Updates on pay-TV and digital video in India, and the brave new world of audience research, topped the agenda on the second day of CASBAA Convention 2017.
“An improvement in India’s global ranking for the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ is not just eyewash,” said NK Sinha, India’s Secretary for Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), during a special conference session dedicated to the India market with a focus on satellite, broadband and content issues.
Sinha added that talks between the Department of Space (DoS) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) remain on-going on the liberalization of licensing constraints on Indian pay-TV platforms and channels capacity leasing on foreign satellites.
Meanwhile, RS Sharma, chairman of the powerful Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said his organization continues to press for an “open skies” satellite policy. But “these are not issues of principle, but of operation,” he said
Referring to the provision of broadband services for India, for which TRAI is also responsible, Sharma also had words of encouragement for satellite operators saying that to ensure affordable broadband in rural areas, India needs to make use of satellites. He added that TRAI is studying stakeholder comments on a consultation paper on the ease of doing business in the broadcast sector “to resolve matters”.
As for the rollout of a multi-million dollar National Fiber Network in India (a.k.a. Bharat Net), Sharma said the project now has a “public-private” business structure, not only for broadband data distribution, but also for the delivery of video services.
As the keynote speaker for the day, Sudhanshu Vats, group CEO of Viacom18, said that “India’s market evolution is now similar to that of China. In 2017 India is where China was in 2011,” and the opportunities remain enormous.
However, “as in China, we need a robust pipeline for content and creative talent, but the challenge is developing that talent, and retaining it. Secondly, media companies need to pivot a little bit to be vertically capable. That’s why Viacom18 will build an engineering hub in Bangalore which will help us with our technical products.”
“What has surprised me is the nature of the media disruption we are experiencing in India. Not long ago you wouldn’t have expected some of the big media companies to consolidate with the telecom companies.”
Audience research 2.0
Another hot topic at CASBAA Convention 2017 was the changing landscape of audience research and how big data is taking us way beyond the classic days of Nielsen surveys. Here’s what delegates heard from the stage:
Nick Burfitt, Katar Media: “It’s important not to lose sight of core TV measurement. Only then can you layer extended video measurements … Matching viewing data to purchase data … reports based on buyer behavior – e.g I want to reach non-buyers of a certain brand or category.”
Partho Dasgupta, BARC: “BARC is in the unenviable position of being both the joint industry body and the operator of the service. It was a herculean task to change the currency … The broadcasters took the lead and the advertisers, agencies came in followed by the government and regulators. BARC has now collected 7.5 petabytes of data which will move to about 20 petabytes in a couple of years.”
Aimee Gerry, Nielsen: “More data is not necessarily better. For us it is about bringing disparate data together with a ‘Truth Set’ … one centralized data set.”
Rita Chan, GfK: “Trust is very important: from broadcasters, advertisers, panelists, [panel] recruiters, your own staff.”
Dave Downey, INVIDI: “We don’t oversaturate or under-deliver the audience … With addressable advertising clients can reach the right audience no matter what or when they are watching.”
Sally Wu, BBC Global News: A BBC audience survey across five markets found that “77% percent of respondents see international news as more important than previously. 79% in APAC concerned about ‘fake news’ … two in three find it hard to distinguish fake from real. … 79% value accuracy over speed … 65% are more inclined to try a brand if it’s promoted on a trusted source. … international news channels are most trusted … 34% International news will be viewed first to follow up on breaking news. … Social media amplifies and drives viewers to traditional news channels (BBC). … International news is the most used segment on pay TV.”
Jean-Christophe Jubin, Viaccess-Orca: “Big data is changing the way TV is run. It’s making understanding your customers more efficient; and, is creating a new business model. … With improved pattern analysis, addressable TV/programmatic TV has become easier, putting TV operators in a better position to sell their ad space to advertisers.”
Jeremy Butteriss, Google: “YouTube has seen 90% year on year growth in access from connected TV/Smart TVs. … Voice already represents 20% of our global searches and we believe that will be 50% by 2020, fuelled by Assistant. Nine out of the top ten TV shows in China are exported to the rest of the world via YouTube. … Cloud and AI have taken clipping and segmentation [e.g. of gameshows, sports] from an art to a repeatable automated service.”