As we return to work following the festive break,  the media technology industry’s thoughts turn to what lies ahead in 2024.

TVBEurope invited a number of technology vendors to share their thoughts on what the future holds across a series of topics, including IP, cloud, media delivery, and the industry itself.

We’ll be publishing the responses across a series of features over the next few days. We start with a look at how artificial intelligence will continue to be a huge driver of change within the industry.

Michael Lantz, CEO, Accedo

The big technology topic of 2023 was the emergence of generative AI and it is clear that there will be very exciting opportunities for using it in the M&E sector. We’re already seeing most technology vendors experimenting with the functionality, and there are many emerging initiatives for supporting content production using AI. Now, as always with new technology, it will take a while from the first innovation attempts until it really changes the way companies operate. At the same time, the technology is still in its infancy, and we’ll see immense innovation in ways we’re probably not aware of right now. I see the AI trend gathering momentum in 2024, away from the more gimmicky use cases, towards ways in which real business value is created.

Medhat Ali, director, VM Cloud

Significant advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning will usher in a new era of personalised viewing experiences for audiences. Broadcasters are poised to leverage these technologies to provide viewers with curated content playlists, customised recommendations and interactive features designed to enhance engagement and satisfaction.

The cornerstone of this transformation is the introduction of highly tailored content playlists. AI algorithms will analyse viewer preferences and realtime data, such as mood and location, to generate personalised playlists. This ensures that viewers effortlessly access content that aligns with their interests and current disposition.

Recommendation systems will also see remarkable improvement. Rather than generic suggestions, AI-powered systems will offer precise recommendations tailored to the individual, drawing on location, mood and previous choices to suggest the right balance of content – like entertainment, news, sports or documentaries – tuned to the moment.

Interactivity is set to redefine the viewing experience, with viewers participating in shaping narratives, realtime polls and in-content quizzes. These features will not only boost engagement but also create a deeper connection between viewers and the content they enjoy.

Ultimately, the aim is to enhance viewer satisfaction and eliminate the frustration of endless content scrolling. While these advances are promising, they also raise questions about data privacy and bias, emphasizing the importance of responsible implementation as we enter this exciting phase of personalised broadcasting.

Michael Pfitzner, VP, CGI

AI usage in news and cloud product/digitisation of production will steadily increase. Currently nothing can stop this trend.

Individual influencers for news will gain more market share of viewers. So there will be a higher demand for easy to operate and cheap news production tools. These are likely to be cloud-subscription based tools.

The generative aspect of AI is likely to get more promiment in the future. The more we accept AI being a supportive element in the production chain and being recognised as reliable, the more it will be accepted also for tasks without the human in the loop.

Synthetic images, videos and voices will also become part of “serious” journalism and productions.

Tom Fitzgerald, product manager, KVM systems, Black Box

AI, while it has been around for a number of years, is still very early in its development cycle and is certainly going to develop and evolve in 2024 and well beyond. The trend will be more content is produced but this content will be targeted and tailored specifically to the person who consumes it.

Interactive TV experiences, where viewers can make choices that affect the storyline, will be developed more. As TV has more competition than ever now, this seems like a way that could be popular with users and get them to actively engage with their TV experience, while gathering more information for AI systems to continue to improve content. The TV landscape is dynamic, and new trends can emerge rapidly. I expect this to escalate in 2024 because information and analysis of consumer information has grown so rapidly recently and user attention is harder than ever to maintain.

Mārtiņš Magone, CTO, Veset

With the rapid rise of AI-based services in the industry, there will likely be a resurgence of improved functionality amongst the earliest technologies to be experimented with, such as ChatGPT, which started the ball running for many media organisations interested in AI and ML. This interest will probably lead to the evolution of involved models performing various displays of automation in the broadcast and media industry. This includes tasks like captioning, metadata processing, automation of various content creation and advertisement intelligence. AI will storm the broadcast industry in 2024 like it has all other industries.

Predicting new trends in the broadcast and media industry right now is likely to be futile, with AI introducing an element of insecurity and mystery into the future of broadcast infrastructure for many organisations. However, as AI has dominated the latter half of 2023, I predict that it will definitely be the main topic of 2024, too. AI and ML coming into the peak of their rise in the next year or so will likely present realms of opportunity for new trends, also, which is something to keep an eye out for in the year ahead.

Jon Dahl, co-founder and CEO, Mux

Looking ahead to 2024, industry trends from 2023 will continue to shape the media and entertainment landscape. The industry will remain cost-sensitive, and consolidation and competition will continue. AI will continue to evolve, impacting various aspects including content creation, enrichment, and cost optimization. 

Like all disruptive innovation, AI will change things “gradually, then suddenly,” as the old saying goes. The biggest impact of AI on the industry in 2023 wasn’t actually technical – it was the Hollywood writer and actor strikes. We all know that AI will massively change the future of this industry, but no one knows exactly how.

In an era where viewer preferences and technology keep changing, the media and entertainment sector needs to become more nimble. Cost reduction and consolidation are likely to remain important for business across the landscape, but as companies leverage cutting-edge technologies, explore new revenue streams, and reach increasingly global audiences, we think there will be a shift, with a renewed emphasis on audience expansion and innovation. 

Paolo Tamburrino, senior industry strategy manager for Autodesk

In the realm of AI, the tools and technologies are evolving so rapidly that it’s hard to tell what’s to come, but we anticipate generative AI will quickly become woven into many industry-standard solutions. 

It’s impossible to predict exactly which new trends will emerge in 2024, but it’s fair to say that we expect the year to present new developments in cloud production workflows, open source and open standards, and AI and real-time technologies and applications that let creatives spend more time doing what they love. 

Philippe Petitpont, CEO and co-founder, Newsbridge

AI technology deployments will accelerate for the majority of early adopters, especially because of major upcoming events such as the Olympics and US elections. We believe there will be a particular focus on accelerating publishing time for “instant reaction” to events and increasing the work capacity of production teams. 

Content personalisation will grow in 2024 thanks to gen AI. We expect to see hyper-targeted content to increase reach and engagement for OTT and FAST channels.

The end of cookies is near, with Google announcing a cookieless experience will be available for Chrome by the end of 2024. This means that contextual targeting will be the next state of the art for advertising.

June Sung, COO, Cinedeck

The introduction of AI has already had such an effect on the industry, and this will continue in years to come. I think AI will continue to be prominent in 2024 with the industry looking at ways to adopt it into all workflows, products and systems to make them more accessible, sophisticated and designed for optimisation. There needs to be a good mix between human and AI, without one dominating the other, and supervision is still required for this new technology to allow deeper integration into all workflows and minimise any risks while we continue to fully understand its role in the industry. The main priority for many organisations currently, I believe, is to find the right balance between the role of team members and the support that AI and ML can provide. AI is likely to help smooth the transition to the cloud, but the industry needs to know its limits, without stepping on the systems in place too significantly.

AI has already created a path for media automation to thrive, and 2024 will see the progression of this with drastic changes happening to post production and live-production workflows across the board. The role of AI in the cloud will eventually become much clearer, with organisations throughout the broadcast and media industry exploring the opportunities present for AI integration, and the ways in which it can aid in their development. This development will include media automation, and the processes that will undoubtable arise from these new technologies. The implementation of media processing platforms, incorporated with media automation and AI, will likely provide a springboard of opportunity for the broadcast and media industry in 2024 and further drive the success of the hold that AI has gained over 2023, and the years coming.

Marc Baillavoine, CTO, video network, Synamedia

If 2023 was the year that ChatGPT took over the headlines, 2024 will be the year where technologists across all industries, including video streaming, will go beyond the soundbites and start using AI to transform the user experience and business operations.  

For example, AI-based dynamic ad-insertion will start to play a bigger role in the addressable advertising space, enabling the placement of personalised ads directly into programming. 

By the 2027 Rugby World Cup (where, as a Frenchman I believe France will fare better) AI will analyse your viewing behaviour to understand your tastes, habits and preferences. It will then insert personalised ads directly into your programming. No longer will you see the French team wearing logos from brands you have no interest in.  

Technologies that enable adaptive advertising will be top sellers and ads will become more subtle yet more engaging. We will see ads on the football field using technology overlays that are targeted to that exact user or household. For example, on an upcoming Tour de France, expect to see different snack ads on the yellow jersey cyclist’s shorts compared to your neighbour’s image, reflecting your different tastes. 

 Today, when an advertiser purchases an ad spot, they are for a certain time slots either pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll… But in 2024, we expect ad buys to be made based on time and placement on screen. This means there could be a lower ad rate when, for example, the packet of crisps is sitting on a counter at the back of the scene compared to if the main character is eating them.  

What’s more, brands will benefit financially from this new data-driven ad placement strategy. Performance marketing is a hot trend in CTV today – where brands pay based on the success of their ads. Insights about click-throughs and even purchases mean brands will pay the appropriate amount based on the exact reach of their advertising.    

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