Doing It !

Yesterday evening I attended an IABM UK Council event held in central London hosted by Turner Broadcasting. Despite having served on the board of our trade association in the last decade I have to say that I’m sometimes cynical of such events where a group of industry veterans get together to discuss which way our industry is going. Sometimes they seem contrived. But yesterday was different, unsurprisingly because there was a broadcaster in our presence talking not about how they might, or how they could, change but how they have already begun to make the change to virtualized workflows. Quite a few broadcasters around the world have made steps in this direction but Turner, in my humble opinion, have their heads screwed on the right way round. Virtualization is an enabler for greater things, that’s it.

The job of a technology provider in our market space is to be there with the right solutions for the customer when they make business decisions that alter course, grow their revenues, gain new audiences. Markets change for myriad reasons and sometimes broadcasters or vendors don’t keep up. This week the a major UK broadcaster (no prizes for guessing) announced new investment children’s services (note they didn’t say ‘programming’) after experiencing children’s viewing decline by more than a quarter in just the last 6 years. Eyeballs move and oddly enough the revenue that funds broadcasters has a habit of moving where the eyeballs go. SO both broadcasters and vendors need to not only keep up but to get ahead. Business has not changed in many years in one sense.

The winners are not simply those who make calculated risks at what the future may look like but the smaller portion of that group who actually go ahead and do it. Getting on and actually doing it is the key and Pixel Power did just that 5 years ago when we started the initial developments that would put virtualized playout, automation and branding in place ahead of the game. Risk is a funny thing. Like cycling an alpine descent at 95km/h, you don’t do it without some real experience, sometimes learned the hard way. The broadcast business is the same – you succeed through making bold moves in a new direction but using 30 years of wisdom to take you there.

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