From TikTok overtaking Meta and YouTube ad revenue combined, to Vice expanding into FAST and a call from Banijay’s Patrick Holland to clarify the future of UK pubcasters, this week’s Media & Entertainment Leaders Summit (MELS) delivered plenty Conversation topics. TBI reflects five key stories.
The week started with news from this social media giant TikTok is projected to drive more than two-thirds of online video ad revenue by 2027more than Meta and YouTube combined.
The results, revealed at MELS, point the travel direction for advertisers looking for maximum bang for their buck. Research firm Omdia, part of TBI’s parent company Informa, revealed that 37% of all online video ad revenue came from Byte Dance’s own app.
Meta and YouTube are both expected to take just 12% each, while SVOD leader Netflix will take just 2%.
Last month, TikTok overtook Netflix to become the second most popular app in the US, with only YouTube retaining the crown for viewers under 35, according to Omdia
Speaking at MELS, Maria Rua Aguete, senior director at Omdia, said online video advertising is expected to exceed $331 billion in the next five years.
In the US, TikTok has already overtaken other social media platforms as a place to watch video content, with the service’s rapid growth making it an attractive platform for advertisers looking to reach a wide audience.
The platform particularly appeals to young consumers who are in high demand from advertisers and have proven difficult to reach through other channels such as traditional linear TV and other social networks such as Facebook.
One particular brand trying to capitalize on its youthful audience with relatively new technology is Vice Media, which will expand its FAST bouquet with a new channel dedicated to the content of its Vice World News brand.
The new channel, unveiled by TBI at MELS, will launch “very soon,” according to Bea Hegedus, the group’s Executive MD of Distribution, who said the service would launch in the US first.
It will offer programming “adjacent” to breaking news and will build on Vice’s legacy of factual content, which has steadily grown over the past five years.
During a FAST session at MELS, Hegedus said the new channel would feature shows offering in-depth investigations into current affairs issues.
“[Vice World News] produces authentic deep dives into the news around the world — they really do amazingly well on TikTok and they do amazingly well on Twitch too,” Hegedus said.
“We have these teams that are making incredible documentaries about news events around the world, so the idea is to start one [FAST] channel in the US where you can watch it all.”
While Vice bets on FAST for its future, Banijay’s UK chairman and CEO Patrick Holland called on the UK regulator to provide “more clarity”. on the future of public broadcaster duo BBC and Channel 4 to ensure the country’s production industry thrives.
The UK government has been examining plans to abolish the BBC’s license fee and privatize the commercially funded Channel 4, although a series of rapid changes of prime minister and cabinet in recent months have left those decisions hanging in the air.
Speak to MELS, Holland, who runs the survivor and master chef Rights holders in the UK, said the inability to provide a clear regulatory future for the broadcasting sector would hurt confidence in the sector.
“The number one thing we need to do to protect and move forward with the industry is to give the BBC and Channel 4 much more clarity on public services on this next step.”
Holland, who worked at Fremantle and was the BBC’s Director of Factual, Arts & Classical Music – as well as Channel Controller of BBC Two – before joining the production powerhouse earlier this year, said British broadcasting is “a confident core of public service”. Sector ‘unique’ and was vital to securing the future of the UK manufacturing sector.
The UK remains an attractive co-production destination for global streamers, with numerous show partnerships including chloe, which was produced by Mam Tor Productions, recently acquired by Banijay. It was funded by the BBC, which took over the UK rights, and Amazon Prime Video, which took over the rest of the world.
“The reason streamers love us and the reason they make such great content is because of that ecology,” Holland said.
However, the Banijay executive, as well as fellow panelists Caroline Cooper, COO at Sky Studios, and Alex Jones, co-managing director of Red Planet Pictures Alex James, all pointed out that the ongoing skills shortage behind the camera is a growing concern for producers represents.
While the UK is struggling with skills shortages as demand for its domestic content increases, Dubai-based Starzplay is trying to tap into shows with Arabic scripts as it tries to expand its growing subscribers.
Maaz Sheikh, co-founder and CEO of Starzplay, said that the MENA streamer specifically wanted to target the “17-35 year olds segment” while speaking with TBI at MELS.
Sheikh revealed that the streamer spends between $40,000 and $200,000 per episode, noting, “It’s a wide range, but it depends on both the quality and the scripted vs. unscripted episode.”
The first two originals headed to Starzplay are horror series Urban Legends, which will launch on the streamer in January 2023. Sharing details of the project, Sheikh said, “It’s an eight-episode horror anthology. The idea is that each episode takes place in one of the parts of the Arab world and tells an urban legend or folklore from that part of the world, but takes place in different time periods. Some are set in the 1970s, some in the 80s, some go back to the 20s.”
The second show, set to launch later in 2023, is a local adaptation of the Unscripted Million Dollar Listing Real estate format in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Sheikh told TBI that Starzplay is looking for co-production partnerships, noting, “We’ve always been keen on co-productions, we did one with Discovery+, say yes to the dressa discovery format that we have localized in the Arab world.
“So we’re always looking for co-production partners, someone to share the costs but also to help get this show established. You can have the best original, but if nobody knows about it, it won’t take off.”
Speaking of best originals, TBI celebrated a slew of shows and the people behind them at the annual Content Innovation Awards, held on Wednesday night.
Irvine Welshs crime, Once upon a time in Londongrad and The Masked Singer were among the standout shows to celebrate success at the eighth edition of the event, with companies including YouTube, Cineflix Rights, Banijay Rights and BBC Studios taking home awards.
Among the special award winners honored this year were Anders Jensen, CEO of Viaplay, Viaplay EVP and Chief Content Officer, Filippa Wallestam, CEO of Creative Diversity Network, Deborah Williams, and Shaun Keeble, VP of Digital of Banijay Rights.