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Building A Sustainable Broadcaster OTT Strategy In The New Decade

New Video Frontier Roadmap Conference

How successful have European broadcasters been in developing sustainable over-the-top (OTT)  strategies? At the dawn of the new decade, this question—and challenge—is in the hearts of U.K.’s traditional media companies, as they battle to compete and prosper in a fragmenting media landscape where new rivals offer the convenience of viewing platforms and a vast variety of content to consumers. 

In January 2020 in London, Video Ad News brought this challenge into the spotlight during a panel session at the New Video Frontier (NVF) Roadmap conference. The panel was moderated by Jon Watts, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, MTM, and featured Sarah Rose, Chief Consumer and Strategy Officer, Channel 4, Lara Izlan, Director, Advertising Data and Analytics, ITV, and our very own Terrie Brennan, Regional Commercial Lead, Nielsen. Leading minds from U.K. agencies, broadcasters, publishers and TV operators were all ears. With new technologies on the rise, such as addressable TV, the time is now for broadcasters and streaming services to uncover an independent, single source of truth with a cross-platform lens. 

There is no denying that content is still king. The broadcasters acknowledged their rivals’ ability, such as Netflix and Disney+, to amass the audience and make content easily accessible. “Right now, TV creates the content. In the next five years, we will see the big players invest money and resources in creatives to produce their own original programs,” Terrie said. 

The key to success in this complex market lies in understanding what, when, who and how the ever-changing consumer is accessing content. Today, consumers are facing an overwhelming load of programming. Quality content retains the audience and builds brand loyalty. Meanwhile, as consumers become increasingly cost conscious, it’s only a matter of time until some of the key players will be forced to adopt advertising, using ACR addressable technology, as a means to funding quality original content. Terrie noted, “To compete, broadcasters will have to focus on what consumers want to watch. It is more important than ever to piece the content, advertising and the consumers together in a holistic view.”

As consumer behaviors and technology evolve, traditional TV broadcasters must follow suit. Collaboration is key, bringing data, platform and ad tech together. “Nielsen’s cross-platform measurement could facilitate this.” concluded Terrie.

The growth of video consumption is happening across all demographic groups, not just young generations. The options to watch content in a household are steadily increasing, ranging from traditional TV to internet-connected smart TV glass to mobile phones to tablets. This poses measurement challenges, as companies across the media landscape need consistent data across all platforms. That’s where Nielsen’s one media truth comes into play, which provides standardized measurement across broadcasters and platforms.

Barney Farmer at NVF

In a video interview with Video Ad News, Barney Farmer, Global Media Commercial Lead U.K., echoed these standpoints. “By definition, consistency across metrics tend to drive spend in ad sectors, as they give advertisers and agencies assurances that they are getting the audiences they think they bought. If this is via a currency system or metrics that are traded on across a market, accuracy and assurance definitely help. The challenge is that most platforms and broadcasters have their own definitions and rules for measurement, which means there is no consistency today. Nielsen has the capability to provide standardised measurement and to measure who has seen the content, as well as the advertising,“ said Barney.

There is much excitement building around addressable TV in the industry. “Nielsen is on track having acquired Sorenson a couple of years ago and we are launching our role in Advanced TV advertising and measurement across platforms. We are working with major TV manufacturers to ACR addressable technology and working with major broadcasters. The USA is advancing in this space, and we will be entering Europe with a pilot very soon,” said Barney.