TV needn’t bother about virtual reality; automation will cut media jobs; and production businesses will reduce their office footprint.

These are some of the eight key trends that will have a significant business impact in the next two years according to the Digital Production Partnership’s (DPP) 2017 Predictions report, launched at BVE today.

Here are the eight DPP predictions, briefly summarised:

1. Immersive will be submerged. The areas in which VR will have greatest impact will be in non-broadcast content production, particularly in gaming, training and branded content. But VR is not suited to TV-type storytelling.

2. Versioning will become an opportunity, not a cost. A typical Hollywood movies needs up to 400 different versions, while it is up to 100 for a TV show, making versioning a source of great complexity and cost. The move towards ‘componentised’ masters will change this, making it cheaper and easier to exploit content on multiple platforms. IMF (interoperable Mastering Format) for high end production is now also being developed in a broadcast version for general content use.

3. Getting cloud ready will be a full time job. Connected and cloud-led tools and services will soon become the backbone of the media industry. But the next two years will see growing pains.

4. Business models will be reformed. The growth of the cloud and connectivity will change business models. Large companies will reduce their office footprint, taking advantage of greater ease of remote and mobile working. Smaller organisations will question whether to have an office at all.

5. Where there are people, there will be automation. More production processes will become fully automated – such as scheduling, ingest and quality control – cutting headcount at businesses and saving money.

6. More content will change us all. One of the greatest business opportunities will be the fact that more video content will be created than ever before. Just as post houses are seeing work come in from other sources apart from TV, so all parts of the supply chain will benefit from the growth in production activity.

7. Connectivity will continue to constrain. Poor and expensive connectivity will hold back growth.

8. New content aggregators will appear – by stealth.
Consumers will increasingly expect a single interface on which they can search content from different providers. That interface will in time become voice based.

The report said the predictions would take place against a background of ‘givens’ in the world of content creation and consumption: the quest for greater mobility; better quality; the importance of live content; an obsession with speed; and a much greater need for security.

The Predictions Report is based on feedback from DPP members, including media companies such as ITV, the BBC, IMG and BT, Equinix, Telestream and EditShare.

It was unveiled today at BVE by DPP managing director Mark Harrison.

Tim Dams

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