IBC 2022: Doing DIY Digital Platforms Right Requires the Right Partners

Following years of growth, IP broadcasting—aka "streaming"—has become the largest content channel, surpassing both cable and broadcast accounting in July and reaching 35% of viewers in August, according to Nielsen.

The recognition of streaming could also be seen at last month’s International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) 2022, where digital streaming booths and firms were no longer banished to the car park, but taking part in a much larger digital broadcasting exhibition in the main hall.

As content companies move from traditional broadcasting to direct-to-consumer digital platforms, however, those content distribution models require building their own software and hiring their own technology teams; technology becomes a much larger component of the business. They have to be much more savvy about application development, they grow their engineering teams, and they have to care about performance.

Supporting IP-based content technologies requires a lot more software engineering. Along with that comes with security problems – new risk vectors around cybersecurity and abuse, with which even the leaders in the space struggle to keep pace.

The problems are not new. Every software company has to deal with the balance between developing the latest features and capabilities, and doing so securely. Typically, the creation of the software and technology takes center stage, while security lags behind in priority. Even among companies using the latest software-development techniques, such as DevOps, security is a massive concern, with 56% of application-security professionals saying it is hard to get developers to make bug fixing a priority.

The speed of technology adoption and the pressure to keep up in the technical arms race in media puts more pressure on software developers to produce, especially as content firms find themselves competing with the biggest technology companies. Speed to market becomes a survival trait, while security is often getting left behind.

New technologies to improve streaming performance and the user experience rely on expertise. The programmable edge, which can help digital broadcasters deliver the best performance and experience to consumers in different parts of the world and in different circumstances, requires deep technical know-how.

Companies should be looking for the right partners.

By teaming with the right cybersecurity vendors and knowledgeable content-distribution vendors, content companies and media technology teams can build the right capabilities into their infrastructure to ensure reliability and security. The right automation can help broadcasters scale and deliver ease-of-use to businesses, allowing them to remain agile and able to adopt new technologies.

Visibility—the ability to detect problems and their causes early—has become a watchword in cybersecurity and is a necessary capability in identifying cyber issues early. Knowing what your attackers are doing is often the key to maintaining safety and security, while not preventing the deployment of key features to stay ahead in the market.

We enjoyed discussing these and other pressing issues with our broadcast industry friends at IBC. We’re already looking forward to next year!

Andrew Peterson
Signal Sciences Co-founder and Fastly VP, Security Sales

2 min read

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Andrew Peterson
Signal Sciences Co-founder and Fastly VP, Security Sales

Prior to co-founding Signal Sciences and leading Fastly security sales, Andrew had been building leading edge, highly performing product and sales teams across five continents for +15 years with such companies as Etsy, Google, and the Clinton Foundation. His book Cracking Security Misconceptions encourages non-security professionals to take part in organizational security. He graduated from Stanford University with a BA in Science, Technology, and Society.

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