Content at CABSAT

CABSAT. To some, this may sound like a quirky new taxi app mimicking Uber. But many others will recognise it as the biggest event in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region for the Broadcast Industry. Conveniently situated a stone’s throw away from Dubai’s sandy beaches at the UAE’s World Trade Centre, this year’s 21st CABSAT event attracted over 900 exhibitors from 60 different countries with over 13,000 local, regional and international trade visitors coming through the doors.

As with any event, a lot of new product announcements were pushed out in the run up to the show, and content was once again a recurring theme. The variety of cutting-edge technology had all corners of content covered, from creation, production and management, to distribution. From Drones, 4K and Ultra HD cameras, wireless camera motion systems, satellites, broadcast transport solutions and video management systems, every angle was represented.

Keynotes were aplenty. Raffaele Annecchino of VIACOM International Media Networks (VIMN) cited in his keynote that consumption is moving from ‘TV everywhere’ to ‘TV now’ as we witness the ‘rise of every screen’. But what exactly does this mean? TV everywhere emerged as the result of the rise of the second screen, driven by the explosion of connected devices, redefining the way we consume content. Annecchino explained however, that the latest research by VIMN has revealed half of viewers (51%) prefer to watch TV when they want rather than where or how. To put it simply, viewers expect to watch content the moment they decide to watch that content (cue: Netflix).

A few years ago there was a lot of speculation that linear TV was out. But the landscape today seems far from this. In his speech, Annecchino reported that linear TV is the mainstay and consumption of it is increasing in all markets in terms of minutes – is anybody really surprised? Given the choice, I’m sure the majority of people would prefer to watch a marathon of House of Cards on their widescreen TV rather than hunched, squinting at a small tablet screen.

In other CABSAT news, Frost & Sullivan announced that content providers in the Middle East should focus on personalised viewing, acceleration of multiscreen services and multimedia advertising. In the wake of 4K UHD, the analyst house urged content producers and aggregators to seek innovative solutions for compression, ad-insertion, and video-on-demand (VOD) to name a few.

With CABSAT over for another year, Broadcasters will now be looking forward to NAB Show in April which also promises premium content and a hands-on experience with the latest technologies.

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