Which problems have appeared after transition from analog to digital broadcasting in Ukraine? And what about piracy, its frequency and methods to avoid it? How will digital broadcasting change the future of the Pay TV market? Answers to all those questions were explored by participants of the panel discussion “Content value: how to save in modern market conditions?” as part of the main event in the field of telecommunications in Ukraine – Telecom Ukraine 2018, 8-10 September, Odessa.
Participants gave a generally positive outlook for deactivating analog television, when commenting on active subscribers’ movements from analog to T2 and online resources. Furthermore, they noticed the small increase…
Nikolai Feingold, Commercial Director of StarLight Digital, said: “There is a tendency towards a small increase in the cable providers’ client databases in Kyiv. We will see what happen in other districts. One day we had a meeting with Kyiv providers where we analyzed different options to make people to come to them. We expected the small increase because it’s Kyiv with its specifics. At the same time I notice the tendency towards growing the subscribers’ ARPU. The most visible result – OTT providers: last year it was 25-30 grn. per package; today – no less than 47 grn.”
Nikolai also underlined the fact that the growth of ARPU made providers more conscious about content value: “Most of them have understood the two main factors of content value. The first one is production. But we need to correctly deliver the content. And that’s the role of marketing. Those who think about marketing, even in times of rising prices, experience a lower level of damage in the end.”
However, not everybody had positive expectations about analog broadcasting. Oleg Yeliseyev, Director of Tenet Ltd. remarked that there is an active process of moving content-traffic to the global platforms for content placement. It also shows us that the real threat to media groups – standard producers of media content – is the loss of a significant share of the advertising market.
“There is no reason for us to build on rainbow plans about significant flow of subscribers from analog to paid technologies. Our estimates are a 1-2% conversion. We believe more in the conversion of subscribers from traditional (analog) cable to digital technologies like IPTV and OTT (i.e. subscribers’ redistribution within the market). The most we believe in is the development of the OTT segment as a driver of the market” – commented the Head of the Department of Distribution 1+1 Media Distribution, Ivan Primakov.
Another danger is still piracy. The most active organization in fighting piracy in Ukraine is the initiative “Clear Sky”, which gathers together key representatives of the media market, interested in convincing the public to stop sponsoring pirates, who are devaluing the content.
Kateryna Fedorova, Head of “Clear Sky”, shared her perspective of the situation: “I believe that the right holders have begun to fight piracy more actively. This fight includes not only right holders, but also providers and advertisers. In fact, piracy not only harms business but also influences consumers’ opinion that content can be lifted without paying, that it’s all free of charge.”
She also described the current behavior of subscribers: they have begun to be more aware of the existence of different types of broadcasting, and also realize the need to choose a way to consume the media content.
The problem of theft of content has the one feature that complicates the fighting piracy: society encourages such actions. “Most people believe that media groups’ TV channels are free and that TV is not worth a penny. There is no culture of consumption”– said Alexander Harutyunyan, Director of Pavytina.Net Ltd.
So there is a question: how to make the content really valuable and change the mindset of society? “To effect the change, we need to inform society about all changes and about the values that are being formed. It can be resolved by a social advertising campaign. We will know the results of the competition for the best idea of social advertising by the end of this year. Such advertising can convince the public of the importance of fighting piracy by highlighting its negative consequences” – Kateryna Fedorova.
Speaking about results, Nikolai Faengold shared the following statistics: 25 cases of illegal use of the SLM content, the successful blocking of playlists, the termination of TV channels broadcasting in mobile apps, the removal of ads on OLX, cooperation with payment systems for blocking pirates’ accounts.
Other ways to combat the illegal use of content, according to the participants, can be the coding of T2 and satellite signals, the delineation of free and paid content, and the creation of HD-versions of the channels.