Session producer Bill Scott (COO, Easel TV) has gathered some extremely senior panellists to help guide IBC delegates through the maelstrom that is OTT today (‘Is OTT simply broadcast re-booted?’ Forum: 11:30-13:00). As he says, “Everyone is doing it, from the likes of Sky to HBO to Sony and Dish in the US.”
Indeed, it is threat of the ‘disruptive’ nature of OTT, especially from the deep-pocketed names such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, which pose a real and present danger to all of the established broadcast norms. When Netflix can comfortably achieve more new subscribers in a single year than the likes of Sky UK in 20-odd years of effort, then it is a global force to be reckoned with.
Scott’s panel will comprise those in firm favour of OTT, perhaps on the basis that if we cannot beat them, then we had better launch a rival service, as well as speakers from a more traditional broadcasting background.
Maaz Sheikh, president of Starz Play Arabia (from the UAE); Joseph Inzerillo, EVP/CTO at Major League Baseball Advanced Media; David Pendleton, COO at Australia’s ABC; Gideon Katz from Sky’s Now TV service and Hans Van Rijn, Denmark-based VP/digital media & business development at Discovery Networks International.
They will debate the key questions, including: Is OTT simply the future for broadcasting? and examining how new and very different consumption patterns are driving ‘broadcasters’ to present and curate their content in favour of OTT.
The OTT phenomenon is also examined in a follow-on session (Friday, Room E102, 14:00-15:30) when Cognizant’s Chris Lawrence asks his panel to review the impact of cord cutting and its implications for traditional broadcasters.
Later in the afternoon, IBC’s Content Innovation session (‘How Vice News is Changing the Paradigm’: E102, 16:00-17:30) also takes a close look at how on-demand Vice News is wholly altering the newsgathering model, and which in a matter of months seems to have made a dramatic impact with viewers wishing to escape the traditional broadcasting formula.