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TV’s future is in platforms

Bill Scott, CCO/Easel TV, who chaired the ‘Direct To Consumer’ stream said the future of TV is in platforms: “They are easier to launch, technology is affordable and they understand their audience because of increasingly sophisticated data.”

Backing up his argument was Richard Broughton, research director/Ampere Analysis. He said SVOD/OTT revenues have grown rapidly for Netflix, Amazon and their local rivals, and are accelerating. Last year revenues were $16 billion. By 2021 they’ll be $44-$50 billion.

“These revenues are not always cannibalistic. In 2015 it was around 24 per cent who added an SVOD service. By Q3 this year that had grown to 40
per cent.”

Netflix takes the lion’s share (47 per cent) of OTT cash. Amazon is next (19 per cent) and Hulu (in the US, about nine per cent). “Three quarters of overall revenues are taken by these three players. We know that pay-TV is losing subscribers and is on a downward trajectory. There are obvious gaps in the OTT market, in sports, in reality and comedy.”

Looking to fill the reality gap is NBCUniversal via its Hayu SVOD platform, which launched in 2016. Hendrik McDermott, SVP, branded on-demand, said Hayu focuses entirely on reality TV with some 4,000 hours and another 750 episodes a year being added.

“We have just added Viacom, and our content is available just 24 hours after it has aired in the US.”

Hayu uses social media to build awareness and new subscribers. “Initially we promoted the service via our site, and that generated a few thousand views. We now use Facebook and Snapchat. One video achieved 21 million users, and converted subs at a cost of just $9.48 a sub.

Another 12-second video generated 800,000 views, and gave us new subscribers at acost of $4.66 a sub. If a promo video doesn’t work we kill it instantly.”