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DBS 2014 – Balance of old and new holds key to future of broadcasting

The future of broadcasting depends on balancing the traditional strengths of mass media with the new tools of innovative technologies, industry leaders in the Asia-Pacific have been told.

Officially welcoming delegates to the tenth ABU Digital Technology Symposium in Malaysia, the Union’s Secretary-General Dr Javad Mottaghi said there were great challenges ahead.

“A new media landscape has emerged for the broadcasting industry and for delivery of content,” he told delegates at the Hotel Istana in Kuala Lumpur. “It is a big challenge to determine which direction should be taken in the future. 

“Content delivery on multiple platforms has become the first imperative of broadcasters, serving many devices, stationary and mobile. An inability to deliver on different platforms could result in a lost opportunity for broadcasters.

He said social media offered huge opportunities for broadcasters to interact with audiences, but while they were taking advantage of emerging platforms, they should not underestimate the strength of broadcasting.

“It is still the most efficient and effective way of reaching mass audiences for some of our content,” Dr Mottaghi said. “Over-the-air services will remain a robust form of delivery for both radio and television for many years to come. Harmonised digital radio and television services will ensure that people have access to data or information irrespective of technological platforms.”

Dr Mottaghi said the 2014 Symposium would explore all these challenges and opportunities. It comprised workshops, a three-day conference, several side-events and a 60-booth exhibition.

“The list of speakers reads like who’s-who of the industry and we are very honoured to have them here with us,” he added. “The ABU is proud to facilitate the development of broadcasting in the Asia-Pacific region, as the biggest broadcasting union with over 260 members in 64 countries.”

Keynote speaker Mr Patrick Hannon, WorldDMB President and Vice-President of Corporate Development with Frontier Silicon reiterated the challenges faced by broadcasters.

He said the world was changing and this created challenges and opportunities for listeners manufacturers and broadcasters. They should not choose between platforms – such as broadcast or broadband; it should be broadcast and broadband.

His presentation went through the greatest current challenges and some of the solutions, saying the key to success was a holistic approach and collaboration. The only way it would work was to get all the elements of the value chain working together.

Mr Hannon said there was a limited window of opportunity for spectrum and now was “a great opportunity” in the Asia-Pacific to tie in with plans being made by regulators. He warned that if broadcasters did not use spectrum they would lose it because there were a lot of other players wanting the spectrum.