IBC: Broadcast sector on the way to recovery

AMSTERDAM: Is the media industry recovering or is it still going through the throes of a recession? That was the topic of the morning session at the IBC in RAI, Amsterdam.

International Association of Broadcast Manufacturers director general Peter Smith pointed out that the broadcast sector has moved to a growth position, where earlier it was negative. He was referring to a broad industry wide study the IABM has conducted amongst attendees of IBC 2009.

“Recovery is underway, and it is regional. Apac has not been affected much and continues to grow,” he said. “Europe has recovered. The US is moving slower. On the whole, 71 per cent of companies in Europe have moved into profits while the figure for the world and the US is 59 per cent and 41 per cent respectively.”
From the supplier’s viewpoint, he pointed out, that around 41 per cent said that projects have been delayed or deferred over the past 12 months which has impacted their growth. “But 2010 looks better. 2011-2012 looks very promising. We might get to where we were in 2008 or even ahead of it,” Smith opined.

Sony professional vice-president EMEA Naomi Climer higlighted that pain might still hit the broadcast equipment sector, especially from the publicly funded broadcasters, as they find their expenditures being cut. “We have to distinguish between publicly funded broadcasters and the commercially funded ones," she said. "Apac, middle east and Africa are looking good but Japan was hit hard because of the strengthening yen. Northern Europe is looking better than southern europe.” She said that that Sony was looking at 3D and intregation as a growth driver. “Additionally our 3D, digital cinema and D-signage products are doing well.”

Axon CEO Jan Eveleens said that his company has been doing well courtesy the transition to HD which has driven growth. “There was a point when people simply stopped everything," he said. “There was an effect, but not that strong an effect. Customers are looking for solutions.” 
Harris Broadcast Germany VP sales and services Mathias Eckert echoed that North America was down but things were not that bad in Canada and APAC. “We need to be more flexible towards trends, get products into factory quickly. We see scope in 3D, holographic television. We need to make sure we hit the same ball.” he however added, “From our perspective, while only 20 per cent of our revenues come from broadcast, 80 per cent of our revenues come from elsewhere."

Softel UK CEO Sam Pemberton pointed out that products that allow for monetising content are selling more. “There has been a proliferation of broadband which is creating new opportunities for content owners.”

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