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Trip report: IBC Conference 2018 Amsterdam

By Ted Chamberlin | September 24, 2018 | 0 Comments



Its just about a calendar week since I returned from Amsterdam attending the IBC or International Broadcasters Show.I wanted to take the weekend to let everything I consumed ruminate and to catch up on rest. I know many have provided their thoughts so here are mine:

  • The broadcasting industry is on fire–  the sheer amount of vendors with generally interesting solutions for the delivery of content on IP and broadcast networks was staggering.  I had heard 1700 exhibitors and roughly 60k attendees. For a show in Western Europe, I was impressed with vendor representation from literally every continent on earth.
  • SaaS platforms dominate– I think I literally say 100s of OTT media workflow platforms and they spanned the alphabet from Anevia to Zoo Digital.  Many had advanced technical delivery and application development strengths, but very few articulated differentiation in a meaningful way. I expect this market to undergo some significant M&A  in 2019-2020.
  • Analytics are key but hard to monetize- Most vendors had a target audience for analytics; quality of experience, engagement, ad insertion, stream health and network/CDN optimization.  Many had proprietary metrics or algorithms as well as a smattering of AI and ML to train models. Some providers are looking to sell these data sets in a subscription; some will give them away to reduce churn and drive up sell.  No one had an innovative business model that addressed more then a single domain.
  • Some broadcast still hug servers-Broadcasters have only moved moderately to multi-tenant solutions for their their content creation and delivery platforms. They appear to be laggards in the cloud adoption compared to other industries that also have IP protection concerns. Interestingly enough, AWS, MSFT Azure and Google had wall to wall crowds at their booths so maybe the content creators are considering rendering and transcoding in the cloud? I will believe it when I see it.
  • Live sports and user generated content-   Football( or soccer), Formula One and NFL teams and leagues continue to be a flash point for technology solution. Lots of embracing of user generated content of fans for World cup and Premier League teams. I personally would like to see UGC and fan interaction spread to additional sports like hockey 🙂
  • Content needs better discovery- MAMs were not at the forefront of IBC; however, making content and entertainment and media accessible and discoverable was a key thread.  I can see a battle ground forming up for user experience that heavily leverages curated content recommendations based on metadata.
  • AR/VR and Drones?- Non-existent…………….
  • Private equity and divestitures in media workflow- some big companies exited the media and entertainment workflow business to focus on their core businesses in including Nokia, Ericsson and Cisco.  Other companies like Bitmovin are raising rounds. We at Gartner are speaking to more investors looking to enter the M&E space as well.


All in all, a good time to be involved in or analyzing the media and entertainment industry.


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