VIEWS & INTERVIEWS

Blue Ant Media affirms 4K/UHD growth

Ward Platt, CEO, global networks and kids, Blue Ant Media, shares with APB the network’s expansion plans for 2019 as well as his perspective on widespread viewing of 4K/UHD content

How best can you summarise for Blue Ant Media the year that was, and what can viewers expect from Blue Ant Media in 2019?

Ward Platt: 2018 was a good year for Blue Ant Media as we were able to produce a good volume of high-quality content in the documentary, non-scripted entertainment, kids and adult animation genres for our own brands — Love Nature 4K, ZooMoo and Arcade Cloud — for traditional media clients and for new media clients.

Our partners include free-to-air, pay-TV, subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) and advertising video-on-demand (AVoD) platforms, as well as social platforms.

This year, we plan to focus even more on bringing our great content to where people are consuming rather than asking them to come find our content on a particular platform.

Short-form, 4K/Ultra HD (UHD) and further expansion in EMEA, APAC and Latin America are also big focuses for us in 2019. 

In terms of technology advancements in broadcast and production in making 4K/UHD content more appealing, what are the other critical factors needed to offer viewers great content?

Platt: We are leaders in 4K/UHD production, and are excited to seeing growing interest in this production format. We have produced over 400 hours of blue-chip natural history content in 4K/UHD through our Love Nature JV with Smithsonian Networks.

Love Nature 4K is being carried as a linear channel and as a branded SVoD section on leading platforms across Europe, Asia and Latin America, including the likes of Virgin in the UK, Truevision in Thailand, First Media in Indonesia, and NET in Brazil. 

We believe 4K/UHD will become the norm over the next few years, and that it will replace HD over time … just as HD replaced SD in most of the world a decade ago.

While 4K/UHD will help make the content more appealing to viewers, we aren’t compromising on great storytelling, as ultimately, that is what makes the difference between mediocre and great content. 

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