Next TV: Monetization a Big Obstacle for TV Everywhere

Santa Clara, Calif. — TV anywhere, anytime still faces many challenges. But panelists at Next TV Summit San Francisco Wednesday returned over and over to monetization.

“Nobody’s interested in doing this if nobody can make any money,” said Melani Griffith, executive vice president of business development at Penthera, during the session titled “Connecting to Your TV Content Anytime, Anywhere.”

She added, though, that the dollars and cents are “starting to be figured out…it’s just going to take some time.” 

Griffith was joined on stage for the panel by Mike Murphy, head of media &and entertainment partnerships, Intel; Guillaume Payan, senior product manager, Silicon Valley, Orange; Tom Sauer, vice president of video business development, ATT; and moderator George Winslow, contributing editor, Broadcasting & Cable.

“I think that everybody understands that [things] are changing,” said Payan, explaining that the content industry is determined by consumer behavior and that companies need to be able to understand that to monetize.

The younger consumers have started to move away from traditional television, and advertisers need to understand that.

“To get access to a younger set of viewers, which are most coveted by advertisers, you have to go to all screens that are available,” said Thomas Ahn Hicks, head of strategy and business development for adRise and Tubi TV.

Hicks appeared on stage during a panel later Wednesday titled “Mobile TV and Connected TV: Optimizing the Content Experience.” He was joined by Sebastian Bruan, senior director, product management at Rovi; Dave Davis, CEO of Global Eagle Entertainment; Mark Vena, vice president of Worldwide Marketing at Slingmedia, a division of EchoStar Corp.; and moderator Jimmy Schaeffler, chairman and CSO at The Carmel Group.

“What we’re seeing right now is that connected TV is a shiny object in front of agencies and advertisers [that] I think this year, next year it’s going to have a larger prominence,” said Hicks. “There’s a blending of traditional TV buying versus digital buying.”

Other highlights from the panels included:

—Intel’s Murphy said for him the TV Everywhere challenge is more about technology. He explained that as new resolutions and graphics come out, Intel has to figure out how to align all of those technologies across devices. 

—Griffith said that when she was at Insight Communications, she at first had to beg networks for VOD rights, but by the end of her tenure she had to work with IT to increase the server capacity for all the VOD content they had. “I think that there’s no question that those rights will need to open up, it’s just, as Tom [Sauer] said earlier, it’s an evolution.”

—Orange started moving customers in Paris from DSL to fiver optics last year. “By offering better services all the time, we will also see an increase in overall usage,” said Payan, adding that that usage increase also means companies will have to make sure they have the best content to offer users.

—ATT’s Sauer doesn’t see unbundling happening any time soon. “There’s too much value in the bundles still and there’s too much value in the advertising side of the equation,” he said, adding that we may see some premiums, however, moving to the OTT space.

—Rovi’s Braun pointed out that with a plethora of content and delivery options the challenge is “How do we get this ever increasing content from an ever increasing amount of sources onto more and more devices?”

—Davis and Global Eagle Entertainment, which handles video content on airplanes, are in a unique place right now, the exec said. “We don’t think the traditional seat-back stuff is going to go away. It’s going to be augmented by the second screen that passengers bring on the plane with them.”

Jessika Walsten

Jessika is an analyst for TVREV and Fabric Media. She previously served in various roles at Broadcasting + Cable, Multichannel News and NextTV, working with the brands since 2013. A graduate of USC Annenberg, Jessika has edited and reported on a variety of subjects in the media and entertainment space, including profiles on industry leaders and breaking news.