In MENA, the television industry is evolving in terms of content and business models for over-the-top (OTT) and pay TV. Broadcasters will adopt technologies to provide an enhanced user experience in the rising competitive landscape, according to a recent report by Frost & Sullivan.
The report emphasizes how technology solutions that address the evolving requirements of broadcasters, and that integrate with legacy systems, are gaining importance. Sports will remain the major driver for adopting pay TV services in the region, promoting the adoption of cloud services for faster live broadcast.
Broadcasters need to adopt advanced technologies to increase productivity and encourage workflow optimization through IP-enabled automation solutions. Experimenting with solutions to deliver multiscreen hybrid viewing that addresses low-bandwidth usage could further augment players’ competitive advantage.
Frost & Sullivan’s research, ‘Technology Adoption Trends in the MENA Broadcast Industry 2016–2021’, also finds that major investments in the next five years will be directed toward the digitization of workflows, multi-screen play out and delivery, demand for improved compression techniques, and transition to high definition. The study assesses key technology vendors, growth opportunities, trends, drivers, challenges and restraints, and technology adoption among industry stakeholders.
“Broadcasters are plagued by falling advertising revenues, a rich free-to-air offering, and the additional pressure to launch OTT services to remain competitive. New OTT platforms are emerging with high-caliber content encryption solutions seeing higher demand, while convergence among other participants is streamlining operations and optimizing costs for producers,” said Aafia Bathool, Digital Media Research Analyst, Frost & Sullivan.
To remain relevant in the evolving MENA broadcast industry, technology players should harness critical success factors, such as cloud deployment in broadcasting to enable broadcasters to produce content anywhere and at any time; rise of UHD and 4K content to accelerate growth of 4K TV sales and support technology such as transcoding, content protection, and high-definition 4K to cater to evolving customer demands; developing high-technology solutions to protect distributions across platforms from piracy and illegal distribution; and collaborating and forming strategic partnerships with international technology vendors and local distributors to ramp up technology solution investment.
“Although advanced broadcast technology solutions are available, the prevalence of legacy systems and lack of technological skills for new systems is slowing the adoption of new technologies. There will be a gradual move from hardware-based solutions to cloud-based platforms, allowing for significant digital transformation of the MENA broadcast industry through 2021,” noted Ms Bathool.