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Signiant Reflects on IBC 2019, and the Future of Rapidly Evolving M&E

By Michael Darer | Oct 8, 2019

The media and entertainment industry is in an exciting period of transformation and innovation, and Signiant is thrilled to be in the midst of it. Nowhere was this energy more apparent than at this year’s IBC, where we had the opportunity to speak with a wide range of organizations, vendors, and thought leaders to better understand where M&E businesses are at, where they’re going, and what they need.

Now with IBC 2019 in the rearview mirror, we’ve been reflecting on everything we’ve learned, and Jon Finegold, Signiant’s CMO, has taken the time to share his experience from the conference, and how that might affect Signiant as we charge toward 2020.

Going in to IBC this year, what were you looking to accomplish? What about Signiant did you want to highlight?

As media and entertainment is our core market and being a global software company, IBC is an important event for us every year.  Our biggest goal is always to simply engage with the market, learn what’s going on across the industry and share insights about trends we’re seeing … and of course highlight new capabilities in our platform.  Our massive global footprint often provides early insights into trends and it’s interesting to compare those insights with customers who are in the trenches trying to solve real business challenges. One trend we’re seeing is an explosion of cross company collaboration with more and more of our large companies engaging with dozens of smaller suppliers that offer highly specialized services and we’re seeing particularly explosive growth in localization and distribution as more content is being distributed to more global distribution channels.

This year at IBC we introduced some new capabilities on our Jet product to help with just that. Jet is a new SaaS product that makes it easy to automate system-to-system file transfers across global locations. The new capabilities introduced at IBC make it much easier and more secure to set up transfer jobs between companies.  As more intercompany collaboration becomes vital to the media supply chain, these capabilities of Jet will help companies remain agile and responsive to the market. Our Media Shuttle product has long been used for collaboration between people but there was lots of buzz in the Signiant booth this year as we demonstrated how easy it is with Jet to automate cross company workflows.

What about IBC did you find the most exciting?

Last year (2018) there was a lot of talk about cloud with bold claims and lots of buzz. This year (2019) it seemed like there was a lot more chatter about actually making the cloud work. The excitement hasn’t lost steam, and for good reason, but the reality of the challenges of living in a hybrid cloud world are setting in.  This year the conversation was more around the details and ‘making it all work.’ Companies have moved from talk to action and are working through implementation challenges, working with multiple cloud vendors and trying to understand the economics and navigate new dynamics such as egress fees. Those conversations were interesting and it’s all good news for Signiant in that our platform is designed to help abstract the complexity of a hybrid cloud, multi-cloud world.

What did it seem like others were most excited about?

The explosion of OTT/Streaming services across the world is exciting with great opportunity to bring more content to more consumers but there are new challenges that come with that new territory.  This means more formats, more localization, emerging regulatory changes and more complexity across the supply chain.  The excitement is strong for good reason but there was lots of discussion about how to deliver on the promise of more content to more devices across more borders.

Based on your experience at IBC, where do you see Signiant currently positioned within the industry? How is that going to affect Signiant moving forward?

We leave IBC as bullish as ever about Signiant’s position in the market.  2018 was a massive growth year for Signiant with 40+% growth in our SaaS business helping make us one of the fastest growing companies in media technology.  2019 looks to be another strong year and based on the excitement around our SaaS platform at IBC, we’re well positioned into 2020 and beyond.  As more large media enterprises look to leverage SaaS and continue to live in a hybrid cloud world, Signiant’s expertise and platform are a must have to stay competitive. 

Based on what you learned at IBC, if you had to sum up the needs of and the challenges facing M&E businesses in 2020 in a couple sentences, what would you say?

Quite simply, the challenge for media companies is more.  Delivering more content to more screens across more platforms in more regions is what consumers are demanding.  That means more collaboration, more file movement and more security challenges and that’s all good tailwind for Signiant.