Three key insights from Connected TV World Summit 2022

Connected TV World Summit was back in London, in-person, for the first time since 2019. We attended it and came home with a bag full of insights.

What’s the future of broadcast and television looking like? This question dominated one of the most awaited events in London this year. Connected TV World Summit was back at the Royal College of Physicians last week, for the first time with its in-person format since 2019. A must-attend, for us at Simplestream, who attended in force and as a Silver Sponsor, taking an active part in the conversation around the convergence of broadcast and streaming, and how technological advancement is shaping up the future of the industry.

From Pay TV aggregation to content discovery, from UI and UX to operations transformation across multiple touch points, the two-day in London was packed with insightful opportunities to stay with what the industry is up to today. We thought we’d round up three key takeaways from the event, bringing to your screens what we believe are the direction broadcasters and next-generation TV services are taking. Read on.

#1. Content (re)bundling

Do you remember the days cable TV service providers used to offer their subscribers the choice of a variety of channel packages, as not all of the users really wanted to pay for content they would never watch? Well, history – with due proportion – is repeating itself today, as we witness each major video publisher owning and operating a streaming platform, offering unique content, with users increasingly frustrated when it comes to monthly aggregate figures on a bank statement against the voice ‘subscription services’.

Bundling – or better, rebundling – seems to be hot topic again to keep costs under control, prevent customer churn, and adopt more competitive strategies going ahead. Think of sports-focused content owners, determined to keep their users coming back for more content even when events are not ‘live’, or even SVOD-oriented, OTT platforms, looking to aggregate linear content in their apps. Yet, with obvious questions waiting to be answered, when it comes to how the UX and discovery process for content is going to work if everything is brought under one roof.

#2. Free-to-view television: what’s next?

Our CCO & Co-Founder Dan Finch joined a prestigious line-up of speakers to discuss the future of free-to-view TV. Debating with Jonathan Broughton of EBU, Akhila Khanna of Paramount, and Sarah Milton of Digital UK, Dan went through the main facets of ‘free-to’ experiences, including Hybrid Broadcast Broadband and how operators can stay ‘on-air’ even after the broadcast spectrum is switched off. That’s where the role of connected and Smart TV becomes prominent in delivering further reach to content owners. And that’s where Connected TV could become the first choice viewing preference for audiences across the globe.

Monetisation was key to the conversation, too. According to Dan Finch, the turn to ad-supported models is likely to be accelerated by the progressive lock down on password sharing, with more choice at the users’ disposal and the prospect of growing sales figures in the medium term.

#3. The metaverse and autonomous vehicles

With the streaming industry hungry for new verticals to tackle and generate more revenue from, Connected TV World Summit put under the spotlight some of the most debated themes. An example? The concept of metaverse has ignited a debate that’s become louder and louder in the past 12 months or so. Yes, we might still be about a decade away from it coming to actual fruition, yet this unexplored land carries several opportunities for the concept of TV of the near future. So far, metaverse has been linked to the world of gaming and interactive experiences, yet broadcasters, content owners and OTT operators are looking at it with growing interest, eager to identify the far-horizon revenue streams from ‘metatainment’.

On a final note, the concept of mobile living room. Imagine a world where cars will be auto-driving you to any destinations, where rear seats will need to upgrade the experience to in-car entertainment. Scary enough? Well, yes, but the excitement for magnitude of this in terms of technological advancement is also reaching a very high level. It’s a game of imagination and visionary thoughts, where the future of commuting is going to be completely reshaped with implications for the media and advertising entities operating out there.