As the NAB Show prepares to get underway, the International Association of Broadcasting Manufacturers (IABM) released data from several new surveys and studies that shows a relatively healthy market for broadcast equipment, with the trade association predicting that sales will grow from just under $24 billion in 2010 to nearly $30 billion by the end of 2015.
During a presentation of the data, IABM director general Peter White noted that by 2015, IABM expects about 29% of the global market will occur in North America, followed by 29% in Western Europe and 11% in Eastern Europe.
Latin America will represent a growing portion of the market, with 8% of the global take but such emerging markets as India (2%) and China (2%) will still represent a relatively small portion of the business.
A new IABM End-User Survey also highlighted a number of the major broadcast tech trends that will be spotlighted at this year's NAB.
When asked to rank their "top broadcast technology purchasing strategy" about half of its respondents (50%) of the survey named multiplatform content delivery (mobile, Web, etc.), followed by file-based workflows (42%), media asset management (42%), upgrading operations to HD (37%), HD transmission (24%) and news operations (22%).
The IABM End-User survey also covered many of the factors that are playing a key role in purchasing decisions.
When asked "besides costs and technical specifications, what are the most important factors when purchasing broadcast technology products," a large number cited products that make them more efficient or more money (42%), sales service and support (35%), total cost of ownership (30%), and interoperability with other vendor's products (22%).
Another IABM survey, however, offered a mixed view of the prospects for the year ahead. In November 2011, respondents in North America who saw an improved market in the year ahead outnumbered those with a negative prediction by 13 to 1. But the confidence ratio was only 2.5 to 1 in Europe, thanks to the Eurozone debt crisis. Worldwide, the ratio was 4 to 1.
Growth also seems to settling down from the higher growth rates last year as broadcasters emerged from the financial crisis of 2009. Another IABM survey found that equipment manufacturers were reporting a 3% rate of growth in March 2012 from a year earlier.
Speaking at the IABM presentation, Clyde Smith, senior VP of new technology at Fox Network Engineering and Operations, noted that their purchasing priorities "fit very well" with the IABM survey data cited above.
He also mentioned storage and new regulations for loudness of advertising under the CALM Act and new rules for captioning in online content as major issues.
"I don't know when we have had a bigger year for regulations," he said. "It is very challenging."
Much more complete data on these trends are available to IABM members at the association's website.