We’ve been to Singapore, Mumbai, Auckland and lastly Sydney, and now our Insights Summit Series has reached the end of the road. It’s been an interesting and thought-provoking journey, and we’ve had the chance to gain valuable local perspective, and also explore the region’s unique growth opportunities. And the last event in Sydney didn’t disappoint.
In a panel discussion hosted by Accedo’s Warren Yu, panelists Will Everitt, Director of Product Solutions, Seven West Media, Lewis Evans, Director of Product, Streaming Nine Entertainment Co. and also Accedo’s Director, Design & Advisory - APAC, Nikki Perugini provided some great insights into the Australian media industry. The event highlighted the unique challenges that media providers in the region face, along with strategies they’re adopting to create successful product roadmaps in the face of an evolving industry.
Here are 3 key takeaways from the Insights Summit Series event in Sydney.
Recognizing and meeting the needs of the local audience has been a recurrent theme throughout the Insights Summit series events. And it came up again in Sydney. Nikki, Lewis and Will reflected on this by agreeing that local providers are in a privileged position because unlike global streamers, they understand how the audience thinks and feels. This understanding allows regional services to really hone in on the user’s wants and needs and deliver the content and experiences that resonate well with these audiences.
In addition, unlike global streaming giants who must consider the global population when designing their platform and features, local media companies can use their deep knowledge of the audience's preferences to design a service specifically to meet those needs. This contrasts with the traditional and widely held view that to be successful, local operators must try to emulate or benchmark the big streamers. While this may have been the case at one time, it would seem that now, quite the opposite is true.
Understanding and catering to the local audience is paramount for success in this region. And although audiences are migrating from traditional TV to OTT, the linear experience continues to be popular in Australia. Delivering this type of experience via OTT, in the form of FAST channels, is one way that local broadcasters are adapting, and it is paying off.
With competition from traditional broadcast channels, global streaming services, and also from the likes of social media and YouTube, it’s become increasingly difficult for broadcasters to retain and increase their market share. While content may be what attracts users to a service, to keep their attention, you need more than just great content. It’s crucial that once the viewer is there, the service delivers the best possible experience. This means having great UX, and getting the ad experience just right. And it isn’t all about bells and whistles and differentiating from other services. The basics are just as important – that is, making sure that the service is delivering the highest quality streams, with ad functionality working optimally, and with the perfect balance between content and frequency of ads.
Media providers need to focus on getting the experience exactly right for the viewer, and this includes being very clear about what you’re offering, and about the messaging behind the video service’s purpose and positioning. Viewers need to be able to easily discover the content that they love, so finding new ways to improve content discovery is an ongoing task. It’s also important that services focus on building in more engagement and monetization opportunities. This could involve integrating immersive elements like overlays and XR experiences to increase engagement and create new monetization opportunities.
While the technology and streaming giants have colossal budgets for product development and content production, smaller services can’t afford that same luxury, so need to be much more creative. So rather than looking to global streamers like Netflix as core drivers of innovation, local media companies need to look much closer to home. This links back to the ability of local providers to understand the audience’s unique needs and preferences. With this incredibly powerful knowledge, service providers can design innovative services that deliver what the local viewer wants. To be successful, providers will need to experiment and leverage opportunities as they arise.
And as the OTT market continues to grow in the region, we’ll eventually get to the point in the not too distant future, when the majority of broadcasters’ revenue will come from streaming rather than traditional TV. We’ll reach a tipping point where most people will be consuming digital first. And broadcasters will need to rethink business models to support this change. As digital consumption becomes more dominant, media companies will need to take a different approach to content production and distribution, leveraging technology for storytelling and engaging the audience in new ways. This will mean taking a fresh look at broadcasting and broadcasting rights. When the majority of consumption is digital first, this creates a bigger opportunity for storytelling, so we’ll need more collaboration between content production, services and technology, at an early stage. This will enable interactive and engaging digital aspects to be added to shows as they are being made, in preparation for consumption to happen digitally. This interactive aspect, where we bring the content to the viewer’s real life is going to be a big driver for change. Service provides will have the opportunity to expand and build on the content by incorporating XR, to make the experience more engaging and enjoyable.
As regional providers look for ways to tackle the prominence of OEMs who give priority to their own apps and channels, we may start to see local services coming together to form an aggregator powerhouse. But while this is a great way to bring audiences together, it presents its own challenges, namely around content discovery and personalization. These kinds of services need to have really well thought through user experiences in order for extensive catalogues to be discoverable, and also to make them user friendly so that people keep coming back for more.
Media providers undeniably face some challenges in the region, but then that is true of just about every video market around the globe. What really shined in this event, is that local providers, armed with unique user insights, are poised to drive innovation, and shape the regions industry through their own actions.
As the Insights Summit series concludes, it leaves a trail of insights into how the media landscape will continue to evolve across the APAC region.
To find out more about how Accedo can support you to adapt your offering and deliver outstanding UX that meets your audience’s needs, get in touch.