Telcos can help broadcast and media companies transform digitally, says GlobalData

COVID-19 has made it more urgent for broadcast and media companies to transform their operations through digital solutions. Against this backdrop, there are several opportunities for network carriers (telcos) to help broadcast and media companies particularly with the emergence of 5G, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Siow Meng Soh, Research Director at GlobalData says: “Companies that are adept at leveraging mobile, cloud, analytics and automation will gain significant competitive advantages in terms of cost of business, ability to reach a wider audience and providing new ways of consuming content.”

The impact of COVID-19 has hit film and TV studios, TV broadcasting networks and cinemas. However, Internet TV platforms such as Netflix, Amazon and Disney have benefited as there has been surging demand for content as people stay at home during the lockdown period.

Asia-Pacific (APAC) is the largest subscription video on-demand (SVoD) market in terms of subscribers. GlobalData expects the APAC SVoD market to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) 12.7% from 231 million subscriptions in 2018 to 420 million in 2023.

However, COVID-19 has impacted content supply, from the delay in the production of new movies to the cancellation of major sporting events in the region. This has resulted in a loss of revenue from both content and advertising, impacting mostly content producers, pay-TV operators, cinemas, and broadcasters.

Mr Soh continues: “The telecommunications networks play a crucial role in delivering content to consumers around the world. Increasingly, network carriers are building stronger relationship with broadcast and media companies to provide services beyond the transmission network. Some carriers have developed a practice dedicated to the broadcast and media industry, offering solutions tailored to the needs of this industry and going beyond the content delivery network (CDN).”

For example, network carriers such as BT, Tata Communications and Telstra have a dedicated business unit to support the broadcast and media industry and offer solutions beyond connectivity addressing different aspects of the broadcast media industry from content creation, distribution, aggregation, to the user interfaces transforms.

The virtualization of IT and broadcasting technologies and the migration of on-premise systems to the cloud will facilitate this transformation and simplify operations. 5G technology, global fiber networks and remote facilities will continue to reduce the need for large on-site production crews, facilities and expensive on-site equipment. It will also increase the coverage of live events.

As the media industry moves further into the cloud, there will be the need for more partners to collaborate on content creation, distribution and aggregation from anywhere. In the not-so-distant future, 5G, multi-access edge computing and network slicing will play a key role in enhancing broadcast and media experience across the value chain.

Mr Soh concludes: “Telcos should look at use cases that are beneficial to broadcast and media companies. For example, 5G will become a key driver in enabling remote production. The technology can also be deployed at stadiums to enhance spectators’ experience including the use of augmented reality, connected devices to assist umpire, in-stadium streaming. Growth in streaming over 5G is likely to be realized in markets that are heavily tilted toward mobile viewing such as China and India.”

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