M&E sector and Smart IoT Technologies - The Changing Face

Rajat Nigam, Group CTO, Network18 Media & Investments

Media and entertainment sector never had so much relevance and respect in our lives as it carries today even when it is poised for the next phase of non-linear shift in taking industry to different level. Television content industry has evolved itself from being singular to pluralism over entire value chain -- ‘single channel - single platform – single screen’ to ‘multi channel - multi platform – single screen’ and today to ‘multi channel - multi platform - multiple screens’ eco-system. Content Delivery modalities have also become multi-faceted from Terrestrial transmission to satellite communication to data streaming today. And all this transformation has happened in two decades thereby reflecting the pace of technological development and adoption. One wonders whether content continues to wear the king’s crown or consumer is now the occupying the emperor’s throne.

Technology from being in the role of business enabler has moved itself to the role of a more pronounced business driver. Information technology that used to be aspirational science till nineties’ has easily got into the bracket of basic need of life. Data is the fundamental block of every design and every application today and the complete infrastructure around us is fast changing with the parameter of imparting speed instead of size as deliverables. This brings technology and technologists to the forefront today and engineers who were indicated to be dying species amongst media professionals a decade ago, have not only revived themselves but have taken the front seat. Disruptive innovation is the new normal and as is being said, ‘Disrupt or get disrupted’ as the new mantra.

We are in the phase of transition from traditional mode of Audio-Video content consumption to non-linear environment where consumer calls the shot on its choice of time, place and device. Broadcast to narrowcast and today unicast is the common goal of every content provider as intent of consumer gratification is on high. Driving Second screen experience to further woo the consumer is sort of becoming religious trend of TV Channels. Mobility is in fashion and Mobile Apps are the window for every outlet pushing all content players to create OTT platforms and attract all in general and the millennial in particular.  Social media is at the inception of a content life cycle and interestingly become the culmination of the same too thereby signifying the huge importance of this five years old media child. Content for everyone, content at every place and content for every device is the underneath philosophy.

Digital media throws multitude of opportunities for innovations and initiatives. The complete content life cycle has the potential of differentiated possibility at every step of value chain. Programmatic ad-serving and content customization is the practice that is to be perfected fast and full. Big data analysis to gain granular insights with speed and accuracy is a phenomenon that drives decisions. Applying Artificial intelligence with machine learning to enhance consumer experience is a new and utmost significant function in an organization today. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality solutions and demands is typical fusion place of creative minds and tech-brains in the M&E space.

Connected world is a reality today wherein we have access to the information and thus possible to measure and monitor the same. Cloud & Connectivity is seen to be panacea for all infrastructural needs. Technology has thus shrunk the world such that the operative term has changed from ‘Connected’ to ‘Control’. This phenomenon ignites immediate recognition of the need of focus on IT security measures, practices and culture. Networked environment brings in sense of responsibility on the technology and the technologists to secure and safeguard the individual’s information. Recognition of this role is hugely relevant and significant as we are entering the new phase in the life of ‘Internet of Things (IoT)’ wherein billions of devices of daily and special utility would be controllable. This would include simple to sensitive ones and hence the need of the hour is create a layer of security over all the information and data as privacy remains an endangered fact all the while.

Media & Entertainment sector is poised to embark into another exciting and fast paced journey with connected environment driven by smart IoT technologies for more efficient and effective workflows to manage, monitor and measure the content life cycle. Content-houses have shifted focus with conviction to create a catalytic environment that supports innovations, enhances inquisitiveness and importantly embraces failures that is the recipe of continued creativity in content.