Invite-Only: Making yourself the go-to super-aggregator

TV Pathfinders is an invitation-only event, hosted on the eve of Connected TV Summit. This year, the event is held at the Century Club in London. All discussions are under the ‘Chatham House Rule’ to ensure a frank exchange of views and ideas.

SVOD giants dominate the headlines, major media owners are pursuing direct-to-consumer strategies and households are stacking multiple subscription streaming services. The market for premium video entertainment has never been so fragmented and it brings into question the future relevance of aggregators and traditional content bundles.

Yet the determination of Netflix to be onboarded by the leading Pay TV operators, with Amazon following a similar path, is creating partnerships that look like more than short-term marriages of convenience. The emergence of completely new, digital-only app aggregators like Amazon Channels – and the rumours that Apple would like to replicate this model – suggests there is serious value in streaming services being showcased and sold under one roof.

The respected research firm Ovum has identified a fast-growing market for companies who insert themselves between DTC (direct-to-consumer) apps and consumers, with serious revenues attached. Pay TV operators have everything in place – from large audiences, subscription management and billing, expertise across content promotion and discovery, ad sales and ad-tech – to become leaders in this ‘super-aggregator’ market.

In fact, it would be negligent if the Pay TV industry were to let born-digital companies take ownership of the role of OTT aggregation.

This private thought-leadership event investigates how ‘incumbent’ platform owners can become the best super-aggregators, including the competitive advantages they can exploit. It takes a wide-ranging look at the future of content distribution, and why channel owners who have gained more independence from platforms in the digital/apps era should want to maintain a reliance upon them.

It also considers some of the technologies that will underpin any successful 21st century video service, and which are central to the ambition of becoming a best-in-class super-aggregator – namely data analytics, AI and machine learning. We will be exploring how these give every Pay TV operator an edge, and how they can broaden and deepen partnerships between a platform and its onboarded app owners. You will hear about:

The many variations on premium TV aggregation in the digital space, from Pay Lite to Amazon Channels

The willingness of broadcasters to aggregate themselves in shared digital services

Whether the rules of the game have really changed in relation to a la carte economics and consumer self-serve

The market potential for all types of ‘re-intermediary’ who insert themselves between DTC apps and consumers

The competitive advantages for Pay TV in the super-aggregation marketplace

The impact of AI/machine learning on any TV service and its ability to surface relevant content and personalise the user experience

The deep partnership opportunities with onboarded app owners, including customer acquisition, churn busting, content discovery and in-app QoE, utilising AI/analytics.

Century Club
Tuesday 26 March 2019
14:00 – 18:00

Chairperson

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Justin Lebbon

Director, Mediatel Events

14:00 - 14:30 Arrival. Refreshments. Networking

14:30

Welcoming introduction

14:35

The competitive advantages for Pay TV in the super-aggregation market

  • The skills every DTC provider must master including data analytics, UX, media asset management and content protection
  • How it is possible to duplicate these functions across hundreds of low-ARPU services without eating industry profit margins
  • The different onboarding models for Pay TV operators, from Android TV with Google Play’s app collection to bespoke service integrations
  • Functions Pay TV operators can perform for app providers in deep onboarding partnerships, from billing to ad sales and bundling
  • Identifying the competitive advantages for Pay TV in the super-aggregation market – consumer and app partner perspectives

Ivan Verbesselt, Senior Vice President Marketing, NAGRA

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Ivan Verbesselt

Senior Vice President Marketing, NAGRA

14:45

What premium TV aggregation looks like in 2019 – taking stock of recent innovations analysed by the Pay-TV Innovation Forum

  • The Pay TV ‘Lite’ skinny bundle and its impact in Europe, and the role of free/premium digital bouquets like Zattoo
  • The potential for real and rumoured multi-broadcaster digital services, from 7TV to SALTO and ‘Kangaroo 2’
  • The emergence of DTC OTT streaming for Sports, with Discovery and Disney/ESPN+
  • Amazon Channels as the SVOD and DTC ‘super-aggregator’, and the likelihood that others will adopt this model
  • The spectrum of Pay TV super-aggregation models, from app onboarding to billing and bundling, and likely evolution
  • The future of bundling, pricing and discounting for channels and services that today are standalone DTC apps

Jon Watts, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, MTM

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Jon Watts

Managing Partner, MTM

15:00

Apple’s OTT Announcement: Immediate Analysis

  • What is it, what does it mean and does it matter?
  • How should broadcasters and content owners respond?
  • Potential competitive impact to traditional media owners, distributors and to the new kids on the block (Netflix)
  • What’s the business model behind the launch
  • Predicting Apple’s future plans and strategy in the world of TV

Ted Hall, Research Director, IHS Markit

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Ted Hall

Research Director, IHS Markit

15:15

Understanding the Amazon Channels model of SVOD and direct-to-consumer services aggregation

  • How Amazon Channels accommodates the trend for multiple SVODs and DTCs per home with single subscription and billing
  • Assessing the content available from services found (a la carte) in Amazon Channels – who they appeal to, strengths and weaknesses
  • The role of Amazon Channels as a shop window for thematic DTC apps, and as a subscription driver for mainstream digital channel owners
  • Who else could replicate this ‘under one roof’ model, and how many app aggregators could the market sustain?

Guy Bisson, Research Director, Ampere Analysis

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Guy Bission

Research Director, Ampere Analysis

15:35

Panel: A la carte and self-serve television, the potential for app re-intermediation and the making of a super-aggregator

  • A la carte was never an option for Pay TV because “weaker channels would die”, so have digital economics changed the rules of the game?
  • Is there any evidence that consumers will tire of self-aggregating digital services, paying multiple bills and navigating across apps?
  • Ovum estimates that app re-intermediaries take 10-30% of OTT charges from DTC apps – what is the ROI for the app owner?
  • What will persuade media owners to put their ‘apps’ into aggregator services – audience reach, data sharing, shared ad-tech and ad sales…?
  • In terms of customer profile and reach, what can Pay TV operators offer an onboarded streaming partner that YouTube or Facebook cannot?
  • What is the most viable threat to Pay TV operators who want to become a super-aggregator – Apple replicating Amazon Channels?
  • Does serious aggregation also require bundling and discounting – and are Pay TV operators best placed to provide and manage these?
  • What is the ultimate purpose of DTC for established channel owners – to complement aggregators or avoid them entirely?

Panel moderated by Colin Dixon, Founder and Chief Analyst, nScreen Media

Colin Dixon

Colin Dixon

Founder and Chief Analyst
nScreen Media

Ingmar Schmidt

Ingmar Schmidt

Senior TV Portfolio Manager - Business Operations
Swisscom

16:10 Networking Break with Refreshments

16:40

The value of SVOD aggregation

  • How successful can a super-aggregator be?
    o New data on Amazon Channels impact in the UK and US
  • SVOD providers always have a choice in working with an aggregator. What do they say they will get them to work with one over another
  • Customers can always go direct to an SVOD. What will motivate them to use an aggregator?
  • The companies who will battle for re-intermediary market share, from Pay TV operators to Amazon, Google, Roku and Apple
  • Re-intermediary business models: charging for placement, promotion, search and concessions on revenue share deals

Colin Dixon, Founder and Chief Analyst, nScreen Media

 

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Colin Dixon

Founder and Chief Analyst, nScreen Media

17:00

Show me the money – How can data analytics and AI give an edge to Pay TV in its super-aggregator role?

  • The skills every DTC provider must master including data analytics, UX, media asset management and content protection
  • How it is possible to duplicate these functions across hundreds of low-ARPU services without eating industry profit margins
  • The different onboarding models for Pay TV operators, from Android TV with Google Play’s app collection to bespoke service integrations
  • Functions Pay TV operators can perform for app providers in deep onboarding partnerships, from billing to ad sales and bundling
  • Identifying the competitive advantages for Pay TV in the super-aggregation market – consumer and app partner perspectives.

17:20

Panel: Using data analytics and AI to boost TV and the value proposition for a super-aggregator

  • Machine learning generates deep metadata, including about sentiment and emotion, down to scene level, automatically – how can this be harnessed to improve content discovery?
  • The dynamic UI: what can we change in real-time based on behaviour, and how much personalisation across content and navigation is realistic in a shared household?
  • Any opportunities for a super-aggregator to help onboarded app owners, using analytics: customer acquisition, churn prevention and win-back, cold-start recommendations…?
  • What impact can machine learning have in the network and operations, and how can it improve the reliability and quality of app-partner streaming services?
  • What are the industry implications if streaming apps guard their own consumption data and no single entity has a detailed knowledge of total viewing behaviour?
  • How can AI/machine learning improve call centre operations and enable new customer touchpoints, or ensure the costs and scale needed to add apps to operator bills?
  • What applications benefit most from quickly identifying patterns from massive datasets: piracy and password sharing, understanding who is in front of a shared TV set…?
  • What are the easiest short-term wins, and the longer-term game-changers, when applying AI, machine learning and data analytics to TV and super-aggregation?

Panel moderated by Jon Watts, Managing Partner and co-founder, MTM

18:00 Networking Cocktail Reception

19:00 Dinner