The presentations and videos from BroadThinking 2021 are available now to EBU Members and event attendees.
This year's BroadThinking conference focused strongly on how broadcasters – and particularly public service media – can survive in a world where global SVOD platforms are becoming increasingly dominant. Keynote speaker Danielle Attias of Salto pointed to one promising route: the early signs from France are that the new broadcaster-owned SVOD platform she leads is on track to carve out a significant and sustainable part of the market. Early results show that 60% of the audience is under 35 and an average viewing time of 2 hours per day.
Analysis presented by Mediatique showed that OTT delivery increasingly has gatekeepers that can block or complicate reaching audiences. These gatekeepers are found both on the aggregation side and also among the providers of operating systems on the receiving devices. A related area of concern was the costs of OTT delivery, where another gatekeeper-like impact is evident.
As ever, standards-based approaches are seen as offering the best solutions for PSM. HbbTV and DVB-I offer new ways of reaching audiences; 5G promises to offer a new toolbox for reaching connected devices; HESP (High Efficiency Streaming Protocol) and Open Caching can improve CDN performance; and new video codecs under consideration at DVB should reduce distribution costs and enable new services.
A panel discussion on PSM online services revealed broad agreement that the distribution of content on third-party platforms like YouTube or Facebook should be approached with care. While this approach might offer some short-term benefits, there could be negative long-term impacts. ARD's Tanja Hüther said that if PSM distribute on YouTube because it’s cheaper and easier, then there won’t be any PSM in ten years’ time. RTVE's Ignacio Gómez Hernández pointed out that while selling content to the likes of Netflix, Amazon or Disney provides a source of revenue, they are black boxes: broadcasters have no say in how the content is displayed or discovered and get no data back.