC were able to reap the survey’s benefits for the first time. “We’re not looking to identify what the best camera is,” explains Desclos. “The cameras are all good. But each camera has its own strengths, and we want to identify the qualities of each camera so cinematographers can pick the one that works best for them creatively.” With the distance between production and post production shrinking almost to the point of non-existence, Desclos finds herself working directly with cinematographers from the beginning of the process. “It’s important for us in post to be working with production so we know what we’re shooting and how we’re capturing it, because that will affect the workflow and ultimately how

we archive the material for ten, twenty, fifty years down the road,” she explains. Format inflation doesn’t show any signs of stopping, with 4K becoming a given, and people now looking to 360 video and 8K and beyond. Desclos sees these not as challenges, but as creative choices. “We need to look at what’s right for each project,” she says. “When you have a show like Game of Thrones which has a lot of visual effects, you might want more resolution in certain areas to help you achieve that. Whereas other shows that are maybe more character driven or moody, you might want something softer than the cameras you’d use on a big VFX show. “At HBO it’s all about supporting the creative vision and supporting the great producers and directors and cinematographers who want to work with us. We’ve always been a place where there’s a lot of creative freedom. We’re not afraid of trying a new camera, we’re not afraid of allowing the filmmakers to push the boundaries of how they want to tell their story.”

“The toolset is much broader than it ever was”

Gena Desclos Senior Vice President, Post Production, HBO Entertainment Region: USA Interviewed by: Neal Romanek

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Executive Summary 41

Leaders’ Summit

Crossing platforms and generations Wim Ponnet Group Director, Strategy and Commercial Development, Endemol Shine Region: The Netherlands Interviewed by: George Jarrett

Wim Ponnet works for a company that produces up to 700 big productions annually, and which sure knows how to exploit its IP. Ponnet, Endemol Shine’s Group Director for Strategy and Commercial Development, was speaking in the IBC Leaders’ Summit session ‘Understanding the Gen Z Audience’, the purpose being to answer questions around how that social group can be found and lured, and the resultant monetisation. Shifting viewership is coupled to a clear shift in the type of digital nonlinear platforms available for Endemol Shine to rent its content to. “We are not a platform owner, we are a producer of content,” says Ponnet. “We actually see an increase in demand for our content. We are well positioned to serve audiences.” On the subject of data analytics, Ponnet has a clear preference: “Data without science is pretty much useless.

I look at it as insights, not data. “All these new platforms are a great way to know we are producing the right content, because feedback is immediate. The insights we get from the data will impact on the future content we produce,” he adds. “One example, on a platform like Facebook, is Simon’s Cat, [where] we know that black and white content works better than colour.” Views, likes and shares gave the insights for this revelation. The Endemol business model is both awesome and simple. “We own our IP,” Ponnet explains. “People say Black Mirror is a Netflix original, but we leased that content for a certain period of time. Our business is very much the full 360 exploitation of our IP across all platforms. “We don’t just produce. We are also the distributor, and more and more it is about the rights to the exploitation of the IP. In many ways, the social channels

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on things like Big Brother are just as important to us as direct feedback around our properties and the IP we own,” he adds. Ponnet told his IBC audience that the online ad industry would soon be much bigger than the whole TV industry. Google and Facebook might hog 60 percent of the revenues, but Endemol Shine has its goldmine. “We have a lot of shows that appeal to the higher end

non-scripted TV,” he added. “It does not have to sit in that ‘a piece of content has to be 40 minutes’ restriction. On the Black Mirror series we produced for Netflix, you will have one episode running 29 minutes, and then an episode that runs 89 minutes. This is because that’s the length it takes to tell the story. “As creatives, nonlinear platforms offer us far more

“As creatives, nonlinear platforms offer us far more production liberty, and we are not seeing any issues with monetisation” networks, and our inventory on these platforms is very useful to an advertiser. Look again at Simon’s Cat, that appeals to 40+ female audiences on Facebook,” he said. “For us there are opportunities both in financial and creative senses. It gives massive creative freedom to both scripted and

production liberty, and we are not seeing any issues with monetisation; it is just that monetisation has changed.” Endemol Shine has made VR promotions but Ponnet is not a big fan. “There are interesting developments in VR, but the [experience] of VR is still slightly

awkward. People are still going to want to watch engaging content in the normal way,” he says. Cloud production is attractive for several reasons. “For the more traditional broadcasters it’s no secret that their margins are under pressure, so that means they try to shift some of the margin to us,” observes Ponnet. “So obviously we are very active in the cloud production space. We have always been at the edge of innovation, and we do partner with Google and Microsoft to make our production more efficient.” With regard to significant issues and trends, Ponnet first nominates margin protection as a threat. His big encouragement is the rise of brands. “Content is still king, and it is going to become increasingly important,” he says. “We are going to see brands as commissioners and tech players as commissioners. I see a very bright future for IP owners and creativity.”

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42 Executive Summary


Content and Production

“We’re always looking for a new way to tell a story”

Playing along with mixed reality Petter Testmann-Koch Managing Director, FremantleMedia Norge Region: Norway Interviewed by: Heather McLean

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Virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality are some of the top buzz words of 2017, and IBC highlighted the value of these terms as one broadcaster grasped the trends and ran with them. Interactive mixed reality is the meeting of both mobile and broadcast technology to create a completely immersive, wildly entertaining form of content that FremantleMedia Norway’s managing director, Petter Testmann-Koch, has championed. Lost in Time is an innovative primetime format that follows three contestants racing through different eras (Ice Age, Jurassic, Medieval, Wild West, New York in the roaring 20’s and Space Age), as they compete in a variety of physical, mental and strategic challenges against the clock to win a cash prize. The show also has a play along app, which has a live and offline mode so players can compete against the show’s contestants live, or still enjoy the games while the show is not on air. Co-developed and coproduced by FremantleMedia Norway and Norway-based interactive mixed reality pioneer, The Future Group, for TV Norge, the first episode debuted in March this year. Testmann-Koch spoke about the technology and how it is transforming the viewing experience in his IBC session, ‘Lost In Time - TV and Mixed Reality’. “Audiences were very curious about the show and how the interactive mixed reality would translate on screen,” says Testmann-Koch. “The reaction was fantastic. The interactive participation via the app was beyond anything seen before, with an average player session lasting over 16 minutes.” The interactive mixed reality is what gels the show together, says Testmann-Koch. “Using the technology, we can push the boundaries of TV by creating real time special effects. So essentially, a contestant can be put into an ‘era’. The way that the technology works is that the TV audience sees the contestant fully immersed in a virtual world

that reacts in real time to what the contestant is doing in the studio. There is a play-along app that can be used live with the TV show, so at home players can almost compete against the onscreen contestant. This is a level of interactivity like we’ve not seen before,” he enthuses. On the development and evolution of this technology, Testmann-Koch says, “once we saw what the technology was capable of, we then worked with our FremantleMedia development teams in both Norway and the UK to come up with TV show ideas that could be entertaining and impactful for audiences, innovative for the TV industry and fun to the contestants in the studio. Both our development teams actually came up with very similar ideas, which we then took to The Future Group to further develop with their technology and games expertise.” Testmann-Koch’s foresight bought interactive mixed reality into reality. “I’ve spent half my life working in TV, and due to quite a significant variety of experience, both technical and content, I’m always curious about new developments, new technology and new opportunities. I often realise that I’m a few years early on trends and ideas, but this time Discovery Networks Norway proved to be a brave commissioning broadcaster who also wanted to explore this incredible opportunity.” Concluding with how Testmann-Koch expects to see interactive mixed reality changing programme popularity and production, he says, “at FremantleMedia, we’re always looking for a new way to tell a story, and The Future Group’s newly-developed interactive mixed reality technology allowed us to create a pioneering type of entertainment show that really is at the forefront of future television trends. I believe that with this level of interactivity allowed by the technology and the play-along, we can bring back a whole family TV viewing and joining-in experience.”

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Executive Summary 43

Leaders’ Summit Kim Poder Title: Chief Executive Officer, MTG Denmark Region: Denmark Interviewed by: Kate Bulkley and David Wood

Playing the long game

“Don’t be a fat cat and sit on your hands – but change your business models and adapt to new audiences”

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Not so long ago, Modern Times Group – one of the Nordic region’s leading media companies – was just another traditional broadcasting business, operating successfully in both its home market and in a number of different countries, including Russia, the Baltics and the Czech Republic. But in the last two years the company has undergone nothing short of a sea change in its product portfolio and its ambition, changes that it sees as essential to its future. MTG Denmark’s Chief Executive Officer Kim Poder believes that the future for MTG – and for all legacy media companies and broadcasters – is in embracing new distribution technologies and catering to new audience appetites, particularly of younger viewers. “It’s important to remember there are a lot of competitors coming in, so don’t be a fat cat and sit on your hands – but change your business models and adapt to new audiences,” says Poder. Since Poder became CEO of MTG Denmark in 2015, MTG has radically restructured, selling off billions of Swedish kronor worth of traditional TV businesses in countries outside of the Nordics, and using the proceeds to buy into digital companies with

global audiences and scale, in areas like esports, digital video networks and online gaming. In 2017, MTG shows all the signs of a huge transformation that has been focused on becoming a leader in global scalable digital products. Poder says that ESL, the world’s largest esports company acquired by MTG in 2015, has partnered with Facebook for live streaming of more than 5,500 hours of tournament programming in six languages, arguing that platforms such as Facebook and YouTube are becoming important new partners for broadcasters. “For us it’s a significant new way to reach audiences with the content from our digital businesses. Anyone who leaves Facebook and YouTube out of its business strategy needs to have a good answer as to why they are doing that.” Poder insists that broadcasters need to keep an increasingly close eye on the way in which video is being watched, particularly amongst millennial viewers who are consuming larger amounts of video on mobile and social platforms, and are investing less time with traditional broadcast platforms. “The good news is that the overall consumption of

video is increasing, with OTT providers expected to make up 32 percent of the market by 2020. The issue is that the way in which people are watching is changing – with millennials in particular driving the decline of traditional TV. Some kids’ channels, for instance have lost over 50 per cent of their viewing in the last three years.” It’s a strategy that is beginning to pay off. By the end of this year, MTGx – the digital part of the company that includes the fast-growing esports business – is forecast to move into its first-ever profit, while the group’s stock price is up 32 per cent in the last 12 months. While the digital businesses are MTG’s fastest growing, the more traditional broadcasting business has been able to capitalise on the wide deployment of fibre infrastructure in the Nordics, where, for example, 73 per cent of Swedish homes have access to over 100Mbps internet access. Even with the decline in the hours that people watch traditional TV, MTG’s Nordic business saw double digit increases in both revenue (+11 percent) and profit (+22 percent) in the first quarter of this year.

26/09/2017 11:02

44 Executive Summary


Audiences and Advertising

Voice recognition As chief technology officer, Orpheus Warr oversees technology strategy and operations at the UK public service broadcaster (PSB) Channel 4. As well as being responsible for architecture, R&D, information security, service delivery and distribution, he was instrumental in the design, launch and subsequent expansion of its on-demand service 4oD, now All 4. At IBC he was part of a panel session discussing the hottest new TV technologies and devices, and how will they transform the TV market. Warr pinpoints the voice interface and artificial intelligence (AI) as being both hot and transformative. They will help to change how content is delivered and how consumers navigate and discover that content, he says. And the upshot of that will be a more personal TV service. “In an increasingly crowded market, broadcasters and content providers are not just concerned with the content being produced but also how viewers discover and navigate that content and make sense of it,” explains Warr. “There are lots of places to consume content, and not all content is the same. Therefore, whatever we can do to help viewers feel like they are in control and help them to discover the right programming for them, is in our interest as well as theirs.” Channel 4 has done a lot of work on its database of viewers, gathering additional information that can then be

used to help shape and personalise their user experience. But, while Warr acknowledges that guiding the viewer to appropriate Channel 4 programmes can benefit both broadcaster and viewer, he is keen to also embrace serendipity as part of the content journey. As such, rich metadata is key. “There is a big data approach to personalisation to which you can then apply AI and machine learning that gives you insights that you would never otherwise be able to understand,” he says. “That can help ease the viewer’s journey through the content but also help to inspire and surprise them. AI and machine learning can be as important in terms of extracting metadata as they can be in structuring it and presenting it to the viewer,” he continues. “As a PSB, from time-totime we would like to introduce viewers to new things; not only helping them discover things by chance, but sometimes guiding them. In the round, this should substantially improve the viewer experience because although viewers like to binge on particular genres, we also think there is probably untapped content – live, on-demand and archive – that people would really love and sometimes find it harder to discover than is optimal.” But how does this dovetail with the voice interface? Asking Alexa to ‘dim the lights’ or ‘order more milk’ bears little resemblance to seeking out – or being recommended – a documentary you might like, but didn’t know existed. Voice combined with a

screen is the answer. “Without a list of visual things to choose from, it can be difficult. You are simply trying to say something in the correct way. But if you are looking at a screen, and you are seeing content surfaced to you, and you are navigating through that interactively, the cues become much easier. The way in which you interact becomes much easier.” Warr believes that where the industry is with the voice interface right now is similar to where we were with mobile phones ten years ago. “The iPhone changed the mobile phone experience,” he states. “In the same way, speaking to Alexa or the Google Assistant is very different from the way we have spoken to voice assistants on our phones or computers until now: the fidelity and information is greater, it is more reliable and the experience feels much more natural.” Things will change further when the voice interface becomes a conversation interface. “At the point where you are able to have an ordinary conversation, that will really increase the user propensity to use and discover content more naturally,” he says.

“In an increasingly crowded market, broadcasters and content providers are… concerned with how viewers discover and navigate that content and make sense of it”

Orpheus Warr Chief Technology Officer Channel 4 Region: UK Interviewed by: Will Strauss

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26/09/2017 11:03


Executive Summary 45

C-Tech Forum: 5G Henrik Voigt Director in CTO Office, Ericsson Region: Sweden Interviewed by: Chris Forrester

The broadcaster in your pocket

Ericsson’s Henrik Voigt is responsible for technology strategies on media and IoT delivery and optimisation in the CTO’s office. He has 30 years of experience at Ericsson and SonyEricsson, and has held positions as head of Development Center, head of product management, VP product marketing, and business development director. Throughout these years he has worked to integrate telecoms with media, enterprise solutions and consumer products. As well as an open floor discussion, Voigt was part of an IBC C-Tech Forum session on ‘The Value of 5G in Broadcasting’. One of the key questions examined by the panel was whether, with streaming video, might everybody become a broadcaster?

“We are sure that the ‘live’ element of TV will come to mobile phones and the other cellular devices”

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“In general, 5G simply means more capacity, but for broadcasters – and behind 5G – we see much greater demand from consumers,” Voigt says. “They want greater access, more personalisation and mobile usage and convenience in accessing content.” This demand is truly staggering, and will affect broadcasters. For example, mobile video traffic is forecast to grow by around 50 percent annually through 2022 to account for nearly three quarters of all mobile data traffic. In fact, the share of video traffic approached 60 per cent on tablets in the second half of 2016, and shows no sign of slowing. By 2022 the number of 5G subscriptions is forecast to reach more than 500 million. Over time, 5G will enable a wide range of use cases for massive Internet of Things (IoT) and

critical communication. Weekly share of time spent watching TV and video on mobile devices has grown by 85 per cent (20102016); on fixed screens it has gone down by 14 per cent over the same period. Voigt noted that Ericsson also sees 5G playing a greater role in delivering live, or as live, content to consumers, even directly to their TV sets. “5G does all this, including interactivity, in traditional TV,” he says. “It means that 5G will be, or can be, a complementary service for broadcasters and the media. We see 5G co-existing in these roles, as well as playing a major part in fixed broadband. But we also see the mobile access of these 5G services growing in importance. We are sure that the ‘live’ element of TV will come to mobile phones and the other cellular devices, and especially in sport.”

Asked how 5G would cure or help the current problem of network capacity, which tends to suffer when 50,000 or 100,000 users try and access the same content, Voigt said these congestions would be solved by the transmission switching to 4G/LTE broadcast mode (as distinct to one-to-one unicast supply). Voigt said that cellular operators were already offering multichannel pay-TV services, and that 5G would inevitably increase these opportunities. “I would say that multiscreen services are very much part of our focus, but the general trend is obvious. 5G is crucial technology in many verticals, including the Internet of Things. We are collaborating with many companies, such as Microsoft, to ensure success. We also need further standards to be in place, but this is happening.”

26/09/2017 11:04

46 Executive Summary


Business Transformation

Freedom to view Richard Waghorn, director of transformation and technology with RTÉ, spoke in an IBC session dedicated to ‘Delivering an Exceptional Consumer Media Experience’. Along with speakers from TiVo, Discovery, Freeview, UKTV and Ostmodern, Waghorn focussed on new business models, and the new skill sets required if platforms are to stand out from the crowd. These two considerations are behind the Saorview Connect box, a free to air DTT platform launching later this year. “We knew there was a massive gap between the RTÉ offer and what other platforms could deliver, so we wanted to develop a technology road map for the platform to close the gap on pay-TV,” says Waghorn. “We brought to the market an advanced free offer – a connected box with access to broadband. It is connected via the aerial and there is a satellite tuner to give users access to free-to-air satellite channels. There is also a recording capability,” he adds. “Essentially what we are doing

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is transitioning from a very basic experience of being a platform that has ten regular TV channels and a seven-day EPG,” he adds. Waghorn is mindful of the many different UIs viewers encounter. “Saorview has a very nicely designed UI that gives more of a branded feel and more of a consistent experience. It has 20 different features, from access to on demand content to catch-up TV, a rollback EPG, recommendations, and programme title search,” he said. “Then there is the Saorview app. Pair that with the box and you can remote record content. You can also use the app for remote control.” So RTÉ has created an advanced free product. Next up, will it have to continually produce competitive content? “Absolutely. The big screen in the lounge is where people want to watch content. Ultimately you want to have as much capability as you can get in one box,” admits Waghorn. “We are the largest platform in Ireland, and it is a free proposition. “People don’t want to pay

Richard Waghorn Director of Transformation and Technology RTÉ Region: Republic of Ireland Interviewed by: George Jarrett

“Why should all those features and that functionality only be available for people on pay platforms?”

for content if they don’t have to, so why should all those features and that functionality only be available for people on pay platforms? “People have access to multiple platforms and they are moving around, so we have to make Saorview stand out within that mix,” he adds It’s a very competitive market – and RTÉ does not have the same resources as the global giants. “But we know we have a strong product,” stresses Waghorn. “It is crucial that we sit in as many homes as possible. Clearly there is so much choice in the market now, that consumers are increasingly looking to go a la carte and get their entertainment across a number of devices and from a range of suppliers. “Ireland is a relatively small market, yet we several pay-TV platforms including satellite, cable and IPTV, Netflix and Amazon Prime, as well as free to air broadcast options, including Saorview,” he adds. “Whilst Saorview has the least number of channels on offer, it has the

highest number of homes.” So what new technologies is RTÉ looking to deploy? “We have built our own private cloud which already delivers significant operational and workflow efficiencies, and which has allowed us to reduce operational costs. We are following a hybrid strategy, increasingly using the public cloud for a range of services and applications,” says Waghorn. “We are also developing a single storage environment to service long-term storage needs and to facilitate the digitisation of archive content. “We are keeping a close eye on the move to full IP, and whilst full migration would not be practical now, we are looking at undertaking a number of proof of concepts for disaster recovery using IP. One intention is to use those trials to develop our skills base,” he adds. “We have been experimenting with 360 and VR, trying to identify what the added benefits are for consumers. However, it is clear that the traditional linear channel business model will not be under threat from VR and 360 anytime soon.”

26/09/2017 11:05


Executive Summary 47

Business Transformation - Tech Talks

The mixed reality revolution is coming Edward Tang Founder and CTO, Avegant Region: USA Interviewed by: Monica Heck

The last decade has seen smartphones fundamentally change the way we live our lives. They have changed the entertainment industry and how people consume content. When people start looking at the mixed reality (MR) opportunity, they are going to view it the same way, according to Edward Tang, chief technology officer at Avegant. Tang, speaking at the session, ‘Leaving the Hype Behind: Next Frontier in VR, AR, MR and Other Realities in Between’, is also the founder of the Silicon Valley-based company, recently in the news for its groundbreaking Light Field Technology for headmounted displays (HMDs). “Many companies look at mixed reality devices as potentially replacing your smartphone, and it’s pretty crazy to think that in the next decade or so we may not [even] have smartphones

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anymore,” says Tang. “We may all be wearing our mixed reality glasses, and the idea of having a physical computer will disappear. That’s going to change the way we live our lives, work and communicate. That’s why it’s such a huge opportunity for the industry.” Right now however, there is a certain scepticism in the broadcast market about alternative realities, including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), MR and the whole spectrum in between, that means that many companies are still waiting before they invest. Tang, however, is adamant there is no hype about this and that while VR may remain niche, the potential of mixed reality is endless. “Anywhere you can use a computer or smartphone is where mixed reality will be active,” he says. “For enterprises, there are clear, high value problems, such

“The next two years are going to be really intense; it will be the beginning of a whole new computer revolution”

as collaboration, that can be solved today with the right technology. On the other hand, the consumer market is coming way faster than we may realise, it’s more of a two-year range than a 10-year range, as smartphone AR emerges. The next two years are going to be really intense; it will be the beginning of a whole new computer revolution.” Tang is very excited about the AR efforts of Snapchat, and about Apple’s recently released ARKit, which will put smartphone-based AR into the pockets of a few hundred million consumers within a few months. “That’s not ultimately the best experience, but will go a long way to educating the consumer about what AR is and what they can do with it. It’s also going to encourage developers to start exploring all sorts of applications. It’s a wild idea to think that right now there are no consumers using AR,

but that months from now there will be hundreds of millions of people using it.” For broadcasters, mixed reality could turn out to be a more intuitive way of presenting information, and according to Tang, people on the content media side are really excited about what’s happening. Movie studios especially seem to be looking past traditional rectilinear content towards a time when people experience content in a realistic manner. “It will be challenging for broadcasters in terms of technology integration within existing workflows, but they want to differentiate themselves, to find new effective ways to present information to people. When there are enough users, they will be motivated to find ways to appease them. The technology is maturing quickly. It’s going to help the creation of content for this industry within the next year or two.”

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48 Executive Summary


Digital Transformation Michael Jaschke Founder & CEO, glomex Region: Germany Interviewed by: George Jarrett

Thinking in content verticals Michael Jaschke, the CEO of the global media exchange glomex, was a star turn at the IBC Startup Forum, thanks to the promises of fair ad revenue shares, detailed analytics, and one-click embedded codes. ProSiebenSat.1 established glomex in May 2016. Explaining his monetisation master plan, Jaschke said, “The world of entertainment is changing dramatically, and glomex is the first platform to address this change in its entire complexity. All market participants can profit from the trend towards free, unlimited online content distribution.” In his presentation, Jaschke suggested that content owners, publishers and marketers can profit from video distribution beyond YouTube and Facebook. On the issue of unique monetisation strategies, he says, “We see ourselves as an alternative to the two market-dominating providers; glomex offers both large and small content producers and owners access to a network of premium publishers, and with little technical effort and no fixed

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costs or service fees. “When talking about ‘publishers’ we always mean website publishers – on any size and subject,” he adds. “Of course, there are successful TV formats on the glomex marketplace but, at the same time, there is also professionally produced webonly content.” In this new environment, every piece of content finds its audience and every website publisher is spoilt for choice.

money. It’s as easy as pressing play’,” he adds. “Editors can browse and search through our video library, select videos, put together playlists and configure what their player should look like – all within our easy-to-use web interface. With one click, they create the embed code that they copy into their CMS, and that’s it.” The constant demands of producing endless streams of quality content will start to tell,

of presenting and promoting content on the marketplace, streaming it at best quality to all devices, plus handling rights management, analytics and billing. So the owner will be able to focus his resources on what he does best – producing content. “In order to stay competitive, content producers need to be very flexible and able to produce high-quality content at very short notice, while keeping production

“In order to stay competitive, content producers need to be very flexible and able to produce high-quality content at very short notice” So what analytics does glomex gift to users? “Gaining the right insights from the data obtained is certainly key to success,” says Jaschke. “At glomex we have a dedicated team developing our own tools. They tell every partner which content performs best in an easy-to-use dashboard. “Our marketing campaign says: ‘Turn digital video into real

and we might see consolidation in the content delivery side. Will media exchanges have an impact in terms of assisting content producers to stay active and competitive? “For content owners, we see glomex as an essential part of any production and distribution process,” answers Jaschke. “The content owner has a single partner who takes care

costs at a minimum,” he adds. How big a deal in this context are ‘fair advertising revenue shares’? “This business model only works if all partners – the content owner, the publisher and of course the advertiser – profit in a fair way,” says Jaschke. “An important prerequisite, therefore, is transparency, which is why glomex offers a simple rev share model.”

When asked how many takers Jaschke needs for his business plan to happen 24/7, he answers, “It’s not a question of a number of takers, but of connecting to the right content owners with the right publishers. Therefore, we think in content verticals.” Then there is the question of which new or horizon technologies will help glomex add further services. “Having started with the most promising clusters of entertainment, celebrity and lifestyle and ‘docutainment’, we consequently included general news, sports, cars and motoring, and most recently food. “This is all based on rising demand. Regarding new developments, we’ll focus on new features to help publishers monetise their websites more efficiently, e.g. with cross-border solutions,” he adds. “Currently we are rolling out our new Outstream content plug-in and we are considering live stream options. Generating efficient new advertising opportunities is our driving force.”

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Executive Summary 49

Business Transformation

Paying attention Mark Harrison Managing Director, Digital Production Partnership Region: UK Interviewed by: George Jarrett

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Mark Harrison, the managing director of the Digital Production Partnership (DPP), had a hectic IBC promoting the three technology themes of cyber security, news exchange metadata, and IMF for broadcast and online. He used the session ‘Safety in Numbers: Collaborating Against Cyber Attacks’ to promote a new DPP programme and to introduce the first ten companies to sign up to the initiative. They are Arqiva, Base Media Cloud, Dropbox, Imagen, The Farm, Marshall information Technology, Microsoft, Qvest Media, Telestream and TVT. “I hoped this programme will apply whether you are a start up or a global technology company. We found that by testing out the proposition with these early adopting companies, that it is possible,” says Harrison. “There are a lot of companies out there that are very keen to demonstrate that they are prepared to be more collaborative and work in partnership around security,” he adds. “Every part of the supply chain believes another part of the supply chain is where the biggest risk sits.” Harrison is concerned about a paradox. “On the one hand we say adopt connected services, go to the cloud, adopt IP because it is brilliant,” he says. “But on the other hand “The old supply-led we say oh, model of the consumer but if you are getting what we gave connected you him has now been are vulnerable to cyber flipped around” attack. “What are end users expected to believe? There is now an obligation on the supply side to demonstrate that it is

possible to become IP based and secure. We will never stop all breaches, because they are now a way of life, just like we all accept as consumers with credit cards that there is fraud,” he adds. He wanted several things to come out of the IBC session. “There must be the understanding that partnership between big players can leave them stronger, not weaker,” Harrison says. “Then there are approaches to people policies: that cliché about people always being the weakest link in security doesn’t have to be so true. We as an industry must always be committed to best practice.” The culture of the DPP is to amplify the brilliance of others. “Where we are lucky is that companies join the DPP because they want to get engaged with change, so we have the benefit of brilliant people like Chris Johns of Sky (on IMF) leading strands of work for us,” says Harrison. “It is what makes the DPP effective.” On what he took from IBC, Harrison switched target. “I don’t think we have even come to see the disruption yet. What we would be very well advised to do is to look very closely at the logic of what it is that consumers are doing, and what the problems are that consumers need to solve. “The old supply-led model of the consumer getting what we gave him has now been flipped around and consumer behaviour is what drives the supply industry,” he adds. “You have to be attentive to the way they can completely shift a trend almost overnight. Nobody knows, including consumers, what is going to excite them next. “Look at the capabilities of the new iPhone, and how consumers might choose to use some of the tools in their everyday social media. That is probably where you are going to see AR really have an impact. It might not even touch broadcasting, but still be huge,” he concludes.

26/09/2017 11:11

50 Executive Summary



Immersed in entertainment Rikard Steiber, President of Viveport and SVP of Virtual Reality for HTC Vive, urges everyone who hasn’t already done so, to try VR. “Then you’ll understand the impact that it will have on your business,” he asserts. “It’s such an immersive experience, like no other medium can do today. I believe it will have a giant impact on the entertainment industry as they have great content rights that can easily be extended to VR and AR.” For mass adoption to happen, there also needs to be plenty of VR to watch. “There has been a lack of content. But now there’s over 2,000 titles – and more than half are free – on the Vive stores,” Steiber says, adding that HTC is currently collaborating with Warner Bros. on a VR experience based on Steven Spielberg’s upcoming Ready Player One. “We are trying to make sure [the industry] creates and delivers more high-quality content.” He anticipates growth of a wide range of available content in education, creativity, social and entertainment, though at this stage, gamers have been the primary early adopters. “To make content more accessible we launched the first VR App subscription service, like an early Netflix for VR” he says. “When it comes to drama entertainment, we’ll move from linear to nonlinear stories so you can choose your own path.” Steiber also sees potential for live events such as concerts and sports. “This can teleport the viewer into the location to get closer to their favourite artist in new ways,” he says. “My favourite area is education.

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Without distraction, you are completely focused. The recall level is much higher as you use multiple senses in your VR experience.” As for getting the headsets to consumers, he says, “Locationbased entertainment centres such as the IMAX VR Experience Centers will have VR. We’re also starting to see ‘VR-arcades’ where you can go to experience VR if you don’t have a high-end PC. And as we enter the holiday season, we want to make sure we have it priced to reach a broader audience.” HTC is also looking to further expand the price range for VR devices. Currently, consumers primarily have a choice of mobile phone-based systems (such as Samsung Gear VR) or higher-end systems that require a PC (such as HTC Vive). “Later this year we’re launching a standalone VR system, which is going to target the middle-tier segment of the market,” Steiber reports. He explains that as the industry moves toward more efficient ways to stream media, he expects higher-quality VR content to follow. “We just entered cooperation with a Chinese cable TV carrier to realise the world’s first cloud VR system to the home, via a settop box powered by Viveport and HTC Vive,” Steiber says. Meanwhile, the viewing technology must continue to evolve. “One area is eye tracking, meaning the system knows what the viewer is looking at, and that can be used for interactivity,” states Steiber. “Also for social interaction, [so] we can look into each other’s eyes.”

“My favourite area is education. The recall level is much higher as you use multiple senses in your VR experience”

Rikard Steiber President Viveport and SVP Virtual Reality HTC Vive Region: USA Interviewed by: Carolyn Giardina

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Executive Summary 51

Business Transformation - Tech Talks

Surfing the VR web

Leen Segers Co-Founder & CEO, LucidWeb Region: Belgium Interviewed by: Neal Romanek

After years of working for online video platforms, Leen Segers branched out on her own last year, and started LucidWeb, a software development company focused on virtual reality over the internet. LucidWeb has established itself as a consultant in the VR space and has been involved in some large-scale Europe-wide research projects. WebVR is an open API that has been developed to deliver VR entirely within a browser. It is currently available on a variety of platforms and development continues to expand. LucidWeb is currently fielding funding to build an online publishing platform for WebVR experiences. But what does advantages does WebVR have over other VR distribution methods? “The way that content in VR used to be distributed was by native applications,” explains Segers. “Companies creating high quality VR had to develop

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applications for iOS, Android, Google Daydream, the Oculus Rift. Or, on the other end, they’d just publish it to a YouTube player. We believe that there is a solution between that makes the distribution more premium than just a YouTube or Facebook player, but it is more cost effective to publish your content via webVR. WebVR brings the power of VR to the web, which hasn’t been possible before. “WebVR leverages the power of the browser, which allows you to watch content via the browser on every platform – on a desktop or a mobile and also on a VR headset,” she continues. “You only need to develop once, and your distribution is a lot more effective. WebVR also enables a greater degree of analytics and statistics, even the ability to record where a user is looking. “We believe our platform will allow broadcasters and content owners to bring their content to

“WebVR brings the power of VR to the web, which hasn’t been possible before”

audiences in a more accessible and convenient way. We just know this is going to happen and we’re building a platform.” So, is Segers proposing a Netflix for VR? “That’s not the right comparison,” she says. “Netflix is B2C, and we are offering this platform to broadcasters, which is why IBC is so important for us. Right now we’re looking at large broadcasters and TV channels, but you also see large sports teams now that have a large potential audience for VR content.” Segers’ roots are in media and broadcast, but LucidWeb’s platform isn’t exclusive to broadcasters. The LucidWeb platform has potential for any organisation with a big VR library. “It could also be for universities or for enterprises with a large directory of educational VR content,” she explains. “Or hospitals that are

increasingly using VR for health care purposes or rehabilitation. All these organisations now stepping into VR will need a platform to manage this directory of valuable content.” At the IBC conference, Segers presented about LucidWeb’s large scale VR research project carried out with help from the Silicon Valley-based VR Fund. They published a landscape of the VR industry in Europe – one in February and one this summer. The report showed strong growth in user input, tool development and enterprise applications. “The reason we did it is it’s very difficult in Europe – in VR, but also in other young, booming technologies – to have an overview of who is doing what,” she says. “It’s much more clear in the US. We’re really focused on companies that have made big steps forward.”

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52 Executive Summary


Platform Futures - Sport David Shield Senior Vice President and Global Director of Engineering and Technology, IMG Media Region: UK Interviewed by: Will Strauss

“AI should democratise the amount of coverage we get and help to bring down the cost of high-quality production”

Championship point Wandering the halls of the RAI during IBC you’d be forgiven for assuming that sports production and televised sport in general was about to be transformed by either virtual reality (VR) or a step-change in picture or sound quality. VR and the likes of high dynamic range (HDR), higher frame rates (HFR) and objectbased audio permeate through almost every stand. But while these headlinemaking advances in technology will doubtless have some impact on sports production, there are others that may be more influential. That is certainly the view of David Shield, senior vice president and global director of engineering and technology for IMG’s sports production division. During an illustrious career, Shield has overseen coverage of, among other things,

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English Premier League football, the Rugby World Cup, and the Wimbledon tennis championships, and worked on both the Commonwealth Games and the Paralympic Games. At the IBC Conference he was on a discussion panel in the Platform Futures: Sport strand called ‘Beyond Live: New Tech Pushing the Boundaries’. Shield sees the strengths and weaknesses of VR, HDR, HFR et al, but when it comes to having a major impact on sports production, he believes data and artificial intelligence (AI) are the star players. “There is lots of data out there that we haven’t got access to yet, which sports coaches are using, that could make a huge difference,” he says. “GPS receivers on rugby players, for example, provide speed to the breakdown and a player’s

heart rate. Coaches are now making substitution decisions based on this data. I think that the audience would be very interested to know some of that.” Shield also highlights tennis, where the players’ rackets have accelerometers built-in. “You can learn something about just every shot in the rally,” he continues. “That kind of data is ripe to be harvested. The key for producers is finding interesting and meaningful ways to display it on-screen.” Adopting AI could be equally influential, he says, and not just in terms of line calls in tennis or goal-line technology in football. “With video recognition software, you can analyse pictures and determine a huge amount from them. At Wimbledon this year, IBM was doing automated clip creation.

Interesting rallies were packaged up based entirely on the say so of a computer – no producer was involved. The computer had learnt what made a good rally.” Logging is another area that could benefit from AI. “TV highlights are simple enough but for digital clips, the logging could become fully automated,” suggests Shield. “For archive logging, there is a need for more detail. It’s quite time-consuming for a logger to capture every occasion that a player kicks a ball or plays a shot during a match. A computer could do that instead.” Shield is also convinced that computers can learn some of the techniques used by camera people. By using data gathered from tracking a football across the full length of a pitch, a computer can start to emulate certain camera moves: zooming

in as the ball travels away from the camera and zooming out as the ball comes towards it. “That is how we’re used to seeing it done,” he says, “But with AI a computer decides, not a human. This whole science opens up huge possibilities.” So, should camera operators be worried for their livelihoods? Shield doesn’t think so. “We will probably always have 25 cameramen around a Premier League football match but at League 2 level, for example, we could have automated remote coverage with fixed cameras that would be difficult to distinguish from a fully produced game. Rather than put anyone out of a job, AI should democratise the amount of coverage we get and help to bring down the cost of high-quality production.”

26/09/2017 11:24


Executive Summary 53

Business Transformation

Bill Baggelaar Senior Vice President of Technology, Sony Pictures Entertainment Region: USA Interviewed by: Chris Forrester

Preparing for the HDR avalanche Bill Baggelaar is passionate about Ultra HD, and in particular the visible difference High Dynamic Range (HDR) can make to a production. We spoke to him ahead of the ‘UHD from Lens to Screen: Who is Calling the Shots?’ panel at IBC, where he did not hold back on the commitment Sony is making towards 4K/UHD, and especially HDR. “We look at UHD right across the board, on all of our productions. Not all of our broadcast clients want us to finish a show in UHD/HDR but as far as episodic TV is concerned the technology is extremely important,” he explains. “It is also important to remember that a first transmission, perhaps of a

show like The Blacklist [on NBC], might not be required in 4K/HDR but ancillary sales [to Netflix] might require the improved quality. I don’t want to just focus on The Blacklist, but you don’t want a situation where you have a wonderful hit show where Season 5 is in UHD with HDR, but not Seasons 1-4! It was the same with Breaking Bad [for AMC], where the series was shot on 35mm film, so we had the opportunity to go back and remaster all of the episodes in UHD. The entire series just looks wonderful on a 4K set.” Asked to what extent UHD/ HDR added to the costs, and impacted workflow routines, Baggelaar agreed there was an impact. “However, I don’t want to say costs are less of

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“We see HDR as a growing area, and there are benefits all around”

a consideration, but they are not so great if the workflow is designed to be efficient from the start. It is more a question of getting everyone on board for this new workflow. Of course, if you can’t accommodate creating HDR versions up front due to the schedule, and have to go back to remaster when the time is right, then everyone needs to understand the added costs and constraints.” “But I want to make it clear that we see HDR as a growing area, and there are benefits all around, not least from Netflix and Amazon in terms of ancillary sales. Of course, all of our theatrical titles are created with streaming and BluRay disc, and now UHD BluRay in mind. For TV, I know that HDR is going

to be increasingly important wherever we think there will be future demand. It might not be needed for today’s broadcast outlet, but down the line it has to be available.” Baggelaar, not unnaturally, didn’t want to suggest that movies and high-end drama were not important in driving consumers into the stores to buy HDR-equipped TV displays. “Consumers do that for sport,” he admitted. “But we add to the drive, the demand, for 4K. On the broadcasting side, it is a fact that the networks love the benefits, and would transmit [in HDR] if they could. They just need to figure out how to do it in a reliable and cost-effective way. Then you’ll see an HDR avalanche happen!”

26/09/2017 11:24

54 Executive Summary


Leaders’ Summit

Bringing Gen Z into focus Tom Pickett CEO, Ellation Region: USA Interviewed by: Monica Heck

When the audience is Generation Z (also known to marketers as post-millennials), following the audience becomes a major challenge, particularly for linear TV channels and production businesses. Engaging with Gen Z and adapting strategies and products to attract them and make money is difficult when their eyeballs are split across multiple fragmented channels, including YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat, Netflix and Amazon, in a seemingly fickle manner. Despite talk of world domination by the likes of Netflix and its creation of a whole new content distribution world, there exists a real opportunity for audience-focused aggregators to emerge, according to Tom Pickett, CEO of Ellation. And this could be an opportunity for branded distributors and channels who are looking for new ways to package their content. “This is the next wave,” he explains. “There will be a new set of distributors that emerge and become best in class audience aggregators that can really super-serve particular segments.” Pickett speaks from experience. Having graduated from the ranks of Google and

YouTube, following a stint in the US Navy as an F/A-18 pilot and ‘Top Gun’ alumnus, he’s now in charge of Crunchyroll, a premium video service focused on Japanese animé with over 20 million registered users and one million paying subscribers. His remit also includes VRV, a new audience-focused subscription platform built for fans of animé, animation, gaming, comedy and geek culture. “Gen Z’s whole world is shaped by distribution over mobile devices,” says Pickett. “They’re not native to the traditional TV bundle; they are going to piece together several digital services that have brands they have grown up with.” To reach this elusive demographic, Pickett urges broadcasters to engage with fans on their turf. That means a hefty social media presence, some patience and the acceptance that a YouTube and Facebook presence may not be major money-making efforts. “It’s a new concept for a lot of the traditional folk, that a presence and investment in social media won’t pay off immediately in terms of economics, but will become the source of their audience funnel of the future, such that you can upsell and drive them to a place

54 IBC 2017 Executive_Tom Pickett Ellation_final.indd 1

where over time you get the economic return from them. It’s a two-way process across multiple dimensions.” To target particular audiences, there are interesting ways to go beyond video, according to Pickett, including fostering communities to enable fans to connect on a deeper level, through merchandise and events. “The idea is to serve particular audience segments in a way that differentiates against the big mainstream services, like Amazon and Netflix and Hulu.” While these services are doing a great job at targeting massive subscriber bases by offering a little content for everybody, Pickett believes there’s a big opportunity to focus on more particular passion areas or audience segments. “There’s an opportunity to be everything to someone, and not something for everyone, by serving audiences in a way that’s different from the mass services.” Aggregation and bundling will also matter increasingly in the future, concludes Pickett. “We are going through a phase of service fragmentation but as we move forward, we will see new bundles packaged in interesting combinations in the video distribution world.”

“There’s an opportunity to be everything to someone, and not something for everyone”

26/09/2017 11:25

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