Audio market in midst of radical transition, IABM report

Published: 24 July 2019 - 6:37 p.m.
By: Nikhil Pereira
IABM has released a new Audio Business Report to members, looking at the current state of the industry and identifying the key drivers of change as the audio market goes through a radical transition.

This is IABM’s first standalone report on the audio sector, and it will now be regularly updated as part of IABM’s suite of reports to support members’ business activities.

Some of the highlights of the report are:
• Audio – as with video - is transitioning to IP to leverage its potential benefits in terms of efficiency, flexibility, remote production and immersive audio
• To date, deployment of AoIP has been slow, with a hybrid approach being favored
• AES67 is seen as a positive development
• Multiple standards continue to be used in the audio industry
• Virtualisation and automation of workflows were identified as a major focus for the future
• Immersive audio is still very much in its infancy in most sectors
• Drive for simpler and more cost-effective products as budgets continue to be squeezed
• Rise of streaming platforms and content investment impacting technology development
• In contrast, television and radio broadcasters’ budgets are being squeezed, leading to a sharp focus on efficiency

In terms of trends, the report’s findings show that efficiency is an ever more important driver in the audio sector – doing more with less, together with a requirement for technology that is easier to use for less skilled operators.

The push for efficiency is driving a shift to virtual consoles, with remote production features also becoming increasingly important for the same reason.

“The need for increased efficiency together with changing skillsets at customer organisations, are the biggest drivers in the audio business today,” said Lorenzo Zanni, IABM head of Insight & Analysis.

“The focus on efficiency is a must as programming investment rises to new levels and media organisations – including radio stations – deliver content to an increasing number of platforms. Rising requirements, flat budgets, and technology developments have also driven pricing down, but the requirement for highest quality audio remains. The audio industry is facing a number of challenges, but as this report shows, there are plenty of opportunities opening up too for those willing to grasp the nettle and take things to the next level.”

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