NAB Show 2023 reflections: Driving value with trust & technology

May 5, 2023 by Rick Young, SVP, Head of Global Products

Our annual pilgrimage to the NAB Show in Las Vegas is both the culmination of many months’ hard work and dedication in bringing new products to market and showcasing them for our customers, partners and broader global media community, as well as the start of a new phase: discussing, learning about and brainstorming new customer challenges, emerging trends and fresh ideas.

So, ‘reflecting’ on the show isn’t really about looking back, it’s about looking forward. Building on what we saw and heard on the showfloor to position ourselves — and our customers — to tackle tomorrow’s challenges and prepare for future shifts.

Pulse check

NAB 2023 was an amazing event. Energy, enthusiasm, and genuine enjoyment. The LTN team left Las Vegas excited (and certainly a little tired…), ready to attack the next steps from our conversations during four days of non-stop meetings, both formal in conference room settings and informal while walking the floor or grabbing a cup of coffee with our customers and partners.

There is no doubt our industry is facing headwinds with major business challenges and continued economic uncertainties. But the feeling on the exhibition floor and hotel suites – as it always has been – is that collectively we can evolve and transform to meet the needs of the next generation of media creation, delivery, and consumption.

What were the key themes coming out of discussions on the show floor, on panels, and during meetings?

  • Automation is more important than ever to business efficiency. Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to grow into the limelight. There are huge possibilities (and interesting challenges) in this area.

  • The transition from satellite to IP video transport is a top priority for leading media organizations this year. MSG Networks is just one example of how brands can harness the benefits of a multicast-enabled, fully-managed network to future proof media distribution and next generation business requirements I had a great conversation on stage with John Footen, the Managing Director of Media and Entertainment for Deloitte on this topic.

  • New opportunities unlocked by ATSC 3.0 and NextGen TV are taking shape quickly. Market pioneers like Sinclair are setting the stage to begin reaping the rewards. LTN’s Co-Founder & Executive Chairman, Malik Khan and Del Parks, Sinclair’s President of Technology, dug in deep on the topic during their Fireside Chat.

Faced with ever-increasing complexity and a need to dig deeper behind the buzzwords, great content and the right content strategy still win the day. But every top content strategy needs proven technology foundations to underpin success.

Doing more with less

Amid the unfortunate realities of corporate belt-tightening, major media companies are looking for new and creative ways to continue to bring value and incredible programming to their audiences while optimizing ROI. In 2023, driving value isn’t necessarily about new content or new services, it’s about leveraging investments in existing content and products to reach wider and more diverse audiences — geographically, demographically, and across more platforms and devices.

Linear channels remain a valuable part of any product portfolio. Media brands need to continue to serve core audiences with premium content while customizing and targeting programming to engage with a broader range of platforms, regions, and audiences. Deploying a robust digital strategy to engage with viewers on OTT, digital, and FAST platforms is critical. And today, FAST is finding its way to a wider array of platforms than ever across an increasing number of diginets and vMVPDs.

To meet this demand, LTN customers are exploring cloud-enabled content versioning solutions and advanced ad signaling technologies that enable customization at an unprecedented scale. Services like LTN Lift and LTN Arc power highly scalable, tailored content experiences for both full-time channels and live events, fueling monetization through efficient, automated, and scalable workflows.

Play where it counts — and where it pays

Live sports continues its domination and is widely accepted as the key to subscription justification and churn reduction for platforms of all types. Billions are being spent on sports rights — and the numbers and competition keep increasing. But it isn’t just the tier-one sports leagues that are the center of attention. Today, a much broader variety of leagues and conferences up and down sports tiers and levels are making their way to digital viewing platforms. Rights buyers, rights owners, leagues and federations are experimenting with new business models to spiderweb their content across the world, engaging with growing digital audiences, growing brand value, and driving additional revenue streams. To underline limitless opportunities in sports streaming, we presented our innovative partnership with TelevisaUnivision at this year’s show, breaking new ground in bringing customized live sports experiences to Spanish-speaking audiences at scale on its ViX streaming platform. LTN’s GM, Event Production & Transmission Unit, Mike Burk took to the stage with Olek Loewenstein, Global President of Sports at TelevisaUnivision to discuss this in more detail. It was a fun and insightful conversation for sure.

Trust and technology

How can media leaders turn these big opportunities into real-world business results? The short answer is trust and technology.

Long answer? Brands want to partner with technology providers, with real experience with the major media companies, they can trust that deliver a complete service offering backed by world-leading, proven technology and always-on support. Tough business challenges require best-in-class technology. Automation and efficiency need to be built-in into media workflows to futureproof any business, and an IP-native model is paramount. Technology needs to be flexible in terms of architectural optionality but strongly inclined toward centralized, hosted, and cloud workflows.

At LTN, we partner with our media customers to tackle complex technology challenges and let them focus on building a killer content strategy. We met many of the brands that trust us to do that every day at NAB 2023 — and we’re excited to continue supporting their business goals for the rest of the year.

You can catch up on all of our panels and show highlights from NAB 2023 here.