2023 has proven key for the future of the media industry. Despite the challenging macroeconomic outlook and growing complexity, there have been some new and exciting developments shaping the broadcasting space going forward. Over the last 12 months, we’ve seen the industry becoming more forward-thinking and experimental. There have been significant developments in personalization, which has become a key revenue enabler for broadcast advertising.
Personalization has grown beyond just a buzzword. Over the next year, we expect it to continue to impact the growing streaming space, particularly through FAST channels. Although FAST is still in its infancy, we fully expect it to accelerate, especially as more media players enter the market. For example, we are seeing an increasing number of news companies looking to transition their content to FAST channels to reach more monetizable eyeballs.
At the same time, FAST is also taking off for sports content. FAST has the secret sauce to mix in live with pre-recorded content and target specific audiences with niche content. Sports betting, especially NFL Fantasy Football leagues, has brought in new audiences looking for niche content that is relevant to them. It's an exciting avenue that will only grow in importance in 2024, and personalization will be at the heart of it.
The key challenges major facing media companies
One of the major complexities for media organizations is content distribution. Getting content to viewers is always difficult as it has to go through so many distribution phases before it ever gets to them. To reflect these complex workflows, I have coined the term ‘distributed playout.’ In each of the phases of distributed playout, various intermediaries will add additional elements such as graphic overlays and ad insertion and hyper-localize the content before individual viewers receive it. To even consider making this possible, it is necessary for media companies to ensure the right signaling technology can be leveraged at the point of origin to enable downstream personalization.
The other major business challenge has been navigating the current labor issues that have plagued the market throughout the year. It will take time for things to get back into full swing, and we are going to see less content being produced because it will cost more. The content produced will have to appeal to mass audiences to compensate for the rising production costs. Despite the mass appeal, the majority of audiences will still want to receive a personalized viewing experience.
The rising production costs will impact FAST channels because they will make niche content more expensive. To overcome this challenge, media companies need technology that brings niche content to audiences at scale and cost-efficiently. LTN Arc, LTN’s award-winning cloud-enabled automated versioning solution, enables ultra-reliable global distribution and seamless regionalization to connect with diverse social and cultural audiences much more easily than before. Media companies can use LTN Arc to handle large-scale ingest and monitoring, which have become key in today’s market. Through LTN Arc, organizations can reach diversified global audiences with unique content, providing a platform for downstream monetization.
Ensuring the personal touch
It’s simple — the more personalized content there is, the less churn there will be. Personalized content resonates with audiences, making them more enticed to stay. Audiences know what they want to watch, and retaining them will always give your company an edge. But ensuring you can continue to provide that personal touch consumers want can be costly and complex.
It makes much more business sense for media companies to consider working with a trusted services provider, like LTN, to eliminate the challenges and help drive broadcast advertising and distributed playout at scale and at reduced costs. LTN makes this possible with a powerful intelligent multicast IP network backbone that enables the creation of more channels at scale. LTN Lift provides operators with advanced signaling that enables distributed playout and versioning capabilities to reach cross-platform audiences more easily, without additional costs or the need for added workforce. By having the benefit of being able to spin up channels quickly, media companies have the opportunity to generate revenue and meet audience needs to stay ahead of the game.
Hyper-local personalization in 2024 and beyond
Over the next year we expect to see massive innovations across the T-commerce and shopability space that will change the way we shop forever. In fact, this can be seen in the way we watch TV. It is constantly evolving — yet, despite all these strides, we still have to pick up an old-school remote control. It's mind-boggling that this hasn’t changed, especially when we sit with a supercomputer in our hands. By switching it all to a smartphone app, we can truly revolutionize the TV experience, particularly around T-commerce.
Powerful signaling enables media companies and advertisers to use metadata and audio watermarks to share real-time information, targeted advertising, and new online shopping opportunities with the user. Media companies can harness the power of data to tap into a new world of monetization opportunities through hyper-personalized and broadcast advertising. Ad signaling can also play a key role in in-vehicle advertising, with connected cars becoming the next frontier for hyper-localized targeted advertising. The industry will not stand still for much longer, and 2024 can be the catalyst for the remote control to become redundant, with smartphone apps and T-commerce taking things to exciting new levels.
Staying ahead of the curve
At LTN, it is important that we understand what our customers need and make sure we work together to form the best strategies. Being in a position to predict where the industry is heading will be critical in laying the foundations for media companies across the value chain to meet the requirements of the ever-demanding marketplace.
LTN works with several customers and OTT platforms across the industry to enable distributed capabilities that are scalable and can be adopted industry-wide, out of which an industry standard that supports various use cases will emerge. With a new year on the horizon, there is no better opportunity than now to strive forward into this new era for broadcasting.
To learn more about how LTN’s solutions can help you achieve greater monetization potential, please contact: https://ltnglobal.com/contact-ltn