Regionalization at scale | Navigating a diverse EMEA market with intelligent IP video transport

January 18, 2023 by Sara Khan, GM EMEA & General Counsel

The media industry is moving faster than ever before. While media businesses in each global region contend with different technology challenges, consumer behavior trends, and commercial landscapes, we can count on universal truths in 2023 — organizations are looking for ways to deliver content more reliably, more efficiently, and with greater customization potential, all while maximizing reach across targeted and international audiences. Perhaps none more so than across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, some of the world’s most diverse and opportunity-rich regions.

If they haven’t already done so, media companies across EMEA should be weighing up the benefits of an IP-based distribution model. From major public service broadcasters looking to deliver critical content at scale while meeting stringent and ever-evolving regulatory requirements to emerging sports streamers and premium rightsholders battling for eyeballs across digital platforms, the industry-wide need for cost-effective and flexible video transport has never been greater. Market pioneers can embrace intelligent IP transport solutions and content versioning innovation to thrive in a complex, competitive, and exciting EMEA marketplace.

Unlocking the future with IP video transport

This year, the shift away from satellite distribution will continue as satellite capacity declines, satellite interference increases, and organizations look for more flexible, scalable content delivery mechanisms. For media businesses operating at scale, it doesn’t make commercial sense to build new limiting fiber networks. Today’s broadcasters need to be able to quickly change where they acquire content from and where they deliver it to. Pivoting to multicast-enabled IP video transport allows media companies to distribute high-value content reliably and cost-efficiently to multiple destinations. Opting for a managed transport network — like the industry-leading, ultra-reliable LTN Network — provides the security and redundancy to grant global-leading media companies peace of mind and foundations for seamless international growth.

In closely connected media landscapes such as Northern and Central Europe, organizations often need to share content with other broadcasters via content exchange networks. To simplify a challenging and slow-moving process, broadcasters need a platform to easily monitor, identify, and deliver content from pool feeds to a range of authorized destinations. The LTN Network combines intelligent monitoring, content exchange and distribution, data integration, and versioning mechanisms which grant media brands flexible, clear, and easy-to-use tools to deliver content seamlessly and instantaneously across regions while adhering to complex business rules and rights licensing.

Customization across borders

Media companies operating in EMEA markets bring content in a range of languages to a plethora of cultures and communities. Even within one country, broadcasters may need to deliver programming in multiple national languages to serve diverse language groups. To do this efficiently and at scale, content providers need advanced regionalization and versioning capabilities for full-time channels and live event content. The ability to take one primary feed and tailor that content with custom audio, captions, or graphics for wide-ranging audience and platform requirements across OTT, digital, and FAST services is mission-critical. When the stakes are high in a complex marketplace with ever-changing accessibility requirements across different regulatory regions, media customers need flexible and reliable ways to achieve customization at scale.

Customization of live sports content is paramount amid a fiercely competitive rights landscape. As OTT platforms, traditional broadcasters, and tech giants invest heavily in premium sports rights, achieving ‘bang for your buck’ and maximizing the value of content while increasing global reach has never been more vital. Premium US sports leagues like the NFL and the NBA are gold dust for rightsholders that can efficiently export and tailor live coverage for platforms across the Atlantic and vice versa for media companies bringing top-tier European soccer action to fast-growing audiences throughout the Americas. Rightsholders need to bring language-specific, culturally relevant live sports coverage to audiences across multiple platforms and geographies. Harnessing automation-driven versioning solutions like LTN Arc allows content owners to customize live event content to meet diverse language and platform requirements without breaking the bank and investing in separate production resources to address different regions, and empowers customers to handle their distribution and versioning needs together through a single point of contact.

Growing FAST in EMEA

Intelligent customization workflows are an effective way for major broadcasters and streaming companies to launch FAST channels, particularly in a maturing European market. Capitalizing on the FAST opportunity is a top priority in 2023, with Deloitte predicting that by the end of next year, half of all major content providers will have launched a FAST service. Viewers are craving the ‘lean-back’ experience that traditional linear television provides. And with the cost of living crises across Europe set to continue this year, consumers are looking to cut down on premium video subscriptions in favor of ad-funded services.

Media companies want to launch FAST channels quickly and easily to capture new audiences without investing in heavy CapEx infrastructure. Services like our cloud-enabled playout solution, LTN Lift, harness automated versioning technology to empower broadcasters to take a primary linear channel and seamlessly spin up tailored secondary and tertiary tracks with altered programming for FAST distribution. In this way, they are connecting diverse audiences with tailored, high-value live news, sports, or other entertainment content.

Increased digital consumption is driving viewership and amplifying revenue potential for media businesses in 2023. But distributing content efficiently and reliably across borders, and indeed within them, requires an IP-first blueprint and future-ready workflows to deliver customized viewing experiences across digital platforms. Navigating constant change in a turbulent media market is by no means straightforward, but with automation-powered tools and an IP tailwind, organizations can begin charting their course to the future today.