How can broadcasters keep up with the digital age?

10 Aug 2017

Are consumers switching off when it comes to traditional TV? Image: Juan Aunion/Shutterstock

As digital advancements continue to present new challenges, how can the broadcasting industry keep up? Interxion’s Richard Craig-McFeely believes IT agility might be the solution.

The broadcast industry is in flux. Changes in viewer habits have impacted revenue streams and are forcing broadcasters to rethink their business models. In the search to be more competitive, a more agile IT network will help many broadcasters recalibrate for a digital future.

Industry estimates suggest that spending on digital advertising will soon top TV spend, if it hasn’t already. Ad-buying agency Magna Global predicted slower growth in global ad spend in 2017, with spending on mobile ads set to push sales of digital advertising past those of linear TV this year.

Future Human

It’s not hard to see why. Last year, about 13pc of US households only paid for broadband and not linear TV, according to SNL Kagan. The research firm expects that figure to keep growing as more consumers cut the cord, which they’re doing in increasing numbers.

‘Competing in the crowded world of digital is a matter of delivering superior user experience’

But it’s not all gloom and doom for broadcasters, many of whom have already read the tea leaves and are exploring opportunities in OTT distribution. Whether that means launching their own OTT service or partnering with existing platforms, broadcasters recognise that viewers are hungry for OTT video, especially live, and that’s the path to more revenue.

Competing in the crowded world of digital is a matter of delivering superior user experience. To do that, you’ll need to create an IT environment that can deliver new digital platforms to a wider audience on the move. Customers expect the video on their mobile phones to match the quality they get from traditional TV. If you can deliver that, you’re on the way to a stronger competitive position in digital media.

Moving to a colocated hybrid cloud model will give broadcasters the IT agility needed to deliver high-quality streaming experiences. Specifically, hybrid solution will help you:

  1. Deliver superior user experience
    You need a highly connected colocation data centre in just the right spot – say, a densely populated urban area – so you can reach as many people as possible with the best user experience, in that market.
  2. Create a fulfilling viewer experience
    A highly connected data centre estate allows you to receive and distribute live video feeds across target markets, and enhance it with the supporting content customers expect. That might be live statistics tracking for a sports broadcast or slick graphics for a news programme.
  3. Engage customers with enhanced video
    Streaming video is only one component to digital media. New and emerging technologies – from social media to virtual reality – are pushing the boundaries for what broadcasters can offer. The hybrid cloud can enable you to deliver high-quality experiences that engage and delight viewers.

Ultimately, the best way forward for you as a broadcaster is to embrace change and find ways to reach customers with the content they want, where they want to see it. IT agility helps you do just that.

By Richard Craig-McFeely

Richard Craig-McFeely is strategy and marketing director of digital media at Interxion. He has more than 2o years’ experience in the media industry, with added expertise in live sporting events.

A version of this article originally appeared on the Interxion blog.