PANEL - The future of free-to-view television

What is free-to-view TV looking like today, and what's on the horizon for connected TV and Hbb? Learn more from our CCO, Dan Finch.

Dan Finch, Simplestream's CCO and Co-Founder, took the stage at the 2022 edition of Connected TV World Summit in London last month. EBU's Jonathan Broughton chaired a prestigious panel titled 'The future of free-to-view television'. Dan Finch, Akhila Khanna of Paramount, and Sarah Milton of Digital UK discussed audiences' habits in sourcing free content to watch, and the role technology is playing to allow more impactful consumption experiences.

Here is a summary of some of the key talking points. Watch the full recording of the panel below.

🛍 Consumers today have a wide range of choices when it comes to content consumption, from devices to different formats. Broadcasters, to stay relevant, need to look at the whole spectrum – from long-form to bitesized content – with an eye on the ways to monetise that content offering. Holistic strategies, with a granular set of data analytics 'per platform', remain key.

💡 Streaming services changed the habits in terms of content consumption, moving away from traditional, linear distribution. They also brought some degree of discipline when it comes to advertising and how much can be included as part of the content offering. Being able to make a choice, to view or not to view ads, ultimately enhances the experience.

➡️ In the free-to-view space, TV guides still have value. When content is curated by the content owners, as opposed to a pure algorithm. Operators are looking today to create some sort of hybrid approaches, where programme guides are blended with recommended content a user might be interested to watch.

💨 FAST channels are the real hot topic in the free-to-view television space. Ad-supported platforms can enhance VOD content backlogs and open new monetisation avenues.