OTT monetization was a hot topic at BroadcastAsia 2018

Dimitar Serafimov| Tue Jul 03 2018 CET| Cleeng Nuts & Bolts

BroadcastAsia established itself as the APAC home for broadcast and entertainment executives looking to get the most out of the emerging technologies.

Traditionally, Cleeng covers the biggest events in the world of OTT broadcasting with a short, but concise recap. We feel that our learnings from such conferences are very useful for our clients, prospects, and stakeholders in general. So, let’s keep the tempo.

BroadcastAsia happens every summer in Singapore and is already considered as the IBC of Asia in regards to reputation, attendance, and quality of keynotes.

Here are our main learnings from this year’s event.

1. Local broadcasters and telcos don’t see a threat in OTT, they rather embrace it 

Growing OTT services is an essential goal for most APAC operators. They see the benefits in how OTT complements the TV experience and how it gives added value to the core TV proposition. The main directions are creating more personalized, cheaper video bundles or launching OTT services. 

Currently, the market is dominated by heavy competition between regional players such as iflix, Viu and Hooq and international players such as Netflix, Amazon and YouTube, plus lots of minor pay-TV providers exploring OTT.  Still, the APAC market needs OTT success stories.

2. The focus is on growing subscribers, instead of big profits

Due to ever-increasing costs of content rights, OTT providers go for more margin-friendly content production strategies to secure subscribers and viewers, rather than investing in labeled content. Some OTT platforms focus on live streams from amateurs and professionals, a strategy with a very low relative cost base.

According to GlobalData, categories like gaming, fashion, and makeup seem to get the most attention from viewers. The new content format has wide appeal among young viewers, while investors are encouraged by the potential for quicker returns compared to traditional OTT video due to relatively lower costs.

3. Hybrid models are the best fit in the current economic context

In terms of revenue models, most OTT providers in APAC opt for a hybrid of live and on-demand content, and/or a hybrid of AVoD and SVoD. The AVOD/SVOD as a dual revenue model is preferred by broadcasters. The reason is simple. There is a higher proportion of viewers who don’t mind ads for TV series, sports, and even movies, as long as it’s free. The term “skinnier packages” is being mentioned often as a way to target this population. 

4.  OTT services have to incorporate much more than content and payments 

In a complex market like this, OTT providers realize it simply isn’t enough to launch and run the business with a basic payments methods (Visa, PayPal). A systematic approach to marketing, thorough analysis of devices usage, payment methods, price points, and partnerships management is key for success here.  Local executives are also aware that there is a strategic gap between the Western branches and the locals and there has to better coordination knowing the market’s specifics. Getting the right mix of technologies, business models and right partnerships is not a utopia and the best prove that content delivery can be scalable and cost-effective.

5. The new use of data for raising the service quality standards

In the OTT world, the amount of data (via the collection of diverse data points) increases exponentially. By studying carefully that data, providers can have deep insights into the viewers’ behavior and happiness levels.  The GDPR has added more complexities here, but it is not a showstopper if done correctly.

Data works great with proper customer care processes in the pursuit to please the modern viewer. In the end, establishing a simple 1:1 relationship with consumers regardless of primary or multiscreen reach will split winners from losers. 
Our team had a great time in Singapore. And we want to pose to the camera :).

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