The Next TV Summit at NYC Television Week

NYC Television Week is the main event for the NY broadcast industry addressing the business and creative side of TV. It is held parallel to the CCW and SATCON conferences and exhibitions, that address more of the technology side of TV. Part of the NYC Television Week was the Next TV Summit discussing the future of TV.

The conference is made up of podium discussions and presentations which we will report on in several parts.

The first discussion “Mobile and OTT Disrupting the Television Business” focused on the changes in the TV landscape and the consequences for the business and creative process. The overlying sentiment was that TV business is changing and changing fast. Mobile and over the top (OTT) are just two of the changes which the industry has to address. VH1 stated that it achieves an 85% completion rate (meaning that 85% of 346 starting to watch an episode actually finish watching it), which is a very high number. Of course, VH1 has a strong following among younger viewers, which is also a group which is a strong user of the mobile platform.

As an extension to this specific development VH1 also sees that the viewership is changing. There is a generational shift in parallel with the changes in viewing behavior. It may be a good starting point to assume that this is the driver behind these shifts.

Increasing revenue from produced content is the key for the TV business model to succeed. As Telemundo described it, growing the TV business requires selling to more markets, or selling the same content to more distribution platforms. As the panellists all agreed, business models are always changing and the TV industry has to adapt to the changing times.

Another aspect is how content will change with the distribution platform. Mobile is the perfect platform for shorter content. Looking at social media, this may be going down as low as 6 seconds for a single item of content. I don’t know if this refers to real content or advertisements, I assume that a 6s commercial may make more sense than a 6s episode of your favorite show.

A key to television programming is of course the inclusion of an advertisement as it pays for typically 50% of the content creation cost. With many more different platforms reaching the consumer, the interest of the advertisers in media will be as fragmented as the platforms. One of the issues with this fragmentation is how to measure the audience and assign a value to the various platforms. There are several groups trying to create such standards, including Nielsen and Comescore. In the end, the content owners have to monetize their content to the best of their abilities. Otherwise the content creation process would suffer a significant disruption going forward. – Norbert Hildebrand