Video: Pay TV operators OTT D2C strategies

Direct to consumer (D2C) strategies have become all the rage in streaming producing Paramount+, Disney+ and Disovery+ from a list of many more. What is it that broadcasters are capitalising on by doing this and how do they get on with their rivals and partners, the telcos? This panel from Dataxis, moderated by Julian Clover probes to find out more.

Lydia Fairfax who leads partnerships for Discovery+ starts by saying that the strategy is to maintain the investment in linear channels, which have just seen their strongest Q1 ratings. This is done by working the budgets for linear alongside an incremental budget for Discovery+ which allows them to mirror their younger demographic by producing shows for that demographic which can then be trialled on the linear channels to understand what content will carry well. This is all part of a bid to ensure that Discovery+ content can have a life on linear so that investment is also not wasted. Work is ongoing to see whether showing the first episode of new content on a free to air (FTA) channel first and driving viewers to Discovery+ is a good way forward to whether releasing to FTA after an initial Discovery+ exclusivity window is the best way to maximise the value of content.



Antonella Dominici from TIMvision explains the role of TIMvision as, for the most part, an aggregator that works with big names like Discovery, Eurosport, Sky and many others to deliver a sophisticated offering to its Italian audience. Making its own content as well, Antonella explains they aren’t going up against Netflix, rather they are seeing specific niches in Italian TV and filling them with their original content. However, another USP over streaming giants is that they also deliver the major linear channels that Italians watch such as Sky Italy and RAI.

A different perspective is offered by Bulsatcom CEO Stanislav Georgiev. Now 21 years old, it’s well known in Bulgaria as a DTH platform and it’s Stanislav’s job, he says to make their OTT offering a major part of their business. They have the benefit of being a trusted brand and Stanislav sees their role as almost purely an aggregator. Turning to a question on the continued relevance of STBs, he says that the set-top box brings ‘order to the chaos’

The STB is still very much present, says Peter Røder Lristensen of 24i and whilst Android TV is growing both in STBs and on TVs, Peter says it’s not a matter of choosing the best, rather you need to be on every device else you’re not relevant. STBs have their benefits, Lydia reinforces, allowing broadcasters to push their brand and offer a shortcut from their linear channels direct to the Discovery+ app using the red button. Antonella says that she sees the STB catering to the ‘lean back’ viewers who much more want to be guided as to what to watch. She says that people who know what they want will just go into the app and search for it. Peter adds that creating consistency and integration across all the devices is key including using Google Voice as a starting point.

Watch now!

Lydia Fairfax Lydia Fairfax
SVP, Head of Commercial Partnerships, EMEA
Antonella Dominici Antonella Dominici
Vice President TIMVISION & Entertainment Products
Peter Røder Kristensen Peter Røder Kristensen
Product Management,
Stanislav Georgiev Stanislav Georgiev
Julian Clover Julian Clover
Broadband TV News

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.

Watch now!

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

Webinar: Pay TV Sports rights strategies in Europe

Date: Thursday 22nd November, 2018. 13:00 GMT, 14:00 CET, 8AM ET
Business strategy firm Dataxis are back with a webinar looking at sports rights.

Sports is becoming more and more important and costly component of the Pay TV operators programming. This webinar will look at the role of premium sports content in the European Pay TV industry.

Are sports programming costs too high now? Are they sustainable? Can new entrants disrupt the market? This webinar covers:

• Sports rights spendings
• Key sports
• Role of telecom operators
• New entrants
• OTT strategies

Register now!


Juliette Boulay Juliette Boulay
Research Analyst,

Webinar: Is cord-cutting reaching Europe?

Date: Wednesday 26th September, 14:00 CEST
Alice Ourliac, Research Analyst EMEA from Dataxis discusses Cord-Cutting. It’s happening in the US, but what about Europe? Is it just hype and how much is it applicable to Europe?
The webinar will discuss actual Q2 2018 European pay TV results and analyse cord-cutting for the region.

• Summary of Q2 2018 results
• Countries & operators impacted by cord-cutting
• OTT players & Strategies
• Comparison with North America

Register now!