MediaTech Leadership Dinner, March 2018

On the evening of 20th March, Spectrum hosted a MediaTech Leadership Dinner in association with Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, and Wiggin, the technology law firm.

The media and entertainment industry is going through massive disruption. We brought together 19 peers from MediaTech businesses, at board and executive level, for a ‘Chatham House rule’ discussion on the fast-changing MediaTech landscape during a private dinner in Central London.

The roundtable dinner discussion was begun by Spectrum’s Advisory Board member for the media industry, Maurice Van Sabben. The key points of debate and discussion were:

  • The FANGs (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix & Google) are, and will continue, to disrupt the ‘TV’ market utilising their global coverage and unparalleled financial muscle to continue creating high-end franchise content as well as acquire suitable industry targets. Delivering OTT, so with minimal / no local presence/cost, and amortising high production values across a global market, means locals cannot directly compete
  • For traditional broadcasters, whilst the vast majority of spend remains on linear programming “linear is where the money is”, on-demand is the area of their businesses which is growing and where investment is being made. We are seeing big companies such as Disney and Discovery/Scripps transforming into a D2C proposition
  • Data analytics is now key as it identifies and prioritises what audiences want. Data needs to be real time. Part of the success of the FANGs in this space was attributed to their data driven prowess – it is their bedrock
  • Collaboration between broadcasters was signalled as key to combat the threat of global tech players. A real example of all broadcaster collaboration in Japan was described, and which has yet to take place in the UK. The failure of Project Kangaroo in the UK was cited, though this was due to Competition Commission concerns. Today it would probably be allowed to go ahead, but the broadcasters would still need to agree on one common platform
  • Direct to Consumer (D2C) plays require great content to succeed
  • A market requirement for an aggregator to bundle local channels was also discussed – the future is global, or through local aggregated markets
  • Rights: digital and linear rights are separate
  • Cloud recording is expected to become the ‘norm’ in the UK
  • Both mass and niche markets can be served by “superserving” fans creating passionplays
  • The technology enables creativity, and creatives need to be trained on how to use the technology to properly unlock creative possibilities in a digital world
  • In part, innovation will focus on the interactivity of content with a particular important role to play, or voice
  • European TV is grounded in the public broadcasting space and marshalling that could be a defensive move against US tech dominance. Sky remains the market maker for the TV industry in Europe.

To register your interest in attending future events, please contact Sarah Rush at Spectrum.

Planned events for 2018:

Blockchain (6 June), Fintech (25 September), Internet of Things (13 November).