The following interview was originally published in SportsPro Magazine.
What are the media technology trends that you think are most impacting the media industry?
In my opinion, there are three main media technology trends impacting our business now. The first is automation. It’s important that we consider the opportunities that machine learning can bring us. For example, we can rely on machine learning to automatically generate metadata that pinpoints specific types of content that can be used to personalise the experience for different audiences. This is especially interesting for sport federations and event organisers who want to provide options for their viewers to choose which players or venue they want to focus on.
The second is virtualisation. Here, I’m referring to the increase in cloud-based software services that allow us to create on demand workflows which in turn give us more flexibility in service delivery. And finally, the third major media technology trend that I see on the horizon is 5G and the new generation of high capacity networks. This technology will bring new challenges and opportunities for us in the media industry over the coming years. It’s something I look forward to.
What are the main priorities for the ES Technology & Development team this year?
Since becoming a subsidiary of the EBU in January this year, we have focused our efforts on streamlining and developing our existing tools and technologies to continually improve our operational processes. It’s vital that that we regularly review our priorities so that we can provide top quality media services to our clients and partners.
Our new business strategy in ES puts content first. This was a strategic move for us. We’ve always focused on content but now it is more apparent than ever before – with the rise of digital technologies and changes in audience consumption patterns – that our clients need us to help maximise the value of their content so they can reach audiences no matter where they are, which device they use or which programme they want to see.
Our technology roadmap reflects this. This year we will focus on consolidating and further developing our digital services portfolio, including content personalisation, OTT and streaming services, to help our clients increase the reach of their major events to rights holders around the world.
The official opening of Eurovision Labs took place at the end of May. What are you are you looking forward to most with this new team?
Yes, the official opening was 31st May at the new office in Madrid. It was a great opportunity for us to get together with the new team, clients and partners to celebrate the occasion.
The media industry changes at a rapid pace with new technologies entering the market all the time. The new team in Madrid will focus on expanding our software engineering activities to power the next generation of media products and services for ES.
We’ve hired some of the best talent out there and I look forward to the new ideas they will bring to the company. They’ll be working closely with our team in Geneva and other offices to deliver new services in line with our technology roadmap.
What is Eurovision Services doing in the area of remote production?
Remote production is another area that we are prioritising this year. Media organisations around the world have been investing over the last few years, but it is only now that we start to see the real benefits of new technologies like IP and other software tools come to fruition.
There’s an increased amount of pressure on our clients to deliver more content to more stakeholders for the same or less costs. Our aim is to help clients achieve this goal by integrating software tools into our Eurovision Global Network to enable them to gain more control and visibility over the full content management cycle. A good example of this is our Eurovision Flex portal which allows clients to easily manage the transport of their content using our software-based network controller, ensuring that the right content is delivered at the right level of quality and service.
How do you keep the Technology & Development team up to date with new technology? Are there any new tools that you are currently implementing to improve services?
Technology keeps evolving, but in our industry it’s essential that our teams stay on top of developments and are comfortable working with new technologies. We make a conscious effort to identify new technologies on the market and work closely with our clients to understand their needs so that any developments we do translate into concrete benefits for them, such as content personalisation.
We recently did a proof of concept for several clients during this year’s Eurovision Song Contest to provide them with access to our Eurovision Remote Graphics solution for the voting sessions. This allowed them to remotely adapt their TV graphics at the origin without having to produce several signal versions and transport them separately back to rights holders. This is just one example of how
If you were not in your current role, what would you be interested in trying out?
If I were not in the media industry, I would consider being a pilot. I’ve always been fascinated with flying since a young age. As a curious engineer, I’m sure that I would enjoy learning more about aerospace engineering!