OTT.X. Speakers Look at Present and Future of Streaming

The competition in the video streaming marketplace is getting stiff and will be even tighter in the future.

That’s according to speakers on the panel “Growing Your Footprint” Sept. 1 at the OTT.X Fall Summit in Los Angeles.

“There are hundreds of channels out there now,” said Matthew Singerman, president of KFA Consulting. “The competition is fierce.”

“You have to be at the forefront of what you’re doing, with the technology,” said Berkin Ecevit, sales and business development director at SPI, which has partnered with Canal Plus through its majority stake in SPI.

Indeed, being a good partner is key, said Singerman.

“It’s about how can you help that platform with your channel,” he said. “What’s gonna make the platform want us?”

Data also is important in competing.

“Today, we have a tremendous focus on customer data,” said Jason Peterson, chairman and CEO at GoDigital Media Group. “We know who these people are, where they live, what their purchasing behavior is.”

Knowing the audience “really, really well” is even more crucial when a streamer tries to attract advertisers, he said.

As far as expansion internationally, Tomas Gennari, CEO of BB Media, noted, “We need to become experts in each of those markets.”

“The same formula that works in the U.S. will not be able to work everywhere in the world,” he said.

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Moderator Michele Edelman, of Premiere Digital, asked the panel if consolidation is coming with current economic pressures and growing competition.

“As an industry matures, it’s very normal to see consolidation,” said Peterson.

“I think there will be continuous consolidation,” said Gennari.

“Consolidation is going to happen,” predicted Ecevit. “FAST [free ad-supported streaming] will be global.”

Indeed, bigger players have an advantage, noted Peterson. Companies with streaming services, such as Apple and Amazon, look at the total lifetime value of customers and can afford to use streaming as a loss leader, he said.

“It doesn’t matter if ‘Lord of the rings’ for Amazon is profitable,” Peterson said. It’s about “did they get customers for their overall service or did they retain customers for their overall service,” he noted.

Still, a growing international marketplace will bring fresh foreign content.

“We love it when we see things like ‘Squid game,’ ‘Elite’ … non-Hollywood productions … conquer the world,” Gennari said. “I do expect to see more of that.”

Sports content, too, will be key in the growing battle for exclusive content to attract customers, Singerman said.

“All the major sports will have exclusives,” he said.

“Not just major sports, but minor sports,” added Edelman.

Despite all the competition, good ideas will still matter, said Singerman.

“Even though there’s saturation, someone always comes up with a channel or an idea,” he said. “There’s always a way to break through.”