Is television as we know it dead, pondered the panel “TV” is Dead(?), A Subscription/Pay Perspective. It may not be dead, they concluded, but it is changing every day.
Must-see TV has given way to a very long tail. “I don’t think that linear TV is going away any time soon,” said Soumya Sriraman, president and CEO, BritBox. “But I do think there is a new form of fandom being formed.”
TV networks have to be on whatever platform their viewers hope to access them. “You have to be everywhere now--you can’t just be on TV,” said Jim Bennette, general manager of North American sales at Applicaster. “People still have the same viewing habits, there’s just a lot more choice and a lot more ways to do it now.”
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Stephen Battaglio, reporter at the LA Times, moderated. He noted the stalling Apple stock price as Apple TV+ preps its launch. Bennette said investors may be concerned about this new face of Apple. “Can they be successful in a third business that’s not really adjacent to the service and technology businesses?” he asked.
The panelists did not see their platforms, which are niche, being affected as Apple TV+ and Disney+ step into the ring. “We’re purposely building to hopefully be something where that isn’t going to affect us,” said Ryan Chanatry, general manager of Topic, which is part of First Look Media. “Those services have to cater to anyone to survive. We’re not playing that game.”
The panelists noted how the big new players will pull more users into the OTT tent. “This is going to drive more consumers into this space,” said Matt Stein, head of brand and creative, Philo. “We’re a nice complement, a nice add-on to that package.”
Television will definitely get more interesting after Disney+ and Apple TV+ launch. “The battles are about to begin,” said Sriraman. “Maybe the dust of the battle will fall on us, I don’t know.”