Amagi CEO says brick-and-mortar broadcast facilities will be gone in 2-5 years

Amagi CEO Deepakjit Singh (Amagi)(Encompass)

Deepakjit Singh, CEO of Amagi, does not see a long life ahead for traditional broadcast facilities, and he attributes that to the rapid adoption of cloud technologies.

He’s giving the facilities only a couple of years to live.

“Between two to five years, the brick-and-mortar facilities will no longer be the broadcasting facilities. It’s going to go into the data centers. Data centers are obviously more secure and better equipped,” Singh said.

He cited two examples as potential validation for his prediction. In the 80s and 90s, every company had an IT department and they were always talking about IT outsourcing and computing centers.

“Now how many companies have an IT department? None,” he said.

Again, in the mid-90s he said every company had a call center. He said now call centers are operated by people working at home, and businesses can rely on that as a service rather than having to maintain facilities.

“Those are just two examples of brick and mortar where technology has taken over. With the fiber and data centers becoming stronger and stronger, the brick and mortar doesn’t have a future,” Singh said.

Amagi deals in cloud-managed broadcast services and targeted advertising for TV and OTT. At IBC, the company was discussing recent announcements including news that it would begin doing dynamic ad replacement services for the SonyLiv OTT platform. Amagi also recently helped Quest TV, a new over-the-air broadcast network in the U.S., build a fully cloud-based playout and traffic technology stack.

Singh said others like Quest are interested in the cloud as well.

“Cloud technology is maturing and picking up fast. What was there about two years ago, people were trying to experiment with it and see whether it would work. Now what we are seeing in the market, they are getting absolutely hooked onto it,” Singh said.

Though he is somewhat biased, Amagi CEO said that his company is 12 to 18 months ahead of its competition. He said his company is now working on live orchestration for sports events using cloud playout and distribution, promising sub-2 seconds latency via cloud distribution.

He said that broadcasters are moving to the cloud to gain agility, to cut costs and to avoid getting into long contracts. With cloud providers like Amagi, contracts come as short as one month.

Instead of the old centralized broadcast model, where a facility was sending out one signal to a surrounding area, the new edge computing/cloud model for broadcasting means more monetization and more personalized content. Instead of monetizing just the one signal, Singh said, broadcasters are monetizing the signals going out from each remote station within the cloud infrastructure. Plus, they are able to swap out programming and dynamically insert ads at the edge.