Ingrid Silver

Partner, Reed Smith

Direct-to-Consumer 'Broadcasting'


Wolfson Theatre
Wednesday 27 March 2019
11:00 – 13:00

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) is a mega-trend with profound implications – and we start by questioning how many content providers will follow this path and the extent to which consumers will self-aggregate and self-serve their TV in future. We investigate the opportunities to serve thematic passions and super-fans, and whether there is a role for Pay TV operators to bundle and discount DTC bouquets. We will be asking whether hundreds of channel owners can sustain their own marketing and customer care departments, and look for the technology that makes DTC affordable for everyone. Experts are invited to predict what the DTC end-game looks like.





Case Study: Evolving Partnerships – how Viacom is combining OTT, DTC and ‘traditional’ distribution

  • How Viacom is leveraging OTT to evolve core brand offerings
  • The evolution of Viacom’s partnerships with ‘traditional’ distributors
  • Insights into Viacom’s approach to ‘direct-to-consumer’

Dan Fahy, VP Commercial and Content Distribution, Viacom International Media Networks


Dan Fahy

VP Commercial and Content Distribution, Viacom International Media Networks


Transformation by self-disruption at Canada’s Public Broadcaster – a CBC Gem Case Study

  • In a world where attention is a zero-sum game, how does a traditional public broadcaster disrupt itself and stay relevant?
  • How we stood up a scalable, B2C service model with a tiered AVOD/SVOD offering at an 82-year old media company
  • As the CBC’s traditional broadcast audiences age out, how we are facing the growing challenge of attracting and retaining younger/ new audiences

Roma Kojima, Senior Director, OTT Video (CBC Gem), CBC


Roma Kojima

Senior Director, OTT Video (CBC Gem), CBC


Fireside chat: RTL Group’s Total Video: Opportunity and challenges in OTT

  • Developing broadcaster streaming services in European markets –  based on strong products, content, distribution and technology
  • Creating exclusive, local and digital first content/IP –  creating brands for multiple markets and platforms
  • Enhancing monetization across screens and markets –  giving consumers the choice through hybrid business models
  • Shaping the future of video – transitioning from linear TV to OTT

Rhys Noelke, Senior Vice President Strategy, RTL Group

Interviewed by Ingrid Silver, Partner, Reed Smith


Rhys Noelke

Senior Vice President Strategy, RTL Group


Case study: Hopster’s partnership success

  • Creating a hybrid DTC/partnership model by offering services both on the app store or the smart TV, but also on partner networks
  • Partnership with Vodafone Romania, Comcast USA and how that improved our penetration in foreign markets
  • Localisation success: ease of translating content into foreign languages due to streamlined production process and not having to deal with legacy networks.

Nicholas Walters, CEO, Hopster TV


Nicholas Walters

CEO, Hopster TV


Panel: Understanding the direct-to-consumer opportunity and its disruptive implications

  • Direct-to-consumer revenues will grow 4x by 2023[1], but what is the prospect for profits, given the potential for price-sensitivity and easy churn?
  • Deloitte thinks teenagers could buy their own streaming subscriptions with pocket money – will DTC become the modern equivalent of a magazine rack?
  • Data insights boost ARPU prospects, so can any content owner ignore the chance to establish a direct consumer engagement where they own all data?
  • How do we make the economics work if every content owner needs its own subs management, customer care, billing, data scientists, ad-tech, sales, etc?
  • Broadcasters adding third-party content to their streaming services – could the best aggregate the rest to turn catch-up ‘player’ services into destinations in their own right?
  • Predicting the end-game: Every channel goes DTC? A la carte finally trumps bundling? Consumers tire of self-serve? The end of aggregation or the rise of the re-aggregator?


[1] Figures from Digital TV Research

Moderated by Ingrid Silver, Partner, Reed Smith