The average US consumer now subscribes to three paid streaming video services, according to Deloitte’s latest Digital Media Trends Survey. For the first time, the research found that more viewers have a subscription video service than a pay TV subscription, while 43% of respondents said they subscribe to both streaming services and traditional TV.
Viacom President James Currell has outlined the company's focus on building scale in ad-supported streaming, claiming that the global SVOD sector is becoming too “crowded” and “capital intensive”. Speaking at the Oxford Media Convention Currell said that while there is still scope for Viacom to make more selective plays in the premium market, these will likely be in line with the emergence of more specialist streaming services.
BBC Chairman David Clementi used his speech at this week's Oxford Media Convention to raise questions about whether regulation devised in the linear era is fit for today's digital world. Urging regulators not to disadvantage public service broadcasters against global competitors like Netflix and YouTube, he stressed the urgency of the BBC's plans to revamp the iPlayer, complaining Ofcom has slowed the BBC down at a time when speed is of the essence.
The addressable TV advertising solution Sky developed in the UK will be deployed in the USA. Meanwhile, NBCU’s solution for optimised linear buying and its work to use AI to improve the contextual placement of ads near programming scenes will be applied in the UK. The ambition is to create a global solution for advanced premium video advertising. AdSmart will enable international brands and businesses to easily activate targeting and optimisation solutions to reach customers around the world.
Future of Brands Sydney provoked a frank debate about whether the agency model is broken. The best agencies may be clean but are still impacted by the transparency sins of others. There is still a trust problem. Remuneration models leave media services a target for procurement. There are plenty of things to fix, but there is no one-size-fits-all model to break: agile agencies have evolved and can find opportunities even in in-housing.
This year’s Connected TV World Summit provides thought leadership on a selection of pressing questions. How do you live with FAANG, cooperating and competing against them? What is the direct-to-consumer opportunity and what are the disruptive implications of this mega-trend? How can incumbent Pay TV operators become hero brands in their own market, and how do we grow advertising revenues?
VOZ is unique: think BARB Dovetail and OpenAP rolled into one, supported by every major commercial broadcaster in the market. It is a Total TV measurement system that is integrated with a database that enables audience-based buying, like targeting auto-intenders across broadcast or streaming TV. This world-class toolbox is due for delivery mid-year and is a potential game-changer, albeit with some practical issues to solve around trading.
Channel 4 is in “positive and constructive discussions” about partnering with the BBC and ITV on their new UK streaming service, BritBox. Channel 4 CEO Alex Mahon made the comments during the Media and Telecoms 2019 and Beyond conference, where BBC Director General Tony Hall also spoke about plans for BritBox and the iPlayer. Both execs used the stage to call for regulation to help public service broadcasters in today's media landscape.
Sky and Comcast are already seeing clear benefits from their combination, according to Sky boss Jeremy Darroch. Speaking at Media and Telecoms 2019 and Beyond this week, Darroch said that Comcast's voice interface is coming to Sky Q and that NBCUniversal's 2020 AVOD service will be powered by Now TV's technology. He also spoke out about the 'dark side' of social media and called for more regulation of the tech giants.
Viacom has agreed to buy Pluto TV, the free, ad-supported streaming television service with 12 million active monthly users. It gives Viacom a bigger presence on connected platforms and a new DTC outlet for some of its content. The Pluto TV subsidiary will help Viacom grow its advanced advertising business and creates a new opportunity to monetise library titles. Pay TV partnerships are unaffected, as Viacom continues its strategy to work with operators and seek incremental business via digital.