September has been a productive and busy month for SubtitleNEXT’s creator and distributor - Profuz Digital and PBT EU. They made an official mark on the subtitling market at a series of successful September shows this year which included Elevate in Toronto, Intermedia Warsaw and IBC in Amsterdam. At the same time, they also released SubtitleNEXT’s new version 5.5 unveiling a list of innovative tools and features.
ELEVATE 2019 – CANADA
Profuz Digital's Managing Director for the Americas, Dessie Nikolov introduced SubtitleNEXT and Profuz LAPIS for the first time to Canada’s Tech Festival Elevate held from 20 – 26 September. Elevate 2019 featured an exclusive line-up of exceptional industry speakers that covered a variety of topics about innovation and the future of creative talent. The “New Media” and “Product” stages at the event hosted high-profile presentations from the likes of Corus, Viacom, Twitter, Hypebeast, Global News, including informative sessions by Vimeo, Asana, Facebook, amongst many others.
Earmarked as powerful systems of choice for content localization and media accessibility, Dessie reported, “We unveiled SubtitleNEXT and Profuz LAPIS’ ability to meet growing demand for more simplified, efficiently managed and localized media content cross multiple industries. We received enthusiastic and positive feedback from show attendees when they saw the benefits of our products’ online / offline inter-connectivity as well as the added advantage of not having to worry about downloading, uploading or transferring material. People were impressed by the functions included such as multiple supported video, timed-text formats along with integration of various speech-to-text tools.”
Noting other key tech trends spotted at the event, Dessie added, “There is a growing interest in 360-degree video and streaming, as well as a continued push towards the simplification of video editing to make it more accessible to a wider audience. The demand for authentic voices in storytelling was a major theme at the show, as well as a drive towards engagement and content consumption geared to Gen Z that includes TV series for youth streamed on platforms such as YouTube (e.g. Awesomeness). All in all, this event delivered on its promise to “elevate”, and we were left inspired by talks from Guy Kawasaki, Akon, and the one and only - Michelle Obama."
INTERMEDIA WARSAW CONFERENCE 2019 - POLAND
The team at PBT EU enjoy contributing and participating in key educational initiatives too and were assigned as Gold Sponsors highlighting their flagship SubtitleNEXT product at their own booth at the 2-day Intermedia 2019 Conference from 19 – 20 September at the University of Warsaw. Preceded by various workshops on 18th September, the conference focused primarily on audio-visual translation with SubtitleNEXT now recognised as a strong contender in this vital sector.
PBT EU’s CEO Ivanka Vassileva outlined the successful outcome, "The Intermedia Conference was a great space to interact with researchers, professional subtitlers, students and professors from across the globe in an intimate and welcoming environment. It was also very rewarding to hear a genuine sense of acknowledgement of SubtitleNEXT as an established Top Tier platform that professionals are now considering for freelancers, universities and media companies.
We take pride in our listening skills so that we can continue an effective ongoing development strategy and deliver helpful toolsets that people actually need. So, it was important to us, as well as interesting to hear about upcoming trends as well as ideas and suggestions for advancements and useful features, some of which were incorporated and released in the new SubtitleNEXT version 5.5 release which we launched and demonstrated. The brand-new toolsets and developments in version 5.5, specifically in the field of live subtitling with “re-speaking” and creative subtitles, following market demand, were applauded.”
IBC 2019 - THE NETHERLANDS
At IBC, which took place between 13 – 17 September at The RAI, the PBT EU team presented the latest version of the specialised range of professional, broadcast-quality subtitling and business process management systems, SubtitleNEXT, NEXT-TT and LAPIS including own-brand EXEcutor broadcast server series at the PlayBox NEO booth where PBT EU’s Sales Director Alexander Stoyanov was stationed to provide advice.
As an IBC veteran exhibitor for over 10 years, Alexander shared his overall IBC experience, “Everyone I spoke to showed great interest in SubtitleNEXT’s capabilities to integrate multiple speech-to-text functionality, and its machine translation tools which help improve offline and online subtitling processes were positively welcomed. Profuz LAPIS received great feedback for its sheer capacity to align with macro workflows as well as its orchestration layer to legacy systems. The fact it can handle virtually any type of digital assets, regardless of their nature, impressed many. Our LAPIS for broadcast and media solution is still pretty much at the early stages and an innovative concept for which the wider audience is not yet fully aware of, however, the initial reaction provoked several interesting discussions which in the months to follow, are expected to materialise into some very interesting projects.”
“Generally, I believe IBC2019’s overall attendance was smaller by popular opinion, yet much more concise in terms of industry and partner feedback. On the broadcast side, SMPTE 2110 was a trending topic, with many manufacturers claiming they’re “already there”, without making the effort to explain the full picture, along with the advantages to clarify the bottlenecks and drawbacks that this standard brings.”
“Traditionally, the migration to IP, with the strategic goal to feed the ever-growing streaming, OTT and VOD beasts, was fully present in discussions, yet we don’t see this process happening at a scale represented by the marketeers and social media airwaves.”
“4K channels and content origination were also floating in the air, growing slowly in market portion but still with scarcity of premium content, especially for niche channels. Speaking of content, everybody seemed to agree that localization and accessibility are crucial, yet few enterprises had clear vision of how to achieve this. The diversity of distribution and monetisation platforms require a vast array of formats and styles of subtitling and captioning which are foreign to traditional broadcast and content creators. Much of the players on the content supply chain rely strongly on machine processing, ASR and AI to shorten the cycle and lower costs, and this hope was strongly amplified by the avalanche of overrated messages by technology creators on the efficiency and accuracy of their solutions. Practice though proves otherwise, and reality will punch back inevitably.”
Alexander concludes with, “Last, but not least, almost all media and broadcast organisations acknowledged the need to streamline both their asset and process management workflows. Most of them never thought that having this under one powerful singular system was feasible, so this idea resulted in mixed reviews. Keeping the focus on video only in terms of digitising, metadata enriching, indexing, purposing, archiving and repurposing is no longer relevant in the big game of complex processes and media company structures which start to incorporate all sorts of outlets, each one requiring a specialised workflow approach. I foretell that those players who see the potential in solutions handling these kinds of challenges will have the better market leverage in the years to come."