Is the subscription model the best way to monetize premium video content online? Not according to a panel of experts at the TV of Tomorrow Show. They came up with five underexploited online TV business models.
At the TV of Tomorrow Show in New York on December the 4th, I moderated a discussion entitled The Economics of OTT TV: New Monetization Models and Their Implications. At the end of the session, I asked panelists what they thought were the biggest under or unexploited opportunities in online content monetization.
Broadening the appeal of the “skinny bundle”
Kevin Arrix, SVP at Dish Media, focused on the challenges faced by vMVPDs like Sling TV in attracting and retaining subscribers. His idea is to explore new content and different business models:
“I think it’s content optionality. We started as and still are predominantly a subscription service. What other content can you bring there that engages the consumer? That might be free content; it might be behind a paywall. Anybody in the skinny bundle world is trying to solve that equation.”
Sling TV has just begun to make some content available for free, without a subscription.
Exploiting the customer journey to sell to them
In the past, I have urged operators to behave more like retailers in their apps and guides. The sentiment was the focus of Bhavesh Vaghela, CEO of Paywizard, in his response to my question:
“Understanding your customers and how they engage with you. The whole idea of the customer journey, the journey of how you interact with your customer, I think, is underutilized. People have got to start behaving like retailers. That’s fundamentally what we are – retailers.”
Build a channel from library franchises
A+E Networks is sitting on a treasure-trove of library content. Mark Garner, EVP Content Sales, Licensing and Business Development at A+E Networks, urged conference attendees to exploit their catalogs, leveraging new business and distribution models:
“Single series, and how you can exploit those franchises in very different ways. We put Bounty Hunter on Tubi, and we had no idea that it was going to do what it did. We’ve used other franchises in different ways too. So, I think your existing IP is some of the most underexploited resources that you can take advantage of.”
New brands disrupting the old
Jason Cohen, who is Co-Founder of MyBundle.tv thinks the disruption traditional video content brands are experiencing is a golden opportunity for new players to enter the market. Conde Nast had participated in a panel just before ours, and Mr. Cohen used them as an example:
“There’s an opportunity for brands like Conde Nast to create a new relationship with the customer. Change is happening, and legacy players often lose out when big industries undergo change. There’s a huge opportunity to see new players and brands in this world.”
Much growth to come for AVOD
Andrea Clarke-Hall is VP of Business Development at AVOD service Tubi. She believes the market for advertising-supported video online is just getting started.
“AVOD as a market is extremely underexploited. The industry is in its infancy and has tremendous potential.”
Ms. Clarke-Hall also said she believes the emphasis is switching from subscription to advertising in online TV. It became clear to me that Tubi intends to be an agent for that change as I walked by Madison Square Garden in the heart of New York City. Tubi’s ad campaign “NotonNetflix” was everywhere!