IBC Grows Its North American Presence

Why This Matters: The still-growing IBC show in Amsterdam is gaining traction among TV tech executives in the U.S. and Canada.

From Comdex to the erstwhile cable show, the media-technology convention graveyard has grown crowded over the last two decades, with exhibitors and attendees ever-more-scrutinous about the cost benefit of events that are hugely expensive, time-consuming and often of questionable relevance.

But never mind the six-to-11-hour KLM flight from the U.S, IBC in Amsterdam, which kicks off Sept. 13, continues to grow, with attendance up in each of its 50 previous years, spiking to 57,000 in 2017. More than 10% of the constituents — who are from 170 countries overall — are now either from the U.S. or Canada.

“IBC has definitely become one of our biggest shows,” Doug Edwards, executive chairman and founder of Toronto-based Zone TV, a company vested in advanced TV search and personalization technology, said.

“The European market tends to adopt technology quickly and is not afraid of new experiences,” added Edwards, whose company will participate in booth presentations conducted by partners TiVo and Microsoft and run its own booth in a space partly subsidized by the Canadian government. It’s the first year Zone TV will have its own booth presence at IBC, and it plans a major announcement with a large European pay TV operator at the event.

Synamedia — the new company formed from a private-equity firm’s $1 billion repurchase of Cisco’s video service provider software division — will show off its new executives and revamped product line. TiVo will present the latest on AI and machine learning, and how these technologies are being used in advanced video user interfaces.

Meanwhile, technical and standards organizations centered around the broadcast and video industries, including the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, will oversee an array of IP-based product interoperability demonstrations conducted by various vendors on the show floor amid IBC’s annual “IP Showcase.” Technical presentations will also be conducted in the IP Showcase by Arena TV, BBC Wales, Sky TV, Italy, Telstra and Timeline Television.

Bel Lepe, chief technology officer of Ooyala, said the focus of this year’s IBC should revolve heavily on AI, machine learning and the cloud. “The question we’re all trying answer is, how can you manage your workflow across this complicated environment?” Lepe said.

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!