TV and Video: Will the broadcasters strike back?


TV and Video: Will the broadcasters strike back?

By working together, Dutch broadcasters could evolve into one major digital platform

Could the leading broadcasters in the Netherlands join forces and become a true digital content platform alongside global players, such as Netflix, Amazon and YouTube? If they can deliver on-demand and live video programming supported by compelling recommendations and targeted advertising, NPO, RTL, and Talpa could build strong relationships with consumers and occupy a key position in the TV and video value chain. In a world awash with content and (fake) news, Dutch consumers may increasingly choose for local content providers they know and trust.

This is the fourth blog of our blog series on the future of the Dutch TV and video market. You can also read our firstsecond and third blog.

Revenge of the broadcasters scenario

Exploring what could happen between now and 2030, the “revenge of the broadcasters” scenario is one of four potential scenarios described in our study, which is based on an analysis of a comprehensive set of almost 100 social, technological, economic, environmental, and political drivers shaping the TV and video industry. This scenario assumes that national broadcasters successfully transform themselves into fully-fledged digital platforms and become leading distributors of online video content tailored to the Dutch market. As a result, the balance of power in the TV and video market would swing towards content owners focused on regional and local tastes, rather than being dominated by global platform players, such as Netflix, Amazon and YouTube (see scenario 3 in the graphic).

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Rich menu of national and global content

If the revenge of the broadcasters scenario would become reality, Dutch consumers would be able to enjoy a wealth of national content supplied by the broadcasters’ platforms, supplemented by global blockbuster films and drama distributed by Netflix, Amazon, YouTube and other Internet giants. This scenario depends on local broadcasters being able to source compelling content, including news, live football and other sport, tailored to the tastes of the Dutch market that the consumer is willing to pay for. They face intense competition, with Disney+, Amazon Video and even Apple set to provide video-on-demand services alongside YouTube and Netflix. Moreover, many Dutch consumers also rent global blockbusters on an a la carte basis from video-on-demand services from KPN, Ziggo or Pathé Thuis. 

This scenario also envisions that local players in the Netherlands cooperate closely to build a critical mass both in terms of distribution and content development. Dutch public broadcaster NPO and commercial broadcasters RTL and Talpa Network are already making their programming available through the joint live TV and video-on-demand platform NLZIET, which aggregates content from 22 linear channels. But Dutch players will need to take this cooperation ‘to the next level’. Perhaps developments in France is a good example, where three broadcasters are working closely together to create Salto, a French TV platform, which will carry a wide variety of TV programs, including exclusive content. 


Tapping advanced technology

The realization of the revenge of the broadcasters scenario will also depend on strategic partnerships between broadcasters and all-IP telecoms operators, such as KPN, VodafoneZiggo and T-Mobile, with expertise in digital media distribution and leveraging customer data. With their matching national footprints, network operators and broadcasters are ideal partners to enable the efficient distribution of content via high-performance platforms that harness viewer data to deliver relevant content recommendations and advertising. The scenario envisions that KPN, VodafoneZiggo and T-Mobile focus on providing access and targeted advertising capabilities to households and/or broadcasters. 

Indeed, the local platforms would need to offer brands highly-targeted advertising platforms (at least as good or better as the international platforms) that would generate a strong digital advertising revenue stream. Ideally, the Dutch companies would work together to develop a highly-effective demand-side platform (DSP). Such an initiative could also encompass print and online advertising to give brands a one-stop shop through which to reach consumers in the Netherlands.


The role of regulators

The imposition of quotas for local content would also make this scenario more likely. To counter the perceived cultural threat posed by globally dominant digital media companies, national and EU regulators may ensure a significant proportion of video content continues to be produced in Europe by European companies. These measures1 could include a mixture of quotas and subsidies. In the Netherlands, that would be a boon for Talpa, Endemol Shine and other local content producers. In a similar vein, regulators would protect local broadcasters and content producers from take-overs to ensure a broad and diverse base of suppliers of content to the Dutch market.  Both regulators and local content providers would be careful to ensure that no single international platform is able to carve out a dominant position and that European content brands remain highly visible to consumers.

As this scenario assumes that the Netherlands/the EU adopts a robust regulatory framework and advertising agencies would help broadcasters navigate the legal complexities to implement innovative ads that are highly relevant to consumers. In the fragmented media landscape, the agencies would also help their clients to identify an appropriate mix between local and global digital platforms, allocating their advertising budgets accordingly. In some cases, national agencies could be successful by providing specialist support to advertisers.

Although plausible, this scenario is just one of four possible scenarios that could play out in the Dutch TV and video market over the next decade. In the other blog posts in this series, we consider the three further scenarios outlined in our report, outlining how they could play out in the Netherlands. 

More information on The future of TV and video?

This blog is part of a series on "Future of TV and video". You can find the previous blogs here: 

Do you want to know more on the future of TV and video? Please contact us via the details below.

The EU is seeking to introduce a 30 per cent mandatory quota of European productions for audiovisual content providers, while individual Member States could impose even higher quotas. (Stewart Clarke, "European content quota for streaming services to be finalized by end of 2019", Variety, December 2018.

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