The TV landscape is experiencing a period of rapid evolution in terms of technology, business realities and consumption, and this year’s IBC Convention looks to deliver fresh insights. From the role of artificial intelligence in media and 5G to virtualization of workflows and the likely impact of new consumer technologies on media, IBC 2017 will offer perspective.
The TV industry undergoes a period of accelerated change in the way it produces, plays out and distributes content to consumers, and those attending IBC 2017 will descend upon Amsterdam Sept. 14-19 to gain fresh insight on the future.
The conference program, Sept. 14-18, reflects many of ongoing changes in the industry. Organized in eight conference streams — seven conference programs and a series of keynote sessions, the program is peppered with provocative session titles.
For example, the “Artificial Intelligence: Driving the Next Wave of Innovation” session, part of the Business Transformation — Tech Talks Conference Stream on Sept. 17, will explore how artificial intelligence can be harnessed to improve viewer experience, broadcast efficiency and media workflows.
Another session underscoring changing industry tides is the “TV Is Not Going Anywhere, It’s Going Everywhere” discussion, Sept. 14, as part of the Content and Production Conference Stream. An interview of Fabrice Mollier, EGTA president and TF1 head of distribution, by Caroline Frost, a writer and broadcaster who covers entertainment, media and ethics, the session will explore how premium content delivered to multiple screens is driving innovation in monetization strategies across Europe.
The IBC conference program also will look at the latest technologies people use to consume content Sept. 16, as part of the Audiences and Advertising Conference Stream. During the “Hot or Not: What Are the Hottest New TV Technologies and Devices and How Will They Transform The TV Market?” session, several tech gurus will examine VR, AR, AI, self-driving cars, wearables and voice control to predict which will sizzle and which will fizzle.
For those wondering what will come after the latest encoding technology has run its course, the “Beyond HEVC — How to Build an Even Better Codec” — part of the paper session in the Advances In Technology Conference Stream — may hold the answer. Scheduled for Sept. 14, the session will present the work of four different authors: Joachim Keinert of Fraunhofer ISS in Germany; David Taubman of UNSW in Sydney, Australia; Sriram Sethuraman of Ittiam Systems in India; and Jens-Rainer Ohm of RWTH Aaachen University in Germany.
Change closer to the here and now will be examined during the “Direct to Consumer: The Next Generation of TV Channel May Not Be Broadcast” session, Sept. 14. Part of the Platform Futures Conference Stream, the session will examine the on-demand streaming subscription service Hayu. The session, chaired by Bill Scott, chief operating and commercial officer at Easel TV, will present the insight of Hendrik McDermott, SVP of branded on demand (SVOD) at NBCUniversal International.
Change also touches the business side of media, and IBC will explore some of latest advancements during the Business Transformation Conference Stream. For example, the “Data Killed the Media Planner” session, Sept. 15, will tackle the promise and the reality of the data being used to drive content personalization and targeted advertising.
Even sports is getting in on the tech innovation action. The “Beyond Live: New Tech Pushing the Boundaries” session — part of the Sports Conference stream on Sept. 17 — will look at the changing ways fans engage with their favorite sports and how they are creating branding opportunities and creating new revenue.
Many IBC keynoters, too, will look at the rapid evolution of particular slices of the media and entertainment industry. Daniel Danker of Facebook and Jorgen Madsen Lindemann of Modern Times Group will open the conference Sept. 14 with “Fans, Friends and The Future of Broadcasting.”
John Cassy of Factory 42 and Rikard Steiber of HTC Vive will present “What’s Happening in VR, AR and Mixed Reality,” Sept. 16, and Billy Zane of The Convergence Lab, Sept. 17, will present “Turn Off, Tune Out and Drop In: How Some Of The Most Radical Ideas Of Tomorrow Are Being Discovered Within Institutional Academia, Not Just By Dropouts In Garages.”
Innovation will also be on display in the voluminous Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Center. This year more than 1,700 companies and organizations will take part as exhibitors in 15 halls at the exhibition center, which will be open Sept. 15-19.
The RAI will also be home to several feature areas, including the Big Screen Experience; IBC Content Everywhere Hub; the Launch Pad; the IP Showcase; and the Partners’ Pavilion.
There’s also the IBC Future Zone where the latest research into cutting-edge technologies like Generic Robots’ VR haptics and forward-looking projects from BBC R&D will give those attending IBC the chance to experience the latest from some of the brightest minds working on the future of media. The zone also includes the Future Reality Theater with sessions on the impact and challenges of future technologies.
The show will offer a couple of new events, including the C-tech Forum: 5G, Sept. 16, a discussion of tech leaders about what needs to be done to make 5G a success; and C-Tech Forum: Cyber Security, Sept. 15.
IBC also recognizes individuals, organizations and vendors with a series of awards ranging from the International Honor for Excellence and the Exhibition Stand Design award to the IBC Special Award, the Judges’ Prize and the Best Conference Paper Award.
This year, Marcelo Souza and his colleagues Joao Castellani, Daniel Monteiro and Carlos Octavio Quieroz from Brazilian broadcaster TV Globo will receive the IBC Best Conference Paper Award for the paper “Big Data for Data Journalism, Enhanced Business Analytics And Video Recommendation at Globo.”
Among the most coveted honors at IBC are the Innovation Awards, which are presented in three areas: Content Creation, Content Distribution and Content Everywhere.
Those shortlisted in the 2017 Content Creation category are: the ITV Phoenix automated campaign management system; the LUV virtual studios developed by Groupe Media TFO; and the new campus of Singapore-based Mediacorp.
The Content Distribution category shortlist includes: Next Generation Broadcast Architecture by Sinclair Broadcast Group using a centralized modulation process; Fully Virtualized Playout by DMC, a TVT company, using a private broadcast cloud; the VOOT premium over-the-top video streaming platform from Viacom 18; and an All-IP Outsider Broadcast Truck by Arena Television.
Those on the shortlist in the Content Everywhere category are: the Champions League Final 2017 of BT Sport; the Global IP Contribution and Distribution by eSports company ESL; Google Earth VR; and PlayRenfe to provide 19 million Renfe railway passengers with access to premium content and live TV.