This month, I spoke at Parks Associates’ inaugural Future of Video Conference on the ‘Distribution Opportunities and Challenges for Content Producers’ panel.
We had a lively exchange of ideas centered around the complexities facing content producers, ways to balance established and new video distribution avenues, and strategies for companies to drive growth in the changing video landscape.
The skyrocketing growth of streaming audiences demands content producers embrace new formats and types of video. According to Nielsen’s latest OTT TV report, Americans collectively spend nearly 8 billion hours per month consuming content on connected TV devices.
With the advent of new distribution channels and direct-to-consumer options upturning established windowing strategies and partnerships, content producers must evolve and remove their legacy mindset to capitalize on the new opportunities for distributing and monetizing content.
Here are key takeaways from our panel:
Should programmers create niche versus general market content?
Our panelists agreed that OTT services need to fall into either niche or general market content categories. But without the deep-pocketed resources of the streaming giants (Amazon, Netflix and soon to launch Disney and AT&T’s WarnerMedia), content companies will have a difficult time competing in the general market space. Instead, there are tremendous growth opportunities for niche players in the booming ad-supported OTT market. Pure-play and niche OTT networks, such as MLB.TV, Newsy and Tubi TV, are gaining significant traction with attracting growing audiences. Cutting through the competition is one of the big challenges for niche OTT services, so picking the right genre, focusing on the right audiences and have a clear brand proposition will be the key to success.
Where do programmers invest their resources?
The fundamental question content producers should be asking is: In what screen and in what transmission do we invest in? The easy answer is all screens, all the time, but that is an expensive gamble. With the increasing fragmentation of the OTT landscape, content owners are spending exorbitant amounts on app development. Only certain platforms have been able to recuperate that investment. Furthermore, ATSC 3.0 and 5G threaten today’s dominance of traditional cable, satellite, and internet delivery of high-quality video. The winner will likely be determined by proximity to the user (i.e. the device manufacturer like Apple) or the success of bundled services (e.g. AT&T pairing content with a 5G plan).
Consolidation: Do you join forces and with whom?
The rise of mega-mergers is driving more competition with OTT streamers. According to Ampere Analysis, four of every $10 in the United States will be accounted for by Comcast/Sky and Disney/Fox. The growing consolidation will mean less competition for rights for small players and this inevitably impacts their ability to negotiate favorable deals. The cost of marketing services will continue to frustrate small to medium upstarts. As such, aggregators will serve an essential place in OTT’s future for both SVODs and AVODs.
In the end, personalization of both content and experience will be tantamount to success on all platforms. Consumers are the ultimate winners as competitive pressures will drive media companies to forego near-term profits to please users with fresh content on all screens at affordable costs. Someday in the future, consumers will need to shoulder the cost of their increased demands—limited to no-commercials and content delivery on every screen. But, let’s all enjoy the spoils of today’s content wars for now.
Last month, our Joel Fineman joined industry peers from Fox, NBCu and RPA in a lively “TV is Changing, TV’s Importance is Not” panel at Gabbcon’s Los Angeles TV and Innovation Week.
While the TV industry is transforming quickly, there’s one common theme that the panelists agreed on: what hasn’t changed is the importance of TV. The panelists shared insights on media buying strategies, measurement, frequency capping and ad fraud in an increasingly fragmented OTT environment.
With the accelerating growth of streaming TV options and changing viewing habits, advertisers need help in solving for the fragmentation to reach their right audiences. The reaggregation of audiences across platforms demands data-driven insights and understanding of content quality to build trust with advertisers and agencies and to reap the rewards of the OTT era.
Watch the video from the panel discussion here.
by Dennis Williams, Director of Sales at TEGNA
Last month, I spoke at the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) Sacramento Regional Conference on The Evolving Media Buying Landscape panel to share insights on how Connected TV or OTT advertising offers an entire new medium of opportunities for political advertisers.
Connected TV advertising was practically non-existent during the 2016 elections. Today, with nearly 200 million OTT viewers in 2018, Connected TV is TV. While there’s still more education needed in the political arena, savvy political consultants and media buyers are increasingly seeking OTT as an important part of their media mix for the midterm elections. The considerations for political campaign spending on OTT is like any media buy: the budget, the desired reach, demographics and targeting.
Here are three takeaways from the session:
Target the voters that matter with precision – There’s an entire generation of voters that will have never had traditional TV and they are becoming increasingly influential. To reach these so called cord-nevers and other voters that matter, political advertisers need to be armed with richer data. What makes OTT highly appealing for political campaigns is the ability for precision targeting. Working with a premium video ad network like Premion, you can leverage richer datasets to target voters by political affiliation, congressional district, income, education level and other interests.
Not all data is created equal – Audience segmentation in OTT is truly deterministic and addressable down to an individual level: Data can be collected on the true viewership level and matched back down to the individual person within a household through new technology. By using first party data, you get actual viewing habits unlike data that’s collected using lookalike models from attributes and interests, such as on Google and Facebook: this data may not reflect actual consumer habits but what they aspire to do or wish they did. Clearly, a viewer’s actions are stronger than their words when it comes to data.
The power of one-to-one relationships – One of the biggest strengths of OTT is that it connects advertisers directly to individual voters, a one-to-one approach. We know the person who is watching a specific program and what device they are using. In a high stakes political campaign, getting the right message out to sway undecided voters can literally make or break your campaign. As such, the ability to customize campaign messages depending on who is watching the content is invaluable.
Today, OTT is addressable: we can serve different ads to different voter segments watching the same programming. With the increasing sophistication in targeting, it’s clear that OTT will become table stakes in the media plan for every large scale political campaign.
How effective is your midterms media campaign? Let’s have a conversation.
If you’re attending this week’s TV of Tomorrow Show in New York City, we invite you to join us on Thursday, December 7 at 1:15pm for our panel discussion “Data-Driven Advertising: Hurdles and Opportunities.”
The panel will feature Premion President Jim Wilson and executives at the forefront of advanced TV advertising. Topics will include brand safety, blockchain, addressable, consolidation and more.
As we reflect upon the progress of 2017, there’s never been a more exciting time for the advancement and growth of OTT (over-the-top) content, advertising and related services.
Next week industry leaders will convene at NYC Television Week and the NAB Show New York to showcase the latest developments and thinking around the transformation of television.
Join us as we share our market perspectives on the future of OTT advertising at the following panels at next week’s events:
TV2020: Monetizing the Future @ NAB Show New York
Panel: OTT and Digital Opportunities
Wednesday October 18 | 3:15pm
Javits Convention Center, NYC
OTT monetization strategies, specialized for local TV broadcasters, will be the focus of our panel session. I’ll be joining a panel of experts to offer a leading-edge look at how TV station groups can drive OTT revenue strategies for 2018 and beyond.
Advanced Advertising Summit @ NYC Television Week
Panel: Video Everywhere
Wednesday October 18 | 10:50am
Sheraton Times Square
The dramatic shift in viewing behavior presents significant challenges to traditional TV business assumptions. I’ll be joining this panel to explore the advertising implications of these quickly mainstreaming forms of streaming TV/video viewing, as well as how marketers and programmers can benefit now and into the future.
Next TV Summit @ NYC Television Week
Panel: Redefining Television Advertising
Wednesday October 18 | 11:50am
Sheraton Times Square
What are the new technologies and trends that are shaping what’s next in branding and advertising? Our Brian Hunt will join this panel to share perspectives on the winning formulas for advertisers in meeting consumer expectations and share their view of what the TV advertising business will look like two years down the line.
If you missed the Blockchain Panel at The TV of Tomorrow Show last month, no worries, you can catch the podcast here, featuring Premion President Jim Wilson and MadHive CEO Adam Helfgott.