OTT, IP Top 2020 Rankings of Most Important Commercial Trends in Global Media Technology Sector

Josh Stinehour | September 16, 2020

This is the first of a series of articles that discuss select findings from Devoncroft’s 2020 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS), an annual global study of media industry trends, technology purchasing plans, and benchmarking of media technology vendor brands.


Measuring the Most Important Trends in the Global Media Technology Sector

Each year, Devoncroft Partners conducts a global study of the media industry called the Big Broadcast Survey (BBS).  For the past 12-years, several thousand media technology professionals in 100+ countries have participated in the BBS, making it the longest-running and most comprehensive study of the media and broadcast industry.

Large, representative samples are only way to reliably track and predict technology adoption in the global media industry and we very much appreciate the time and effort that respondents devote to the BBS each year.  We read all feedback from BBS respondents.  Your comments are used to evolve the survey.

For those parties interested in a more detail review of the data gathered in the 2020, multiple Reports are available for immediate delivery.


How Trends are Selected for Inclusion in the BBS Media Technology Global Trend Index

As the events of 2020 have reminded us, things change quickly.  Our objective is to ensure the trends we measure each year are the most relevant to a rapidly changing market environment. Before publishing the survey, we spend a considerable amount of time seeking feedback from a wide variety of industry professionals about all aspects of the data we collect through our research activities.

As part of this process, the composition of the BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index is reviewed each year in conjunction with Devoncroft clients, media technology end-users, and a variety of domain experts.  New trends are added to the Index when BBS stakeholders believe that the value of this additional trend information outweighs the resulting distortion of the year-over-year comparisons.

A deliberately conservative strategy is used when considering adjustments to the index.  By keeping changes to a minimum, we allow for a more straightforward comparison of how trends were ranked versus previous iterations of the survey.

Based on discussions with clients, end-users, and experts during the planning stages of the 2020 BBS project, we decided to maintain the same list of trends as last year.  The primary benefit of this approach is a one-to-one comparison of how trends were ranked in 2019 versus 2020.


The 2020 BBS Media Technology Global Trend Index

One of the key outputs of the BBS is the annual BBS Media Technology Global Trend Index, a ranking of the media industry trends that are considered by BBS respondents the most commercially important to their businesses in any given year.

To create the 2020 Big Broadcast Survey Global Trend Index, we presented BBS respondents with a list of 20 industry trends and asked them to select the one trend that is “most important” to their business, one trend that is “second most important” to their business, and the other trends (plural) they consider “also very important.”

We then apply a statistical weighting to these results, based on how research participants ranked the commercial importance of each trend.

Please note the goal from this question is to help clients gain insight into the business drivers behind the respondent’s answer.  Therefore, respondents were asked to rank these trends in the context of the commercial importance to their business, rather than “industry buzz,” or “cool technology,” or marketing hype.

The 2020 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index is shown below.

When reviewing the data presented above, readers should note the following about the 2020 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index:

  • It is a measure of what research participants say is commercially important to their businesses in the future, not what they are doing now, or where they are spending money today
  • The chart above is visualized as a weighted index, not as a measure of the number of people that said which trend was most important to them
  • It measures the responses of all technology purchasers (i.e. non-vendors) who participated in the 2020 BBS, regardless of company type, company size, geographic location, job title, etc. Thus, the responses of any demographic group such as a company type or geographic location may vary widely from the results presented in this report.


Analyzing the 2020 BBS Broadcast Industry Global Trend Index

‘Multi-platform content delivery’ returned to the top ranking in 2020, having been displaced last year by ‘IP Networking & Content Delivery.’  A return to the top ranking is not surprising given the developments with new and existing OTT services over the past 12 months.  Just in North America, Disney+ launched in November 2019, Fox acquired Tubi in April 2020, HBO Max launched in May 2020, and NBC’s Peacock started up in July 2020.

While ‘Multi-platform content delivery’ returned to the top ranking (as it maintained from 2010 – 2018), the margin over ‘IP Networking & Content Delivery’ was an effective, statistical tie.  A top ranking in 2019 and a near top ranking in 2020 for ‘IP Networking & Content Delivery’ are further evidence of the acceleration of the media industry’s transition to an IP-based technology infrastructure.  The totality of evidence captured in recent iterations of the Big Broadcast Survey coupled with end-user interviews has led us to conclude 2019 represented an inflection point in terms of industry adoption of IP-based infrastructure.

As interesting as the ranking of trends was the apparent impact of the COVID disruption on the priorities of global media organizations.  A common discussion point across recent virtual industry events has been whether, and by how much, the adoption of profile of industry trends has been accelerated by the events of 2020.  Since the responses to the 2020 BBS were split across the market disruption, the trend index is a timely, quantitative reference on the impact of COVID to the media technology sector.

A more thoroughly analysis of the trend index is included in the 2020 BBS Executive Summary provided to all respondents to the 2020 survey.  For other interested parties, the 2020 BBS Executive Summary is also available from our storefront.


The information in this article is based on select findings from the 2020 Big Broadcast Survey (BBS), a global study of broadcast industry trends, technology purchasing plans, and benchmarking of broadcast technology vendor brands. Several thousand broadcast professionals in 100+ countries took part in the 2020 BBS, making it the largest and most comprehensive market study ever conducted in the broadcast industry. The BBS is published annually by Devoncroft Partners.

Granular analysis of these results is available as part of various paid-for reports based on the 2020 BBS data set. For more information about this report, please contact Devoncroft Partners.



Related Content:

2020 Big Broadcast Survey Reports Now Available



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