The impact of OTT services dominated discussions at IBC2019 with panels focussed on SVoD vs AVoD, niche content and how streaming is driving a golden era of creation.

OTT Forum D3 SR

IBC2019: OTT Forum

With the industry facing disruption from the launch of new streaming platforms and services, the theme of OTTs reverberated around IBC2019.

The likes of Apple, Disney and NBC all set to shake-up the market with new platform launches increasing the need for new business models and more aggregation, according to one conference panel on OTT.

The panel, which featured executives from streaming services such as BritBox, Crunchyroll and ZEE5, looked at which business model will win the day in the fiercely erupting streaming wars: AVoD, SVoD or both?

According to Crunchyroll/VRV head of products and strategy Henry Embleton, companies such as Amazon TV and Disney will have a strong future in on demand media.

“Amazon because of its whole end to end ecosystem of content and data. Plus it is likely to start spending big money on sports rights such as the Premier League to build subscribers. Disney is in a strong position too, simply because of the quality of its slate of content,” said Embleton.

Read the full panel write-up here:

Golden era
Though some in the industry expressed concern about the growing OTT threat, for others the burgeoning market has ushered in a “golden era” of content creation.

The likes of Netflix, Amazon and Hulu with “huge global budgets and platforms have changed a lot of our sector” claimed All3Media chief executive Jane Turton during a panel session at IBC2019.

She was joined by BBC Studios managing director UK Production Lisa Opie who said the unit’s move to become a commercial entity two years ago has been “really liberating” for its creative teams.

Turton and Opie explained the importance of growing its content portfolio respectively. Turton added: “Get smart in how you attract talent and adapt to the evolving market, today you write the show for the budget for the platform.”


Britbox president Soumya talks to IBCTV about the future of the ITV/BBC JV which is set to launch in the UK.

She discussed the importance of OTT services and the attempts to make a destination offering “best of British” content.

Finding a niche
One way of winning the OTT game is to go niche, according to a panel session at the show.

Bigger players such as Netflix or Amazon can’t cover anything, opening the door for OTT services focussed on a specific niche or area of interest.

The panel – titled Competing in OTT – Beyond the big brands - featured speakers from Orange, All3Media, Hopster and Trace.

All3Media’s Gary Woolf said: “We’re learning that superniche has lots of potential because Netflix can’t possibly cover the depth of everyone’s hobbies.”

OTT optimisation
Several of the world’s biggest tech firms were on-site in Amsterdam, including Facebook, which talked about its Facebook Watch streaming service.

Speaking during the session exploring ‘Is Facebook set to become the next big video platform?’ Facebook product manager social video Erin Connolly said: “We have a long way to go but we are excited about the progress we have seen. On average audiences are spending 26 minutes in the watch tab and we are seeing more intentional viewing.”

Facebook has rolled out its dedicated video destination Watch, which has been rolled out globally over the past 12 months.

She said: “It’s a serendipitous place to watch video, with Watch you can go deeper to connect with videos and publishers as well as other communities.”