Video: Free-to-Air Broadcasters’ Strategic Insights

There is a lot of change underway as broadcasters not only update their distribution models to match the changing viewership but also position themselves to stand up to the increased competition from the internet giants. To find out what’s happening in the markets, Dataxis invited DR’s Peter Rosberg, Jan Vlcek CEO of Czech broadcaster Nova and Nuno Sanches of Kaltura to speak to Monique van Dusseldorp

From Peter’s perspective, Denmark’s broadband has been very good for a number of years which has led to a very fast uptake of digital platforms compared to other markets. It’s no surprise that he finds the 3 to 45 year old demographic is much more amenable to streaming rather than broadcast channels. He does, however, mention that DR no longer has a broadcast channel catering to young and older children. Peter says there will be a tipping point for them soon when they’ll find their broadcast numbers beaten by streaming.

Jan says that, for Nova, ‘local content is king’ which is a sentiment we’ve heard before in the ongoing attempt to carve a stable position among the global brands such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Jan says that Netflix has produced some Croatian-language programming, but they can’t compete with Nova and other in-country broadcasters when it comes to producing enough, good quality content. Monique asks about forcing Netflix and others to have local content to which Jan says that those who have the best content will win. A global player can’t work locally in every market, there are too many.



On the flip side, broadcasters continue to find a global audience for their content and the internet makes getting it to their customers easier. Nuno says that Kaltura has seen a lot of these global trends. Many broadcasters find that the ex-pat market is big enough to be a useful demographic to deliver to either directly or via third-party streaming platforms. DR has a number of internationally received TV series such as ‘The Bridge’ but Peter says these are not made for an international audience, quoting a former head of drama saying ‘you have be local to go global’.

Marketing has changed with the diversification of distribution. When a linear channel moves to OTT such as the BBC’s BBC Three, the inherent promotion of the linear channel is lost. Broadcasters rely on the programme before to bring viewers into the current programme. When every single programme needs to be deliberately selected by viewers, the thumbnail needs to be right, the name and metadata need to be there but most importantly, people won’t click on something they don’t know, notes Peter. This means that a lot of work needs to go into ensuring viewers know about programmes and have the context they need to press play. Jan comments that the linear TV channel Nova helps raise awareness off their online platform, but for individual programmes, social media is the best promotion.

Looking to the future, Nuno says that last year everyone was discussing launching SVOD channels, this year it’s much more about freemium live channels and this will change again next year. Technologically, he feels that metadata layers in apps will be the future where products present in the scene will be called out in the viewing interface with an ability to immediately buy or find out more for instance booking a test drive for James Bond’s car.

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Peter Rosberg Peter Rosberg
Head of Digital & Linear Broadcasting
Danish Broadcasting Corporation
Jan Vicek Jan Vlcek
Executive Director & Co-CEO
Nova Group
Nuno Sanches Nuno Sanches
General Manager Media & Telecom
Monique van Dusseldorp Monique van Dusseldorp
NEXT Curator, International Programme Director

Video: Disney Streaming Fireside Chat

Disney Streaming encompasses ESPN+, Hulu, Star as well as the much discussed Disney+. The latter was launched just a month before the initial detection of Covid-19 but all the services have been seeing continual roll-outs globally ever since. And it’s because of this global perspective, and one of perpetually dealing with growth, that today’s conversation with Disney as part of Streaming Media Connect is so interesting.

Eric Klein, Pankaj Chaudharim and Robert Colantuoni join moderators Tim Siglin and Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen to explain their approach to growing their streaming business. We’ve heard from Disney Streaming Services (DSS) before on The Broadcast Knowledge so we know that they have a strong interest in pushing forward Open Caching but also building their own solutions. Today’s video only reinforces that view.



When asked about DSS’s route to market, Eric points out that they have a ‘mesh’ that takes in to account that a single route to market for every location isn’t going to work. There are different limitations and constraints for every geography so whether it’s using multi-tenanting or Open Caching, for example, the mix needs to be tuned for each launch. Eric says that launching into a territory is a difficult time as they never know where exactly their customers will be and how much bandwidth will be needed.

Rob explains that Disney has a ‘Decision Science’ department which has helped them build models of new territories partly based on new data and partly based on finding similar locales already served by Disney Streaming Service. Talking about Open Cache, Rob says this is a big part of the mesh they run but sending out instructions is only one part of the challenge. The other is getting back data quickly enough and in the right format so that DSS can quickly understand it and use it for business decisions. You need to have a control plane that can handle all of these data sources and track performance relative to the options in those regions.

Pankaj adds that they constantly work with providers to ensure a base level of functionality like TLS 1.3, as an example, as well as helping them implement APIs from the Streaming Video Alliance to understand capacity. It’s critical for them to be able to understand the CDN’s capabilities as they wax and wain thanks to ‘internet weather’ as Rob puts it.

Eric talks further about how they work with their partners helping them to deal with the traffic which is coming their way and encouraging them to be part of the CTA or SVA so they can keep on top of the latest developments and also have a voice in what happens. Eric then talks about environmental work and discusses how PVoD, i.e. the latest Mulan film changes the way they deliver.

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Eric Klein Eric Klein
Director of Media Distribution & Technology, CDN
Disney Streaming
Robert Colantuoni Robert Colantuoni
CDN Performance Architect,
Disney Streaming Services
Pankaj Chaudhari Pankaj Chaudhari
Architect – Video Delivery,
Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen Moderator: Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen
Editor in Chief,
Streaming Media Magazine
Tim Siglin Moderator: Tim Siglin
Contributing Editor,
Streaming Media Magazine

Video: Digital Media Trends of 2020

Research from before and during the pandemic paints a clear picture of how streaming has changed. This Deloitte research looked at ad-supported and subscription VOD across demographics as well as looking at how the film industry has faired as cinemas have remained closed in most places.

Jeff Loucks presents the results of surveys taken in the United States before the lockdown and then again in May and October 2020. The youngest demographic tracked is Gen Z born between 1997 and 2006, the oldest being ‘matures’ who are older than 73. The most critical measurement is the amount of money people have in their pocket. Around half said their finances were unchanged, up to 39% said their pay packet had reduced either somewhat or significantly, though this reduced to only 29% in October.

When including streaming music, video games audiobooks, US consumers had an average of 12 entertainment subscriptions which reduced to 11 by October. Concentrating on paid video subscriptions only, the average grew from 3 to 5 over the period of the research, with millennials leading the charge up to 7 services. However, churn also increased. Jeff explains that this is partly because free trials come to an end but also because people are judging services as too expensive. It seems that there is a certain amount of experimentation going on with people testing new combinations of services to find the mix that suits them.



Jeff makes the point that there are around 300 paid streaming services in the US market which is ‘too many to stick around’. Whilst it’s clear that streaming providers are giving consumers the types of services they’ve been wanting from cable providers for years, they are bringing a burden of complexity with them, too.

Hulu and YouTube are two services that give the flexibility of watching an ad-supported version or an ad-free version of the service. Across the market, 60% of people use at least one free ad-supported service. Whilst Hulu’s ad-supported service isn’t free, giving these options is a great way to cater to different tastes. the Deloitte research showed that whilst Gen Z and Millenials would prefer to pay for an ad-free service, older ‘boomers and ‘matures’ would rather use an ad-supported service. Furthermore, when given the option to pay a little for half the ads, customers prefer the extremes rather than the halfway house. Overall, 7 minutes of ads an hour is the number which people say is the right balance, with 14 being too many,

Films have been hit hard by the pandemic, but by the end of the pandemic, 35% of people said they had paid to watch a new release on a streaming platform up 13% from May and 90% said they would likely do it again. Theatrical release windows have been under examination for many years now, but the pandemic really forced the subject. The percentage of revenue made during the ‘DVD release’ period has gone down over the decades. Nowadays, a film makes most of its money, 45%, during its theatrical release window with the ‘TV’ revenue being squeezed down 10% to 18% of the overall revenue. It’s clear then, that studios will be careful with that 45% share to ensure it’s suitably replaced as they move ahead with their 2022 plans.

Each genre has its own fingerprint with comedy and dramas making less money in the box office, proportionally than animations and action movies, for instance. So whilst we may see notable changes in distribution windows, they may be more aggressive for some releases than others when the pandemic has less of a say in studios’ plans.

This video is based on research that can be read in much more detail here:

Digital Media Trends Consumption Habits Survey

Future of the Movie Industry

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Jeff Loucks Dr. Jeff Loucks
Executive Director,
Deloitte Center for Technology, Media & Telecommunications

Video: State of the Streaming Market 2021

Streaming Media is back to take the pulse of the Streaming market following on from their recent, mid-year survey measuring the impact of the pandemic. This is the third annual snapshot of the state of the streaming market which will be published by Streaming Media in March. To give us this sneak peak, Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen is joined by colleague Tim Siglin and Harmonic Inc.’s Robert Gambino,

They start off with a look at the demographics of the respondents. It’s no surprise that North America is well represented as Streaming Media is US-based and both the USA and Canada have very strong broadcast markets in terms of publishers and vendors. Europe is represented to the tune of 14% and South America’s representation has doubled which is in line with other trends showing notable growth in the South American market. In terms of individuals, exec-level and ‘engineering’ respondents were equally balanced with a few changes in the types of institutions represented. Education and houses of worship have both grown in representation since the last survey.

Of responding companies, 66% said that they both create and distribute content, a percentage that continues to grow. This is indicative, the panel says, of the barrier to entry of distribution continuing to fall. CDNs are relatively low cost and the time to market can be measured in weeks. Answering which type of streaming they are involved in, live and on-demand were almost equal for the first time in this survey’s history. Robert says that he’s seen a lot of companies taking to using the cloud to deliver popups but also that streaming ecosystems are better attuned to live video than they used to be.

Reading the news, it seems that there’s a large migration into the cloud, but is that shown in the data? When asked about their plans to move to the cloud, around a third had already moved but only a quarter said they had no plans. This means there is plenty of room for growth for both cloud platforms and vendors. In terms of the service itself, video quality was the top ‘challenge’ identified followed by latency, scalability and buffering respectively. Robert points out better codecs delivering lower bitrates helps alleviate all of these problems as well as time to play, bandwidth and storage costs.

There have been a lot of talks on dynamic server-side ad insertion in 2020 including for use with targetted advertising, but who’s actually adopting it. Over half of respondents indicated they weren’t going to move into that sphere and that’s likely because many governmental and educational services don’t need advertising to start with. But 10% are planning to implement it within the next 12 months which represents a doubling of adoption, so growth is not slow. Robert’s experience is that many people in ad sales are still used to selling on aggregate and don’t understand the power of targetted advertising and, indeed, how it works. Education, he feels, is key to continuing growth.

The panel finishes by discussing what companies hope to get out of the move to virtualised or cloud infrastructure. Flexibility comes in just above reliability with cost savings only being third. Robert comes back to pop-up channels which, based on the release of a new film or a sports event, have proved popular and are a good example of the flexibility that companies can easily access and monetise. There are a number of companies that are heavily investing in private cloud as well those who are migrating to public cloud. Either way, these benefits are available to companies who invest and, as we’re seeing in South America, cloud can offer an easy on-ramp to expanding both scale and feature-set of your infrastructure without large Capex projects. Thus it’s the flexibility of the solution which is driving expansion and improvements in quality and production values.

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Tim Siglin Tim Siglin
Contributing Editor, Streaming Media Magazine
Founding Executive Director, HelpMeStream
Robert Gambino Robert Gambino
Director of Solutions,
Harmonic Inc.
Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen Moderator: Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen
Editor, Streaming Media