Sunday, May 6, 2018

'Old walls of traditional pay-TV are now tumbling down and what’s coming next is infinitely more fragmented and messy,' says David Abraham at MultiChoice's 5th Digital Dialogue Conference.

"The old walls of traditional pay-TV are now tumbling down and what's coming next is infinitely more fragmented, and messy," said David Abraham, founder of Wonderhood Studios, and who was the chief executive of Channel 4 in the United Kingdom between 2010 and 2017.

David Abraham was one of the speakers at the 5th edition of the Digital Dialogue Conference that took place in Dubai in the United Arab Emirate (UAE) this week, organised by MultiChoice.

MultiChoice didn't invite any South African journalists or media to the conference facilitated by the satellite pay-TV operator, and there was no advance media advisory or notification.

The Digital Dialogue Conference is centred around gaining a better understanding of the future direction of the video entertainment industry across Africa as a whole.

It's unfortunately impossible to report exactly what David Abraham said regarding the value chain of pay-TV, his fascinating insights shared at the conference, and the specific pay-TV trends he mentioned and explained, since MultiChoice failed to provide a speech transcript and said it didn't have any.

David Abraham who shared his experience running TV channels in the United Kingdom and America between 2001 and 2017 offered conference-goers insights into the trends observed and lived through in the United Kingdom and how TV audiences across Africa are changing.

He also explained how the environment for content and channel providers evolved from the early days of digital TV to the much more complex internet-based distribution environment of today.

Again, sadly, none of the specifics of his speech have been made available by MultiChoice from its own conference.

According to David Abraham, the economic pay-TV model used to be about a battle between free-TV and service providers' creating pay-TV walls and maintaining exclusivity over key content in order to promote "big basic" monthly subscriptions and to minimise monthly churn and loss of pay-TV customers.

Then came broadband as an additional service to lock in customer loyalty, followed by mobile. "The old walls of traditional pay-TV are now tumbling down and what's coming next is infinitely more fragmented, and messy," he said in one of only two quotes from David Abraham provided by MultiChoice for his session.

According to David Abraham the addition of telecom providers who are creating their own content platforms are giving rise to the question of whether consumers will be able to navigate between so many different providers to find the best content in this more crowded forest of choice.

David Abraham reviewed the key recent pay-TV trends in the United Kingdom, European and American. It's not know what he said they are and what specifically he said and explained about them.

David Abraham then spoke about potential new models like "quasi-linear" and "post-cable" channels, the growth of emerging market platforms like iflix and what the long-term impact of blockchain technology could be on future models of pay-TV consumption and distribution.

Again, its impossible to report on what these new models are and what exactly David Abraham said and explained about new pay-TV models due to MultiChoice's lack of a transcript.

David Abraham said that although the future is uncertain "The African continent, with its younger populations and progressive use of mobile, can both build on and leapfrog Western markets in terms of future models of content creation and distribution," in the second of two quote provided from his session.