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New Technology Drives Premium Content Consumption Experiences

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With the constantly evolving technology landscape, digital publishing and marketing have never had bigger potential than they do in 2022 and the years to come. 

These digital advances are opening up new pathways and opportunities for the creators and consumers, including how we gather and deliver content. These developments will also impact the consumption of content, how we engage with that content and the new virtual worlds in which we can experience that content. 

As technology like 5G and AI advances, we can expect industry-wide developments, particularly in the sports and entertainment sectors. Broadcasting professionals are being presented with the ability to deliver quality content at low latency with huge bandwidths and other advanced capabilities powered by 5G. We see these developments being used across the sporting industry to unlock many new features for fans and athletes. 

Broadcasters can also now determine the placement of the cameras for optimal viewing, rather than strategic placement as in the past, relying on wired infrastructure. 5G allows omnidirectional cameras to be untethered, allowing producers to arrange them anywhere within the venue, regardless of where wired connections are available. The 5G networks allow much more processing in the cloud and at the mobile network edge, enabling, for example, the delivery of live 4K UHD and High Dynamic Range (HDR) video content reliably and with stability. 

These new dynamic cameras provide more robust coverage and additional options for compelling storytelling, especially in live sports that occur over large or remote areas (cycling, golf, marathons, etc.). This will set a new standard for live video production and live streaming experiences, alongside offering sports publishers to collect premium content. 

Camp Nou, the iconic Barcelona football stadium, has partnered with Telefónica to create Europe's first 5G-enabled stadium. The club is experimenting with a 5G network with multiple wireless 360-degree cameras to offer core supporters immersive life experiences through VR headsets. Football fans will be able to view the team play from all angles improving the experience for at-home spectators. 

These technology advances allow content providers to give audiences a real-time experience of viewing sports with high-quality production, whether in-stadium or at home. In-person spectators can enhance their experience utilizing the 5G and Augmented Reality (AR) enabled technology with their mobile phones to view an overlay of the field with the player's stats and information. Imagine watching a basketball game; you simply pull out your phone, turn on an app, point it to your favorite player, and watch as his stats, past highlights or other essential information about the current game appear on the screen. 

Features like this will revolutionize the sporting industry, including the developments it will make for sports betting fans. Using technology to view real-time statistics during games will make it easier for fans to make wagers and bets while simultaneously streaming games on their phones. “Faster 5G service will help connect more sensors within stadiums and bring much lower latency, which translates into more in-game betting opportunities,'' says Guru Gowrappan, Chief Executive Officer of Verizon Media Group.

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Advances in technology will motivate a compelling viewing experience presenting new premium advertising environments as well. With 5G being 100 times faster than 4G, videos will be presented in higher resolution and a significant decrease in ad loading times, making consumers' interactions with advertising more enjoyable. 

Hand in hand with 5G, Augmented Reality (AR) is becoming increasingly part of society and is no longer something we only see in futuristic movies. While each is individually revolutionizing industries and enabling new experiences, the combination of 5G and AR will be genuinely transformative.   

The power of AR is endless and is drastically changing the entertainment industry as well. Entertainment businesses are starting to incorporate VR headsets to transform how we attend a virtual concert or event. There are infinite possibilities by combining AR and VR (Mixed Reality - MR) to produce new environments where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real-time. 5G offers a multi-billion dollar MR industry by harnessing the power of cloud computing and offloading computationally-intensive processing to powerful remote servers. 

COVID-19 has also heavily impacted the growth and increased adoption of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies as businesses have turned to remote work. In 2020, the global spending on AR and VR headsets, software, and services soared to $12 billion, a 50% increase from 2019. 

AR can also be an additive to gaming initiatives, which many companies incorporate into their global strategies. In just a few years, we have seen the use of the gamification boom across all industries, with statistics stating the gamification market size is projected to grow from $9.1 billion in 2020 to $30.7 billion by 2025. 

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For instance, gamification solution leader, Bluedot, has enhanced its location precision technology to enable advanced AR real-world gaming experiences. Using their location-based solution, they have partnered up with restaurants and retailers to trigger gamification experiences at storefronts and iconic public locations where users can find treasures and unlock rewards. The brand also receives high-value data to drive strategic, operational decisions while boosting user engagement, motivation levels, and foot traffic to stores. 

From phone screens to TV screens, we see developments being made to how we consume content through CTV devices. 

Access to entertainment at our fingertips is increasingly becoming more demanded across society today, explaining the increase in CTV apps. CTV can be defined as any TV set connected to the internet through an OTT device or has additional built-in internet capabilities. In the early days of internet-connected TVs, game consoles and streaming boxes like Roku provided streaming abilities to the bigger screen that our TV now offers. 

Eventually, manufacturers built an internet connection directly into the TV, opening up a new landscape for viewing content on increasingly bigger and higher-resolution screens. Opposed to how we once viewed entertainment on linear TV (traditional broadcast television), delivered through cable, satellite, or 'over the air'. 

However, now we are spoiled for choice by having access to streaming any show, movie, or documentary at the click of a button via Subscription Video-On-Demand platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Hulu, and more. 

An Exciting Future:

Emerging technologies are advancing rapidly, offering innovations and revolutionary projects every year. Mind-blowing ideas are being created as though they may have been ripped straight from a science-fiction novel. We can expect a lot from the world of future technology, and with Metaverse on the horizon, it will only get more exciting and futuristic. 

Meta CEO and Founder Mark Zuckerberg recently stated, “Today, we’re at the start of the next transition as we build for the metaverse. But creating a true sense of presence in virtual worlds delivered to smart glasses and VR headsets will require massive advances in connectivity. Bigger than any of the step changes we’ve seen before. We need to create connectivity infrastructure that can evolve as fast as technology does.”

We look forward to seeing more from this space in the coming years.