NYC Television Week, discussion on OTT heats up

Live from the floor of New York Television Week, the show is already abuzz with discussion on how to streamline authentication, as well as the future of over-the-top content (OTT). Let’s dig in, shall we?

In this morning’s session, “The Growth of Live Streaming: Business Models, Trends and Best Practices”, panelists from Disney and ESPN Media Networks, NBC Sports Group and Adobe Primetime chatted about their key concerns and predictions in regard to the state of OTT.

The group started off with a lively consensus, that we are indeed in the thick of it all, and should expect to see an palpable shift in the U.S. industry. Coming on the heels of the HBO Go announcement, it is no surprise that more broadcasters are turning their attention to TV Everywhere, and trying to figure out how to stay competitive. Jens Loeffler from Adobe Primetime made the point that Europe has standardized this approach more so than North America, partly due to a different set of cable operator models.

One thing is clear, consumers want more choices.

Diving deeper, the discussion continued into how (or if) the present companies (NBCU, Disney & ESPN Networks, Adobe Primetime) are moving toward a greater OTT strategy. Matthew Murphy from Disney and ESPN Media Networks took the mic first, speaking about their partnership with Dish Network.

Primarily, Murphy reiterated the company’s commitment to MVP’s first and foremost. Everything the company does surrounding the TV Everywhere business, whether it’s acquiring and granting rights, marketing, etc) is done with the multi-platform distribution strategy in mind. In the work with Dish, they are looking at the percentage of consumers who only have broadband connections, estimated to be about 7 million. A big factor into those consumer’s decision to stay on broadband only is price.

With Dish, they are trying to create an “entry-level” OTT package for around $30 per month. This slimmed down package will hopefully entice those 7 million folks who are broadband only to purchase, and hopefully even upgrade to the full service once they get a taste of the content.

As for NBC Sports Group, Black did not go into detail on whether they have any OTT solutions on the horizon short of stating they are “evaluating all different platforms”.

Rounding out the panel, the participants consistently agreed on the massive growth across the board whether it’s sports, news, television shows or children’s programming. OTT consumption is increasing consistently, and 2015 will be a record year for the industry.