Key Themes

Increasing television’s digital share-of-time

How broadcasters and premium channel owners increase their share-of-time in the digital (streaming) environment, where global SVODs and FAST channels fight for attention and where young people have grown used to a more diverse content offering than you see on a primetime EPG. We explore the evolution of BVOD and how catch-up services become digital destinations in their own right (including the impact of streaming-first and streaming-exclusive windows), how deeper back catalogues are fully surfaced and exploited, and ways to attract older viewers into streaming. You will hear about the evolution of digital distribution strategies: the relative importance of owned-and-operated apps and third-party digital partner distribution. We look at how broadcasters and channel owners raise the bar for their app UX and ensure great experiences even on lower-end streaming devices, with reference to cost-effective app management in a multi-OS connected TV market.

Pay TV in 2023: reasons to stay onboard

Where Pay TV operators add the greatest value for consumers and reasons they should keep subscribing when there is so much competition for attention (and household budgets are tightening). We are looking for the unique contributions to the CX and UX, including from operators that lack exclusive content (like sport). How is the Pay TV product being improved – and where are the opportunities for expanded reach or revenue growth? CTV 23 looks at how Pay TV providers excel in the role of super-aggregator. The practicalities of super-aggregation – from enabling deep in-app content discovery to streamlined app onboarding – are covered. And we want to know how to get premium super-aggregation experiences onto even low-cost devices, and so into every home. The evolving relationship between content partners and platforms is reviewed in the light of D2C growth – with the focus on what win-win distribution partnerships looks like. We ask why linear channels should stay onboard, and why streamer apps should get onboarded.

Driving D2c and SVOD growth

Direct-to-consumer has revolutionised distribution, with studio groups able to produce, curate and monetise for themselves. Meanwhile, SVOD pioneers have become major studios, ensuring the same vertical integration. The focus is on how channel groups, studios and SVOD providers of all sizes maximise their potential audience reach, convert app availability into paying customers, maintain attention in an increasingly competitive marketplace, guarantee win-win relationships with CE/OS/STB device platform providers, and expand market share during a cost-of-living crisis. You can expect discussions on content strategies, the arrival of SAVOD (subscription with advertising VOD tiers), and the potential for more thematic D2C brands, like those focused on crime programming. We want to know about the role of analytics and insights when improving the CX, maintaining attention or retaining subscribers.

Customer retention and acquisition: The Masterclass

Because it is a compelling product, and cheaper than a night out, television has found a way through many recessions, but the landscape has changed since the last one in 2008-09. Pay TV has lost some of its exclusivity, sports rights have fragmented (slightly), streaming services lack contract lock-ins or multi-play bundles (so are easy to ditch), and there is more competition for advertising dollars (including from search and social media). So, the focus is on how today’s expanded TV industry (including SVOD and D2C) rides out the storm. Agenda items include: Consumer sentiment towards entertainment subscriptions today; Pricing, packaging and market diversification (e.g. the introduction of SVOD advertising tiers); Customer retention tactics and tools; Opportunities for customer acquisition; Better understanding of the platforms and devices that deliver subscribers and lifetime value. How do we ensure TV is off the agenda when household bills are being reviewed? CTV 23 looks for the answers.

The in-car revolution - making more time for entertainment

In-car entertainment is getting a serious makeover as part of a wider transformation of information, comms, navigation and diagnostic services that form the connected car experience. And we are in the early days of a revolution that ends with the autonomous vehicle, where there are no drivers but only passengers. Cars will morph into best-in-class entertainment centres, equal to our living rooms, and ‘The 25th hour’ is the term that best describes the opportunity for every media and entertainment company on earth. Whether, in reality, it is one extra hour or three, this is a whole new market for attention and monetisation, and CTV 23 will outline the roadmap to this future. The in-vehicle personal entertainment ecosystem is starting to form, so everyone looking for a new opportunity needs to know who is shaping it. We explore the potential roles for car makers, OS providers, content owners, entertainment aggregators, UX developers and even advertisers looking for more chances to reach audiences. You will learn about the partnerships and technologies that need to emerge.

Environmentally Sustainable Television

During this decade and next, every industry on earth will have to transition to an environmentally sustainable operating model – with Net Zero one priority target. Every industry must understand the $ cost of this transition and what it means for business models and the ability to innovate. We investigate what an Environmentally Sustainable Television marketplace looks like – starting with how this industry achieves Net Zero and if it can end the journey as large, and as profitable, as when it started. There is a focus on practical carbon reduction, whether gained via compression efficiencies or storage improvements or mindful content production. Television is on a parallel journey from all-broadcast to all-streaming – but will prioritisation of Net Zero slow this particular train? The TV industry has proved adept at transformation and project management driven by extreme disruption. Is environmental sustainability just another project to add to the list, and how does the television industry ‘own this’?


The future of televised sport

We are organising a symposium dedicated to the future of televised sport, covering the evolution of sports distribution, making the most of D2C opportunities, beating the pirates, and the next-generation sports UX. It starts by considering the emergence of the D2C model and its impact on sports rights deals, how this distribution strategy is being used (and where it is appropriate), and the ongoing value of distribution partners like Pay TV channels, free-to-air broadcasters and streaming sports aggregators. We want to know how a league/federation nails their D2C service, including how you keep users engaged between matches and off-season, how you build fan communities, and the opportunities for monetisation. For all sports broadcasters and services there is a focus on how to maximise ROI on live events during what is a relatively short window of peak attention. The Symposium looks at how we undermine the pirate streamer business model using technology, law and creative thinking. There will be time for the future sports UX – the experiences that will make televised sport even more compelling (including what younger viewers are gravitating towards).

Cementing the consumer love affair with TV

How platform operators, channel owners and streaming aggregators cement the consumer love affair with TV by presenting more of the content people want, when they are in the mood to see it. The value of advanced content discovery concepts are explored, from mood-based and topic-based discovery to dynamic and personalised VOD/EPG imagery (with reference to the UX innovations that spin from them). There is a focus on content discovery as a way to simplify a TV experience that has become too complex – so how we remove siloes between content contained in different apps and support truly unified search and promotion. CTV 23 looks at how content owners uncover the hidden gems in their catalogues, and present/package library content in exciting ways. Next-generation accessibility is reviewed as an easy UX win that boosts potential audience reach and engagement. This event reviews the role of data and analytics in bringing the right content to the right consumers at the right time, and how we ensure the UX generally is a source of satisfaction – and never a factor in disengagement.

Linear TV in the streaming era

We look at the evolution of FAST (free ad-supported streaming linear TV channels) and their potential to drive special interest viewing, enrich programme brands and extend the life of library content. There is a focus on FAST distribution options and partnerships, the cost-effective creation and operation of channels, and unique UX innovations like the creation of personalised linear channels using on-demand assets. The future of ‘classic’ broadcast linear channels is assessed, with reference to audience reach and broadcast-to-VOD journeys, and we pay special attention to the role of HbbTV in enriching and expanding viewing experiences that begin in a broadcast linear channel. We want to know how smaller channel owners maintain their prominence and potential audience reach during the migration to all-streaming – and if large channel owner streaming services provide a natural home for these brands.

Maximising the value of free connected TV

As viewers migrate from broadcast to streaming, we need a ‘win-win-win’ for media owners, connected TV platforms and media buyers. This event looks at how we ensure it. So, in the streaming domain, how do we deliver big audiences, and do that quickly for advertisers? How do we make it easy to reach a target audience across multiple streaming services (and also via broadcast TV at the same time)? How does streaming help deliver incremental reach (unique users not already exposed via broadcast TV)? The emphasis is on connected TV. We want to know the impact on media planning as more content is made available on streaming services first, or exclusively in streaming services. We want to know how we take the best of the broadcast world into streaming, like giving buyers full control of ad break positioning and allowing them to target contextually within the programmatic space, or ensuring media owners can completely fill an ad break, but programmatically, in major sports events (despite the challenges of mass concurrency).

Win-wins in the Television OS marketplace

How TV-OS providers, television set OEMs and content owners work together to increase total household reach, audience engagement and ongoing revenue opportunities for streaming TV. We consider how Pay TV operators can use their own Smart TVs (or port their entertainment OS to OEM brands) to evolve the CX and grow their market reach. We want to know how global OS/UX providers in the CTV/Smart TV space differentiate themselves when competing for consumers, content owners who are seeking distribution, and advertising partners. The role of independent OS/UX providers is reviewed, including their contribution to improving the streaming UX/content experience within all rooms (including on lower-cost Smart TVs in kitchens and bedrooms). You will hear how the Smart TV landscape is changing and what a sustainable win-win partnership looks like when OEMs, content owners and OS/UX providers collaborate (referencing everything from discovery to monetisation).

Delivering an experience: STB & Operator App

This is the story of parallel and closely entwined technology roadmaps: the next-generation TV experience delivered via a set-top box, and operator/aggregator services enabled directly on a television without an STB, whether in the form of ‘Operator as an App’ on a third-party television brand or embedded into an operator-produced television set (as with the pioneering Sky Glass model). We want to know the trajectory for each technology, how they fit into the platform operator CPE portfolio, and how they can be used together. You will hear the latest thinking on how to deliver a super-aggregator experience within a rich UX featuring market-leading picture and sound quality, voice and ‘Assistant’ features in an affordable way via an operator-supplied STB. The spotlight will fall on developments across RDK, Android TV Operator Tier, Apple TV Distribution Program, operator global tech stack strategies, and scalable ‘independent’ alternatives. Then we explore the HDMI-0 (direct-to-TV) approach, including the opportunities and obstacles for a Sky-like ‘Glass’ approach.

Making TV a better product for advertisers

With search and social media always looking to grow their share of advertising budget, and a proliferation of ad-supported streamers, every media owner must stay ahead of the advertising curve, giving media buyers what they need next. So, at CTV 23 we ask media buyers what, exactly, they do want from television in 2023-24 if it is going to maintain or increase its share of advertising budget. Crucial near-term innovations will be explored: Making it easier to buy television (from automation and self-service to unified cross-platform buying); Cross-platform measurement that demonstrates incremental reach (and therefore the true value of adding BVOD or AVOD, etc, to a broadcast linear advertising campaign); Total TV planning and campaign optimisation (including knowing when to move budget from broadcast into streaming to achieve audience goals as cost-effectively as possible); Attribution that directly correlates TV advertising exposure to business outcomes (like app downloads, website visits or purchases). The impact of these innovations is outlined, but most of all we are interested in how they are implemented successfully.


The future of free-to-air aggregration

CTV 23 reviews the future of free-to-air platforms, asking how they maintain relevance if more viewing is via apps and less viewing is over DTT or satellite. We consider the role of HbbTV in FTA delivery and presentation, and the role of Smart TV providers as a gateway to free content, and what more broadcasters can do to protect their interests, and promote their content, across all platform types. Consideration is given to DTT spectrum allocation and how the ‘traditional’ broadcast industry adapts if it is ‘given’ less of it. This event reviews the potential for streaming services (including BVODs and AVODs) as aggregation hubs themselves, whether hosting third-party channel brands within their digital destination or adding audio books, podcasts and music. Are consumers ready for more video or multimedia bundling, and will it boost engagement and retention? 

Preparing for a larger addressable TV universe

Pay TV operators pioneered household-level addressable TV, and streaming services (e.g. BVOD and AVOD) are increasing the reach of targeting offers. Soon, free-to-air platforms will make their impact felt more widely, helped in Europe by HbbTV. As the universe of addressable-enabled platforms and homes expands, we look at how to make this multi-platform, multi-service patchwork of audience footprints a simple and unified ‘market’ for media buyers. Discussions could include standardising audience segment definitions, combined audience/inventory forecasting, unified (all-platform) targeted campaign management, and making the streaming long-tail easy to buy. Most of all, we are looking at the roles of different stakeholders, the collaboration needed, and the win-wins that can streamline and potentially grow the total market value for targeted TV advertising. HbbTV is under the spotlight, from STB and television set enablement to the advertising UX, with a look at the innovation roadmap and why we need FTA platforms in this game. CTV 23 also considers the unique value of media owner/platform first-party data and how to maximise its value within the targeting space (for buyers and sellers), and the privacy-first data intelligence and management that underpins this.

Extended-UX & The Metaverse

This event explores advanced UX innovations like Extended Reality (AR/VR), interactive storytelling, gamification of content and social viewing as discreet opportunities in the television space and as building blocks for the metaverse. We want to know how VOD and especially live content (including entertainment show formats and sports) can be revolutionised for ‘traditional’ TV viewing on a flat screen (multi-camera, live stats, interactive overlays, fan commentary, 360-degree surround viewing…). Then we want to know how programming and live events can be given a new life in the Metaverse across a new distribution environment with its own monetisation window. There is a focus on who helps to develop the Metaverse UX for media and entertainment, and the content formats that will work there. What does the sports experience look like in this environment (want some co-watching with an XR-powered avatar, anyone)? Keeping our feet firmly on the ground, we consider how much of the technology and applications already developed in TV can be used for the Metaverse build-out.

Sports streaming delivery: ready for primetime

Sports streaming began life as a multiscreen activity but this decade is about streaming premium live sports to the living room television set, as digital-first media companies win notable rights deals, some students and young adults live in streaming-only households, and  Pay TV operators who traditionally relied on QAM and satellite now support connected TV viewing as a multiroom or, increasingly, as a first-room activity. One of the most valuable products anywhere (televised sport) is on the move, and our focus is on getting streaming delivery networks ready for primetime – that day when most people, including older viewers, are going to watch the biggest games over IP. CTV 23 highlights the network and operations innovations that improve the sports streaming QoE and the economics of sports streaming. You can expect discussions to span everything from compression efficiencies, end-to-end latency reduction, next-gen CDN technology to sports workflows and beyond. Consideration will be given to the demands of large-scale 4K sports streaming, and the potential network demands as sports experiences enter the metaverse.

New revenues and new markets

We are curating the latest thinking on how network owners, platform operators and content providers can add discrete new revenues and exploit new markets, even in a recession. Subjects include: Games and gamification of content (including sport); The long overdue hospitality entertainment system upgrade for hotels (which need a revolution to match what we enjoy at home); ‘Beyond-TV’ lifestyle and entertainment aggregation; The stay-at-home hospital (smart health). More time will be given to exciting developments covered elsewhere on the agenda, like: The Sky Glass operator-as-a-TV-retailer model; The in-car entertainment revolution; The metaverse for media owners and media buyers.

Expanding the ad-supported TV universe

Netflix and Disney+ now have advertising tiers. FAST is a new flavour of linear TV. BVOD is a triumph of broadcaster innovation. YouTube has broadcaster ‘channels’. AVOD gives us the best of international channel groups plus special interest content that simply never aired before. The ad-supported TV universe is expanding, and we want to know how that growth will be sustained (or accelerated). Are more people watching ad-funded TV, for longer? Are streaming services fighting for the same total budget, or can TV take a bigger slice of the digital marketing pie? Does streaming ad-tech innovation (like targeting or attribution) mean more impact per view for buyers and more $ per viewer for media owners? Do we need higher or lower ad loads to make streaming a bigger success? This session considers the total market for TV advertising as we witness more streaming, and analyses the impact and value of SAVOD (Subscription with Advertising VOD), FAST, BVOD and AVOD.