IBC2023 in review: IP transport fueling the ‘TV channel’ of the future

October 4, 2023 by Chris Myers, EVP, CRO

Major trade events like IBC Show in Amsterdam are always an accelerator for innovation, an incubator for new ideas — and a hub for conversation around the biggest business and technology challenges shaping the media industry’s present and future.

With new business models springing to the forefront of the media agenda and disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence dominating the headlines, broadcasters and content owners are thinking hard about how to deliver their full-time channels and live events as profitably as possible while catering to shifting audience demands.

Content creators, owners, and distributors are quickly re-thinking their distribution models to take advantage of the plethora of options available to monetize content and drive commercial success. But in a market where the very definition of a ‘TV channel’ is evolving, choosing and delivering the right distribution strategy requires an IP transport foundation and a futureproof mindset.

New viewing models require flexible technology foundations

Free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) was one of the hottest talking points at the show as content owners explore new ways to reach audiences with tailored, ‘lean-back’ viewing experiences while driving additional revenue streams. There is plenty of appetite among media companies to claim their piece of the FAST pie – and there’s a lot of money to be made. Analysts at Digital TV Research predict global FAST revenues will increase by $9.4 billion by 2029. As the confines of FAST expand beyond just full-time, ad-supported streaming channels and now cover a range of digital content experiences that provide seamless access to curated, TV-like streaming experiences, content providers need efficient and scalable tools to quickly launch new services and keep up with the pace.

Creating the new types of channels that today’s consumers are looking for on their connected TVs, laptops or mobile devices isn’t about ripping up the playbook or building new purpose-built technology infrastructure. Intelligent content versioning solutions such as LTN Arc and LTN Lift enable media owners to create multiple derivatives from existing linear channels or unique, tailored versions of live sports, news, or entertainment events to serve platform and region-specific audiences with customized viewing experiences.

All roads lead to IP transport

The world’s largest media companies are quickly realizing that moving to a fully IP-based transmission framework is the best way to support a modern content distribution model. Live is the most valuable form of content – the jewel in the crown for any media business operating at scale. IP technology is now proven on the biggest stage for high-value live event broadcasting, underpinned by LTN’s multicast-enabled, global IP transport network that allows for ultra-reliable and scalable content aggregation, manipulation, and distribution while delivering <300ms latency worldwide.

As content owners navigate fast-evolving digital landscapes and seek ways to efficiently target new audiences across OTT, FAST, and other digital platforms, LTN’s cloud-based, channel creation tools combined with unique SCTE and metadata insertion technology are helping customers expand their reach and maximize ad revenues.

Technology vendors are evolving in step with media organizations as the industry embraces cloud-enabled workflows. IBC2023 was full of traditionally hardware-focused companies quickly evolving into software providers to enable this mass migration to the cloud for all pieces of production workflows. In a complex, hybrid media ecosystem, interoperability has never been more important. LTN’s managed and proprietary IP network provides seamless integration with other protocols, standards, as well as first- and last-mile technologies when required, acting as a perfect bridge for all modern media transport workflows, into, or out of any public or private cloud.

Intelligent technology to tackle economic realities

It’s impossible to escape the harsh macro-economic realities facing the media industry in 2023. At LTN, we understand the cost challenges all media companies are navigating, and provide proven, automation-powered managed services and economies of scale to help global content providers drive operational efficiencies and secure profitability.

From both a business and technology perspective, major media companies are learning the many advantages of moving their full-time channels to a trusted and managed IP network. LTN’s fully-managed, intelligent IP transmission solution, LTN Wave, provides a rich suite of program replacement, blackout management, and content versioning plus manipulation tools to drive monetization and reduce internal operational pressures. Underpinned by a redundant, high-bandwidth global IP transport network with always-on support and proactive monitoring and insights, LTN Wave helps media leaders free up time and resources to focus on creativity and business differentiators while the technology is taken care of.

As global media companies evolve with shifting business models and eye up exciting opportunities in the new era of television, LTN will continue to help our customers navigate complexity and support commercial success. We look forward to seeing you again soon — and also at IBC2024 in Amsterdam!

If you’d like to learn more about how to kickstart your shift to an all-IP future today, head to this blog by LTN’s SVP, Head of Global Products, Rick Young.