The Challenges in the TV & Streaming Space

Changing consumer habits have drastically impacted the TV and streaming industry for the past few years. On The Content & Media Matters Podcast we were joined by the Vice President of Strategy, Business Development & International at Sling TV, Liz Riemersma. Liz has a background in marketing and business development in a variety of sectors, and has spent the past seven years within the TV industry. These are her thoughts on the challenges currently facing the sector:

Over the past couple of years, many of the players in the industry have collectively forgotten what their DNA is. Prior to the rise of direct to consumer platforms, media companies were focused on making media, and content distribution companies were very focused on distribution, and platforms were really focused on what the end user was experiencing in terms of using their operating systems. Now we’re at a point where platforms are making content, distribution companies are making platforms, content companies are doing distribution, and some of them are dabbling in licensing platforms. It’s created a very confusing landscape. 

The reality is that all of those companies had a starting point with a financial structure that underpinned what their business was and was not. For example, we’re a distributor. We have no strength, history, or knowledge in making content. That’s a completely different cost structure and a different environment entirely. It would be pretty clear that we are not in the content business, right? We spend all of our money and effort on improving the end user experience via our technology, our distribution and the way we are reaching customers. 

If a media company comes into the space, and they say, ‘I’ve got all these investments in media and generating original content, but I’m also going to act as a distributor. I’m going to be marketing people directly. I’m going to be investing in technology and getting that pushed through to the end user.’ They’ve basically doubled their load financially. All the while they are pulling the rug out from their distributors. Your distributors are paying you $5 per sub and now you’re losing money on their platform. A lot of those decisions have been because people are seeing cord cutting coming online. There’s definitely fear around our revenue and ARPU. But, companies have underestimated the costs that are associated with moving from one business model to another. I don’t think that they were prepared to do it. Companies are loading up their business model with something that’s not necessarily their business.

Now that the incumbent media companies have all had some level of experience in going direct to direct to consumer, they understand the financial prospect of what that means. They’re going from a place where you’re free of any distribution costs with $5 per subscriber that you’re getting from your distributors to a negative $5 per consumer on their own platform. I do think that you will see a little bit more conservatism when it comes to the content they are keeping on live TV, because their money is coming from live TV. If they can’t supply that demand, they are being financially irrational.

To learn more about the state of the TV and streaming industry, tune into Episode 22 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

Changes in the Sport Media Sector

The sports media sector has been massively impacted by the changes in viewing patterns that have emerged across the Content & Media industry. On Episode 20 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we were joined by sport media veteran Ed Abis, who is the Managing Director at Dizplai. Ed has led an extensive career in the live sports and media space, having worked with Burnley FC and ITV, even helping Nike with their collaboration with Manchester United Soccer schools. Today Edie is focused on data visualisation solutions for the media and sports market. He shared his insights into the changing landscape of the sports media industry. 

What has had the most impact on the sports media space in terms of the evolution of technology and the way we consume sports since you joined the industry?

I worked for the Perform Group (now Stats Perform) when they were at the forefront of creating sports streaming. We were working with global sports durations, and helping them to develop their commercial story and effectively monetize their content. I’ve worked with other companies during this advising fever as well, helping organisations get accessibility to their live sports, because it was felt that the sports broadcasting world would only focus on the biggest sports. 

I was lucky enough to work with a great number of people and organisations where we were learning together and from each other. That was effectively a sports streaming revolution, because we were doing things that no one was doing before. Sometimes it went wrong, but not through having the fear. We innovated and I think immeasurably moved the industry forwards.

What would you say are the biggest challenges facing the sports media market today?

There is so much choice now. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens over the coming years in terms of what some entities will do. We’ve seen what’s happened with the merger between Discovery and BT Sport and there’s changes afoot there at a high level. I think it makes it difficult for consumers because they need to have so many subscriptions, because everyone in the house has a different preference. That is a challenge. But the opportunity as a consumer is to pick and choose what service I want to go and buy, which also means I have a choice that I’ve never had before. That’s exciting for consumers. I remember my days of working with The Equestrian Federation, which has a very niche audience, but they have a very high net worth and a very engaged audience as well. Their content won’t always be on the BBC or any other major broadcast because they’re not a major event supplier, but there are people who really want to watch it, and TEF can offer that simply and easily.

What are you most excited about for the future of sports media?

If certain things go to our competitors we all push each other. There are certain direct and indirect examples – one that we worked with is SkySports and their boxing, where we’ve worked with our product team and their product team to create an interactive boxing scorecard. That isn’t necessarily something new – there’s been some web based voting applications around for years – but what we’ve done is create an end to end solution so the audience feels a part of when they’re watching the boxing. They scan a QR code, and they are scoring the fight round by round. Producers understand that they need this payoff of saying to the audience, ‘This is how you are all voting for this fight right now’. I want to see more interactive innovations like that. 

To learn more about developments happening in the sports media sector, tune into Episode 20 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast here

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

IBC 2022, 3 years in the making!

With the cancellation of the shows in both 2020 and 2021 it was starting to feel like we would never get back to the lowlands for the biggest of the Broadcast trade shows IBC.

Apart from being the centrepiece show for much of the media tech space, IBC holds a special place for me as the first media show I ever went to, the first show where I realised that those shoes looked nice but were entirely impractical for 20k steps a day on the show floor, the first show where I found myself in a one-on-one with an SVP who clearly did not know who I was and wanted to know why I was taking up their time…ah memories.

IBC 2022 will be our first chance in years to meet some of our favourite people in the industry, host some networking events, and really immerse ourselves back into the media space (especially with those who could not make it out to Vegas for NAB). Since our last show in Amsterdam, neuco has doubled in size and we will have our biggest ever presence on the floor so if you want to talk about your plans for the future or just to catch up with us, now is the best time to get in touch with us so we can book in a meeting.

Outside of the show itself, it is always wonderful to have an excuse to stay in Amsterdam and I would encourage anyone attending to book their flight home a few days later than planned so you have the chance to explore and take in some of the things that have made the city a hotspot for European travellers.

What are these things you ask? Come on, we all know what I’m talking about…it’s well developed cycling infrastructure of course! If you think I’m not serious then you have never experienced the joy of cycling round a major city without once being nearly sideswiped by a taxi or crushed to a fine paste by a bus at a junction, it must be experienced.

Not convinced, well OK there are other things to enjoy there, things a bit more enticing than bicycles. Yes, you guessed it, trams. Trams are the best kind of city mass transit and I will not hear a word said against them. How did this train sneak on to this road? I’m not sure but I’m not complaining.

Oh, oh yes and the art and culture and food and music and so on, but mainly trams and separate bike lanes.

See you at the show!

Every Wednesday we sit down with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.