Special 30th anniversary edition 

EVS held a press conference on March 20th at its headquarters in Liège, Belgium. The panel consisted of members of the company's Leadership Team including CEO Serge Van Herck, CMO Nicolas Bourdon, CFO Veerle de Wit and CTO Alex Redfern. Guest speakers joining the Leadership Team for the event were Armelle Canet, Head of Legacy & Broadcast Academy at Host Broadcast Services (HBS), and Christer Palsson, President, NEP Central & Southern Europe.

The session was moderated by Sébastien Verlaine, EVS’ Head of Marketing & Communications, and Industry Consultant Lisa Collins. The one-hour session covered company achievements in 2023, its 30th anniversary, how EVS is responding to the latest tech trends and what it intends to present at the upcoming NAB Show as well as the CEO’s vision for the future. 

EVS Press Conference 2024

Highlights of the event

  • After a second consecutive record-breaking year EVS remains in growth mode 
  • EVS chooses Family & Friends Together for Live theme for the company’s 30th anniversary celebrations 
  • Innovations showcased at NAB 2024 include VIA Media Asset Management Platform (MAP), new licensing model for the XT-VIA live production server, and new features for its Neuron network attached processor and AI-based super slow-motion system XtraMotion
  • CEO Serge Van Herck revealed that ESG now forms an integral part of the company’s strategy and that North America and its content and infrastructure management solutions are respectively seen as a key area and important elements for future EVS growth
Achievements and 30th anniversary celebrations

Reflecting on the milestone of the company’s 30th birthday this year, Serge Van Herck said he was a proud CEO for three main reasons. “First is the major transformation undertaken by EVS in this industry creating ‘Return on Emotion’, meaning that every day millions of people watch content produced by our customers using our technology around the world.

“Second is the reputation EVS has built for reliability of equipment and reliability of service: that reputation remains the gold standard in the industry. Thirdly the company is proud to be 30 years old but still in growth mode, delivering record results for a second consecutive year.”

Nicolas Bourdon said, “We are very proud and grateful to have the chance to celebrate the 30th anniversary of EVS. We have a special theme for this year’s anniversary, ‘Family & Friends: Together for Live’, which is a representation of the gratitude we have for the hundreds of customers, 620 people working as part of the team at EVS, the 7,000 operators worldwide, and also our suppliers, partners, and shareholders. All of these people are creating the real value of what EVS is today.

“We will organize a series of events throughout the year, not just in our offices around the world, but also at  the trade shows and events happening this year. As part of our celebrations, we are introducing our dedicated EVS beer, specially brewed in Liège, called La Trente (The Thirty), which all EVS friends and family will be able to taste this year.”

Key technology trends in the industry

CTO Alex Redfern suggested there are two types of tech trends in the broadcast industry: ongoing long-term trends that are regularly discussed and revisited, and those where you “need to be a bit more agile, a bit more adaptive.”

The first long-term to observe “is the SDI to IP transition, which has been ongoing for a number of years. Now we are really into the details and, from our point of view, it is about continually going deeper and deeper into the standards and raising up from being just the endpoint to Cerebrum being the control system for those big IP networks.”

Another key long-term trend is cloud, which viewed through an EVS perspective is “really about Balanced Computing, deploying your technology where your workflows are. If they are primarily on-prem, where your cameras are, often that’s the best place to put your workflow. If your sources and destinations are in the cloud, that is the best place to put your workflow,” said Redfern.

“Balanced Computing is something EVS has been talking about for a couple of years and it continually evolves. It has really provided the link to software-defined production, which is a key thing going forward.”

Through the pandemic era cloud was a changing business model that influenced the technology approach, and it facilitated the shift from capex to opex purchase decisions. As a result, EVS has become more reactive around the business model, whether that’s SaaS with MediaHub or on-demand activation with new flexible licensing systems. 

ESG is now also another big driver really influencing approach to technology. “Initially we focused on reducing power consumption, therefore saving energy and money. That’s very important,” said Redfern. “But now we look at ESG as a whole, so for instance the huge area of cybersecurity, coming under ‘G’ for governance. If we look at the social side, we must work to attract young talent to the broadcast industry. We also need to maintain diversity as a technology company.”

In the AI area, EVS is “very fortunate to have an innovation team of really smart data scientists who are probably two, three or four steps ahead of our product line and maybe the industry. They work very heavily with algorithms and language models, and they have already started putting AI technology into some of our products.

“For example the [AI-enabled] offside line technology in the Xeebra multi-camera offside system is really about reducing the set-up time and automatically detecting the pitch. The XtraMotion super slow-motion is a creative tool, and it’s really important to us that AI is used for creativity, increasing what our operators do and putting new tools into their hands.”

Redfern said many customers take multiple solutions from EVS to tie workflows together, alluding to “a major motorsports rights owner” deploying its AI-powered replay together with a MediaCeption software-defined layer for asset management and MediaInfra for multi-site and remote production infrastructure workflows. “And in the United States, networks which previously viewed EVS as a replay company are now standardizing their technology stack across sports, entertainment, and news, where EVS is at the heart of ingest, playback, and asset management.”

As long-standing customers of EVS, global media technology service provider NEP and major event host broadcast services provider HBS were asked at the event for their perspectives on the relationships built with EVS and its technology over the years. 

NEP’s Christer Palsson pointed to “a long partnership in which there are ups and downs but there has always been transparent discussion. We may not always have agreed but we have always ended up with a good result and together we have challenged each other to do some really good installations. I would say we are happily married!”

The Broadcast Academy was established by HBS with the purpose to create a broadcasting legacy. Armelle Canet said, “We also have something of an anniversary with EVS as it has been already ten years since we’ve been working together, trying to find customized solutions in terms of training possibilities that we have implemented with EVS.

“It has always been a successful collaboration with great discussions and the possibility to find new solutions we can put in place to get more people trained with the EVS workflow, having hands-on experience as well as having the theory and the storytelling we bring. It has been a positive collaboration.”

What will we see at NAB?

Nicolas Bourdon told the press conference that one innovation will be the NAB introduction of the first version of VIA MAP, the integrated media asset platform bridging the worlds of production and distribution – connecting together the different environments of LiveCeption, MediaCeption, MediaHub and PowerVision and allowing navigation between them.

“Second is the introduction of new business models, where we will present a new XT-VIA licensing model offering three different flavors from the same server -- Multicam, Spotbox and Sportlight -- offering different types of density but also multiple applications customers will be able to activate and de-activate on demand.

“Another innovation we will bring is extensions to Neuron high-density processing with the new audio channel shuffling, but also the multiviewer with low latency and high-density ability to really master all types of control rooms in terms of multiviewing.”

For the Cerebrum control system and orchestrator EVS will introduce a new touch panel and also several categories of user interface that will be packages for different types of applications done in that domain.

“Looking at artificial intelligence we have XtraMotion that offers automated I-frame regeneration of all camera frame rates. On top of that, our team has been working on AI proof of concepts in preparation for productization.

“One of them is deblurring, highly required in live environments with real-time processing to increase the sharpness of the image used for replays. Another one with AI is auto-cropping, changing the aspect ratio to adapt to the different types of smartphones for social media taking into consideration the tracking of motion and actions,” said Bourdon.

Environmental, Social and Governance

Serge Van Herck said that “a few years ago we decided to change the mindset of our colleagues. ESG is not something we do on the side, it is a central part of our strategy.

“We have already made two sustainability reports over the last two years, which now figure in our financial report. We not only talk about energy consumption but also about customer satisfaction, team member engagement and cybersecurity. We are a technology leader in our industry and we feel we have a duty, a responsibility, to also be a leader when it comes to ESG.”

Asked how ongoing ESG policies and ambitions are impacting EVS operations, Veerle de Wit said, “it is a dynamic environment in which we are still learning and regulation is changing all the time. We focus a lot on data quality and data governance. For instance, we made our first carbon footprint in 2022, one that was done with a lot of assumptions because we didn’t have the granular data.

“So, we decided to first take a step back and focus on how we improve that data quality, to make sure we start measuring progress in a consistent and also granular way.

“We will do the same for CSRD, the approaching EU Corporate Social Responsibility Directive. The objective is to start measuring ESG in the same way that we measure revenue and costs, so that stakeholders can assess the company in terms of its corporate and social responsibility,” said de Wit.

EcoVadis, a renowned provider of business sustainability ratings, has recently granted EVS a Silver medal in acknowledgment of its top sustainability performance for 2023. The overall score of 67 out of 100 places the company in the top 15% of the 100,000+ companies evaluated by EcoVadis. This rating recognizes the company's reinforced commitment to sustainability and ranks EVS at the forefront of companies implementing ESG policies.

As part of plans for supply chain decarbonization EVS has a very ambitious target that by 2030 it will require 100% of direct suppliers to be rated in EcoVadis and to have at least a Bronze medal.

2024 goals and areas for future growth

The first focus is on customer satisfaction, said Serge Van Herck. “We recently supported some customers for the Super Bowl and we will be supporting other high-profile sporting events this summer in Germany and in France, deploying large systems with customers like NEP around the world. 

“Second is our focus on team member satisfaction and engagement, and also to hire and attract new colleagues and ensure sure they are at the expected level. And as we said before we are 30 years old but still in growth mode, so one of our objectives this year is again to put some record results on the table.”

Earlier this year, EVS announced record-breaking revenue for 2023 of Euro 173m and expects to achieve around Euro 190m in 2024. “We are on a growth path and we expect that to continue in years to come.”

Asked where future growth is likely to come from Van Herck pointed to the three main product families -- LiveCeption, MediaCeption and MediaInfra -- but suggested greater growth is likely to come from the latter two platforms. 

Live audience business such as production studios and live service providers like NEP will remain strong customers and continue to generate revenue at a stable level, he said. “And when we look geographically we think for the future North America will be the biggest growth engine among live audience businesses, with our MediaCeption and MediaInfra engines.”

Get in touch!
A warm thank you for attending our 2024 press conference, we are always grateful for your support. 

Do not hesitate to get in touch with your media contact Sébastien Verlaine (s.verlaine@evs.com) for any questions regarding our upcoming press releases or to schedule a meeting at trade shows. We are also open to arranging customer visits for journalists interested in seeing firsthand the deployment of our technology and hearing directly from our customers.