What Does Video's Future Hold?

April 15, 2015
As the NAB Show rages on this week in Las Vegas, some familiar themes are resonating, said Gavin Mann, global broadcast lead for ...
As the NAB Show rages on this week in Las Vegas, some familiar themes are resonating, said Gavin Mann, global broadcast lead for Accenture (NYSE:ACN).

Take 4K video for starters. New research from Accenture indicates that among those surveyed who were planning to buy TV sets this year, 25% will likely buy a 4K set. This is up from 18% last year. This is good news for broadcasters and service providers seeking to differentiate themselves amid increasing global competition, Mann said.

"We will see companies racing to develop new technology to support lower bandwidth ... and better encoding," Mann said. "We will see all players in the end-to-end broadcast ecosystem pushing their future-proofing solutions."

Consumer demand for easily accessible content from all sources is leading to partnerships between pay TV and OTT providers, which will lead to consolidating interfaces. "I certainly hope we will see increasing activity here," Mann said. "We need to get through a period of consolidation and implementation and making things delightful and easy to use .... It is beneficial to consumers and providers to continue to invest in and create simplification opportunities."

Local service providers across the globe will continue to adopt flexible streaming platforms to face competition from OTT providers like Netflix and Amazon. Star India, for example, launched hotstar in January, built on the Accenture Video Solution software platform. Using a "mobile first" strategy, Star can deliver its catalog to a variety of devices over networks ranging from WiFi and 4G to 2G networks.

Monetizing live events is another way to stand out among the competition and bring in added revenue. Star was able to use hotstar in conjunction with starsports, a digital platform, to deliver more than 25 million video views of an India-Pakistan cricket match in February, which Mann says makes it the most watched online sports event of all time.

"Live events - especially sports - still provide broadcasters an outlet for reaching a mass audience on a scale never seen before," said Mann. "The pricing rights for such events are rocketing."

As all of these trends continue to heat up, Accenture's research showed a "significant" decline in the amount of traditional television viewing people are doing on an actual big screen. "There was a double-digit (decrease) over all age groups and content types (compared to last year)," Mann said. "We have been running this research consistently for the last four or five years."

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