Playout automation is a technology that integrates all the devices involved in a playout chain (such as video routers, switchers, audio servers, channel branding processors, and graphic inserts) in a single device. Playout automation fulfills needs and requirements of a large number of advertisers and viewers by making the programming easy. It can handle complex operations and allows a broadcaster to reduce the operational cost to a large extent.
The research study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the global playout automation market for 2016-2020. The report segments the market into two end-user segments which are international broadcasters and national broadcasters with the international broadcasters dominating the global playout automation market, with a revenue share of over 70% in 2015.
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Technavio media and entertainment analysts highlight the following five factors that are contributing to the growth of the global playout automation market:
- Low capital expenses
- Digitalization of cable TV
- Rising number of multichannel video program distributors
- Growing need for multilingual playout
- Increased need for channel diversification
Low capital expenses
The demand for accurate and high-quality content is high due to an increasing number of channels, rising language variation, and fragmentation of content. Video operators are finding new ways to launch new channels, manage these channels, and deliver programs with fewer resources. With high competition among vendors and a low-profit margin, channel in a Box (CiaB) enables broadcasters to use the existing IT-based platform for playout automation, reducing the capital expense. The broadcasters are not required to incur additional costs to purchase individual devices to prepare the playout chain. This increases operational efficiency and reduces the cost of a broadcasting system by integrating playout and master controls into a single IT-based platform.
Digitalization of cable TV
The migration process from standard definition to high-definition content and mandatory digitalization of TV channels has boosted the growth of the global playout automation market. With the help of CiaB, vendors handle the migration process efficiently within a limited budget and automate the playout. This process has been bettered with the availability of the latest generation of servers.
Beside digitalization, tremendous growth in the number of channels is another major driving force of the market. These channels can also be broadcasted through alternative mediums such as mobile devices. “The growing number of channels has created the demand for robust content, increasing the need for better storage and editing processes along with ad breaks. This is taken care of by a playout automation device,” says Ujjwal Doshi, a lead analyst at Technavio for media and entertainment services research.
Rising number of multichannel video program distributors
The number of multichannel video program distributors has been increasing since 2000. With growing demand for multichannel video, the distributors are finding new and optimum ways to broadcast and transmit content over various platforms. They opt for CiaB to manage their master control and playout and simplify the playout automation process.
The playout content is first checked for consistency and picture quality, which is done by passing the content through the master control. A playout automation device plays a major role in providing a facility for examining multiple contents for multiple channels simultaneously. This enables correct programming and rectification of problems that might come up during the process. With the increasing number of channels and highly complicated content, the demand for playout automation devices is increasing. This is primarily driven by the need for a better viewing experience and good picture quality. Thus, continuous improvement in the display of channels is further fueling the growth of the global playout automation market.
Growing need for multilingual playout
The demand for multilingual playout is increasing significantly due to the availability of a wide audience base and growing penetration of satellite and cable TV in rural areas, especially in APAC. Currently, most existing TV service vendors are providing multilingual playout for various channels. CiaB manages multilingual playout, automates the playout process based on input files, and helps in inserting multilingual regional specific commercials during playout. Thus, increasing demand for CiaB and multilingual playout is likely to drive the growth of the global playout automation market during the forecast period.
Increased need for channel diversification
The need for channel diversification is increasing due to diverse viewing preference among the audience. The diversification allows broadcasters to target specific audience groups. With growing diversification, broadcasters are focusing on reducing the capital outlay for additional channels. “Playout automation helps in channel diversification as it manages multiple channel playout simultaneously with minimal hardware requirements. This is likely to expedite the growth of the global playout automation market during the forecast period,” says Ujjwal.
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