Five Trends & Innovations We Spotted at NAB Show 2022 in Las Vegas

NAB Show is back! Last month, we joined over 52,000 people from more than 150 countries who made their way to the Las Vegas Convention Center for the National Association of Broadcasters Show (NAB).

After two years away, one of the highlights of the content industry’s calendar had returned. System 73 went out to Las Vegas to catch up with old friends, new technologies and connect with our clients, colleagues and markets in the US and LATAM.

A lot has happened in the world since the last NAB Show. Here are five trends we spotted at this year’s event as the content ecosystem continues to evolve through the challenges the pandemic has given us and the solutions the industry continues to develop for the future: 

Streaming user experience

Users are getting frustrated about how they navigate content on streaming services, a pain point that many believe will be solved by content aggregators across multiple streaming platforms. The way this develops will inform whether deals are designed for SVOD or AVOD services. A more varied streaming landscape has also led to consumer concerns around affordability for numerous subscriptions, increasing the appeal for ad-based business models. While AVOD services are unlikely to reach the same levels as SVOD models soon, Accenture predicts that the ad-funded video market will hit $21 billion by 2025, up from just $1 billion in 2017.

Remote production 

The need for remote production blew up with the pandemic, as on-site teams had to be reduced on a massive scale for almost every kind of production. The cost and time benefits of remote work have been felt across numerous industries and content creation is no different. Storage, delivery, collaboration and communication are all areas that have improved considerably and efficiency solutions continue to be developed.

The cloud

Broadcasters no longer depend on satellite, fiber and IP networks as they did before as cloud services give greater flexibility and cheaper products. 5G is a gamechanger in this regard as broadcasters can easily access a network that enables diverse and compelling coverage options for events that can run over long distances, such as marathons or golf tournaments. 

The cloud also allows greater application of analytics and AI which will define the future of the content industry by facilitating collaboration, analysis and agility. The cloud is creating cheaper services, better connectivity, greater labor efficiency, demand-responsive accounting and reduced ad and campaign management costs which support a number of the other trends we observed in Las Vegas in April. 

AI and automation in driving production efficiencies

Coronavirus saw OTT audiences soar as more people than ever were stuck at home and in need of entertainment. Bigger audiences on an increasing number of platforms with varying needs means content creators and distributors need AI and automation more than ever. 

Services like System 73’s Edge Intelligence and metadata systems like the incoming Edge Analytics can now guide decisioning and operations to create an optimal user experience.

LED Virtual Production 

Vū Studio’s huge LED wall, MRMC’s Bolt X cinebot and a futuristic motorbike that attendees were able to ride combined to create one of the most visually impressive stands at the show: The Unreal Ride. The organisations took the chance to flex their muscles to create incredibly real-looking visual effects right there before our eyes. This innovative technology is just one example of how productions are being given greater control by the consistently improving LED visual effects landscape. 

Data gathering and analysis guided business strategy

Improvements in supply chains and cloud models mean media companies have better access to reliable data than ever. Companies are capable of analysing their data to the finest details and underand how much each of their operations costs minute by minute, asset by asset. This means they can see exactly how profitable the deals they make are and thus define their strategy accordingly. As new advertising opportunities appear, analytics services such as Edge Analytics can maximize every spot and reduce wasted time and money on unprofitable enterprises, enabling companies to understand and therefore flourish in an ever changing environment. 

The NAB Show was insightful, inspiring and a lot of fun. We look forward to catching up with the industry once again at IBC in a few months.