TV Summits Reveal Pressures of OTT Biz

Next TV Summit
Two weeks ago, two major television-themed events offered intriguing insights as to the experiences Over-the-Top (OTT) executives, participants and industry leaders are having.

At the June 14 “Tune In: The TV Summit 2016,” hosted by Variety at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles, actress Mindy Kaling (star of “The Mindy Project”) provided thoughts on binge-viewing and working with OTT company Hulu.

During a discussion with reporter Elizabeth Wagmeister, Kaling described the feeling of serenity that arrives when one is no longer concerned with the TV ratings system.

“I don’t know what the ratings are. They tell me we’re doing great and that’s it,” Kaling told Wagmeister. “I think that’s great. I don’t need the Wednesday morning panicky feeling. The ratings from the [night before] govern your entire morning. I’m so happy not to be part of that anymore.”

Kaling also said she enjoys Hulu’s one-episode-a-week release schedule, stating that she “[doesn’t] want to bury our episodes.”

Others talked about the evolution of TV, with one attendee gleaning that “TV screens are now digital devices … 70% of Hulu is seen on a big screen.”

The following day, the Next TV Summit & Expo was held almost 400 miles north at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco.

Roku CMO Matthew Anderson said the industry was “in the midst of a TV renaissance.”

Hulu also had a presence at this gathering, where many OTT platform operators discussed user acquisition and preservation.

“The first 90 seconds is critical,” said Ben Smith, Hulu senior vice president and head of experience, adding that if a viewer cannot locate content to watch, they are “more likely to churn … If they don’t find value, they won’t pay.”

“If you don’t hook them the first time, you may never,” chimed in Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax Media. “Attracting [viewers] is easy. Retaining them isn’t as simple.”

Intensity certainly appears to be a key theme for companies in the OTT space – as well as the need for viewers to efficiently navigate an interface to locate TV and entertainment content.

Author: Brian Cameron

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