The latest IBC webinar, IBC Preview: Supply Chain and Streaming took a twin-perspective approach, identifying some fascinating real-world industry trends from an expert panel.
Kevin Cochrane, Managing Consultant, OTT Consulting kicked the webinar discussion off with some broad state-of-the-industry trends.
“I’d say there are three distinct things. One: how do broadcasters, pay TV services, etc, shift from legacy infrastructure to cloud delivered workflows? How can they achieve efficiencies?
“The second part of that is, as we move from OTT to OTT 2.0 (which is around personalisation, monetisation, engagement and interactivity), how can they move their business model into that space and compete? So, if you’re an SVOD-only provider, how do you adapt and become for example, a hybrid service, which incorporates SVOD, AVOD [or] FAST?”
The key theme for media supply chains
As Cochrane continues: “[But] I’d say the really key theme is that I see a lot of people trying to think about how they can get international distribution outside of their local market - both companies coming to Europe, and vice versa.”
Inevitably in the areas of media supply chain and streaming, data management and optimisation came up as a key concern for the immediate future, as Ausra Sidaraviciene, Group CTO at TV3 Group Lithuania makes clear.
“There are new topics like dynamic ad insertion, which is something on top of your regular streaming service. But also, I think data [in general] is one of the hottest topics. Data [concerning] the way you monitor your service, what insights you can get about quality of service, data around the way you recommend content or personalise the service… This is something of a new approach and overall how you can use data beyond simple hygiene factors is a [key factor going forward].”
Kevin Cochrane agrees: “Look at the average opex for an OTT platform, and content is something like 60-70%. On the issue of analytics and insights, I would say it’s absolutely key and it’s something I’ll be looking for at IBC, especially with the advent of AI driven analytics.
“If you’re carrying 60% of your cost just by the content you’ve acquired, you’ve got to be sure that it’s the right content, and you better be sure that you can sell that to your customers. AI analytics also gives you the means to promote your service to acquire new content, to offer upgrades and be confident that your service is properly positioned against the competition.”
The people factor at IBC2022
Interestingly, for tips in getting the most out of the live IBC2022 show, the panel agreed on the most important element - go for the people.
As Adriaan Bloem, Managing Consultant, Radagio says: “I would say one of the chief mistakes people make [at a tradeshow] is you have a meeting for an hour and you spend this hour going through a demo - it is much more efficient if you do this online. It has always been more efficient, even pre-COVID.
“So if anything, it should be clear now that you [need to] sustain a relationship with your vendors and partners. If you have booked meetings, they really should be about the people and figuring out who they are, what personalities they are, what the company is like, what the atmosphere is like… All those intangibles that you couldn’t get otherwise.”
Kevin Cochrane, Managing Consultant, OTT Consulting advisies vendors against doing too much ‘telling’ at the expense of not listening: “I would [mention] the need to listen to the customer. I’ve seen countless engagements between client and vendor where the vendor just dives into a product demo, carried on with a 50 slide presentation and not given the clients a chance to speak.”
“I found, in my experience, if you let the client talk they will open up, explain their challenges. That’s where you see the opportunities and if you’re trying to fit a round peg into a square hole, and it doesn’t meet their needs, you’re wasting their time. These are smart people. You don’t need to sell them a solution.”
Mary Ann Halford, Partner at Altman Solon, agrees and puts a pragmatic spin on person-to-person interactions at a live event. “I think you need to know why you’re meeting [someone],” she says. “Because people’s time is precious, and you need to be leveraging that time with people in a way that’s going to be productive for them and for yourself. I think that’s where people make a mistake, by not knowing why they’re meeting with various people.”
Views from the trade show trenches: Tips for vendors
Caroline Ewerton, VP Technical Product Management, DAZN, emphasises the human element as a key way to cut through the noise at a trade show.
“I think collaboration is really important. We live in a world where services are so adaptable. You can pretty much build them to whatever you want. So, we’re really there [at the show] to form meaningful connections with the vendors… Less of a buyer and supplier relationship and more people coming together to share insights and solve problems together that will eventually inform roadmaps for the entire industry.”
Ewerton concludes with some advice for vendors attending IBC in person: “My advice [to vendors] is to have some kind of convincing commercial narrative case study up your sleeve.
“Essentially we need to go back to base and sell more than just the technology and the dream. We need to be able to come back [from the show] and say, hey, we found these amazing tools - if we spend this much money - and there are some really convincing case studies out there that show what this opportunity could make us look like in 12 months time.
“Those will drive more people to [your] platform, generate more commercial deals and so on. Sometimes I think to get to that point takes quite a while, and I think people are ready to have some tried and tested use cases [at an earlier stage in conversations].”
Catch the full IBC Preview: Supply Chain and Streaming on replay now.