Returning again from the IBC in Amsterdam, I am now a little more optimistic about the future of the media industries, particularly broadcasting. I feel that this year brought a lot of new young blood to the show, heralding the long-awaited new generation who the dinosaurs, such as myself, hope to get to know with a view to sharing our knowledge and experience, before we bequeath the heavy responsibilities inherent in this rapidly developing sector to them.
The IBC 2019 has reported a rise in total attendance for this year’s show to 56,390 from 55,884 attendees compared to the IBC 2018. Most significant, however, is that the number of attendees, aged 35 and under, increased by 10% year-on-year, which is a record increase according to the organisers. This statistical trend follows closely the shift from hardware to software in our industry illustrating the need to leave behind ancient expressions such as PAL and SECAM which have been consigned to the history lessons as opposed to the modern classroom. Curious millennial technicians can, of course, attend a few history lessons in order to discover why we still use some old techniques such as interlaced frames to fool our eyes and save more and more expensive bandwidth.
It is admirable that the organisers of the IBC recognise and welcome this development, and as an illustration of their support, they introduced this year, for the first time, the IBC Young Pioneer Award as one of their future regular categories. The aim of this award is to acknowledge the welcome entry of a new wave of bright industry talent. The IBC’s intention is to award a young professional who has made a real impact with their passion, ambition and commitment and is making an outstanding contribution to our industry. The winner of the first Young Pioneer Award was Vera Bichler, a graduate of the Broadcast Academy, and the first female director of football programmes for ORF in Austria. Congratulations to Vera! “What we were looking for from the candidates was, most importantly, real talent, an outstanding individual making a real difference in the industry,” said David Levine, VP, Programming – Kids, Europe and Africa/UK & Ireland, The Walt Disney Co. Ltd and chair of the judging panel. “But we were also looking for a lasting legacy, for the Young Pioneer to be a leader today and a media guru of the future.”
“IBC 2019 was a non-stop round of networking, fruitful meetings, late night discussions, interesting product launches and valuable conference sessions”
The presence of young blood was clearly visible at this year’s exhibition and perfectly illustrated by Karel Votroubek (30 something), Commercial Director, Provys, who brought his young army of professionals with him to the show. As Karel observed: “IBC 2019 was a non-stop round of networking, fruitful meetings, late night discussions, interesting product launches and valuable conference sessions facilitating the learning and sharing of ideas with the considerable number of movers and shakers present at the show. 2019 also gave us an increase in the number of top broadcasting executives that we met. This year, we introduced four new keenly anticipated products offering more independence to broadcasters, based on a standard essential platform which can later be expanded and customised, as required. The new members of our portfolio are: Provys Everywhere which provides an extendable workflow management basis for broadcast operations; Provys Traffic Drive which offers all traffic functions in one integrated package; Provys Network Pilot which allows central management of multi-national linear operations allowing individual features in each country, and Provys OnDemand Bridge which delivers VOD workflow automation.” And so, with young blood increasingly at the helm, we can be a little more optimistic for the future, and look forward to their influence charting new courses through the stormy waters and challenging developments of the media and entertainment industry.