Andy Walker at Accenture provides his opinion on the main themes to emerge from IBC2023

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As industry leaders gathered at IBC this month, they faced critical decisions on where to invest to secure their long-term viability. To remain relevant, media companies must prioritise innovation, embracing trends that engage audiences and sustain their businesses.

Here are five key trends business leaders navigated at the show:

Generative AI

The buzz around generative AI is hard to ignore. Its potential impact on the media industry is vast, spanning content creation, production, distribution, and personalisation. Generative AI can act as a creative co-pilot, aiding in content ideation, scheduling, and production acceleration. The technology can modernise distribution and commercialisation, elevating how media companies can distribute content to wider, yet targeted audiences, and manage and monetise assets more effectively.

The customer experience can be enriched, transforming passive consumption into active, participatory engagement. The data generated forms a continuous feedback loop, influencing future content creation. But success with generative AI requires investments in both talent and technology, emphasising the importance of training and skill development.

Broadcasters vs. Streaming Giants

Traditional broadcasters have been grappling with the dominance of streaming giants over the past decade. To catch up and compete, they must rethink their strategies. Content remains at the core, but creating or acquiring it at a reasonable cost is challenging. So, broadcasters may consider transitioning to become aggregators, exploring new revenue streams through subscriptions or ad-supported models.

Partnering with content creators and production companies can reduce costs, while data collected from diverse sources aids in user engagement and content acquisition decisions. But an aggregator model involves its own set of challenges, such as negotiating content licensing agreements and ensuring a seamless user experience. But those that take the right steps can stay relevant and competitive in the evolving media landscape.

Next-Level Audience Engagement

Audience engagement is crucial for media businesses’ success. Today, where content is abundant, media companies must compete for limited attention. Leveraging analytics to understand audience preferences, behaviours, demographics, and interactions is essential. And social TV must be embraced, allowing viewers to shape shows and foster discussions, increasing viewership and loyalty.

The Cloud-Based Newsroom of the Future

News production’s core pillars—gathering, creating, and distributing—remain unchanged, but the landscape has evolved. To address rising costs and declining profits, newsrooms must modernise their workflows and technologies within the content supply chain. Centralising content in the cloud streamlines production, localisation and distribution, providing a single destination for collaboration.

This approach reduces storage costs, minimises errors, enhances security, and enables automation. Access to a unified storage pool facilitates remote contributions, channel origination, and rapid content localisation, allowing quick responses to audience engagement.

A Crackdown on Password Sharing

The streaming industry is evolving with a crackdown on password sharing. While this may increase revenues for media companies, it could also lead to changes in consumer behaviour. Subscriptions may rise as people switch from shared to individual accounts, but there’s a risk of some consumers opting for basic packages or cancelling subscriptions altogether.

Consumers want a “super” streaming platform offering convenience and a single billing point. But the industry’s reluctance to open APIs poses challenges and we don’t know if a tipping point will come to force change. So, the outcome remains uncertain, but password sharing, and the future of streaming will have been on people’s minds in Amsterdam.

In conclusion, IBC 2023 delivered discussions on innovation and adaptation in the rapidly evolving media landscape. Business leaders must embrace these trends to ensure their organisations remain competitive and responsive to changing audience demands and technological advancements.


 Andy Walker is global communications and media industry lead at Accenture