The great streaming evolution

How do you turn challenges into opportunities? In today’s streaming landscape, businesses are seamlessly experimenting with products, alternative pricing models, and diverse value propositions. It’s a necessary attempt to reduce risk and at the same time to unlock further growth.

Business success looks like a combination of three major factors: audience engagement, retention, and growth. In a highly competitive ecosystem, technology plays a fundamental part, in parallel with innovative ways to attract the attention of users that are easily distracted, and sometimes reluctant to keep subscribing to content services that are not only expensive, but somewhat also difficult to navigate when looking for the right programmes to watch.

London’s DTG Summit, held at Kings Place earlier in May, was an unmissable appointment to take the pulse of the industry. Simplestream joined plenty of industry stakeholders from the broadcast and content space, who assembled to discuss present and future pillars of an ever-evolving market sector. Dan Finch was part of a prestigious line-up of speakers for a panel chaired by FTI Consulting’s Garazi Goia. We took some notes and rounded up key insights that help to paint the picture of the ‘great streaming evolution’. Read on.

Measuring success

Among the most recent services surfacing the UK landscape, ITVx plays a prominent role. Rufus Radcliffe stated how free and ad-funded models have progressively become a priority for the public broadcast service, with an eye on live programming to still be placed front and centre. “Launched with the 2022 edition of the football World Cup, ITVx tallied 2.3 million concurrent streams, with 2,000 starts per second”, Radcliffe explained. “It’s still early days for the streaming service, and clearly there’s no finishing line in terms of monitoring competition. It’s a battle for eyeballs, every day and every night, and success criteria today are those of a hybrid service, where hours of streamed content pair up with growing numbers of subscribers”.

A landscape picture of the panel with Simplestream's Dan Finch, part of the on-stage programme at the DTG Summit in London, May 2023

Monetisation: AVOD and beyond

Ad-supported services have been on the rise for a while. The priority of attracting new viewers to a huge backlog of content has dominated the recent past in the video content sector, in parallel with the need of tapping new revenue streams for content providers. “Server-side ad insertion – our Dan Finch explained – is a better way of serving ads to viewers nowadays, but AVOD is not the only means for enhanced monetisation. At Simplestream, we’ve been working on projects with ‘shoppable’ content actioned by dynamic graphic overlays in the teleshopping space. It’s brought greater interaction between the audience and the content itself, another key factor to succeed in your streaming and CTV war”.  


Hybrid models are going to be a dominant force in the future of streaming and OTT services. Together TV’s Alex Kann sees more consolidation happening from a content perspective, with “free, ad-supported services likely to pair up with traditional subscription-based platforms”. After all, large portions of the ‘traditional audience’ still love live television as a concept.

Also Roku’s Tom Price echoed Kann’s words, focusing on the “need for platform operators to solve the ongoing ‘consumer choice’ dilemma, by combining business models to further lower the barrier to entry for niche content services”. The real challenge, ultimately, is bridging the content to the right audience.

The future of video consumption

From the perspective of the consumer, the trajectory that will take us to the future of video consumption seems to be well-defined. Dan Finch highlighted: “Consumers are already empowered to choose among titles as part of virtually limitless content libraries. Going ahead, they’ll have the ability to choose exactly what they want to watch. Viewers will be spoilt for choice, even more than they are now. So, in this scenario, and looking at the future in a more visionary way, self-curation of channels will be a big step forward. Think of Spotify playlists, just prompted from your own screen, as your ‘own’ channel. And maybe with friends’ recommendations – we are on the cusp of serendipitous viewing.”

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