Key takeaways from Connected TV World Summit


by Sharon Neaves

We spent two days in London at the Connected TV World Summit alongside our peers who are also deeply immersed in the world of TV. It’s clear that it’s changing, and we all have to keep innovating to ensure audiences are engaged


by Sharon Neaves

We spent two days in London at the Connected TV World Summit alongside our peers who are also deeply immersed in the world of TV. It’s clear that it’s changing, and we all have to keep innovating to ensure audiences are engaged

The event was abuzz with words like ‘discoverability’, ‘personalization’, ‘super aggregation’ and ‘flexibility’ and almost every panel discussion raised points around these topics.

Connected TVs are taking over a third of global TV screen advertising revenue and there are a number of new power players emerging across the landscape. Audiences are moving from traditional broadcast to streaming, but they are still watching on a big screen, on a TV.

Content and audience engagement is key

Users – and let’s face it, that is all of us – are looking for a way to discover content and be inspired. With today’s innovations, and the new levels of data on audiences that these are delivering, it means high-quality and personalized experiences are expected. Discoverability is essential - knowing how people find content and making it easier. Ruth Cartwright, Investment Director, Sky Media said “It’s always about content and reaching the right amount of people as quickly as possible”.

Segmentation is incredibly important to keep the attention of the audience, as well as the capability to understand audiences and personalize content to them. We are seeing more hybrid scenarios of OTT and digital, for example our work with Juventus, and there’s a trend to unify the experience. Data and sophisticated profiles of audiences is what broadcasters need. It’s about making personalization as automated as possible, like AXIS, our content experience management platform that offers extensive user segmentation options to target relevant content to users.

“Keeping it dynamic, showing the user you care, giving them what they want, which could also change over time.”

Oliver Botti, Head of Media Sales EMEA at Deltatre

User experience is key for engagement and sport can inspire entertainment use cases.

“There are now levels of targeting sophistication you could only have dreamed of with things like weather targeted adverts, like sunscreen on a hot day”, said Rufus Radcliffe, Managing Director, Streaming and Interactive, ITV.

AI and technology - how it could help the industry

AI can unlock insights in a short timeframe to help personalize content and experiences. It can help improve workflows and save on content production time and could be a solution for enhancing revenues. AI will also play a role in improving ad tech, which is key for monetization and enhancing data-driven recommendations.

Super aggregation

It’s a tough world for operators at the moment with more competition, churn, a desire to find new income streams and different ways of monetizing audiences. Currently some in-house teams have less than 100 developers, so they are only able to focus on maintaining their platforms, rather than being innovative, building more and looking at metadata to give customers more and reduce churn. “…points to an industry that needs more vendor support” said Tom Morrod, Co-founder and Research Director at Caretta Research. It’s clear that having the resources to stay ahead of the game is critical and therefore outsourcing or partnering is important for operators.

Looking at what’s next in super aggregation, there was a discussion around leveraging the 55+ audience demographic, as they are considered loyal and reliable.

FAST is making an impact

We are seeing a shift in consumer viewing behaviors, big growth in Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) and a reduction in Pay TV channels on the market. Free Ad-supported Streaming TV (FAST) is also seen as complementary to Pay TV channels. We were fascinated to hear that the top performing FAST channels are paranormal, true crime and cooking channels in the UK.

There was a lot of discussion about FAST and how it is possible to get immediate insights from audiences and adjust content based on that and this creates a seamless experience for customers. FAST channels can focus on a particular genre, theme or a specific show – it offers additional choices for viewers and flexibility. There is a certain freedom in FAST, especially for super fans and being able to present their favorite shows in a new dynamic way.

Global FAST revenues for TV series and movies will reach $17 billion in 2029.

FAST in Europe

In the US FAST is a lot larger than FAST in Europe. Why is it different?

This is due to the strength of existing free-to-air channels in Europe. There’s more original content, premium secondary rights and a bigger appetite for rolling news updates in the US. In Europe there are a range of territories, a need for local content, different languages and the size of the online video ad market is different. So, a new approach is needed to prioritize and explore rights, to develop genre and brand-led channels and to use AI to drive curation of long-tail content, as the FAST platform landscape is quite fragmented in Europe.

FAST channels have continued to progress over the last few years, with more premium content and better discoverability, making it easier and more immediate to find a show. Live football on a FAST channel would not have been possible three years ago, but now it is.

“FAST has been underestimated with 70% of people preferring to stream free with ads”, said Helen Keelan, Senior Sales Director at LG Ad Solutions.

Smart TV taking more responsibility for content distribution

With Smart TV there is already so much great content available, but the consumer should never see that there is a huge number of channels – they should just be able to find relevant content easily. There’s a need to let the consumer discover content without the noise.

What’s interesting is the evolving role of retail in Smart TV. The US CTV platform advertising revenue will double by 2028 to $10 billion and FAST will grow to become a $12 billion market in 2028, according to Matthew Bailey, Principal Analyst, Media and Entertainment, Omdia.

Omdia’s research also showed that consumers expect services to be available on apps on all devices and platforms including Smart TV and launching an owned and operated content service, such as FAST, provides increased revenue opportunities via adverts.

Pay TV is changing

In the current climate there is a need to convince people that Pay TV subscriptions are worthwhile. Part of this is ensuring high discoverability, offering bundles with discounts and working with partners to help access customer segments.

What will happen by 2026?

From listening to all the panels at the event, it’s evident that there’ll be more sport content, more hybrid scenarios, partnerships will be essential, there’ll be consolidation in the streaming market and streaming services like Freely in the UK will have a big impact.

We’ll see content premiering on FAST channels, FAST will continue to grow and attract a higher quality of content, and AI and product placement will be more prominent.

Where can you find us next?

We’ll be at SportAccord in Birmingham from 7-11 April, so feel free to book in a meeting with us, and straight after that we’ll be at NAB in Las Vegas from 13-17 April so come and see us there.