The media landscape is changing at a fast pace and an escalating battle to appeal to audiences across more platforms and delivery mechanisms is raging among content providers. A ‘one-size-fits-all’ content delivery strategy is no longer enough to address the digital gap created by the disruptive environment of streaming media and to meet the changing expectations of our viewers and listeners. It is therefore paramount to understand our environment so that we can exploit new opportunities and ensure a successful future for public service media (PSM).
Our workplan should reflect this changing landscape as it is directed towards the digital transformation of PSM organizations. An update to its scope, objectives and deliverables was endorsed during our EBU Technical Assembly in June, with new activities emerging from the Strategic Programmes. These include projects and studies in production technologies (LED- based virtual production, real-time CG animation, the metaverse and NFTs), in cloud-based architectures (GAIA-X), in distribution network technologies (optical fibre roll-out and deployment), and online platforms (HbbTV, modular content and segmentation, connected cars).
The war in Ukraine, however, has brought grave implications for the global financial system and consequently restrictions in financial resources for the EBU. It is therefore important to concentrate on efforts that maximize the achievement of our goals. The Technical Committee (TC) has identified four areas to focus our actions on: to become more audience-centred, offering highly relevant content and services to our audiences; to collect and use data in a responsible way; to use our own media platforms for a direct relationship with our audiences; and to build workforces that guarantee our future.
We must also strengthen our collaboration with other bodies and committees within the EBU, so that we can collectively work on common challenges, especially around digital content transformation. With global media and tech giants dominating the market with their platforms, we must be able to develop our own collective ecosystem where all Members have a role to play, as well as unite in our efforts to achieve prominence on third-party content-aggregation platforms. We must also collaborate with organizations outside the EBU that have a key role in our industry, to address fundamental issues of mutual concern.
Fostering innovation and sharing our knowledge and expertise among EBU Members is key to our growth and sustainability in an increasingly digital, mobile, and social media environment. To create further synergies between the activities of our Members, we must continue our efforts in building innovative products on a pan-European scale and seeking opportunities to fund their growth.
It is also important to strengthen the TC’s engagement with the Members, so that all contribute to the work ahead and benefit from it. Within the TC, we are exploring new communication channels with the technical staff and management of all Members, so that our workplan addresses more accurately their emerging requirements. This will include focused meetings with Member CTOs and a more comprehensive collaboration with the Technical Liaison Officers (TLOs), our focal points for the technical activities of the Members.
We must also proactively engage with the new generation workforce, increase awareness, and encourage more diverse Member representation in all activity areas. Our strategic roadmap should improve access, remove barriers, and increase the opportunities for women, in particular, within the TC’s activities, so that greater diversity is achieved in the next elections.
This article was first published in issue 53 of tech-i magazine.