Check out Grabyo’s five 2021 predictions for the media and broadcast industry. From remote working to 5G adoption, 2021 is set to be a transformative year for media production.
1. Remote production becomes the new normal
At the beginning of 2020, nobody could have predicted how much the media industry was about to change. As we look forward, it’s also a good time to reflect on how quickly and effectively the industry was able to adapt in 2020.
Although the shift to remote production required many to shift their entire workflow to remote working in the cloud in a matter of days or weeks, many began to thrive in the ‘new normal’.
We’ve seen truly innovative productions and engaging content as a result. From the first virtual Emmy Awards, to pop-up gameshows with MTV, major broadcasters and publishers have continued to entertain.
This year we’re set to see production teams build on that success and integrate remote working into their ‘plan A’. Remote capabilities are a key part of production services now.
The industry is beginning to fully realise the reliability and scalability of cloud-based production, with new technologies and services coming on stream all rapid upgrade cycles for services in the market.
The ability to bring in talent from anywhere in the world, on both sides of the camera, while experimenting with formats and being reactive to fan feedback, tees up an exciting year for content, despite the ongoing challenges of empty stadiums and pressure on key revenue streams.
2. 5G becomes more than a slogan
The low latency and high bandwidth promise of 5G has been a discussion point for the broadcast industry since the technology was launched in 2018.
For any type of production, 5G has the potential to remove the need for on-site production hardware or fibre, untethering camera operators and production teams, bringing a new level of flexibility and agility to remote and cloud production.
A few years ago, it would have been inconceivable that a remote news broadcast or sporting event could be shot and produced over a mobile network, but this is the new reality.
As 5G is rolled out across the globe, we know the likes of BT Sport and the BBC have committed to leveraging the technology to reduce costs and foster more creativity in sports media, as seen in the recent IBC Accelerator Project from 2020 supported by EE and Vodafone.
It’s likely we’ll see some meaningful strides taken in 5G adoption this year.
3. Social video continues to thrive
While it looks more hopeful that lockdown and stay-at-home measures may be eased in 2021, there will be many staying at home for the foreseeable future.
This means the increased consumption of video on social, digital and mobile for consumers of all ages.
Real-time video content, such as news and sports highlights, will always have its place in the social content mix. But consumers expect constant innovation – new formats, different camera angles and intimate access to celebrities, actors, politicians and sports stars that’s made possible on social platforms.
Liverpool FC recently introduced a new content segment ‘Wingmen’, with first-team stars Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson, which features the two players answering fan questions and discussing their teammates whilst driving around the city.
This type of raw, behind-the-scenes content provides more context for fans and has been successful throughout the pandemic. Adding a new USP (such as two players driving around the city) keeps it fresh and attractive to fans…although they must thank James Corden for the format!
Broadcasters, publishers and rights holders will need to commit to creating more content, with fresh ideas if they want to continue to attract and grow their audience.
4. D2C will continue to grow
Throughout the pandemic, consumers have shown an appetite for exclusive, tailored content, and are willing to pay for it. The growth of direct to consumer streaming services such as Disney+, Prime Video and DAZN accelerated in 2020.
Grabyo’s At Home Video Trends Reports found that over 1/3 of paying video customers in the UK and US subscribed to at least one new streaming service in 2020, with many of those opting for more.
Around 80% of those who added new streaming subscriptions report they aren’t planning to cancel them anytime soon. We are likely to see this increased spend on streaming maintain and grow throughout 2021.
5. Digital drives the dollars
Recouping lost revenue from physical events is a top priority for publishers worldwide.
We saw many great digital activations in 2020, from sponsored live social broadcasts to bespoke content segments. The uplift in the value and focus on digital as vehicle for sponsorship and content monetisation was a clear trend through last year.
With most events still held virtually, many broadcasters and publishers have taken to live social broadcasts to recreate the communal experience for audiences. These shows are highly interactive and feature guest speakers and live reactions, which drives engagement and longer watch-time.
A win-win for publishers and sponsors, and the opportunity to create new video formats and assets that sponsors can own, in place of lost inventory from the traditional IRL marketing.
We are likely to see much more of this in 2021 as digital consumption remains high and drives more value for sponsors.
For more information on what Grabyo is doing to help broadcasters and publishers create engaging content for broadcast and digital platforms, get in touch.