The roll-out of 4K is nowhere near ubiquitous, but 8K is seen as the obvious next format progression. Right now, it is a non-starter on all fronts: screen price, content availability, consumer buy-in, production costs and bandwidth requirements. The newly formed 8K Association says the same concerns were voiced for UHD six years ago, and they were overcome. Meanwhile, the DVB will shortly reveal the results of its study mission on formats beyond UHD-1 4K, and the early noises are positive.
Leading media companies are rethinking how they manage their content pipeline, which is the context for the recent announcements that Netflix is moving into Shepperton Studios and Sky is creating a new Europe-wide development and production capability. As one analyst explains, competition for content is at unprecedented levels, driving stakeholders to be involved earlier in the process. Netflix can start making up for content losses when companies like Disney repatriate content. Sky has an easier ROI calculation as group distribution assets expand.
An IHS Markit report shows that 40% of Pay TV customers in the UK first look somewhere other than their Pay TV provider for content – although they may well find their start-point via the operator STB. Onboarded broadcaster and OTT apps are one important destination. The report also highlights that, perhaps for unique local reasons, one-in-five German Pay TV homes use their service less than once a week – yet keep paying. And in the U.S., social media video viewing has overtaken long-form online viewing.
The DVB will use IBC 2019 to unveil its DVB-I efforts, promising a standardised release by year-end. This suite of specifications is designed to improve scale and costs for OTT and, among other things, it tackles content discovery in a hybrid IP/broadcast world where a broadband-delivered service may not be linked to a broadcast channel. The DVB thinks the standardised DVB-I model can benefit Pay TV just as much as free-to-air broadcasters.
A recent survey covering nearly 10,000 consumers across Europe, the U.S. and Australia gives some interesting insights on viewing influences across the generations. Thirty-two per cent of Gen Z said more original content would encourage them to view more live social video. Meanwhile, 80% of Millennials have investigated or bought something after seeing a related social video.
HbbTV 2.0.1 can be used to replace advertisements that are embedded within a broadcast signal with ads that are delivered over IP. This creates the opportunity for broadcasters to target advertising using technology that is independent of Pay TV operators and also distinct from their own streaming services. Videonet is hosting a webcast that will explore the implementation details. RTL Group, which has been pioneering this concept in Germany, is among the panellists.
The preparation, management and distribution of advertising files is a well-oiled machine in advanced broadcast TV markets like the UK, and the non-broadcaster world of digital video has a lot of catching up to do. Peach has arrived with a large spanner and tool bag, ready to take on this plumbing job. The results should be less hassle, less wasted time and effort, and lower costs for everyone in the digital video advertising ecosystem.
Broadcasters will see their revenue share of the AVOD OTT market fall from 33% in 2018 to 26% in 2023, according to Ovum analyst Matthew Bailey. Presenting at Videoscape Europe last week, Bailey also predicted that connected TVs will drive most new AVOD revenue growth in the coming years.
Speaking at Videoscape Europe last week, the head of Channel 4’s digital service All 4, Richard Davidson-Houston, outlined ten common mistakes made by broadcasters when running VOD services – including impatience and over-confidence – and offered a number of ways to avoid them.
Channel 4 is in a public beta with its ad-free, subscription version of the All 4 streaming service, while ITV has offered this model since 2013 . At Videoscape Europe last week, the broadcasters revealed details of how free and paid co-exist, and what drives previously free viewers to the subscription tier. Both companies are open to the possibility of more flexible payment options in future.