Kevin Towes is the Head of Business Development at Adobe Video and Advertising Solutions. He has more than two decades of experience within the broadcast and film industries and has played key roles in the evolution of video technology.
We talk to Kevin about the state of the media industry today, TV Everywhere and OTT Video business strategies.
What’s the state of the video broadcast business today?
Today, one of the most exciting opportunities is the transformation of how we consume video content online. I can’t think of any other industry that has gone through, or about to go through, a transition such as this. It’s absolutely fascinating to watch how our ecosystem and how our industry is changing.
Even 15, 20 years ago, which was not that long ago, we had maybe 40 or 50 channels available in the home for consumers to watch. Today, MVPDs and service providers provide us thousands of channels. When you couple that with all the opportunities and channels that you see on social media and online, the audience has more options to watch content that is more interesting to them than ever before.
What’s “TV Everywhere”?
“TV Everywhere” is this concept where, on a mobile device or on a computer or on a gaming console, you can access a broadcaster’s content by authenticating against a service provider. You pay a premium for content and you, as an audience or as a consumer, demand that content be available to you, whether it’s on your phone or on your mobile device or on your iPad. “TV Everywhere” is this notion where you pay for that premium content on your MVPD and you access it anywhere you want.
Customer retention is key to OTT video companies. How do these companies know what is going to resonate with customers? How do they know what’s going to be the relevant content? Where are they getting those insights from?
That’s the world of data and analytics. The challenge that media companies face is they’ve figured out how to get their video online. Now it’s about getting audiences into that brand, into that app, into that experience. Data plays a massive role in it. It’s always played a massive role in cable and satellite because that information from the set-top box, which goes to the cable companies, is used to understand audience behavior – which channels they watch, which packages are going to resonate best with different segments of the market.
We have access to more insights into what consumers are interested in and what consumers are responding to than ever before. The big challenge for media companies right now is to harness that information and respond to that information in a way that resonates back with their audience. If they want to target a specific segment with a specific piece of content, it’s not about advertising NBC or advertising Comcast. It’s about advertising the show in a model that the consumer or the target audience would be interested in watching. It’s targeted campaigns. It’s targeted multi-channel communication.
Adobe partners with Zuora and Deloitte on a joint solution called Marketmix for Media. What was the need for this solution and how does it help new or existing OTT video companies?
OTT video companies are surpassing the challenges of getting video online. Their next level of conversation is about how do I engage, how do I personalize, and how do I create a product that is relevant to my audience? It’s no secret that the pay TV industry is experiencing a serious pace of innovation. Viewer behavior is evolving. Broadcasters and cable networks are all investing in these OTT services.
Adobe has some really great technology with Adobe Primetime that’s backed by the Adobe Marketing Cloud to help our customers become an experience business and engage with their audience in a stronger way. When we set out on this mission, we identified Deloitte as a company who can understand how to put a lot of the Adobe Marketing Cloud pieces together. They do this today with a bunch of other companies in different segments. Zuora provides the technology for subscription management.
Understanding how to create a solution for a media company that addresses an audience in a personal way, needed a brand and a company that could put those pieces together from a marketing point of view and an audience engagement point of view, but also put the technical pieces together on the subscription management point of view.
Tying all that together, we’re able to now go to media companies with a complete solution that puts the audience in the center and helps them get to market faster with an OTT video product.