Digital distribution is not restricted to OTT alone. There is YouTube, Netflix and other catch-up services. We increasingly see broadcasters and pay-TV operators offering OTT versions of their servicers. They are getting involved as well. If we take Netflix for example, where they are getting their content from? They are licensing it from the traditional broadcast television industry so we don’t look at it as a zero-sum game. We are moving towards a model where we stop obsessing with the distribution technologies because it’s all just content. It might come through a different screen but primarily, the audience wants to watch something they yearn for.
I’ve covered the media and entertainment as an analyst, we’re quite distinct from Telco analyst or Technology analyst who tends to regard content as a cause, as a substitutable product but it is not. If someone wants to watch Arsenal playing an EPL match or the latest episode of Game Of Thrones or the latest Batman movie, these are not substitutable products so fixed broadband – we would argue that its’ substitutable if you get it from a different operator, it’s still going to be largely the same and most people are still going to be okay with it but if you say to them, ‘okay you want to watch the EPL match, I don’t have EPL but I’ve got Bundesliga’ they will reject that. It’s not entertainment, it’s not substitutable which I think is one of the reasons why we think it has such a fantastic ability to protect its’ value especially in content rights negotiations.
One of the features of the Asian television industry which seems to appear larger than other major region is that Asia is a lot closer to the regulatory systems. This is a fact of life on most nations here. Regulators perform a very important social and technical function. But the Chinese market has relatively strict content restrictions. They look into the amount of foreign-produced content, individual broadcasters and streaming services in the country. In Indonesia, one of the major ISP did not want to carry Netflix because it was yet to be licensed by the regulator in 2016. So, we tend to see things like that more in this region than the other parts of the world.
I think that Asian broadcasters might be more pronounced than other broadcasters would be in terms of the general pressure of Live TV audiences. They look at what younger people are watching, they skew sharply towards mobile and OTT viewing and we see it more pronounced in certain Asian markets than the western market.
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