For the media industry, the pandemic has created both opportunities and challenges as millions of people remain home-bound
By Manish Sinha
The Covid-19 outbreak has disrupted lives and businesses across the world, creating challenges for traditional media and a rapid long-term upward shift in digital media consumption. For the media industry, the pandemic has created both opportunities and challenges as millions of people remain home-bound, and go online for entertainment and more.
The media industry is now finding newer ways to reach out to their target audience, and making necessary changes to stay ahead in the league and navigate better through this uncertainty.
Broadcasters have started running library shows due to the unavailability of fresh episodes.
Event organisers are seeking ways to reach out to their audience digitally; many are organising online simulated events with hosts participating from their homes. Media companies have expedited their digital initiatives like expanding to more online platforms, launching OTT services, channels, and adding more genres to the content library, localising content for increased audience accessibility, among other things.
OTT brands are promoting exclusive content and originals to grab the audience’s attention; they have also decreased the streaming resolution quality to save on network bandwidth with a majority of the population working from home. Major movie releases are being delayed, but some releases have started happening online. The impact of Covid-19 might even be more profound as the spread affects many countries in unprecedented ways.
With some significant changes in the media industry, the current situation has given an opportunity to the media services and solution providers to support broadcasters, OTT players, studios and MCNs in helping them sail through the crisis, and adapt to the changes in order to reach their target audience across platforms.
Media services in demand
Content QC and compliance services: As media companies expand their services to multiple online platforms, the need for content QC and compliance services has increased to manage quality benchmarks, regulatory guidelines, creative glitches and technical requirements for each platform.
Content transcoding, packaging and publishing: Since media players are pushing hard to give maximum content to consumers in these times, there’s an increase in demand for content processing and publishing services, as each streaming platform requires changes in content formats.
Animation services: Since live shoots are not possible currently, content creators are looking at animation for fresh entertainment; even advertisers are opting for animated content for commercials.
Localisation services: Subtitling, captioning and translation services are growing, as these can also be performed remotely. Demand for dubbing has also increased, but as most studios are not operational, there has been an additional load on limited operating dubbing studios.
However, with the cancellation of events and sporting tournaments, the demand for services around live content such as live OTT and TV streaming, live to VoD creation & conversion and content archival has gone down. Since new shoots are paused, the demand for post-production services required on fresh content has also dropped.
The silver lining in all of this is, once the pandemic is over, the media industry will slowly return to its strength; however, the influence of digital streaming on the overall media landscape will be even more significant. Media services and solution providers can use this time to strengthen their existing connections and build long term trust with their customers, by helping them navigate through this crisis.
The author is VP & business head – media services & solutions, To The New