DTG Summit 2024: Six things we learned

The 2024 edition of the DTG Summit in London was one not to miss. In this blog post we look at the latest trends, insights, and developments of the broadcast industry, and we round up six key takeaways from the event.

The landscape of television, media, and technology is ever evolving. Amid natural complexities of an industry that keeps growing, it’s paramount for every stakeholder in this sector to come together and anticipate change. A process that, inevitably, will inform the future of TV and digital media, while maintaining the right balance between innovation and the essence of this sector.

The DTG Summit 2024, held in London on May 8th, was the ideal platform to take the pulse of an industry that welcomes new tech that improves the experience of millions of end-users. It brought together experts and decision-makers from the entire ecosystem, providing the audience with a rich content programme and invaluable networking opportunities.

In this blog post, we round up six key takeaways from a day that helped operators figure what the next chapter of television will look like: from content discovery to advertising and the future of distribution in the UK and beyond. Read on...

#1. Understanding audiences, a ministerial keynote

Julia Lopez MP’s opening keynote announced the launch of a new audience engagement programme. The Minister for Digital Infrastructure highlighted the need to understand audiences and put end-users at the heart of plans for tech innovation in the near future. A stakeholder forum will be created to support the project, and bring to life innovations that will grant the ability for anyone to “access reliable, free-to-view television in a format that’s familiar to them”.

By 2040, 99% of households in the UK will have access to IP-enabled TV, and the main objective is to ensure that audiences are not left behind.

#2. Content discovery: make it easy, make it smart

One of the most debated topics, across the entire content programme, reverted around content discovery. Often a weakness, especially on platforms providing remarkable volumes of content stacked across different categories, the process of searching through and finding compelling titles for end-users is one of the key indicators of satisfaction when using a streaming video service. Technology is here to help, and so is artificial intelligence (AI), but the truth is… it’s not just a matter of algorithms.

Jonathan Broughton, Head of Research at PlumResearch, stated: “There is a range of tools for content curation that are needed today to engage audiences in an authentic way. The objective is not to overserve or over prescribe content to users but to get to the bottom of understanding needs in a greater depth”.

Personalisation, enhanced use of metadata, voice-controlled search are all integral aspects to a ‘winning’ user experience.

#3. Future-proof strategies for younger viewers

Among the keywords of the entire day at the DTG Summit was authenticity. Something that relates directly to video content platforms, but most importantly to the audiences of today and tomorrow.

With an eye on Gen Z and ‘sky-high’ expectations, Arcade Media’s Jordan Schwarzenberger took the stage to talk about strategies and tactics to future-proof businesses in the near future. Understanding how to capture young spend and appeal across multiple demographics is an absolute urgency in today’s landscape. Therefore, making sure that content resonates with the target audience is paramount to ensure business continuity and success in the long run.

#4. Finding new revenue streams

The objective of profitability for broadcast services sits at the top of everyone’s agenda today. Ad-supported services, user engagement,revenue boosting via D2C strategies and FAST: the conversation moved across these key pillars, which were perfectly summarised in the panel titled ‘Driving new revenue streams: Diversification and growth’.

Simplestream’s Dan Finch highlighted: "The FAST market seems to be saturated, and platforms are facing the challenge of 'staying relevant' whilst fighting for screen-time. Channels looking to monetise with ad-insertion, need to adopt SSAI to guarantee good performances and continuity". On the other hand, Jacob Ahlin of Narrative Entertainment focused on content as the driving force for successful (and profitable) services, observing that “no service can be everything for everyone.

Part of the same panel, Marco Milanez (Rakuten) stated: “Content engagement is driven by segmentation and customisation of the user journey. FAST and AVOD cater to different audiences with different habits, and can be transactional to the classic VOD client”. Finally, Kate Dean (Consultant, Direct To Consumer), spoke about content selection and how video streaming platform can craft a ‘formula’ to selecting the right content for their audiences.

#5. What’s next? The future is streaming

What does the future of digital TV look like? The panel titled ‘The next era of television: Unveiling the streaming future’ provided the audience with a set of answers to this very topical question. Leah Hooper Rosa of Warner Bros. Discovery, suggested that ‘consolidation’ of services, even on the technology front, is paving the way to the future of streamed television. Bundling, partnerships, and a market-by-market approach is what the next few years of our industry will look like, not to mention further cooperation in the ad-tech space, for enhanced revenue streams across AVOD services.

Fear not, we’re not facing a new era of ‘streaming wars’. The belief is that there’s a place for everyone, at the table. The real challenge is to create real value for customers, as ultimately, users follow the content that they like the most.

#6. Welcoming Freely, the new frontier of TV in the UK

Everyone TV’s new creature, Freely, was front and centre in the designated exhibition area at the Summit. The launch of the new platform as part of a landmark collaboration between UK public broadcasting services has marked a new milestone in British television. Needless to say, among the main takeaways of the event was the concept that sits at the heart of Freely as a service to power the future of TV in Great Britain. One that’s IP-only, with the ability for users to stream live TV channels alongside on demand content, for free.

Jonathan Thompson, CEO at Everyone TV, highlighted the key features of the new services, expected to revolutionise the TV landscape in Great Britain, with access to millions of households’ Smart TVs throughout 2024.

Above all, Simplestream was a proud Event Partner at the DTG Summit 2024. Get in touch, and learn how our solutions can enhance your streaming service.