Transcript: What Are the Key Trends Media Industry Leaders Are Watching?

NAB is a celebration of technology. It’s a celebration of what’s happening right now. But for every one of the companies that exhibits here, it’s also a chance to explore what’s coming in the future.

One of the questions I asked as I was interviewing key vendors at the 2024 NAB Show was what are some of the trends that they’re paying attention to that we need to watch?

NOTE: Here’s the video of their answers.

Well, if I could, give you a precise answer then I would very likely not be standing here, I would be maybe running my own business, you know? But the thing is, of course, we see certain trends, and, in the past few years, a trend was mainly about new formats like UHD, like HDR, how to improve quality and so on.

But today, the bigger topic is actually how to improve efficiency. H ow can I make more with the same resources? Because there is really a really high pressure on budgets and doing more with less is a big thing.

Klaus Weber
Director of Product Marketing
Grass Valley

The biggest pivot that we’ve made is bringing down the barrier of entry for our Vocal Booth buyers.

Freddy Gately
VP, Sales & Marketing

When I think about future trends, I think one of the most interesting is we’re seeing a shift from selling and building products that are directly for enterprise, which is what NAB often is. We’re talking to IT departments, studio tech teams and things like that. I think we’re going to see with the creator economy completely exploding, Goldman Sachs shows data that says the creator economy is going to double to 4 million people.

Listen to this. 4 million people are going to be earning more than six figures a year with their YouTube and TikTok channels by 2028. The creator economy is an economy that’s growing so fast that it means manufacturers have to build stuff, and they have to be able to sell it to the user. So that changes how you approach building it, because I think we often sell to the buyer, and the buyer isn’t necessarily the user. That’s going to shift with the creator economy and the companies that figure that out, they’re going to change the look of their stuff, their approach, their even the tech stack.

And the companies that don’t are going to be stuck only selling to enterprise. And I think as the creator economy expands, they’re going to miss out on a big opportunity.

Michael Cioni
Co-founder & CEO

One of the most exciting things that we’re just doing as a company is we’ve taken some of those production tools that are really top end, high tier, only available to those, you know, networks and things like that.

And we’ve taken them down scale to where they’re more affordable, they’re easier to use because you don’t always have the technical prowess, at those lower levels. But we’ve taken some of those products down. Those are called our Go product, where normally you would see that product only at the very top end. We now have a version that can move down to more of those people that are in that smaller production space.

Chris McLendon
Senior Product Manager

It’s a good question because it’s obviously a trend to use less expensive equipment, specifically smartphones. But you still need to get multiple angles. And especially PTZ cameras allow you to have multiple angles, remotely controlled. You don’t need to use that many people because if you use an iPhone or any phone, you still have to have people operating every device, just like traditional cameras in the studio.

With the PTC cameras, you can have many cameras or remotely controlled, less people and get much more entertaining production, I think.

Edgar Shane
General Manager, Engineering
Professional Video Media Service, JVC

What we’re seeing is a lot of emphasis around different forms of camera workflows and ingest workflows to get content into the systems and get it into use as quickly as possible. So we see a lot of areas with potentially intense flaws around the camera to cloud or camera to edit, to try and get that content in as quickly as possible, even if that’s in low resolutions for first options and then higher resolution for finishing.

Just trying again to get content in and working on as quickly as possible.

Simon Fearn
Chief Technology Officer

Automatic production, automated production. People like to call it “AI.” I don’t like that term because it’s just simple things that we have to do manually that a computer can do for us.

Jeromy Young
CEO & Co-founder

The ability to just share things across across the internet, across cloud connections, across cloud storage, across high speed managed storage and facilities.

All this IP stuff is just mind boggling to us and we can’t wait to see where it goes.

Abe Apt
Senior Product Consultant
AJA Video Systems

The future is really one where everything is based on I.T. We’ve been hearing software, software defined IP, all these terms have been kicking around for a long time. And then the cloud came along, the pandemic came along. People were, let’s say, forced to accelerate their adoption of these kinds of workflows.

And so we saw for a period of two, three, four years, this accelerated move to the cloud. And that was done primarily through a lift-and-shift approach. I have my current video based product or system, and people want to work with it remotely.

So I’m going to find a way to turn that into software and run it on a virtual machine in the cloud. But that doesn’t mean it’s an IT- native device. It means it’s a video device living in an IT world. And so you suffer all these compromises from latency, transcoding, encoding – all of the problems of getting something from a clock-driven video world into an event-driven I.T. world.

And so the future is going to be where video is only used at acquisition and for the final distribution. And in between those two steps, everything will be turned into bits and bytes and worked in a software-defined cloud-native domain.

Angus Mackay
Product Marketing Manager
Matrox Video

The biggest one is AI of course, but we’re also seeing an interesting balancing act between how much media people are going to have in the cloud and how much they’re going to have on premise.

Before Covid, it was mostly on premise. A lot of people moved significantly to the cloud during Covid, and now as they look at the monthly bill for that cloud, they’re either getting smarter about how they manage that and using vendors like Backblaze, or they’re bringing a lot of it back on premise, because in fact, that’s the most cost effective place to have multi-hundreds of terabytes or petabytes of media.

Sam Bogoch

So what we see, of course, are growing formats, growing file sizes and a diversity of production formats. So they, they spread out from, as I said, mobile to high-end, 8K, 16K, crazy stuff. So the gamut grows basically. And that’s a challenge to keep all of that in a production workflow.

Dr. med. Marc Batschkus
Director, Business Development & Marketing

There’s another important part, the creator – how they express themselves. We, in our tools, and when we make our tools, we need to provide them methods that we can understand the creator better. And I’ll give you an example. People are familiar with ChatGPT, right? They can just converse in any language and basically say, ask questions of ChatGPT.

What we are showing and what we’re tracking is how about a natural language interface that allows you to just inquire, not just about the general world, but the content that you’re working with.

Shailendra Mathur
VP, Chief Architect
Avid Technologies

In microphones. People want big sound, but they always want the microphone to get smaller and smaller. And directors, especially we’re here at NAB, are always looking at the visuals.

So I do see the technology’s going for even smaller and even better sounds. And also, there’s all the new technologies that AI is bringing in and different ways of Bluetooth things. So all these technologies are giving us a way to get high quality sound capture through different mediums. And I think that we have to keep our eye on all of that because we already we like keeping things in the acoustic realm as the first line of acquisition.

Vincent Gabriel Antonini
Business Development Manager
DPA Microphones, Inc.

The trends that we’re watching for the future, primarily are how is audio going to be transported? And we made a commitment about six years ago to Dante being our digital audio over Ethernet means. And then, starting three years ago, we started addressing ST-2110 audio standard that the broadcasters seem to use.

Gordon Kapes
Studio Technologies

The first thing I would say is color tune-ability. First, everyone wanted to get LEDs. Great. Less power to be able to get light out of things. Okay. But then you got into bi-color. First they were daylight only, and then you got into bi-color so you had some basic flexibility in the color temperature. Then it’s how all the different form factors that you might use in order to get the work that you want to do.

Because it’s not just about having the right color light, it’s about shaping the light to be able to create whatever you want. And then that gets into portability and different ways of rigging and stuff. And we just try to answer the question from, small to large, all the different types of form factors and then make everything integrate together, because now everyone wants to walk around with an iPad and walk around and control their lights as they’re moving around and to be able to set everything to match.

Mitch Gross
Global Director of Product Marketing

So one of the exciting things that we’re looking at is, whether we’re going to see more increased demand for higher luminance displays. Right.? So right now, almost all masters are being made for a thousand nits, but there’s been some push for 2,000 or 4,000 nit masters. So that’s why we now have a 2,000 nit display.

What I’m looking forward to is as the quantum dot OLED technology keeps improving over time, keeps getting brighter, I think we may eventually see that technology get to even higher peak luminance levels. The question will be, does Hollywood take advantage of it or not?

Bram Desmet
Flanders Scientific, Inc.

I think that there’s a nascent technology that is here that we saw a few years ago, which is AR/ VR. I think with Apple’s announcement with Vision Pro, I think that you’re going to see a boom in the content that’s needed for that platform and that new things need to get created – from tools to workflows to technologies – to be able to support that boom in content creation for XR, VR, AR applications.

In the creative space, everybody is very fearful and on their heels about AI because it feels very threatening that it’s somehow gonna take over the industry and people are going to go away. And I don’t think that that’s the case.

I think that what AI is going to do is really elevate the content creation, allow creators to create better, more effective content, and really democratize the mundane.

Sean Lee
Chief of Strategy & Operations Officer

So obviously, the trends that are important for the industry are, you know, higher quality content, faster content delivery, how do you make content at scale for all of the new networks that you need to go on? The social media networks are more content for the streaming platforms. So what we really try to do is get ahead of that and make sure that you can create the highest quality content fast and easy in real time, with the best of your ability on your computer.

David M. McGavran

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