Did you know there exists a world TV Day? Well, yes and it is today! Back in 1996, United Nations proclaimed November 21 as world television day, to celebrate the global cultural impact of TV.
Since then a lot has changed and various social media platforms came to rise. However, the world still loves TV, even if it is no longer synonymous to the traditional square box in our living-rooms and regardless of whether it comes through a cord or from the cloud.
Our telco operations love TV too: Telekom Deutschland serves more than 3 million TV customers, up by 210.000 in comparison to September 2016. Across Europe, TV customers grew by 4.7 percent to 4.2 million, compared to the same period last year, with TV business establishing itself as a consistent growth driver.
Let’s look at ourselves: we consume video at the couch or waiting at the airport lounge, at midnight in our bed or on the move, with our tablet or smartphone. What does this mean business-wise for a telco? How can cooperation foster new ways of business set-up? And ultimately how can one be successful in this line of business? Three key-persons across the DT Group, Anette Schäfer, Wolfgang Elsäßer and Dimitris Michalakis, who are collaborating and driving the TV business forward with their teams, give us some insights.
Across Europe we are serving our customers over cable, SAT, IPTV. We are offering premium and original content and have achieved pay-TV market leadership in most countries but challenges are around: localized services of global OTT players or “Direct to Consumer” services, for example. Meanwhile, content comes also at a high-price for TV business players. “We are facing increasing prices for content, likewise for sports, international but also local free-to-air linear channels”, explains Anette Schäfer, who is responsible for driving forward the full potential of the TV business in Europe. Almost everyone in entertainment business says that “content is king”. Is this really so? Anette clarifies: “If content is king, distribution is still “King-Kong”. Meaning getting the right TV & video services in front of customers across all screens with the right adjacent business model is the real challenge”.
Talking of business models, maybe it is not so widely known that EntertainTV recently revamped completely. Wolfgang Elsäßer leads the newly established business unit TV & Entertainment at Telekom Deutschland. Building-it-up he looked south for inspiration: “The Greek organization, COSMOTE TV, was a kind of blueprint for the German setup of the TV business unit. We strongly believe that video entertainment, be it linear or non-linear, sports or fiction, music, with or without virtual reality, is one of the most important competitive differentiators today and in the future”, he says. Sure, the German and Greek pay-TV markets may vary in size and characteristics but, local specificities aside, there is a lot to learn from our Greek colleagues, like flexibility and time-to-market attitude, he explains. Where is further synergy potential to be found? “What is really important is the continuous exchange of the teams about what works, in content rights, marketing, sales and content propositions”, notes Wolfgang.
For example, going into own or co-productions is a move that resembles COSMOTE TV ways, which has a long track-record in this field. Wolfgang puts this into perspective: “Series are the new movies, 60% of all German households watch TV series and more than 50% of these households are watching more than 10 hours of series a week, reasons enough for strengthening our content proposition with exclusive series” and notes: “We strongly believe that our customers want German stories, with local casts and series, beside the international content. We are very excited to start this series in 2018”.
One may now wonder how did COSMOTE TV managed to be so successful despite the financial crisis in Greece? Dimitris Michalakis, who leads the COSMOTE TV business unit, within OTE subsidiary in Greece, explains: “Actually, the Greek crisis could also be seen as a booster for the Greek pay-TV segment. Amid the financial crisis, 4-5 years ago, demand for quality content rose a lot, as people simply needed to get away from it all. So, the opportunity was there, enhanced by the fact that the pay TV penetration was back then at 11 percent. We then decided to re-enter the market by offering premium but affordable home-entertainment”.
COSMOTE TV’s answer to the above was an extensive portfolio of exclusivities and high-quality shows, both in sports and entertainment, offered through our own branded linear channels or coupled with the option to choose what you are going to see and where: on your TV, laptop, tablet or mobile. To sum-it-up, take a look at the COSMOTE TV highlights here. Hopefully the videoclip speaks for itself!