We explore the value-adds that will make Pay TV platforms indispensable, from hard-bundling and discounting of streaming apps to on/off subscription management portals. Should YouTube be more tightly integrated into the Pay TV UX, and what about FAST channels – and how is that executed successfully? We consider the global implications of the Charter/Disney deal in the U.S. – what it tells us about the future of linear channels, D2C, bundling, discounting and the content owner/operator relationship. As we set our sights on an all-streaming world, we consider the issue of prominence, and how smaller operators get access to the best apps. The next steps in super-aggregation and universal discovery are tackled, including innovations that reduce cost and make life easier.

You will hear about the service opportunities that can increase engagement or generate new revenues for service providers offering Pay TV and/or broadband. The connected car is happening, but who will control the hours passengers will spend watching TV, and what can Pay TV operators, streaming services and channels bring to the car party? Delta Air Lines is bringing a 19-channel live TV service to domestic U.S. flights, so is this another valuable consumer touchpoint? We consider the potential for casual games and gamification of content, and even education on a TV service, and explore ‘connectivity+’ solutions, beginning with managed Wi-Fi and ‘Kids Wi-Fi Pause’. Time is spent considering what a truly converged Entertainment/Smart Home CX/UX looks like, and if this is a differentiator.

What does the EPG of the future look like? This question starts our investigation into UX/UI innovation in a world that is increasingly streamed. We consider the role of DVB-I in presenting hybrid programme guides with streaming channels that until now have been locked inside apps. How do broadcasters harness this technology to increase reach and viewing hours? The presentation of FAST within operator guides, and the technology that delivers a great FAST experience in this environment, is reviewed. This year’s event showcases the next-generation televised sports UX, from remote co-viewing to XR/immersive content, and looks at sports content discovery as rights fragment across more services. Expect discussions on the impact of AI across the UX.

We are showcasing the direct-to-TV opportunity now available to Pay TV operators. This is where an operator can deliver a full-flavour service on a television set without the need for an STB or other external hardware, and yet still be the default application, UX and content package consumers see first. We explore the options to develop a private-label television set or partner with a retail OEM brand to take application prominence on their hardware. We ask if the Pay TV ‘app-among-apps’ model can deliver a successful STB-less future. The future of the set-top box is also firmly on the agenda, starting with how we raise the bar for STB-based experiences and do that economically.

We hear market insights on the rapidly evolving Smart TV OS/UX space, and explore innovation from the companies who are not traditional Pay TV providers – with a look at device, UX and content. Television set OEM choices are explored – what do they gain from partnering with a globally recognised Smart TV OS/UX or working with ‘independents’? We ask how an OS/UX provider excels at FAST, serving the end consumer, television set makers looking for recurring revenues, and advertisers. We want to know if we are on the cusp of a generational upgrade in OS/UX capabilities across lower-priced television set brands, and what this could mean for the whole connected TV ecosystem.

We have a line-of-sight to an all-streaming future, so should expect more political and regulatory focus on television delivery infrastructure and business again. We consider the regulatory playing field and how it could change. This event investigates the future of ‘free-to-air’ television in an increasingly digital universe, especially via streaming-only FTA platforms that put broadcaster streaming services front-and-centre. We want to know how smaller channels maintain prominence and audiences in an increasingly streamed landscape. Broadcaster streaming distribution strategies are reviewed, including the role of owned-and-operated properties, broadcaster FAST and video sharing platforms like YouTube. We ask how we attract more older viewers to streaming, and what channel owners think of the connected car as a new consumer touchpoint.

We want to know how SVOD and D2C services keep growing, and how international studios and channel groups successfully balance their distribution across direct apps and aggregation partners, and how they balance exclusive originals with content licensing. Innovations like the studio-branded hub, where a subset of D2C content is made available to subscribers of third-party streaming aggregators, are explored. What impact is this approach having where used, and how widespread could it become? You will hear how Pay TV partnerships can be deepened, including with hard-bundling. There is a special look at ad-supported tiers from global subscription streamers and their impact on uptake, and we ask if the user-friendly ‘Borrowers’ model pioneered by Netflix is the benchmark for dealing with password sharing.

We want to know how FAST becomes a great success in Europe, and start by reviewing the content and service innovations from non-broadcaster channel owners and FAST aggregators. What are the lessons when building production company D2C FAST, where programme IP finds a home on the 24/7 linear schedule? We want to know if FAST delivers incremental audiences to sports streamers outside their apps, and how in-app viewing and FAST is differentiated generally. Is FAST a new window, as well as a new distribution option? Broadcaster FAST is on the agenda, including strategies for producing new channels, hosting within BVOD, and distributing on third-party Smart TV offers. We want to know when third-party FAST channels will appear in BVOD at scale, and what it takes to create a successful FAST partnership with a Pay TV operator on their STB. FAST technology is reviewed, including how we ensure brilliant QoE, content discoverability, personalisation and advertising monetisation.

Our 2024 agenda includes a look at the infrastructure and delivery technologies that support ongoing improvements in the streaming TV experience and business model. You can expect discussions on compression, low-latency streaming and multicast ABR. We consider how delivery networks are prepared for mass-concurrency live sport, including as it becomes more immersive. We want to know about improvements in the last mile and last metre, from application-aware service prioritisation to managed Wi-Fi. We investigate the future of CDNs: what happens next to boost performance and reduce costs for streaming television? There is time to consider the impact of AI on content production and distribution, and review advances in content protection and antipiracy.

We consider how advertisers replace declining broadcast linear TV audiences with equivalent, effective reach via streaming TV. The value of expanded BVOD catalogues, FAST, and video sharing platforms like YouTube are considered. We want to know if the ad-supported tiers introduced by international SVODs offer something unique to advertisers – whether that is audience reach, fandom halos, marketing innovations or viewing experience. We’ll be asking whether Barb’s ‘fit-for-TV’ classification – designed to differentiate between broadcast-standard content on video sharing platforms and ‘the rest’ – will unlock more inventory for TV buyers, and if this could be applied beyond the UK. The role of programmatic in reaching and monetising streaming audiences will be explored, and we hear how the industry makes it easier to aggregate audiences across an increasingly fragmented media landscape.

Audience measurement is undergoing a revolution, and we explore the latest innovations in cross-platform measurement and ask how these support advertiser and media owner needs as viewers spend their time switching between broadcast TV and streaming – and some consumers become digital-first. The focus is on demonstrating the incremental reach that streaming delivers over broadcast linear TV, and how you avoid audience duplication when adding a new streaming service to other streaming inventory purchases. We consider the value of deterministic data sources like STB return path data and ACR on Smart TVs. The role of JICs, ‘independent’ panels and multi-vendor alternative measurement and currency solutions are considered. We also ask what impact attention measurement is having on media planning.

Addressable TV is firmly on the agenda, starting with how Pay TV operator viewing data reveals household interests and make-up, and how this knowledge can be used to underpin audience segmentation and better media planning (in a privacy-compliant manner). We explore the future of addressable TV on free-to-air broadcast platforms, and especially on digital terrestrial. What must happen next to make this a meaningful part of the addressable TV footprint across Europe? Innovations in dynamic ad insertion are considered, especially how DAI scales to support targeting (including programmatic targeting) within the biggest live sports events. You will hear the latest thinking on combining targeting across broadcast and streaming, and unifying planning and campaign management when advertisers want to use mass-reach and targeted advertising together.