The XVII International CSTB.Telecom & Media’2015 tradeshow has amply demonstrated the investment and monetization opportunities in the Russian TV industry as well as the convergence and divergence processes among the pay TV market players and the positive economic measures now in place and prospects for the Russian TV broadcasting.
Last year may be described as an ultra-revolutionary period for the pay TV and telecom industries. All the changes within the pay TV market, today’s legislative reality and the development prospects were discussed by the leading pay TV operators, producers and distributors of equipment and content at CSTB. Telecom & Media’2015- the most anticipated tradeshow of the year in the television and ICT industry. It took place in Moscow, January 27-29. The tradeshow, together with the industry, is going through perpetual changes and development. This year, for the 17th time, this trade show has become the main site for the Russian and overseas telecom and broadcasting companies to meet. The tradeshow has 22357attendees in three days. There were over 400 exhibitors from 29 countries of the world.
The tradeshow was supported by the RF Ministry of Communication and Media, The Federal Communication Agency (Rossvyaz), the Moscow City Government, Department for Information Technologies, RF Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry IABM (International Association of Broadcast Manufacturers). Additionally, the General partner was the AKTR (Russian Association for Cable Television) together with Strategic partner: Tricolour TV. The platinum sponsor of CSTB. Telecom & Media’2015 forum was the Huawei Company.
As far as the exhibition element of the event is concerned there was, as is traditional, the largest exhibit, in Russia, of content contributors, where almost all the Russian and foreign TV channels took part, i.e. those companies that broadcast in the multichannel digital TV networks in Russia and CIS countries. The exhibition is growing every year due to the new participants, while the traditional participants are presenting the TV novelties and are exhibiting to the visitors bright and sparkling entertainment programs, film and show-biz celebrities. The CONNECTED TV theme was running at the exhibition for the second year now. It demonstrated the recent achievements in content consumption by the subscribers via IPTV, mobile and Internet-TV, social media and online video services on all types of user devices.
The highlight of the business-agenda that opened the CSTB. Telecom & Media’2015 International Tradeshow was a panel discussion entitled as “PROCONTENT: straight talks”. Presented as an entirely new project with a new format of discussion that involves the key market players - the regulator and the business community. “How should one behave in the prevailing conditions?”, “Are there any changes or facilitations to be adopted in the Federal Law “On Advertisement”? “Investment climate in the industry, the tariff policy of the channels, and a shift to multi-platform, replacement of the foreign content by the Russian one” - these are but a few topics discussed at the PROCONTENT panel. The heated 2-hour debate showed that given the economic slowdown and frequently changing legislation, the industry is now in search of the market drivers and it mainly relies on the content. The General partner of the event was Viacom International Media Networks.
The discussion was made of two parts, the first one being dedicated to the regulator’s vision. Yuri Pripachkin, the moderator and the president of AKTR, started the talk from the desire to have a more comprehensive state policy to regulate the pay TV industry. The discussion participants notably included:- Ekaterina Larina, the Director of the State Policy Department at the RF Ministry of Communications and Media, Leonid Levin, the Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Information Policy, IT and Communications, Mikhail Silin, the vice-president of AKTR and Vitaliy Styts’ko, the Deputy CEO of RTRS Federal State Unitary Enterprise. The key topic for the discussion was the new draft law proposed by Olga Timofeeva from the State Duma that facilitates the summer amendments to the law “On Advertisement”. The law has already come into effect after being signed by the RF President and it allowed broadcasting of advertisement on pay TV channels with the Russian national content share of 75%.
Yana Churikova, the head of MTV Russia, opened the second part of the discussion with a few hot topics such as the investment attractiveness of the television industry, tariff policy etc. These issues were readily taken up by the top-managers of the leading Russian and foreign companies, among them being Nikolai Orlov, the CEO of “Pervy HDTV”, Kirill Lys’ko, the CEO of “Digital Television” company, Olga Paskina, Senior Vice-president and CEO of Discovery Networks in North-Eastern Europe; Alexei Krol’, CEO, VIASAT; Sergey Plotnikov, CEO, Sony Pictures Television in Russia; Alexei Kholodov, CEO “Tricolor TV”; Svetlana Shamzon, vice-president “TTK”; Andrei Semerikov, CEO “ER-Telecom Holding”; Alexei Zhuravlev, Marketing and Sales Director “NTV Plus” and Andrei Salnikov, head of the Direction for Channel Transmission , Channel ONE DIGITAL.
The participants of the discussion all agreed that the industry today needs a well-thoughtout development policy and a long-term state program. And the most important thing is to deliver high quality content to the subscriber. In order to make content attractive for investments it is necessary to research the market, choose the optimal content and use branding and promotion. The overseas TV channels all agreed that the advertisement on television has always been a source of localization, so the more opportunities there are to monetize the business model on the local market, the more the companies are investing in the local content. The experts also thought that the tariff-making policy should not be based on the subscriber’s wishes, but on the clear understanding of the need to increase the revenue of the operator.
When concluding the discussion, Yuri Pripachkin mentioned that it is, for the first time in all these years, that people are united around one idea and they are ready to agree and “sail in the same boat” to benefit the subscriber. “We are an anti-crisis industry”- concluded Mr. Pripachkin, “since we are satisfying people’s needs for information”.
January 28, the second day of the Tradeshow and Forum CSTB. Telecom & Media’2015 started with a brand new business event in telecom industry. The Telecom & Media’2015 International Forum, with participation of the top-managers of the largest Russian media and communication operators, such as “TTK”, “MGTS”, “Akado Telecom” as well as the representatives of TNS, «V-Lux», SAP CIS, CTI, “Mobi Vita”LLc, Huawei, Ericsson, “Union of Right-owners”, RF Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who spoke about the challenges and the future prospects. “Akado Telecom”, “Beeline TV” and “MTS TV” were the partners of the Forum.
The Forum was dedicated to a broad range of topics, including convergence in telecom and media sectors of modern tele-media industry. Vitaliy Shub, the advisor to the president of “TTK” was the moderator of the event. In his introductory speech Mr. Shub highlighted the key trends of the modern multimedia services market as well as the challenges the operators are facing in terms of providing the market infrastructure.
The increasing domination of the multimedia and especially video-content in the main operators as well as the cable and mobile broadband operators’ market has lead to a significant overloading of these networks. So, there is an urgent need for their radical rehabilitation. The shift of the video industry to the ultra high definition content in 4К and 8К formats will significantly expose the inadequacy between the tele and media infrastructure and the enormous video traffic demands of 4K and 8K delivery. At the same time, these processes may result in the radical change of the operators’ statuses - from niche market players with the marginal share from the total network traffic to the main reason of overloading the entire network and the access. This may lead to the changing rules of the game and the introduction of new revenue distribution principles among the network operators and OTT- players.
Mr. Shub also noted the need to develop a business model for the interaction between the tele- and media infrastructure operators and the OTT providers, as their services are now generating the increasing traffic volumes with no way of monetization for the operators. “One of the first things to do, in seeking a solution, is to determine the legal status of OTT providers, so that all the other market players could the build a fully-fledged cooperation with them.”
According to Yana Belskaya, the moderator and the Editor-in-chief of “Cableman” Internet- portal, the session “Content as an essential service of Pay TV Operators. How to make a content proposal competitive and demanding?” had a slightly different format this year. The speaker’s list was made up with the consideration of the recent changes in pay TV. The speakers were expected to, not just present the operators’ projects (as the majority are well- known to the market), but to illustrate the new areas for development, the know-how, how to reach new markets and audiences. In previous years the operators were traditionally presenting their cases as well as the mistakes with little indication of opportunities and solutions.
The presentations at the traditional session “IP&TV Forum. Russian and worldwide ОТТ-services Market.”were dedicated to different aspects of OTT services. The general topic was the development of OTT services in Russia and worldwide, the new technical solutions in this segment, business models in the content and commercial policy of the market players, the legal aspects of content- provision , market development forecasts value- and audit-wise as well as the demand and audience preferences analysis and many other issues. The session was moderated by Mikhail Shekhovtskov, the Managing Director for Media Projects, J’son & Partners Consulting, and Alexei Grishin, Director for the Development, “V-Lux” Group of companies. The session also included participation by the leading international and Russian vendors of technical solutions for the OTT market (Huawei, CTI, Elecard, Inventos, Irdeto, IPTVPORTAL, TelCo Group, Bradbury Lab) and the leading consulting companies (J’son & Partners Consulting, Dentons, IHS Technology), as well as the OTT service providers (MOYO TV, NetByNet, RuTube, Lifestream, Zoomby, SPB TV), some of them also providing solutions to the third parties (SPB TV, MOYO TV, Zoomby).
According to Mr. Shekhovtsev, the conclusion that we may draw from the speeches is that the OTT services are turning from the promising technical and innovative solutions into a large, sustainable and independent business. They have already replaced the DVD market. Besides, OTT, being an intermediary business for TV and pay TV is generating additional revenue and is providing additions sources for content monetization as well as additional threats of business competition. The OTT services are now proving interesting to a wider range of companies, from OTT service providers to pay TV, Internet access, TV channels and other media companies, including IT companies. The presentations at this session were extremely interesting to the audience and provoked many questions. In the long-term perspective, OTT provides lots of opportunities for the TV and video-content growth as well as for e-games and media services in general.
Another topic of the second day was the session on Connected TV&Multiscreen. The representatives of Sagemcom, CTI, “Tricolor TV”, Irdeto, tviz.TV, ViNTERRA.TV, ”Live Stream”, “Rutube” and “Inventos” shared their visions. The moderator was Leonid Konik, Editor-in-Chief, ComNews. One of the key issues was the use of Connected TV and Multiscreen as an efficient tool of survival through the current economic crisis and the regulatory changes in the advertisement on TV. The new TV-broadcasting methods are not only the ways to retain the old audience and attract the new one, but also an alternative source of monetization; the direct advertisement in banners and commercials, paid subscription, selective paid content etc. Another promising areas for the OTT market players is the Second Screen technology. It allows focusing the viewer’s attention on the main screen though, for example, the parallel interactive quizzes in the mobile app.
January 30 was the final day of CSTB. Telecom & Media’2015 Forum under the presidency of Sergey Pekhterev, the CEO of Altegro Sky, with the participation of the largest Russian and overseas companies such as FSUE “Space Communications”, “Gazprom Space Systems”, CTI, Eutelsat, «SvyazProekt»R&D, «Orion Express», “Iskra” Design Bureau from Krasnoyarsk and Newtec. The participants presented the possibilities and prospects of satellite technologies, communications and television at the session called “Satellite Broadcasting in Russia. Two-way Satellite Internet. ” Evgeniy Buydinov, the Deputy CEO of FSUE “Space Communications”, mentioned that in 2015 the RSCC is going to implement, step by step, the Russian high-speed access system from Kaliningrad to Chukotka. The broadband technology will at first be available in Far East and Siberia via Russian space module “Express – AM5”. The services will be provided in corporate sector and in the mass market. Dmitri Sevastyanov, the CEO of “Gazprom Space Systems” presented a new development program till 2020 with the development and launch of three new satellites that will extend the coverage to Alaska. Mr. Sevastyanov also announced the launch of “Yamal- 401” satellite launch in December 2014 to replace “Yamal-201”. This will bring additional resources to the Russian orbital position at 90 degrees. Alexei Shakhnov, the representative of AltegroSky spoke about the two-way satellite Internet role in the new economic situation. The presentation by Ilya Kile, the Technical Director of “SvyazProekt” R&Dв was dedicated to the central land stations of satellite communication. Konstantin Saltykov and the Technical Director of “Orion Express” shared the successful experience of developing the VSAT-platform with the widest coverage by using the Horizons-2 space craft. The satellite self-homing antenna systems for mobile TV stations were the main topic of Oleg Morozov’s presentation (“Iskra” Bureau, Kasnoyarsk).
Nikolai Orlov, the Chairman of the editorial council of “Tele-Sputnik” magazine noted, that almost all the speakers of the final session “Linear or non-linear TV watching?” that he moderated, did provide both linear and non-linear services to the subscribers. Some operators started from linear TV, while other began from non-linear services like VOD. Both types of operators, however, eventually came to the mixed type of services within the framework of one platform. And none of the speakers said they wanted to stop providing linear or non-linear services in the foreseeable future. The market leaders shared a lot of valuable information with the audience on whether the linear TV would prevail over non-linear services in the short-term perspective, a question that has been actively discussed in the professional community for many years now. In case of the linear TV it is the Media Editorial board to define what the audience is going to watch at a certain moment of time. This type of content consumption is well-established for many years now. While the non-linear, the VOD first of all, means that the viewer knows what he wants to watch and he is choosing his content from the huge VOD service libraries. Usually, this is the preference of the most active and “technology able” viewers. The technologies are trying to simplify the content selection process for the viewers. The Catch-up service is being implemented in linear TV in IP environment and it actually brings closer the linear and non-linear TV.
The winners of the National Award in the multichannel digital TV are annually announced at CSTB. Telecom & Media. It is a highly-respected award and a recognized “quality mark” for the professionals and influential market players such as the federal and regional operators, producers, distributors of equipment for multi-channel digital TV, Russian and overseas channels that broadcast in multi-channel networks in Russian language in Russia and CIS countries as well as the Russian TV channels that broadcast abroad.
The 18th International Tradeshow and Forum CSTB. Telecom & Media’2016 will take place in 2016, January 26-28 at “Crocus Expo”.
For more details, please visit www.cstb.ru