Broadcast industry set to embrace ATSC 3.0
April 21, 2017
More than 75 per cent of US broadcast industry executives say they are excited about next-generation broadcast standard ATSC 3.0, while more than 70 per cent reported that their station’s conversion is either unscheduled or more than two years away.
These results come from a survey of local broadcast television professionals fielded in January 2017 by advertising management technology provider WideOrbit.
The final report, ATSC 3.0 and The Future of Broadcasting: The Industry View, summarises the broadcast industry’s understanding of ATSC 3.0 and its potential benefits and costs. Respondents were sales, traffic, engineering and general business executives at station groups across the United States.
Among the survey’s key findings:
- Broadcasters are enthusiastic about ATSC 3.0 and most are taking steps to adopt it. More than 75 per cent of respondents said they are excited about ATSC 3.0. More than half said their station group is actively examining whether to make the transition.
- The broadcasting industry has not completely assessed the cost of ATSC 3.0. Respondents offered a wide range of predictions of the cost per station for ATSC 3.0 transition. Capital investment and operating costs remain a crucial area for media companies to understand before moving forward despite the findings of a recent BIA/Kelsey report that large and medium-sized markets stations can recoup ATSC 3.0-related incremental costs in three years.
- Broadcasters don’t have a complete picture yet of the technologies that need to be replaced or upgraded. Respondents do not have a clear idea yet of what technology upgrades will be required nor the software and business practices for accommodating an advanced interactive advertising business.
- For ATSC 3.0 to be successful, viewers need the industry to offer compelling reasons to make the switch. Respondents said that improvement in the audience experience, which was a key driver to the rapid consumer adoption of HDTV, is ATSC 3.0’s least important benefit. Perhaps as a result, more than half of broadcasters are concerned that consumers won’t purchase ATSC 3.0-compatible televisions.
“This survey shows that behind the broadcast industry’s enthusiasm for ATSC 3.0 and its promise of new advertising opportunities, broadcast executives are excited about the ability to deliver advanced advertising campaigns for their clients and nearly all of them understand its potential for opening new revenue streams and business models,” noted Mickey Wilson, chief marketing officer at WideOrbit.
“There are still a lot of unknown factors that broadcasters should approach in a thoughtful way, including identifying and satisfying requirements for new hardware, software, skills, and sales, traffic and billing processes.”
“We recommend that media companies carefully research the technical requirements for operating an ATSC 3.0-based advanced advertising business. They can start today by collaborating with their hardware and software vendors to define their group’s ATSC 3.0 strategy and how they can work together to realise it,” he recommended.