NAB Amplify report: How 500+ broadcasters are investing in their digital transformation

In this global research study sponsored by Arc XP, NAB Amplify set out to understand a broadcaster’s path to digital maturity.

multiple tv screens showing video

Broadcasters around the world are on a journey of digital transformation that’s changing the way they conduct business. Bottom line: this digital progression is largely driven by audience behaviors.

Audiences are evolving beyond traditional television viewing to consuming media across multiple digital channels. In order to attract and engage them in the right ways, broadcasters are having to evolve too by rethinking everything from tech stacks to content creation and distribution.

In a recent global research study conducted exclusively for NAB Amplify and sponsored by Arc XP, we set out to understand a broadcaster’s digital journey.

What’s driving the digital transformation

Through qualitative and quantitative research from over 500 broadcast organization leaders from all segments and around the globe, we were able to paint a picture of the journey towards digital maturity broken down into what amounts to three distinct stages.

Most broadcasters believe they are making decent headway into digital and are optimistic about their transition toward digital maturity. The truth is that their actual maturity varies by broadcaster type and can fall into low, mid or high levels.

NAB Report digital maturity score for different broadcast market sizes

We also found that while many broadcasters are committed to evolving, there is apprehension around the financial investment and how to balance projected revenue growth with near-term ROI. However, at the end of the day, how you justify and ultimately decide your digital budgets will rest on your level of ambition, tolerance for risk and financial support.

But what does success look like? For many of the survey respondents, audience engagement is the most important metric followed by revenue and advertisers. This shows that the broadcast industry’s digital transformation is anchored in a need to satisfy audiences and strengthen relationships with ad partners – and digital is a huge part of this.

NAB Report Digital Success Metrics

Understanding the three key stages of broadcaster digital maturity

We’ve been talking about digital maturity but what exactly does that mean? And as a broadcaster, how can it impact your digital transformation?

As one may expect from the term, digital maturity is a measurement that gauges how mature “digitally” an organization is believed to be and how effectively it is responding to shifting technology trends or digital consumer behaviors. Capabilities, organizational structure, size of digital team, growth goals, etc. all impact this score.

The report found three key stages when it came to broadcaster digital maturity: Early, mid and advanced.

Early stage (or low) digital maturity

This is when you’re typically at the start of your digital journey. You see digital as an opportunity to retain your audience and maintain advertiser relationships, but you’re challenged to find an investment budget. You also may be serving communities where digital access is limited.

Mid stage (or medium) digital maturity

At this stage, you’ve established your digital business and now it’s time to make it sustainable. That means broadening the reach of your content, engaging audiences across multiple platforms and growing your advertiser base. Your challenge with this is developing a digital content monetization strategy that includes third-party platforms like social media.

Advanced stage (or high) digital maturity

Welcome to digital adulthood! Reaching this stage means you are digitally mature. Generally, your focus is on growing direct revenue from consumers and advertisers. At the same time, your biggest challenge is justifying the continued investment in digital innovation and making the right investment decisions. It’s important to note that there really isn’t a true end point to a digital evolution. You simply continue to evolve as technology and audience behaviors evolve.

Inside the report, you’ll find a deeper dive into the priorities, roadblocks, challenges and success metrics that affect each stage. Download now.

Successfully navigating the stages of your digital transformation

Now that you understand why digital progression is important and where your organization may fall on the digital maturity scale, let’s talk about strategic ambitions – and the challenges that come with them – at each stage.

NAB Report Digital Journey Stages

When exploring your ambitions and financial opportunities, you’ll want to ensure you have a solid digital foundation. Is your tech stack streamlined for ease? Can you create and distribute content efficiently? Are you able to deliver powerful multi-channel experiences? What about digital ad revenue opportunities? All of these questions are crucial to ask when evaluating whether your tech and content platform enable you to truly evolve. Cloud-native digital experience platforms (DXP) like Arc XP, which is built on AWS, can help answer yes to all of this and more.

In addition to your tech, you also should look at your people. The report found a key blocker for digital progress was in fact talent – think developing legacy employees, strengthening digital skills and external recruitment. According to the media and entertainment organizations surveyed, 49% identified ‘People’ as an important next step in their journey, regardless of their level of digital maturity. With the rise of Silicon Valley tech giants and bigger, better benefit packages, attracting and retaining talent will take a larger investment – with its fair share of competition. But it will pay off as you continue to evolve and grow.

At the end of the day, your digital transformation – like many in the broadcast industry – is driven by satisfying your audience, finding efficiencies and driving revenue. Your stage of digital maturity, size or level of investment doesn’t matter. The most important piece of digital progression is equipping your business with the tools, talent and knowledge to stay competitive and deliver for digital.

If you’re curious to learn more about understanding your organization’s evolution to data maturity, download the full NAB Amplify report today.

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