Localization, Artificial Intelligence, and Inclusion: Takeaways from IBC 2023

Sep 25 2023 VITAC
Gal Stern stands in front of the VITAC booth at IBC. The booth has the words 'the global leader in access services, transcription, and localization
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IBC Show 2023 has wrapped, and VITAC again would like to thank everyone who took the time at this year’s show to meet with us, learn about our access and localization solutions, or just stop to say “hello.”

This year’s show attracted more than 43,000 attendees from 170 countries, a 16% increase in total attendees from 2022. The show saw more than 1,250 exhibitors and 325 speakers and showcased innovations and cutting-edge technologies.

Even though television production slowed in 2023 – streaming wars, global economics, streamers having backlog of content, industry strikes – there was genuine excitement on the show floor around new products, new delivery methods, and new technologies and the hope that production will pick up soon. Additionally, topics such as the metaverse, the cloud, 5G, VR/AR/XR, gaming, and edge computing were popular across the exhibition halls.

Read below for a few of our show observations, takeaways, and highlights, including a few photos from our cocktail party!

Life in the FAST Lane

Dennis McAllister, Head of Localization at VITAC, was part of a panel discussion that examined best practices for FAST (Free Ad-Supported Streaming Television) channels and looked at various factors, such as content localization, that will contribute to the growth and success of FAST in Europe. (View the panel here.)

The rise of FAST Channels such as Pluto, Tubi, the Roku Channel, and Freevee over the past few years has given TV viewers a new yet familiar way of enjoying content. The continued growth of these platforms means an increased need for content, and programmers are finding a wealth of already-produced shows in markets around the world that easily can be localized via subtitles, translation, or dubbing for audiences everywhere.

According to research company Omdia, the UK and Canada will have FAST markets worth over $500 million and $300 million, respectively, by 2027. The group also forecasts that FAST channels in Germany will generate just over $200 million in the same year, while those in Brazil will hit revenues of $100 million (Germany and Brazil are among the fastest-growing FAST TV regions.)

As such, more localization resources will be needed to launch more FAST channels.

As a localization provider, VITAC can walk customers through this developing FAST channel market and work with you to find the solutions that fit your needs. We deliver high quality at lower rates. We always consider your budget and find creative ways to meet that budget without compromising the product.

Artificial Intelligence and Generative AI

Artificial Intelligence and generative AI once again were hot topics of discussion of IBC and the show offered several sessions discussing what AI offers, where it stands now, and where it’s going.

Experts said the potential of AI across the M&E industry is almost limitless with topics centered on streamlining workflows, improving the monetization of content, enhancing viewer experiences, and content personalization, recommendation, and distribution.

Discussions included AI’s ability to influence the future of media creation, from AI-powered newsrooms to the creation of summary videos. In the studio, AI can be used to create new types of media content, personalize the experience for users, and improve the efficiency of the media production process.

“It’s not about replacing existing creative processes,” said Anthony Guarino, EVP of Global Production and Studio Technology at Paramount. “It’s about putting AI tools in the hands of our creators and allowing them to use the tools as they see fit for the job.”

Richard Lee, Head of Industry Marketing, Media, Entertainment, and Games, at Google, said: “Artificial intelligence, and generative AI in particular, is top of mind for many with media this year. While the technology is fascinating, it’s critical to also consider the needs of the media business.”

Verbit, VITAC’s parent company, is leading the way in applying generative AI to transcription and captioning and recently unveiled its new generative AI product suite – “Gen.V” – that combines highly trained natural language processing, content generation abilities, and artificial intelligence to identify the most important elements of a transcript. This new feature already has been introduced to clients in higher education with plans to roll it out to additional industries later this year. 

Take 1 is VITAC

We hosted a special cocktail party on the beach at IBC to announce that leading transcription, access, and localization services company Take 1 is now officially VITAC. The party was complete with good food, great drinks, and even better guests! Thanks to everyone who attended!

Inclusiveness and Equality

One theme throughout the show was a focus on equality and inclusivity and exploring how to weave inclusive programs and initiatives into the fabric of our workplaces, technology, and culture to attract the best people and develop better products.

Several IBC panels and speakers noted that although progress has been made in promoting inclusive in the media and entertainment industry, there still is work that needs to be done, especially in regard to a lack of gender equality and inclusivity in positions where decisions are made.

Sessions focused on the current state of inclusion; the importance of putting people first and empowering employees; representation and allyship and how companies can do it right; and how to keep the inclusion and equality discussion moving forward.

Inclusive technologies also were a discussion point.

Rebecca Matthews, Head of Content Management, ABC, noted the difficulties in keeping populations up to speed with technological development.

“We are so focused on switching to digital we forget that four million people in Australia don’t have access to the internet,” she said. “We are looking hard to find solutions…but people who need to be part of the discussion are not part of the conversation because the networks don’t reach to where they are. We have to make sure their voices are heard and recognize that different groups are at different stages in terms of their access to technology.”

Again, thanks to everyone who stopped by to see us at IBC 2023! We enjoyed catching up with old friends and making new acquaintances and look forward to seeing everyone at next year’s IBC Show, Sept. 13-16, 2024!