Brightcove hit the Next TV Summit in New York City on Wednesday for an invigorating day of content and conversations about the growth of OTT, monetization, pricing models, the power of great content, and the challenges of reaching today’s viewers in an increasingly noisy world. Hosted by Multichannel News and Broadcasting & Cable, the event included speakers from a wide range of companies including Facebook, HBO, Discovery, Turner, Sling TV, Roku, Maker, and more. Here is a look at the progression of three familiar themes from the day’s discussions:
Delivering the Pay TV Experience PLUS
Roger Lynch, CEO of Sling TV, and Diane Tryneski, EVP and Chief Digital Officer for HBO provided some fascinating insight on their experiences launching their respective OTT offerings. Both spoke of the need to not just replicate the paid TV experience on the Internet but to create entirely new customized, personalized experiences to resonate with the growing segment of viewers for whom the traditional paid TV model is no longer a fit.
For Sling TV, this meant creating a new “skinny bundle” offering with features and content that resonates with the “cord cutter” and “cord never” audience segments who are their primary focus, though Lynch also revealed that they are seeing growth among a segment of consumers called “supplementers” who get Sling TV in addition to their cable subscription.
For HBO, creating customized experiences across their different offerings was critical. For example, while HBO Go subscribers are largely familiar with their programs, HBO Now subscribers tend to be less familiar or even entirely new to the brand. So while the content may be the same for both audiences, how it’s presented needs to be customized to the needs of the specific audience segment.
The Maturation of Monetization:
The debate continues around different OTT pricing models with the consensus remaining that we are still in early days of testing and experimentation. Ad supported models also got airtime, specifically the value of dynamic ad insertion to provide a premium, TV-like ad experience for the viewer while delivering a higher CPM to the broadcaster. The rise of ad blockers across desktop and mobile remains a hot topic when discussing ad-supported models, with server-side ad insertion emerging as the critical solution to this growing threat to publishers.
Content Discovery: Challenges and Opportunities
Author Jay Samit offered a quote in his opening keynote that was echoed throughout the day, “content overload isn’t the problem, the filter is broken.” With an overabundance of great content, the critical challenge remains in how to surface that content to the right audience. Millennials have abandoned traditional paid TV subscriptions and are thus unreachable via channels like the programing guide “barker” or on-air ads that have been used by broadcasters for years. Several panelists discussed the significant role of social media in surfacing content to the right audience and how every new program now needs to have a cross-platform launch strategy via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat etc. Jay Sures, Managing Director of United Talent Agency, cited data from the beacon example of Scandal as a show that used an aggressive, groundbreaking social media strategy (live tweeting, etc) to build its audience and break through the clutter.
If these are the themes you also want to spend time digging into, please mark your calendar for our customer conference PLAY - May 16, 2016 - here in Boston.
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