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News in the Digital Era: Tips for Broadcasters

News in the Digital Era: Tips for Broadcasters

Do you prefer reading news on social media? If your answer is yes, you belong among 51%[1]  of the population who prefer so. Research by Reuters Institute reveals that 64% of the population between the age group of 18-24 rely on online media for information.

Which makes us wonder – is digitization transforming the way viewers consume content? As the F.O.M.O. and the favor of personalization over objectivity give rise to social media and aggregators like ‘In Shorts,’ ‘Feedly,’ and ‘Digg Reader,’ do traditional media need to change their broadcast/distribution strategy to retain the audience?

In an age where what goes ‘viral’ sells, here are some tips to utilize the power of digital media to capture the audience.

Intriguing Storytelling: While the information remains the same, how the broadcaster presents it is what pulls and retains the audience in the ‘mobile first’ world. With the same story available across multiple platforms, readers look for a unique perspective, and perhaps, an intriguing way to share the same news. To retain the audience, storytelling has to change – it has to be short, visual, timely, and hyper-relevant.

‘Snackable’ Content: According to Forbes[2], adding infographic is a sure shot way to boost news traffic, as 90 percent of what we remember is based on visual impact. Short-form videos play a vital role in capturing the viewer’s attention for a longer time, thereby driving user engagement and revenue.

Explainer Videos: With the information overload that comes with the Internet, an average person is attacked by the equivalent of 174 newspapers of data a day. Explainer videos are a great way to cut through the information overload. Focusing on the facts, explainer videos often have only subtitles without any sound highlighting the crux, which usually works well for breaking news.

Focus on Soft News: Humans are primarily driven by emotions. Therefore, viewers tend to connect more with the soft news that has a strong emotional element. A simple story presented objectively with an emotional perspective works better for news broadcasters.

Choosing the Right Distribution Platform: With offsite news video consumption growing fast, broadcasters need to focus on the distribution channel to ensure maximum reach. For example, videos uploaded to Facebook or shared on Twitter get more views than those uploaded on the website. Therefore, sharing the breaking news on social media, and do a follow-up story with detailed analysis and context for the website will have more viewers than uploading a detailed video on the website.

Going Live: Thanks to the video appeal, user engagement, ‘in the moment’ value, and instant feedback, live video has become an interesting trend in the broadcast industry. With Facebook Live, Snapchat, YouTube, and Periscope allowing wider reach, media houses are competing to bring interesting and valuable live videos to their customers.

Having Defined Goals: Not all content is created with the same purpose. While the cyberspace is flooded with news and videos, each trying to carve a niche and attract the audience, a broadcaster needs to have defined goals like monetization, engagement, or brand extension before generating the content. It is important to have a strategy in place, which the broadcasters should review and refer to at regular intervals.

Creating Video Community: Media houses are increasingly turning to platforms like Talenthouse, Tongal, and Zooppa to have new video content that explains key issues simplifying business/hard language. Creating video community is a great way to crowdsource ideas in thousands, connect with the audience and empower them, and create a loyal viewers’ community.

Having Ready-made Templates: News, if not communicated as soon as it breaks, become stale. Therefore, it is important not to waste time in deciding the ideal content format or creating videos from scratch. Having templates for various kind of news across different platforms enable quick packaging and sharing of videos and news, thereby helping broadcasters share information as soon as it happens.

As broadcasters embrace the new digital world and make their presence more prominent across online platforms, it is important to have a right strategy to ensure increased engagement with the audience.

Video Storage Formats: Then & Now

Video Storage Formats: Then & Now

The Motion Picture Industry had begun to develop in early 1900s. Celluloid Nitrate films were the industry norm till the magnetic tape came into play. With technology, the video storage carriers have also evolved. From carrying bulky video cameras for shoot and storing cans of videos archives to live streaming of video using a mobile, video has come a long way.  Let us look at some key formats through the history of video.

1956 saw the coming of Quadruplex videotapes which were most commonly used commercial distribution medium at that time. Developed and released by Ampex, 2” Quad was the first successful videotape format. The name comes from its four-head wheel which rotated 240 times a second. VR 1500/600 (by Ampex) was the first consumer VTR.

From Videotape we graduated to video cassettes. In 1969, Sony introduced a prototype for the first widespread video cassette, the 3/4″ (1.905 cm) Composite U-matic system. ¾” U-Matic, Sony, 1970 was one of the most successful formats of all time. Until its release, news acquisition had primarily been gathered on 16mm film.

In 1976, Sony introduced Betamax which was the first successful consumer video cassette. It failed in the marketplace against VHS due to its maximum record time despite initial success. Introduced as a competitor to Betamax, VHS, JVC, 1976 was the most successful among all home video formats.

Sony introduced Betacam in 1982, which eventually turned out as the most widely used analog tape based format, later Digital Betacam was introduced in 1993 as a replacement for the analog Betacam SP format. Sony’s D-1, the first digital VTR, featured uncompressed digital component recording and was mainly used in high-end post-production facilities with special effects and multiple layering of video signal.

In 1985, Handycam introduced by Sony was the first portable Video8 Camera with commercial success. The 8mm video format refers to 3 video cassette formats namely, Video 8 (analog), Hi8 (combination of analog and digital) & Digital 8 (digital). And a decade later in 1995, the next generation of digital disc storage was introduced, the Digital Versatile Disc (DVD). The world’s first DVD player was the Toshiba SD-3000 launched in November 1996 and was made available in Japan, US, Europe and Australia.

Blu-Ray is the next generation of optical disc format aimed to store high definition video (HD). Named after Blue Laser, it stores more data than a standard DVD.  DigiBeta is the highest quality standard definition format in common use. It’s 10 bit 4.2.2 with a low compression of 2.3 and a common SD delivery format with many broadcasters. Launched in 1995, DV is a format for storing digital video. DVCPRO, also known as DVCPRO25, is a variation of DV developed by Panasonic and introduced in 1995 for use in electronic news gathering (ENG) equipment. In 1996 Sony responded with its own professional version of DV called DVCAM.

Its competitor is High-Density Digital Versatile Disc (HD-DVD). Promoted by Toshiba, NEC & Sanyo, it is a digital optical media format applying the same disc size as Blu-Ray.  As far as quality of Video is concerned the future belongs to Ultra HD or UHD. The UHD Alliance comprising of 35 companies have laid down UHD Premium Specification in 2016. The specification comprises a list of features that should be included in products like TVs and Blu-ray players to ensure maximum compatibility with other content and hardware produced.

Though availability and quality of recording devices is a huge edge, it comes with disadvantages. Modern recording devices produce 720p, 1080p and 4K video resolutions eating up hard drive space thereby slowing it down. It faces lack of adequate backup feature as well. These inabilities make Cloud Storage Solutions the future of video storage.  Cloud provides excellent features like anywhere access, easy sharing and retrieval and also ensures longevity of the content.

Video content consumption has revolutionized our lifestyle in massive proportions. Surprisingly, the developing economies consume video content in startling way. Africa often referred to as “The Mobile Continent” witness 77% viewers consuming content on smart phones and 53% are interested in mobile video on-demand. UNESCO has highlighted, “much of our audio visual heritage has already been irrevocably lost and much more will be lost if no action is taken.” Broadcasters and content owners must now focus on migrating their valuable media assets to latest video storage formats and ensure its availability for generations to come. The future clearly belongs to the media organizations that adopt digital and offer choice of platforms (any device, any time) and variety of content to their viewers.

Women Who Changed the Face of Broadcast Industry

Women Who Changed the Face of Broadcast Industry

Women across the world are breaking glass ceilings. This Women’s Day, we bring you five such women of India and the Middle East who have made contribution in changing the face of broadcast industry.

1. Homai Vyarawalla – India’s First Woman Photojournalist

Born in Gujarat, India in 1913, Homai Vyarawalla (popularly known as ‘Dalda 13’) was India’s first female photojournalist. She started her career in the 1930s and was noticed nationally when she moved to Mumbai in 1942. Over the next 30 years, Vyarawalla worked as a press photographer, capturing the last days of the British Empire and many national leaders, including Gandhi, Nehru, Jinnah, and Indira Gandhi.

Vyarawalla was one of the key visual chroniclers of the post-independence era, tracing the euphoria and disillusionments of a new nation. During World War II, she worked with The Illustrated Weekly of India magazine, which published many of her iconic black and white images. Vyarawalla was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 2011, which is the second highest civilian award of the Republic of India.

2. R. Vijayalakshmi – Asia’s First Woman Cinematographer

Daughter of the legendary actor, director, and producer B.R. Panthulu. B.R. Vijayalakshmi, who started her career as an assistant to cinematographer Ashok Kumar, is Asia’s first woman cinematographer. She made her feature film debut with the Tamil film ‘Chinna Veeduin’ in 1985.

After working in over 22 films, Vijayalakshmi took a break from the cinema after the birth of her son, only to return as a known face in television. “Paatu Padavaa” – the last film scripted, directed and cinematographed by Vijayalakshmi in 1995 made it to the International Film Festival of India 1996.

3. Hessa Al Ossaily – Mother of UAE Media

Hessa Al Ossaily, born in Sharjah in 1950, is the first TV announcer of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and has donned many hats as a female pioneer in the broadcasting industry. She was Director of the Ministry of Information and Culture’s Exhibition Department for more than 30 years and is now one of the UAE’s most successful businesswomen.

In 1965, at the age of 15, Al Ossaily became the first Emirati woman to become a presenter at Sawt Al Sahil Radio, which was launched in Sharjah by the British. In 1969, after graduating from Ain Shams University in Egypt, she joined Kuwaiti TV as a presenter.

Known as the Mother of UAE Media, Al Ossaily was assigned general commissioner for the UAE’s involvement in expos in 1992. In 2000, she became the first Arab female member of the country’s steering committee for that year’s expo in Hanover, Germany.

4. Nayla Al Khaja – UAE’s First Woman Filmmaker

Dubbed UAE’s first female filmmaker, Nayla Al Khaja graduated from Dubai Women’s College with a degree in Mass Communication in 1999 and hosted her travel show with Arabian Radio Network. In 2005, she graduated in Image Studies – Film from Ryerson University in Canada, a college well-known for its film-making programs.

Soon after graduation, Nayla founded a full-service production company ‘D-SEVEN Motion Pictures,’ which specialized in the production corporate videos, documentaries, short films, and TV commercials. The production house had an impressive list of clientele, which includes industry giants like Vogue, BMW, Gucci, Mercedes, Nike, Cannon, Nivea, LG, and Discovery Studios to name a few.

In 2006, Nayla made her first short film “Arabana”- which dealt with the subject of child abuse. The film premiered at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2007 where she won the title for ‘Best Emirati Filmmaker.’

5. Alia Al Shamsi – UAE’s First Professional Female Photographer

Born and raised in Dubai from an Italian mother and a UAE father, Alia Al Shamshi studied photography, and photojournalism in Australia and is a full-time photojournalist for El Emarat El Youm and Emirates – two newspapers of Dubai. She is also working as curator, photographer, and archivist on many independent projects and has been involved with food and fashion photography. Her photographs featured in international magazines like National Geographic and are exhibited in many countries, including USA, Australia, Germany, Italy, and UAE.

We wish more power to women of today! Happy International Women’s Day!

OTT: The Way Ahead

OTT: The Way Ahead

Over-the-top content (OTT) service providers like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon are showing massive uptake by consumers who want to view content as per their choice of time and platform. According to Juniper Research titled Mobile & Online TV & Video: OTT, IPTV & Connected Markets 2015-2019[1], OTT subscription is forecasted to generate $31.6 billion in revenue by 2019.

As traditional broadcasters face increased competition from OTT service providers, let us take a look at the future of OTT.

New providers in the market

While countries like the United States have already adopted OTT and are on the verge of saturation, developing countries with high mobile penetration and adoption rates of pay-TV and broadband are witnessing increasing popularity of OTT services. A  Digital TV Europe Research[2] estimates that developing countries like Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa will see greater growth in revenues and that of Latin America will nearly triple from 2015.

Driven by rising mobile data usage, mobile is becoming an important medium to deliver OTT service in East European countries, Middle East & Africa. Pay-TV providers, mobile operators, broadcasters and media companies are expanding their OTT services in these regions either by launching their OTT services or partnering with regional OTT players. For example, UAE-based mobile operator Etlisat has introduced eLife ON, Saudi Arabian Mobily has mView, Times Media Group has an OTT service called VIDI in South Africa, and Pay-TV operator OSN has launched GO across MENA.

SVOD is catching up

Viewers are increasingly opting for OTT services like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Video, which gives them the freedom to choose the content they want to consume across different platforms. Millennials are adopting subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services faster than their older counterparts. A report from BI Intelligence highlights younger viewers watch four times as much video content online than aged viewers. The popularity of SVOD services like YouTube, Sling TV, and PlayStation Vue further underlines this fact.

For SVOD services, usability is the key. Companies need to innovate to leverage OTT and SVOD services to reach out to more viewers. For example, YouTube has launched offline viewing for consumers to download videos and watch it at their convenience – even when there is no mobile connectivity.

With the first screen of the millennials being the mobile screen, digitization provides a huge opportunity for SVOD providers to grow their business. Content creators and marketers can reap the benefits from SVOD adoption. Content creators can profit from the surge in the short-form video, while marketers can capitalize on advanced product placements.

More connected TVs

Thanks to connected TVs, which include streaming devices like Apple TV, gaming consoles, Web-enabled TV sets, and TVs connected to the Internet by laptops in the group, monetization is also growing. According to FreeWheel, an ad-serving company whose clients include major video providers such as AOL, Crackle, Fox, NBCUniversal, Viacom, and Vevo, more than one-third of monetization was led by OTT devices. An eMarketer report[3] estimates that by 2018, 191.4 million or 58.2 percent of the U.S. population will use a connected TV device to access the Internet.

Changing fundamentals of content creation

OTT has unlocked transformational changes in how the content is created and consumed. The availability of unlimited content space has given more freedom to experiment and has provided audiences for all kinds of content. Although most are amateurs, some are earning millions of dollars, while contributing to the depth and breadth of content available to consumers.

Further, the increase of mobile and streaming access has enhanced consumers’ ability to choose what they watch and where and when they watch it. With the rise in mobile use, the demand for short-form, high-quality content, also called ‘snackable content’ has also witnessed a massive growth. Consumers are turning to live, user-generated video and “citizen journalists” for news related to developing events or stories. For example, The Young Turks, which offers short-form news videos on relevant topics around the world every day has become a key news destination for millennials.

The launch of Facebook Live in April 2016, which makes it easier “to create, share, and discover live videos” further highlights the changing fundamentals of content creation. Content creators are also focusing on introducing contextual parameters for content discovery. Factors like mood and current affairs are being taken into account apart from their viewing preference while making a content recommendation to the viewers.

To ensure successful adoption of OTT, service providers must address three critical challenges – aggregation, subscription churn, and transparency. As consumers look to fulfill the 3Ws – watch what they want, when they want to, and where they want – OTT providers not only need to manage content but also create new content and recreate legacy content to retain subscribers. Proper archiving, digitization and tagging of content will help in aggregation while generating content across various formats will provide shared experience across devices and help in customer retention.

[1] https://www.juniperresearch.com/press/press-releases/ott-tv-market-to-increase-fourfold-reaching-32bn

[2] https://www.digitaltvresearch.com/ugc/Global%20OTT%202016%20TOC_toc_149.pdf

[3] http://digiday.com/platforms/ott-video-going-5-charts/

Top 6 Threats for Television Broadcasters

Top 6 Threats for Television Broadcasters

Streaming services have been threatening to take a bite out of linear TV broadcast viewership for quite some time. However, it is only recently that television broadcasters have begun to feel the threat. According to a study conducted by Michael Nathanson of MoffettNathanson, Netflix’s US subscribers were up to six percent in 2015 from 4.4 percent in 2014.

As the future of television broadcast is threatened, we list six top challenges faced by broadcasters due to the rise of digital and streaming media.

1. The Rise of Alternative Media Channels

With the digital revolution gaining momentum, viewers now want to cherry pick their favorite channels, which is why streaming services over the internet are on an all-time rise. There has been a shift in the viewing habits, posing a threat to the decade-old model built around satellite and cable TV offering ‘bundled’ channels to consumers at a fixed price that offered little choice to viewers.

Now, viewers can access video channels like Amazon video, Netflix, Hulu; choose a subscription of individual channels like Showtime or HBO, or watch programs streamed on YouTube and other free online channels.

With the rise of alternative media channels, television broadcasters are facing a major threat in the form of what is popularly known as ‘cord cutting.’ According to a 2016 research by Leichtman Research Group , the cord-cutting trend began in 2013 when cable providers lost 100,000 subscribers. The figures went up to 150,000 in 2014 and 385,000 in 2015, thanks to on-demand platforms like Netflix that charge a fraction of what television broadcasters charge to stream programs.

2. Content and Network Security

Missed your favorite prime-time show? Login online to watch it anytime you want. Viewers now have the option to enjoy their favorite programs on any smart devices anytime they want. With the emergence of TV Everywhere, pay-tv operators are now offering TV Everywhere to provide value add and retain their subscribers.

However, TV Everywhere has its risks for broadcasters. As broadcasters use new media platforms to reach their millennial viewers, they are prone to security threats like hacking, malware, and cyber-attacks. Often, viewers also compromise their security by sharing devices, accounts and personal information to access the content, thereby giving easy access to hackers. Moreover, with the easy availability of network infrastructures, programs are being redistributed in real-time over the Internet illegally, resulting in loss of estimated billions of euros across the TV industry worldwide.

To address this challenge, broadcasters need proper infrastructure, security policies, and firewall protection to ensure hackers do not have access to the content. Moreover, old content needs to be digitized, archived and stored with proper tagging to ensure long term usage.

3. Changing Viewer Behavior and Preferences

As new digital platforms evolve, there is a distinct shift in consumer behavior and preferences. Users no longer consume what is being offered to them, but choose from a host of options available to them anywhere, anytime across multiple channels.

Traditional content providers are fighting hard to ride the digital wave and secure their place in the value chain by understanding customers’ interests and upselling the right products to cater to their preferences. TV broadcasters are facing a significant threat due to changing preference of the viewers and need to create and recycle content to cater to the changing behavior.

4. Content Protection and Piracy

In a world where news and videos go viral in minutes, content can travel across geographies fast. Thanks to the Internet, viewers now have the power to generate the content they like, share it with the world and gain instant popularity.

However, reliability and accuracy of such content remain a concern. Broadcasters might get into legal hassles like copyright issues or defamation if the authenticity of user-generated content is not verified. Similarly, illegal commercial distribution of content originally owned and produced by broadcasters may lead to revenue loss.

5. Mismanaged Content

Mismanaged content is a major challenge that broadcasters face today. While there is a lot of new content generated both by the user and broadcasters every minute, it might not be organized for future usage. Much of the content is not tagged correctly and do not have metadata, which makes it impossible for broadcasters to compartmentalize for reuse, often leading to content duplication.

With a huge amount of content already being created alongside legacy content, broadcast organizations need to organize and tag content to ensure easy search, access and distribution of existing content.

6. Lack of Quality Content

With modern technology and changing of viewers’ preference, there is a huge demand for content. However, to meet the growing need, quality of the content often takes a backseat.

To ensure quality, broadcasters need to utilize the content that is already in use. Recycling legacy content and going regional to cater to different geographies are some of the measures that content creators need to take apart from creating new content.

The television industry is gearing up to meet the digitization challenge. As viewers are spoiled for choice, the television ecology is becoming more democratic. Broadcasters are propagating online programs to catch the viewers’ attention and become accessible to new audience.

The Rise of Flying Machines: How Drones Are Transforming Broadcast and Media Production 

The Rise of Flying Machines: How Drones Are Transforming Broadcast and Media Production 

If you have watched Planet Earth II (broadcasted in 2016), a follow-up to the nature series aired in 2006 on BBC – the intimate close-ups, chases and kills, and the sweeping vistas might have left you spellbound. While the voice of Sir David Attenborough still gave us goose bumps, the sights added on to the experience – making us feel right in the middle of the action.

If you’re wondering the technology behind this transformation over a decade, read on!

Cinematographers have used the latest in camera technology to create the experience. Drones! To capture those stunning panoramas and actions, drones created the magic that you witness sitting in your living room.

If you watch television with a trained eye, you’ll notice that many series, documentaries, and movies are shot using drones to provide a real-life experience to the viewers. Movies like the Expendables 3, Transformers: Age of Extinction, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Captain America are shot using drones.

Drones are becoming popular among production companies for filming shots that require adrenalin-filled action sequences, literal birds’ eye views, dramatic panoramas or 360-degree views of subjects. In fact, 2015 witnessed the birth of the New York City Drone Film Festival, the world’s first drone film festival to recognize the remarkable usage of drone in cinematography where at least 50% of the footage is shot using a drone.

Ben Sheppard, managing director of Spider Aerial Filming, sums up the advantages of drones over static cranes and expensive helicopters. “No other filming method can start a sequence inside a building and end up at 400 feet altitude in one uncut shot,” says Sheppard. Not only does drones allow the reader to build a better mental picture of the layout of the land, but it can also get down to ground level, with smaller shadows and less air disturbance, unlike helicopters.

Media and broadcast industry, particularly journalism and documentaries witnessed a revolution in 2016 as a result of the increasing capabilities of drones. After the popularity of the New York Times story on the impact of the Syrian Civil War on Aleppo that was captured using drone footage, the newspaper published a list of top stories it covered through drone footage.

CNN uses drones to augment its traditional television coverage and provide improved vantage point. The news network has also launched a team to fly and operate drones as part of expanded news coverage to provide the benefits of planes and helicopters for a fraction of the cost.

“A news story about immigration comes alive to the viewer’s when sweeping shots are taken of the presenter over the white cliffs of Dover. Or a drone flying above a car racing down a mountain road adds to the excitement when the surrounding terrain is visible,” says Sandra Hossack, Director at SkyPower – a supplier of aerial filming platforms.

As the technology matures, using drones has its set of challenges. As the US formulates the framework for legitimizing usage of drones, regulatory barriers still prevent drone adoption. Companies need permission from the Civil Aviation Authority to work with them. For example, in August 2014, during the civil unrest Ferguson, Missouri, police requested the airspace to be closed to prevent media from gathering footage. The authorities also instituted no-fly zones at Standing Rock, North Dakota in 2016 to prevent coverage of the protests and the acts of police.

Using drones is already transforming the media. It will only increase as drones become more technically able and widespread. Drone manufacturers are developing technologies like collision avoidance and geo-fencing to make flying drones safer.

A BI Intelligence report predicts drone sales to go up to $12 billion in 2021[1], from just over $8 billion in 2016. As authorities create regulations to permit more widespread use of drones, this trend will only increase moving forward. Drones are not just toys, but a part of the new media wave.

[1] http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-how-drones-are-transforming-news-media-2017-1?IR=T

6 Key Broadcast Industry Trends to Watch Out for in 2017

6 Key Broadcast Industry Trends to Watch Out for in 2017

With seemingly disparate events like mobile operators providing seamless unlimited data access to its consumers, entertainment shifting from television to video on demand, and web series gaining popularity over traditional content – 2016 witnessed some major shifts in the broadcast and media industry.

A sudden increase in the popularity of streaming services like Amazon Prime and Netflix and the younger generation’s was observed, leading to movement of TV audience to digital platform.

Let’s take a look at the key trends to watch out for in 2017 that would aid this lateral shift.

  1. Big Data Analytics for Viewer Insights

Big data analytics will help broadcasters analyze viewer preference and develop content accordingly. By accessing the large amount of data sets already in store, organizations can perform behavioral analytics of the views to understand the nature of content consumption and deliver accordingly.

Organizations will increasingly use big data analytics to build 360-degree audience profiles based on geographic, demographic, economic and psychographic attributes to understand various touch points and have better insights, thereby improving the entertainment experience for the end user.

Big data analytics will not only help broadcasters develop appropriate content, it will also change the advertising principles in the industry. By measuring ‘binge watching content’ more accurately using data analytics, companies can help advertisers package the right kind of experience to cater to different types of binge viewers.

  1. Virtual Reality Gets Mainstream

The recent announcement of Netflix to bring its programming to the VR realm, the popularity of Waze and PokemonGo are just the start. A report from Manatt Digital Media[1] projects that revenue from augmented reality and virtual reality will reach $150 billion by 2020. Going by the trend, in 2017, virtual or augmented reality will continue to reshape the face of the broadcast industry. By fostering shared moments and creating a shared space where people can share experience, virtual reality will gain momentum.

With programs like Proto-nominee Convrge that allow people to gather and watch YouTube videos together already in place, the broadcast industry will push this idea further to include streaming sites. While some genre of stories like science-fictions and fantasy are more suited for virtual reality that sitcoms and dramas, the industry is set to experiment more with different genres and take virtual reality to a new level.

  1. Increased Adoption of Over-the-top (OTT) Content

Industry reports[2] predict that by 2021, video will account for 70% of the mobile traffic. Forrester[3] forecasts that by 2025, 50% adults under the age of 32 will not pay for TV. Today, if we look around, the prediction seems believable. With viewers increasingly consuming content across devices anytime and anywhere, OTT seems the next big trend in the coming years.

More and more E&M companies are selling their content to streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. With the streaming services gaining access to new originals as well as libraries of television shows and movies, OTT services are gaining a firmer grasp on the end-user relationship with their advertising free environments.

  1. Create Viewer-centric Content

As the broadcast industry opens up to more delivery options and devices, the packaging and distribution of the content will change significantly. With the viewers empowered to choose the content they want to consume, content curators need to find innovative ways to monetize content that not only attract eyeballs but create repeat viewers.

Creators will continue to move beyond traditional distribution channels and studios to create and retain consumers who are united by shared interests, ideas and experiences. Content creators/ curators will be more receptive of the likes and dislikes of viewers and create and distribute content to suit their needs and preferences, which will create loyal fans that are less likely to churn and have more spending capacity.

  1. Ultra HD/4K Production

2016 saw Netflix leading the 4K streaming with films like Ghostbusters and shows like Breaking Bad and the Blacklist. Amazon has also entered the league with its popular shows like Mad Dogs, Transparent, and Man in the High castle.  However, content selection now is limited with criteria for subscribers to access the content.

In 2017, Netflix and other streaming data broadcasters will continue to film or upgrade their new content in the 4K format. Content curators will create more 4K content and expects TV watchers make the jump to the higher-resolution standard.

  1. Internet of Things Gets Real

The broadcast industry is increasingly opening up to Internet of Things and beginning to see the benefits of connected broadcasting. Imagine your favorite program pausing by itself as your doorbell rings or you leave the room. Or taking cues from the surrounding like lighting and time of the day to choose program automatically based on your mood.

The future of IoT for broadcast industry looks promising. 2017 will see more crowdsourced and real-time content being generated, giving broadcasters more chance to know the audience and improve the viewing experience with more engaging and interactive programs.

Sources:

[1] https://www.fastcompany.com/3052209/tech-forecast/vr-and-augmented-reality-will-soon-be-worth-150-billion-here-are-the-major-pla

[2] http://www.digitaltveurope.net/547432/ericsson-viewing-is-shifting-from-tv-as-mobile-video-soars/

[3] http://blogs.forrester.com/james_mcquivey/15-10-07-by_2025_50_of_adults_under_age_32_will_not_pay_for_tv

The Entertainer’s Footprints – A Brief History of Films

The Entertainer’s Footprints – A Brief History of Films

Tucked in the plushest seat with caramel popcorn, catching up with your Friday-released flick, experiencing the blockbuster on a multiplex screen and walking away with the feel of Dolby DTS, 3D and virtual reality. Cut to Grand Café in Paris on 28th December, 1895. The Lumiere brothers, Louis and Auguste Lumiere screened a series of short scenes from everyday French life and charged admission for the first time. The first commercial motion picture was featured. Thus, began the journey of  world’s favorite entertainer-the cinema.

Let us begin from the beginning. Movie technology has its roots in the early 1830s, when Joseph Plateau of Belgium and Simon Stampfer of Austria developed a device called ‘phenakistoscope.’ It was considered precursor of modern motion pictures. In 1895 Louis Lumiere’s ‘Cinematographe’ was patented which was combination of a camera and a projector.

Thomas Edison invented moving pictures which were silent. Audiences enjoyed movies without audio or music for a long time unless Sam Warner of Warner Brothers, in the quest of trying to produce more successful movies, aspired to give audio a shot. Sam used the phonograph to record voices and made the movies where the actors talked to each other. The new sound based movies were called ‘Vitaphone’ movies, denoting “the sound of life.’’ The first Vitaphone movie, named ‘Don Juan’ was a romantic adventure. ‘The Jazz Singer’ was another classic example of a primitive talkie. Even when sound movies got better, one iconic actor still chose to speak to the world through his eyes, face and body. Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp remained silent forever.

The cinema has evolved over the years. Kinemacolor system was patented in 1906 followed by Technicolor, introduced in 1932. To make viewing more dramatic Cinerama was invented in 1952, followed by Cinemascope in 1953 and Omnimax in 1970. Even in audio system, the once made silent movies now boast of Dolby Atmos-the newest cinema sound technology. It allows the film-makers to precisely place and move sound anywhere in the theatre.“Gravity”-the current blockbuster is ideal example of this technology. From 3D to virtual reality to depth sensors, movie making is undergoing a revolution. Technology is offering exciting ways to consume information and entertainment.

The journey is incomplete without the mention of few key films. Charles Tait’s ‘The Story of the Kelly Gang’ (1906) was the world’s first full length movie. World’s first color moving pictures dating from 1902 have been found by the National Media Museum in Bradford after lying  abandoned in an old tin for 110 years. These films were made by pioneer Edward Raymond Turner who patented his color process on 22nd March, 1899. D.W. Griffith’s “Pippa Passes” was the first film whose film review published in the New York Times in 1909.  Raja Harishchandra, produced and directed by Dadasaheb Phalke, was the first full length feature film in India. Men would play female characters then as it was considered inappropriate for women to work in movies. Lanka Dahan in 1917 was India’s first major box office hit where people would fight for tickets at long queues in Majestic cinema, Bombay and toss coins at the ticket counter because the film was mostly houseful. The road of movie hits and flops began with Lanka Dahan and paved its way to the current grosser “Sultan” starring Salman Khan and is a proud member of 300crore exclusive club.

India produces the largest number of films worldwide; over 1,700 films a year in 32 languages but its record of film archiving and preservation is abysmal. Of the 1,700 silent films made in the country, we only have five or six complete films. We lost a solid 80% of our films by 1950, and there is absolutely no record of India’s first talkie, Alam Ara. These statistics are unnerving. The Film Heritage Foundation aims to create an indigenous resource of film archivists and restorers that will work towards film preservation.  They have put an initial framework in place by preserving not the oldest movies but the most talked about movies of renowned directors like Raj Kapoor and Bimal Roy. Cinema is rich cultural heritage, we live in films unless we know from where we come we will never know where to go. Cinema has been beautifully summarized by Martin Scorsese, “Cinema is a matter of what’s in the frame and what’s out.’’

References:

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-commercial-movie-screened

http://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/do-a-course-in-film-restoration/article6365171.ece

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/2016/04/19/worlds-first-colour-film-unveiled/

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-19423951