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: DVB and HbbTV Technologies in TV Systems

As the amount of video consumed on the internet continues to grow, technologies that unify over-the-air broadcast with internet delivery. Doing this should allow a seamless mix meaning viewers can choose a service without knowing how it’s arriving at their TV, mobile device or laptop. This is the principle behind DVB-I and HbbTV.

In this webinar, Peter MacAvock and Peter Lanigan join moderator Dr. Jörn Krieger to answer questions about how DVB-I works and how the two organisations work together. To set the scene, Peter Lanigan explains what DVB-I is and where it sits within DVB’s other technologies.

Famous for the widespread technologies of DVB-T, -S and -C which underpin much of the world’s broadcasting, DVB have recently developed a broadcast-focused version of MPEG DASH called DVB-DASH on which DVB-I is built. Where there -T in DVB-T is for terrestrial broadcast and the -S in DVB-S for satellite broadcast, the -I in DVB-I stands for internet. Built upon the DVB-DASH standard DVB-I delivers services over the Internet to devices with broadband access whether that’s raw internet or over operator-managed networks. Most importantly, this isn’t just about TVs, but any device.

DVB-I aims to offer a way unify over-the-air broadcast with internet delivery. The apps used to deliver services to smartphones, tablets and desktops tend to create segregation as each provider delivers their own app. However, there is a benefit to removing the need for each broadcaster needing to maintain their app on all the many platforms. By unifying delivery, DVB-I also makes life easier for manufacturers who can deliver a single, consistent experience. Finally, it opens up a market for more general apps which deliver a TV experience without being tied to one broadcaster opening up more business models and a route to independent innovation.

‘Service Lists’ are the fundamental currency of DVB-I. Service discovery is therefore a critical aspect of DVB-I which was first defined in 2019 and updated in 2020. Service discovery is a technical, commercial and legal problem all of which are addressed in the DVB-I Service Discovery and Programmed Metadata standard which provides ways in which clients can access Service Lists and Service List Registries.

Another important aspect of delivery is targetted advertising since advertising underpins the business model of many broadcasters. DVB-TA defines targetted advertising for linear TV and is now being updated to include DVB-I. With DVB-TA, adverts are delivered to the receiver/device over IP based on various criteria and then triggered at the appropriate time as specified by the A178-1 signalling spec.

Source: DVB

Ahead of the Q&A, Peter MacAvock introduces the HbbTV organisation explaining how and why it works closely with DVB to generate specifications that drive Hybrid TV forward. Also a member organisation, HbbTV and DVB share many interests but where the DVB’s remit within broadcast is wider than the device-centric HbbTV scope, HbbTV also has a wider scope than DVB since STBs and other devices are in use outside of broadcasting, for instance in retail. Importantly, HbbTV has replaced MHP as DVB’s hybrid TV solution. DVB and HbbTV are sharing the task of making DVB-DASH content and validation tools available to their members.

The Q&A covers controlling of the quality of delivery, getting around the internet’s different reliability compared to RF. They also address scalability with reference to DVB-ABR Multicast. There’s a question on avoiding illegal channels being included in service lists which both Peters acknowledge is a conversation ‘in progress’ for which the technical means exist, but speficially how to implement them is still in discussion a lot of which surrounds ways to establish trust between the device and the service list registars.

The Q&A finishes by discussing whether telcos/ISPs are interested in adopting DVB-ABR Muilticast, compatability between DVB-I and HbbTV as well as 5G broadcast mode.

Watch now!
Download the DVB-I Presentation
Download the HbbTV Presentation


Peter MacAvock Peter MacAvock
DVB Chairman
Head of Delivery, Platforms and Services, EBU Technology and Development
Peter Lanigan Peter Lanigan
Senior Manager, Standardisation,
TP Vision
Jörn Krieger Moderator: Jörn Krieger
Freelance Journalist