Video: Broadcasters OTT D2C strategies

New streaming services are still coming online in Europe and elsewhere some with ads, some subscription based. But this isn’t just a story of new players trying to disrupt the market, broadcasters are continuing to enter, renter and innovate in this same space. So what are they up to and how are they holding their own against the international names?

Jörn Krieger moderates this panel from Nextv Series Europe first asking Swiss broadcaster SRG SSR’s Pierre-Adrian Irlé about the public broadcaster’s new offering, Play Suisse. Pierre explains that Switzerland is surrounded by big markets providing content in three out of Switzerland’s four languages. So it’s actually local content which is the core asset that SRG SSR has since the Netflixes of the world have yet to invest in any Swiss content. This led the Play Suisse team to build a digital platform from the ground up, separate from their linear workflows and tools so that they adapt their service to being online and deliver the service and quality customers expect based on their experience with the international services.



Ricardo Tomé from Portugal’s Media Capital Digital says that Portugal has good cable penetration and most customers are already used to being able to rewatch the last 7 days’ content. Their proposition is split between the national Portuguese market and the international market made of Portuguese speakers abroad. Ricardo agrees that it doesn’t matter if you are public or private, having your own content is very important. International Portuguese are happy to pay, but nationally telcos are giving away subscriptions to Amazon Prime etc. which reduces their appetite to pay for streaming services.

Jörn turns the conversation to strategies to attract viewers and whether priority is given to the younger demographic. Pierre explains they very much want to reach their existing audience but know that there is a share of the audience that have lost, or who never had, a relationship with a broadcaster. With the launch of Play Suisse, they are getting emails from young licence-fee payers who say they are finally able to get something for their money. For Arturo Garijo from Spanish commercial broadcaster Atresmedia, the question is less about demographics themselves, but more about the appetite for paying for content in the Spanish market. There are a lot of people who are not used to paying meaning their business model had to be about the volume of people watching adverts. However, with streaming, they are now able to attract viewers who are interested in pay to avoid adverts. They have a lot of traditional viewers, so they have a big funnel of potential customers against whom they are developing differently priced ways of accessing their services to maximise take up.

Ricardo points out that having a subscription service that captures people with big productions is all very well, but there is also a lot of work to do to market differently via social media and word of mouth. Another difference in being online, particularly for public broadcasters are rules dictating what you can and can’t do. Play Suisse, for example, is not allowed to run advertising online and can’t bring things online more than 24 hours before linear. So the business model adapts around these rules, for instance by offering binge watching of a new series in the 24 hours before the linear release which as a more traditional two-a-week airing schedule.

Jörn moves to discussing content and viewer retention as the panel comes to a close. Ricardo says that you need to carefully consider how much you spend on original content. You can’t predict the upside of new content, but it needs to be good, long-lived content so it can be reused for broadcast after being online. This means being willing to pay for good writers and directors. Arturo points out that you can’t simply rely on exclusive content because your churn will be high and so will the cost. You can retain people if you have a deep catalogue for them to continue to explore after they’ve seen the content that attracted them in the first place. Pierre agrees that curating the content is a good way to retain customers which they do by finding different ways to curate and unearth older content. A great example of curating older content, and showing that it’s not simply a question of putting old episodes online, is that Media Capital Digital has been re-editing novellas/soap operas from 300 episodes down to 80. This gives them the opportunity to freshen up the feel of the show and make the episode lengths and formats more conducive to binge watching.

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Ricardo Tomé Pierre-Adrian Irlé
Project Lead, Play Suisse,
SRG SSR – Swiss Radio and Television
Arturo Larrainzar Arturo Larrainzar Garijo
Strategy Director,
Ricardo Tomé
Head of Digital,
Media Capital Digital
Jörn Krieger Moderator: Jörn Krieger
Freelance Journalist

Video: The Targeted Advertising opportunity for free-to-air broadcasters

DVB-TA is a targeted advertising standard produced by HbbTV and DVB with the aim of providing a single standard for addressable advertising across Europe and in TVs. DVB-TA comprises two specifications, one covering signalling of advertising breaks, another deals with communicating with advert decision servers and the preparation of media. This webinar looks at the underlying HbbTV technology rollout in Europe.

This video brings together Sebastian Busse from, Arturo Larrainzar from Artresmedia and PubItalia ’80’s Silvia Broggi to explain how targeted advertising is working in France, Germany and Italy ahead of a twenty-minute Q&A.

Sebastian is first up with the German perspective starting by outlining the motivations to move to targeted advertising. For traditional TV, he sees problems ahead as digital ad budgets surpass those of TV, consumption moves away from linear TV and tech giants specifically attacking the traditional model. To fight against this, he sees a need to improve infrastructure such as inventory management systems, focus on data control and management plus investing in addressable ad solutions. The way to make this scalable and affordable for broadcasters and TV manufacturers is to congregate around a single standard.

Europe can be a difficult place for standards since the united countries all hold on tightly to their ways of working, cultural norms and needs which creates conflicting demands on standards. However, HbbTV has spread from Germany to Spain, Italy, France and now Poland, Czechia and Austria since 2017. With DVB-TA, broadcasters can have better control over their AD delivery chain, data and addressable ad breaks so much more growth is envisaged for 2022 and onwards.



Arturo from Atresmedia gives a brief overview of Spain’s use of HbbTV which now reaches 17.4 million people in nearly 8 million households. Their approach is to target a cross-device ad model. Partnering with smartclip they were able to profile over 40% of Spanish households and use that data to allow customers to design better ad campaigns which bridge TVs and web audiences.

Arturo speaks about hybrid ads where the video is squeezed to allow a L-shaped banner around the content. Using this and other techniques, Artresmedia has been able to improve campaigns by an extra 4 points, important as extra points are usually disproportionately expensive but this is a simple approach to do the same thing. Next on the list of products is ad replacement.

Finally, the Italian perspective comes from Silvia. Since the first HbbTV application in 2018, they have moved quickly and introduced ad replacement in 2020. With a reach of 7 million households, they can insert banners or squeezes and address OTT. What PublItalia are able to do is track which linear ads are shown on TV and use that to determine which UI/banner ads are subsequently shown.

The video finishes with a Q&A session which covers: GDPR, manufacturers support of HbbTV, HbbTV-TA availability in TVs, identifying logged in users on second devices, CPM stability and many more.

Watch now!

Sebastian Busse Sebastian Busse
Director Addressable TV, International,
Arturo Larrainzar Arturo Larrainzar
Head of Strategy,
Silvia Broggi Silvia Broggi
International Marketing & MarTech Director,
PubItalia ’80