New technology investment revolutionising MENA legacy broadcasting | Media Analysis | Business
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The television industry in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is evolving in terms of content and business models for over-the-top (OTT) and pay-TV, with broadcasters adopting technologies to provide enhanced user experiences in a rising competitive landscape, says research firm Frost & Sullivan (F&S).

MENA 6Dec2017Looking at technology adoption trends in the region’s broadcast industry between 2016 and 2021, F&S found that technology solutions that address the evolving requirements of broadcasters and that integrate with legacy systems are gaining importance, while sports will remain the major driver for adopting pay-TV services in the region, promoting the adoption of cloud services for faster live broadcast.

The research suggested that major investments in the region in the next five years will be directed toward the digitisation of workflows, multiscreen playout and delivery, demand for improved compression techniques and transition to high-definition. In addition, F&S advised in order to take advantage, broadcasters must adopt advanced technologies to increase productivity and encourage workflow optimisation through IP-enabled automation solutions. Experimenting with solutions to deliver multiscreen hybrid viewing that addresses low-bandwidth usage could further augment players’ competitive advantage, it suggested.

“Broadcasters are plagued by falling advertising revenues, a rich free-to-air offering, and the additional pressure to launch OTT services to remain competitive,” commented F&S digital media research analyst Aafia Bathool. “New OTT platforms are emerging with high-calibre content encryption solutions seeing higher demand, while convergence among other participants is streamlining operations and optimising costs for producers.”

To remain relevant in the evolving MENA broadcast industry, F&S also said that technology players should harness critical success factors, such as cloud deployment in broadcasting to enable broadcasters to produce content anywhere and at any time. It noted the rise of Ultra HD and 4K content to accelerate growth of 4KTV sales and support technology such as transcoding, content protection, and high-definition 4K to cater to evolving customer demands. Furthermore, it saw great importance in collaborating and forming strategic partnerships with international technology vendors and local distributors to ramp up technology solution investment.

“Although advanced broadcast technology solutions are available, the prevalence of legacy systems and lack of technological skills for new systems is slowing the adoption of new technologies,” added Bathool. “There will be a gradual move from hardware-based solutions to cloud-based platforms, allowing for significant digital transformation of the MENA broadcast industry through 2021.”
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