APB+News & Events

Adapt or go bust: Rise of streaming forcing broadcasters to find new ways to secure the future of TV

By Shirish Nadkarni

The phenomenal rise of streaming services has completely transformed the way we watch content. In less than a decade, our viewing habits have evolved – from TV channels and Friday-night-DVD-rentals, to an endless array of personalised choices, being made available with just a few clicks.

Not only has this change revolutionised the way we access and interact with media, but it has also extended to advertisements and our viewing habits, enacting a complete cultural shift in the way the world watches video content.

The TV video market is highly dynamic, and it is now characterised by a great number of drivers. Digitalisation, new market offers and serious business disruption by new digital players are changing the media landscape. Moreover, consumer expectations and viewing habits are changing rapidly in the age of VoD (video-on-demand) and mobile media consumption.

Considering all these factors, what will the future of TV and video look like in 2025?

Will platform giants such as Netflix, Amazon, Apple and Google dominate the market? Or will the TV and video industry develop into a diverse ecosystem shaped by cooperation, in which traditional TV operators also have a role to play?

Who will have the largest customer data and who can make best use of its monetisation possibilities?

A few media and entertainment companies have experienced extremely rapid digital transformation that has caught some of the biggies in the field flat-footed. It is a sobering fact that Blockbuster, a powerful video and DVD rental company, had the opportunity to buy Netflix for just US$50 million in the year 2000 – an absolute steal, considering the streaming service’s valuation these days.

What happened? The DVD rental company laughed the offer down, doubting that the streaming service had anything to offer the market … and Blockbuster went bust in 2014.

Will traditional media concepts go the way of the Dodo if broadcasters do not face up to the fact that the entire industry is undergoing profound changes?

Streaming services are no longer just platforms for the consumption of films and TV programmes; they have been investing in the production and licensing of high quality content that appeals to consumers around the world. Thus, they are in direct competition with the traditional TV and video industry.

It must be noted that broadcasters and media companies are also launching their own on-demand offerings, and global content producers are setting up their own streaming services.

Can broadcasters and content producers still rely on their present business strategies?

To secure their business models and future revenue streams, they must open themselves to cooperation and alliances, including with their direct competitors. Joint production, joint distribution models, and even joint platforms are some ways of countering the fierce competition from the FANGs – Facebook (Meta), Amazon, Netflix & Google – and soon, a host of super aggregators.

Beyond this, established broadcasters and content producers must constantly invest in their digital competence, because technology has become a core element of their business processes. What is equally crucial for them is that they must be able to attract both digital talents and creative minds into their operations.

According to Peter Riz, the former Chief Technology Officer of OSN, a wave of new mobile and data technologies has brought about a change in the way that companies perceive physical infrastructure components.

OSN (Orbit Showtime Network) is a multinational company based in Dubai, streaming premium entertainment content as well as via linear satellite channels.

“Traditionally, the broadcast industry is about equipment, devices and on-premise data centres – BIG data centres,” says Riz. “Five or 10 years ago, a CTO would have had an equally good knowledge of all the software, all the hardware and all the necessary infrastructure, including how to build and operate the data centre.

“Today, most of the trends have moved towards using and utilising the cloud; and, from a hardware point of view, most of the added value is somehow connected to the software development.”

Riz explains how, in the past, a broadcast company tried to own everything and build (or at least integrate) all the physical components together on their own. Now, though, the balance between the components that you buy and that you build has changed. This means that, rather than broadcasters trying to build everything for their end-to-end streaming platforms themselves, a hybrid architecture approach is becoming the norm.

He maintains that there is a distinct shift towards hybrid approaches.

“As the market expands and components become available, the goal now is to understand how to build all these cloud-based services together in a way that will really provide the competitive advantage for your company and give you the opportunity to customise the user experience based on your goals,” says Riz.

One such emerging trend that Riz comments on is the return to a more conventional TV-style viewing – even amongst streaming services.

“In the last few months, we’re rediscovering how television can be television again,” he says. “For example, Netflix is talking about advertisements and creating a more channel-like experience; Roku has a lot of initiative to turn the television back to television.

“You’ll see more and more partnerships, as if the industry has just again realised that the strong local brands like OSN can add really good value and help – even the big brands – to monetise their content.”

TV is largely built on the currency of advertising. It is interesting to note that TV and video advertising is adapting to new formats and relying more and more on the personalisation of advertising content.

The analysis of user data makes it possible to personalise ads and content, increase the benefit for potential customers, and ultimately to win them over as consumers. The extent to which this will happen, however, depends very much on the willingness of consumers to hand over their data.

To learn how to capture eyeballs and develop new revenue streams from the rise of streaming and next-gen TV to the creation of more content in the cloud for multimedia audiences, take a look into what NAB Show New York 2022, from October 17-20, has to offer.

While IBC 2022 offered broadcasters a plethora of cost-efficient hardware, software and hybrid solutions, it’s now the time to gain some practical insights into ways to maximise your ROI on technology.

On October 19, take a deep dive into TV2025: Monetizing the Future, when NAB brings together groups of CEOs, COOs, CFOs, CTOs, CROs as well as CDOs to share and discuss ways to create, boost and sustain new revenue streams.

The industry is changing, join the NAB conversation and find new ways of making money … or go bust!

Related Articles

Back to top button

Subscribe to the latest news now!