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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

Premium VOD isn’t exactly new (remember Tower Heist in 2011?) but this year’s lockdown may have accelerated a growing trend amongst film studios and content owners to test simultaneous cinema / OTT release or even go VOD-first. NBCUniversal’s Trolls World Tour, for example, has reportedly generated D2C sales of over $100m; AMC – the owner of Odeon Cinemas in the UK – has agreed that Universal films can stream on digital services after just 17...
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

In this episode of OTT Question Time we looked at the TV and on-demand industry through a wide-angle lens as lockdowns in many parts of the world started to ease. Together with Gulliver Smithers, former SVP of Product & Technology at Sony Pictures Entertainment and now CTO at RampRate IT, Adam Nightingale, SVP Commercial at Deltatre and Fred Black, Senior Analyst at Ampere Analysis, we talked about: Whether the high levels of TV / VOD...
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...

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The Mercury concept was developed to present a video user interface that combines smart channels and playlists to create a custom viewing experience. This blends the best of traditional television with the benefits of video-on-demand. It was created using the LUNA cross-platform video experience engine, which allows interfaces to be developed in JavaScript but delivers performance usually associated with native compiled applications, without the limitations of a web browser.

The current economics of online video publishing are too complex and inflexible for many media companies to thrive, as more and more of the revenue and profit potential is concentrated in a small number of dominant organisations. Allen Dickson discusses how media businesses need to improve the user experience, reduce operational costs and increase revenue potential to enable them to flourish in the future.

18 days, 38 different sports and 1816 events – The UX team at Viaplay had a daunting task in building a consistent, simple and elegant user experience for the Olympics in Rio. Creative Director Christoffer Kittel will talk about Viaplay’s design process and how to account for a branded cross-platform experience in the complex world of live sports.

What’s going to be on your development roadmap in the next 12-18 months? Will you concentrate on populating your service to even more platforms? Or perhaps you’ll be upgrading the products that you already have out there? And what about VR, AI, personalisation, content recommendation and monetisation? Join our modern-day Melisandre’s and Saruman’s from ITV, STV, EE, Freesat and Arsenal FC who’ll be making their predictions for the shape of VOD to come! The panellists...

Come on this designer’s journey of discovery of A/B testing, a greatly misunderstood and often maligned tool. This is not simply about testing button colors and page layouts, but applying it at a strategic level to inform design from concept to shipped product and see how this is applied in the Netflix user experience. Gain practical insights on how to harness the scientific method in the pursuit of great design.

The future of TV is apps. But while kids are huge users of both apps and TV, VOD on TV hasn’t always been an easy experience for younger kids. Although a lot of players in the on-demand space now offer kids service, many designs were simply retrofitted to experiences built for grown ups. The team at kids-specialist platform Hopster took a different approach, rethinking every aspect of on demand for kids from a child’s perspective....

In our anytime, anywhere TV environment the audience is everywhere and hugely diversified. Understanding which shows are being watched on which screen and by whom is, of course, essential for publishers as this is what drives the value of ad space. Some of the leading players, however, have started taking their advertising UX strategy a step further by offering differentiated experiences (and even content) to viewers. The idea is that some audiences have different sensitivity...

The past several years have seen phenomenal growth of HBO’s digital streaming platforms, across both TV Everywhere and Over-the-Top offerings (HBO GO and HBO NOW). Meeting the rapidly changing needs of our audiences and partners has required an evolution across several fronts, including toolsets, processes, communications, and design principles – all within a quickly maturing Digital Products division. As we grow as a team, and advance the features and UX of our HBO platforms, we...

Over the past 18 months, Norway’s public service broadcaster, NRK, has been analysing the TV viewing behaviour of its 350,000+ unique daily users across various platforms and devices. In this speech, Bjarne Myklebust, the company’s Head of Distribution (and a two-time #1 in 50 VOD Professionals Nordic!) presents data from those studies, tells us that linear and OTT viewing have almost reached parity across some user segments and explains how, in turn, NRK has adjusted...