The Media & Entertainment Leaders Summit 2022 was hosted last Wednesday at the stunning Church House in Westminster. Combining historical charm and cutting-edge event technology, it was the ideal setting for insights into the world of media and entertainment.
Experts from the biggest media companies were in attendance, with the likes of Eleven Sports, DAZN, TikTok, Paramount, and Sky, presenting different topics, challenges and future trends in the industry.
Fonix’s Business Development Representative, Andrew headed to the event to experience this first-hand – he’s since compiled his top 3 takeaways from the event:
FAST channels vs paid subscriptions: hybrid will be the way forward
FAST stands for Free Ad-supported Streaming TV. The service includes streaming linear TV programs without paying for a subscription – essentially monetized through ads and is free for the viewer.
FAST channels are available for all CTV devices, as well as for mobile devices, due to which they have become extremely convenient for users to watch. The channels also come pre-installed for popular smart TVs like Roku, Samsung, and LG.
This was a hot topic throughout the event; FAST channels are increasingly becoming a key platform for broadcasters, hardware manufacturers and digital content owners. It was widely discussed that monetisation in this space will be paramount to success.
FAST is increasingly becoming the preferred choice because it frees users from the shackles of subscriptions and enables them to view the content of their choice on multiple platforms/channels.
Laura Chaibi, Director of Ad Marketing and Insights International, Roku asked the panel which model is best. Taking ITV as an example, they already have ITVhub, Britbox and ITV Hub+, so the question on everyone’s lips was why the need for a hybrid model in the form of the new ITVX.
The consensus was that hybrid models would be a better fit for the future. Deep Bagchee, ITV’s Chief Product Officer, confirmed this sentiment by discussing their new hybrid model, ITVX, which is launching soon. Essentially, ITV will bundle all of its platforms into a single service. It will be a largely ad-supported, hybrid model, with BritBox content for premium tier subscribers.
Linear TV is here to stay
During the panel discussion “Time Dependent: A State of the industry discussion” (covering the battle for a viewers time across channels), Laura Chaibi, Director of Ad Marketing and Insights International, Roku quoted:
“Apps get deleted. TVs don’t. Everyone has a TV in their house…”
When we talk about the potential demise of traditional linear TV, we’re talking about the potential demise of cable and broadcast. TV is not dead, nor is it dying. It is in an evolutionary state. Linear has found a home on streaming that is live programming, be it news, sports or a special event.
So how does paying for content work across linear TV? A subscription is arguably a more reliable business model with recurring revenue, however for sporting events, in particular, pay-per-view or purchasing a day pass is a better option. Sports channels often broadcast a range of sports, from wrestling to curling and for your average football fan who just wants to watch their home team play, pay-per-view is the better choice.
During the event, Virgin Media also mentioned that FAST channels are fickle and can crash, go bust or be bought out by bigger brands. Linear TV and linear service providers are here to stay. The first episode of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here got 5 times more views than the first episode of the new season of the Crown (Netflix).
Live broadcasting is also the ideal opportunity for live audience engagement; running text-to-win competitions, for example, thrives on live TV.
Is carrier billing the secret sauce for service providers?
Super-Aggregation: The Salvation for Service Providers? This was the name of a discussion where panelists discussed bundling, advertisement revenue and the pros and cons of aggregation. Then, they spoke about the importance of reducing churn, leading the mediator, Stuart Thomson, to ask this very poignant question:
“Is carrier billing the secret sauce for service providers?”
Alejandro Casal Gomez, Product Owner STB Apps & Native Software, KPN, answered:
“Yes, definitely. That is one way to reduce churn.”
Our business Development Representative, Andrew, followed up during the Q&A:
“You mentioned carrier billing might be the secret sauce for service providers, so how important do you think revenue streams and carrier billing play in growing your platform?”
Ingmar Schmidt, Senior Product Manager & Business Operations, Swisscom, answered:
“It is critical. Fewer clicks mean quicker turnover. Having as many payment options as possible will only aid and benefit service providers.”
Andrew also asked David Bouchier (Virgin Media’s Chief TV & Entertainment Officer for Virgin Media & O2) if customers are actively looking for ways to streamline their bills to reduce the sporadicity of their outgoing payments (essentially better manage their finances).
“Streamlining payments is the way forward for consumers to stay on top of their spending. Our business is all about broadband and our biggest competitor is Sky; video is increasingly becoming the great differentiator when competing against other broadband providers. We want to consolidate and maximise service providers, so I think payment processes will inevitably play a part in that also.”
At Fonix, we think it’s fair to say that one sure way to streamline payments is the secret sauce that is carrier billing!
Fonix brings together everything that’s required for you to interact and transact with consumers. Fonix powers technology online, in-app, across TV and radio and everything in between. Get in touch to learn more – firstname.lastname@example.org