Following another year of rapid development which saw major content owners launch direct to consumer services, and pay-TV operators forge new partnerships, broadcaster innovation and even more investment in scripted content, senior media executives have forecast further growth in key areas throughout 2020, according to the annual Trends Survey from content consultancy 3Vision, which collates feedback from content owners, distributors, pay-TV platforms and technology vendors globally. The survey covers major industry areas including content licensing, drama production, pay-TV initiatives and D2C services.
For the third year running, integration with SVoD services remains the key feature for pay-TV operators. Eighty-four per cent of respondents believe that pay-TV operators should be enabling their consumers to access SVoD services via bundling and/or integration. Disney+ is set to announce a deal with pan-European operator Sky in the coming days and already has agreements place with Canal+ (France), Verizon (US) and Charter (US).
“Expect further announcements from major SVoD players and pay-TV operators this year,” advises Jack Davison, EVP at 3Vision. “Pay-TV operators have now fully accepted the value of these services and are seeking to keep consumers within the pay-TV ecosystem through better integration.”
Executives are more confident than they were at this point last year that drama production levels will continue to grow (up 19 per cent from 2019 to 71 per cent in 2020). The increasingly competitive market for all forms of talent and IP is fuelling the original production market. “With studios launching their own services and repatriating content, and original content cutting through and working for services, it’s hard to see any slowdown,” notes Davison.
With the AVoD market set to grow at pace, industry executives point to exclusive content (46 per cent) and premieres (37 per cent) as a way for broadcasters to succeed in this increasingly crowded space – with multiple services such as Tubi and Rakuten TV announcing international expansion.
As traditional viewing continues to decline, broadcasters have been responding by enhancing their propositions with AVoD services. In a number of markets, both free and pay broadcasters are innovating with their content release strategies. In Australia, commercial broadcaster SBS scheduled Whiskey Cavalier to drop as a boxset on its AVoD service as well as premiering on the linear channel. The Victim was only made available in Canada through CBC’s AVoD service, without any linear schedule.
There is a 13 per cent increase in 2020 (up to 68 per cent) of executives that believe that broadcasters will be more open to licensing in second window following SVoD than in 2019. Data from the 3Vision Show Tracker provides a growing list of examples of broadcasters such as RTL (Germany), SBS (Australia) and Warner TV (France) taking a show in its second window following Netflix or Amazon. A key issue for distributors has been estimating the value of a second window and the willingness of broadcasters to license a show that has already been made available in the market.