Along with my colleague Joop van Kammen, I recently attended the Nextv CEO Europe, where gather leading CEOs from the TV, Telco, OTT and Entertainment industries to share insights, spotlight opportunities and define the way forward.
The quality of panellists was very high, from operators like Proximus and Bulsatcom, to FAST providers like PlutoTV, Rakuten, Samsung and WeDoTV, technology suppliers such as Tivo,Harmonic, 24i, Accedo and Norigin Media and channel providers, including M7, Sky News, DW and France24. Plus the coffee breaks were full of lots of lively discussions around the evolution of the pay TV market.
Of course, there was a lot of debate around the move from traditional broadcast to OTT, and how operators are fighting back by embracing VOD and OTT through bundled subscriptions. FAST was on everyone’s lips, with a number of operators discussing how they are trying to work out if FAST and AVOD can be a profitable part of their offerings.
As a provider of technology solutions through ACCESS Europe and our sister company NetRange, who provide Smart TV solutions, the conversation on platform bloat through tech providers SDKs was a reminder – not that we need it at ACCESS or NetRange – that the pain of onboarding new solutions needs to be minimized for operators, who increasingly need to be able to launch new functionality in a fraction of the time this took in the past.
A highlight was hearing from a number of speakers from TV operators that they essentially believe that attack is the best form of defence, as they expand their digital offerings to meet their ambitious aim of becoming a destination for more than just video. For example, it was great to hear from Guillaume Boutin, CEO of Proximus sharing the vision of becoming a “destination app” where their customers would use the for the weather, directions to their dinner reservations, checking traffic en-route, and much more as well as their entertainment hub.
It’s easy to read the press reports on audiences moving from broadcast to streaming and be persuaded that time is running out for the traditional operators. So, it was great to hear the confidence of those operators and their technology partners that understand the strength of their offering and connection with the consumer, their customer. Move towards being a true digital destination instead of just fighting to stay relevant in the OTT landscape means they can become an increasingly important part of their customers’ digital lives.