On 11th May, Lumina attended the MBI Media Summit at BAFTA London. Industry leaders chewed over some of the most prescient topics of the moment – unsurprisingly, the rapidly-burgeoning SVOD market, and the future of ITV broadcasting dominated discussion.
Firstly, ITV’s outgoing CEO Adam Crozier steered his way through one of his final public discussions as head of the broadcaster. The company has largely been acknowledged with having undergone a significant change in fortunes in the years of Crozier’s tenure. Crozier acknowledged some of the stand-out achievements: non-advertising revenue now accounts for more than half of the overall revenue for the company; they have purchased 29 independent production companies at the last count, including Talpa (producer of The Voice) and World Productions (producer of Line of Duty); output has doubled and revenue has increased to £8billion.
ITV invests heavily in original content and has so far maintained Free-to-Air programming in a strong position continuing to secure big audiences. He compared acquired production companies to record labels, stressing that they maintain an entrepreneurial edge and have strong management teams in place. He argued that good storytelling and strong international expertise can counter the deep pockets of the SVOD giants.
Crozier has certainly had a dramatically positive impact on the fortunes and culture at ITV, and he leaves for his successor a company at the top of its game.
Meanwhile, Guy Bisson, Research Director at Ampere Analysis, led a discussion on the ongoing battle between the SVOD giants – Amazon and Netflix. While Netflix may seem to be leading the charge at the moment, Bisson highlighted the sheer firepower of Amazon (which generates plenty of revenue outside its streaming business) and questioned whether we may see a shift in this race in coming months.
In another session, focus shifted to the niche SVOD services, which continue to co-exist alongside the major players. Efe Cakarel, CEO of Mubi explained that their unique model – offering a limited number of carefully curated titles – mark it apart from the vast libraries of Netflix and ultimately became the key to their success. Evidence then, that there is room for smaller players, and that content choice isn’t the be all and end all for consumers.
A fantastic event, with unique insights from executives at the forefront of this ever-changing industry.