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The Video Trends Emerging from IBC 2023: Video Service Optimization and Monetization

Michael Lantz


September 25, 2023


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IBC 2023 was a resounding success, boasting an impressive 6,000 more attendees compared to the previous year. With 1,250 exhibitors and a diverse audience of over 43,000 visitors hailing from 170 countries, the buzz in the halls was undeniable, closing in on what we got used to experiencing in Amsterdam in pre-pandemic times.

Amidst the myriad of discussions that took place in the Accedo booth, across the showfloor, and at various conference stages, several standout themes emerged as the focal points of this year's event. In this blog post, we’ll discuss market tendencies and trends related to business models, monetization and video service strategy.

1. Video providers are increasingly looking to optimize and monetize their services

The video industry has faced unprecedented challenges in recent years, influenced by shifts in consumer spending. As customers reevaluate their video subscriptions, video providers are compelled to seek cost reductions and innovative monetization strategies. IBC 2023 was a hotbed of innovations aimed at enhancing monetization, spanning ad technology and groundbreaking tech designed to enrich the consumer experience. The conference agenda was brimming with discussions on ad models and various routes to service optimization.

At Accedo, we had a lot of interesting discussion about our newly launched OTT Healthcheck: a service that assesses the performance of a video service from a user experience perspective. The offering enables our customers to tweak their OTT services to improve performance, customer engagement and cost structure, as well as unlocking new routes to monetization. Amidst the increasingly challenging media landscape, it has never been more important to step up your game to really stand out on the market. 

Similarly, the economic climate has certainly had an effect on consumers’ ability and willingness to pay for multiple service subscriptions. Some users may gravitate towards free or ad-supported streaming options, while others may opt to downgrade their subscription plans to reduce costs while some may be unaffected altogether and will behave as they did before. It is clear that it will be even more important to offer monetization options each customer segment will require to be able to optimize the revenue opportunity on the market. At Accedo, we believe that the most successful video service providers will implement systems and processes which allow them to test and experiment with what works for their customers. Speed and flexibility will be increasingly important. 

2. Product-led deployment strategies are becoming more important for OTT providers

A cost-conscious industry is also increasingly shifting away from the traditional "build-your-own" approach in favor of more off-the-shelf solutions but with a requirement to be able to customize as required in order to achieve business-specific objectives. This approach naturally expedites service launches and minimizes effort during the development and optimization process. At Accedo, we believe that each video service provider will need to decide based on their own specific requirements what they need, but we’re convinced that there are mature technologies on the market which are solving most challenges for a fraction of the cost, compared to an internally built solution. 

Conversations we had at the Accedo booth throughout the show indicate an increased interest in adopting a modular, component-based architecture where, instead of reinventing the wheel for every feature, pre-built components or configurable products are leveraged for essential functions within a service. Many providers who have viewed a “build-your-own” strategy see the possibility for a hybrid model as attractive, maintaining a desire for uniqueness while still leveraging more standardized software for cost reasons.  

3. Niche video services play an increasingly central role in the media and entertainment industry

Attempting to emulate the so-called “Netflix model” is not the winning formula for most video service providers today. The market has evolved and the available technologies have evolved even more. Netflix succeeded through timing and by capturing early adopters in a less crowded market when customer acquisition costs were lower. Today, the video landscape is more competitive hence demanding greater levels of differentiation and customer engagement, both to attract new users, but even more importantly to retain them over time.. This realization has led to a surge in niche services, targeting specific content genres, regions, or use cases. These niche services can, by reaching clear target groups, be cheaper to consumers but still be able to reach profitability at considerably lower user volumes than traditional SVOD services. At Accedo, we believe that it’s possible to create a profitable SVOD service for as little as 10-20,000 subscribers in the right niches, with the right content strategy and with the right technology stack. 

During IBC, we hosted a panel discussion at our booth together with industry leaders from Waterbear Network, BBC Studios, Marquee TV, rlaxx TV and The dialogue centered around how niche services have the opportunity to capture a specific segment of the market, but that it can still be challenging to make itself seen and heard amidst a sea of other offerings. Even with a compelling content catalog for that audience, it may not be enough to get the right attention and engagement for success. . This is why many of these providers opt for a FAST model, which provides a lot of benefits but also presents a number of other challenges, such as how to effectively localize those services for different regions and languages. If the target market is significantly  smaller than that of the big players, it may be cost prohibitive to try and localize a niche service offering. The panel also delved into the monetization and audience engagement strategies that underpin niche video offerings.

Keeping up with the evolving media landscape

What makes IBC invaluable for Accedo and most other companies at the trade show is its ability to bring the industry together for in-depth discussions. These discussions provide companies like ours with a checkpoint to be able to gauge market trends and consumer sentiment.This year, the emerging themes are closely aligned with our company goals and customer feedback.

As the media landscape continues to evolve, the industry's collective challenge is to remain adaptable and innovative, anticipating what the future holds. Stay tuned for part 2 of our IBC 2023 round-up where we will be discussing themes related to innovation, sustainability and other key initiatives for the video industry.

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