Home Blog Posts Home

OTT Question Time #19 – Sweden OTT Special

OTT Question Time #19 – Sweden OTT Special

Sweden – in common with its Scandinavian neighbours – has long led the OTT charge. SVT, the national broadcaster, launched its first VOD product, SVT Play, in 2007, HBO Nordic and Netflix have been active in the region since 2012, and Disney+ went live last month. Now, the country has a flourishing mix of broadcaster, operator, independent and SVOD-led OTT services, the highest penetration of streaming boxes and sticks in Europe and TV still reaches...
OTT Question Time #18 – Assessing OTT Pay Models

OTT Question Time #18 – Assessing OTT Pay Models

All the world seems to be moving to a subscription model – music, editorial, books, gaming, groceries and now even coffee (with Pret a Manger), furniture (with John Lewis) and cycling (with Brompton Bikes). And, of course, TV and movies. But as more film studios, cable channels and broadcasters launch their own D2C platforms, how many SVODs can consumers justify paying for out of their monthly entertainment budgets? That’s a question we asked our panellists,...
OTT Question Time #17 – OTT Piracy & Content Protection

OTT Question Time #17 – OTT Piracy & Content Protection

As viewers increasingly shift from watching linear to OTT, piracy and content protection become ever more important topics of discussion for broadcasters, film studios, operators and service-providers. This isn't just an "interesting" conversation - one industry vendor, for example, told us that “In some countries, the scale of piracy is such that it matches the revenues of the local pay-TV market”. Commercially, strategically, and technically, content security is a big deal.  That was the focus of...
OTT Question Time #16 – The Future of BBC iPlayer

OTT Question Time #16 – The Future of BBC iPlayer

Tim Davie started his new job as Director General of the BBC last week and amongst the many items in his in-tray will be what to do next with the BBC iPlayer. That was the focus of this OTT Question Time too where, together with Gulliver Smithers, CTO of RampRate and former VP Product Development at BBC Worldwide, Stuart Cleary, Chief Commercial Officer at Zattoo and Nathalie Lethbridge, Founder of Atonik Digital, we discussed: Who’s...
OTT Question Time #15 – Building an OTT Service from Scratch (Part 2)

OTT Question Time #15 – Building an OTT Service from Scratch (Part 2)

At this week's OTT Question Time (Thursday 3rd September, 4pm UK) we talked Part 2 of how to build an OTT service from scratch. In the previous session we focused on first principles, backend strategy, building for where the audience is and using data to help make decisions and form KPIs. This time we switched to the front end where we discussed: UI / UX across different OTT platforms Content distribution to end-user devices; associated...
OTT Question Time #14 – Building an OTT Service from Scratch (Part 1)

OTT Question Time #14 – Building an OTT Service from Scratch (Part 1)

During this episode of OTT Question Time (filmed on Thursday 20th August 2020) we talked about how to build an OTT service from scratch. Sure, many of the biggest players already have suites of mature VOD products but the subject is still absolutely relevant for, amongst others, operators, film studios, sports rights holders, the automotive and aerospace verticals, content owners, publishers and brands. And even established broadcasters, who have legacy OTT systems, can dream of...
OTT Question Time #13 – PVOD & The End of Pay Windows

OTT Question Time #13 – PVOD & The End of Pay Windows

Please login to watch this video. Alternatively, register now for free access. 
OTT Question Time #12 – Is OTT UI / UX Now Fully Evolved?

OTT Question Time #12 – Is OTT UI / UX Now Fully Evolved?

VOD services all over the world are usually built using a toolkit of common features including content discovery and recommendation, personalisation tools (like recently watched, single sign-on and device synchronisation) and player controls (like live restart, forward ten seconds and subtitling / closed captions). In this episode of OTT Question Time we asked whether, with ubiquitous grid layouts and lots of familiar functionality across OTT products, the evolution of these user interfaces is now effectively...
OTT Question Time #11 – The Environmental Impact of OTT Streaming

OTT Question Time #11 – The Environmental Impact of OTT Streaming

At this week's OTT Question Time we assessed the impact of OTT streaming on the environment. This is a complex, multi-faceted issue and we covered a lot of information including: The current lay of the land: how much OTT streaming is actually going? How has this increased over the past few years and even in 2020 alone as people have been at home more due to the pandemic? What does that translate to in terms...
OTT Question Time #10 – Taking Stock as Lockdowns Ease

OTT Question Time #10 – Taking Stock as Lockdowns Ease

Please login to watch this video. Alternatively, register now for free access. 
OTT Question Time #9 – The Content Aggregators

OTT Question Time #9 – The Content Aggregators

During this OTT Question Time we talked about content aggregators and asked if, with so many movies and TV shows now available to view online, they're the de facto future of finding and watching titles.  We explored: Aggregator business models (free, freemium, charging SVODs and broadcasters) Building scale and whether aggregators need big audiences to attract more partners or the best partners to grow audiences (the old chicken vs. egg conundrum) The technologies involved in...
OTT Question Time #8: Lessons Learned from the ANZ OTT Experience

OTT Question Time #8: Lessons Learned from the ANZ OTT Experience

In this episode of OTT Question Time we went down under! Together with Kym Niblock, Chief Product & Information Officer at TVNZ, Holly Knill, Group Director, IP & Content Products at Foxtel, and Sam Hall, Chief Content & Commercial Officer at Fetch TV, we explored FTA / Pay-TV / SVOD trends in Australia / NZ and the wider potential impacts of those experiences. For example: Has the pandemic led to a renewal of trust between...
OTT Question Time #7: Building a Profitable AVOD Business

OTT Question Time #7: Building a Profitable AVOD Business

Together with Kasia Jablonska of Endemol Shine Group, Francesco Denti, formerly of Fox Networks and now advising the Web Stars Channel Group in Italy, and Simon Murray from Digital TV Research, we explored the AVOD market opportunity, AVOD platforms, how commercial deals are structured, how data is used to assess and optimise how content is performing and the role in MCNs in creating sustainable AVOD businesses.
OTT Question Time #6: TMT Funding in a (post) Pandemic World

OTT Question Time #6: TMT Funding in a (post) Pandemic World

Our guest moderator, Ben Keen, was joined by Louis Kenna of Liontree Advisors, Mike LaSalle from Shamrock Capital Advisors and Timo Argillander of IPR.VC and together they discussed M&A deal flows, funding start-ups and new content, the prospects for global tech players making increasing investments in the TMT sector and whether the industry will inevitably emerge loaded with more debt than ever before.
OTT Question Time #5: The Future of SVOD

OTT Question Time #5: The Future of SVOD

Together with Simon Murray of Digital TV Research, Maria Rua Aguete of Omdia and Jonathan Broughton of Media Business Insight we talked about SVOD take-up, the average number of SVODs per household, changing consumer behaviours and the elasticity of viewer’s TV / SVOD spending compared to the rest of their entertainment budgets.
OTT Question Time #4: Content Production, Sales & Scheduling in a Pandemic World

OTT Question Time #4: Content Production, Sales & Scheduling in a Pandemic World

Together with Wim Ponnet of Endemol Shine, Emma Tibbetts, the former GM of UKTV Play and now founder of Chuck Data and Mike Sid of Whip Media Group, we talked about the making, selling and scheduling of content in this time of lockdowns and social distancing.
OTT Question Time #3: The Pandemic & The Advertising Paradox

OTT Question Time #3: The Pandemic & The Advertising Paradox

Together with Simon Thomas of GroupM, Leon Siotis of SpotX and Alan Wolk of TVREV we talked about why, when TV and OTT viewing is soaring, broadcaster advertising revenues have plummeted. We also discussed regional differences between the UK, Europe and the US and the prospects for an advertising recovery later this year and in 2021.
OTT Question Time #2: How Have Broadcaster’s Roadmaps Evolved since Lockdown?

OTT Question Time #2: How Have Broadcaster’s Roadmaps Evolved since Lockdown?

Together with Bjarne Andre Myklebust of NRK, Kerensa Samanidis of M&E Digital Consulting and Allan McLennan of PADEM Media Group, we discussed the effect of the various national lockdowns on broadcaster, operator, pay-TV and service-provider roadmaps. Specifically, their operational, product, strategic and technical plans and how they've rapidly evolved in Q1 and Q2 2020.
Five VOD Talking Points – Q2 2020

Five VOD Talking Points – Q2 2020

Are people watching more TV? Will audiences run out of new content to watch? What’s happening with freelancers? The cascading effects of the pandemic. And will all broadcasters survive? Here are some TV / OTT talking points for Q2 2020.
So Who Does Win the OTT Streaming Wars?

So Who Does Win the OTT Streaming Wars?

Earlier this month I suggested that the Streaming Wars should more accurately be described as the Streaming Skirmishes because although this wasn’t a winner-takes-all scenario, and that multiple SVOD services could happily coexist, even if (hypothetically) one champion emerged they’d still then need to tackle the wider threats for attention and eyeballs from editorial, gaming, social, real-life experiences and eventually, AR / VR.  It’s still fun to play the game, however, and try to address...

Weekly Digest

Sign up for news, reviews, interviews, events and analyses from the online video industry.  

 

http://www.vodprofessional.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Speaking-at-OTTQT-38-ALT-1200x720.png

If you’ve ever found yourself confused about content rights, you’re not alone. I’ve been working in OTT since 2005 and I still don’t really understand why, for example, the Tom Holland Spiderman movies aren’t on Disney+ (Disney owns Marvel, right?), why I can’t find the 2019 season of Masterchef UK , first aired on the BBC, to watch on any platform (AVOD / SVOD / TVOD) or why Usain Bolt’s 100m from the Beijing Olympics...

http://www.vodprofessional.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/50-VOD-Professionals-2021-1200x720.png

“Content is king” – the idea that OTT services need to consistently replenish their catalogues to attract (and retain) customers – is a phrase repeated so often that it’s almost become hackneyed. And yet, for broadcasters, film studios and service-providers, it’s never felt truer. Over the past sixteen months, while lots of us have been stuck at home, we’ve been watching more “TV” than ever before. At the same time, the pandemic has meant that...

http://www.vodprofessional.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Speaking-at-OTTQT-37-ALT-1200x720.png

Following the huge upheaval in the television and OTT advertising market last year, broadcasters and AVOD service-providers are now cautiously optimistic about the prospects for recovery and growth. ITV, for example, reported that its total ad revenue was down 11% in 2020 despite a 17% rise in VOD advertising. The company is now “seeing more positive trends”. EMarketer estimates that Hulu’s ad revenues will hit $3bn in 2021, up 31% on 2020. And GroupM has...

http://www.vodprofessional.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/OTTQT36-1200x720.png

Consolidation isn’t new in the OTT industry – think AT&T and Time Warner (2018) or Comcast and Sky (also 2018) – but the last couple of weeks has seen a flurry of activity including the AT&T / Discovery deal, the acquisition of MGM by Amazon and the coming together of France's TF1 and M6. The UK’s competition watchdog has also recently (and provisionally) cleared the proposed merger between Virgin Media and O2. What’s going on?...

http://www.vodprofessional.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/The-Future-of-Streaming-Tech-1200x720.png

If not quite as riveting as the latest Netflix blockbuster, the evolution of OTT products – and related technologies – has been a fascinating watch. Over the past 15 years, we’ve seen broadcasters launch their own on-demand services, join forces to form aggregators like Hulu and BritBox and, more recently, split off to create their own D2Cs. At the same time, independents like YouTube, Netflix and Amazon have become superpowers in their own right, shaping consumer’s...

http://www.vodprofessional.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/OTTQT35-1200x720.png

Whatever date we choose – 2005 when YouTube went live, Christmas Day 2007 when the BBC iPlayer launched, or even 2004 and my own first experience of on-demand video via a classic Homechoice set-top box – it’s safe to say that VOD was born into a linear world. For older generations it was a novelty, and a treat, to suddenly be able to watch what we wanted when we wanted – it’s something we’re still...

http://www.vodprofessional.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/50-VOD-Professionals-2021-1200x720.png

50 VOD Professionals – our list of the 50 most influential people working in the UK’s video-on-demand and OTT industry – is back! Nominations are now open and we’d like to hear from you about the brilliant people that you work with: the designers who imagine your new OTT user interfaces, the developers who help bring them to life, the coders and schedulers and project management staff who maintain the backends, the engineers that run...

http://www.vodprofessional.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/OTTQT34-1200x720.png

Whether we’re consciously aware of it or not, metadata makes the OTT world go round. Technical metadata powers the distribution of video files, integrates them with asset management systems, enforces digital rights and renders them perfectly on viewer’s screens. Editorial metadata, on the other hand, makes content discoverable in VOD catalogues; it tells us about movies and shows we might like to watch, who directs them, acts in them and can recommend other titles we...

http://www.vodprofessional.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Kasia-Jablonska-BFTV-2021-1200x720.png

Kasia Jablonska has been working in the digital entertainment sector for over 20 years now and her focus has largely been around selling content across multiple channels using a range of different business models. I caught up with her a couple of weeks ago and in this video interview, she told me about her work at Endemol Shine. Specifically, we discussed how she helped to monetise Endemol’s 60,000-hour back catalogue. When Jablonska joined the company, in...

http://www.vodprofessional.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/OTTQT33-1200x720.png

Whilst many of the first OTT services (circa 2006/7) were built in-house, with existing staff and perhaps using repurposed broadcast systems, by the third VOD product development cycle (around 2012), broadcasters and streaming providers seemed to have shifted to deploying external vendor solutions. This was especially true of automated processes like encoding and asset management, and specialised tasks like scheduling, content recommendation and content distribution. The advantages in using expert third-parties (including economies of scale,...