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AVIA Ends Its First Online Conference 'The OTT Virtual Summit' On A High Note

AVIA had the privilege of hosting the first major online media conference of the year, the OTT Virtual Summit, with a record turnout of over 700 delegates.

Opening the Summit this year was the Thought Leaders' panel, featuring a stellar line-up of senior executives from across the video landscape. The panel had optimism all round for the industry as a whole. "It's a great time to be a customer in this part of the world," said Tony Zameczkowski, Vice President of Business Development for Asia-Pacific at Netflix, on the growth of the region's OTT landscape.

The rise in demand for Asian content also plays a key role in this growth, with Netflix, WarnerMedia and Viu all heavily investing in local content, with Zameczkowski adding that "the streaming industry has a role to play in bringing Asian stories to the world." For WarnerMedia's Managing Director of Southeast Asia, Pacific and China, Clement Schwebig, the "most exciting part of this adventure is having what you do locally getting resonance everywhere in the world."

For VIU, the current surge in consumption has also accelerated advertising onto their platform. Helen Sou, Chief Business Officer, Asia, VIU, shared that "more and more advertisers have accelerated their spending on the digital front", hence they are seeing both subscription and advertising doing well, and are able to build "a robust and sustainable business model."

"For the consumer, the future is here... and because of the scale of the market, there is room for everyone to grow and succeed within that," added Simon Robinson, President of APAC, Discovery Asia Pacific & CFO International, Discovery International, wrapping up the first panel of the conference on a positive note.

The message of growth, opportunities and consumer engagement continued through the rest of the Summit. For those on direct-to-consumer platforms, such as Eros Now and POPS Worldwide, this has meant more collaborative partnerships, to reach audiences at a microscopic level, and to create and build a highly engaged community.

However, it was acknowledged that the industry is only in the early stage of development in monetising premium streaming video, and that is particularly true for advertising. With media buyers not spending enough time thinking about the quality of videos, premium streaming video remains under-represented and challenges still exists in measurement metrics for OTT.

As John Miskelly, APAC Investment Director, GroupM, pointed out, "It intuitively feels better to advertise inside Game of Thrones than dogs on skateboards but the question is by how much?"

However, "the consumer trend for the consumption of media is very clear, the future is going to be streamed television", added Matt Harty, SVP of Asia Pacific, The Trade Desk.

Similarly, on the advertising front, Gavin Buxton, Managing Director, Asia, SpotX shared, "Consumers are definitely coming into the ecosystem... advertisers are looking for the most effective and efficient place to be... it is a time for OTT to shine for all the benefits that it can bring."

To wrap it all up, Louis Boswell, CEO, AVIA, said, "While we regret that we were not able to host everyone in person this year, we are extremely encouraged by the turnout we had for the OTT Virtual Summit and bringing everyone together online. It is indeed a great time for the OTT industry in Asia, with more investment going into both technology as well as content in the region and there is no doubt that we are going to see growth in streaming video in the years ahead."

The OTT Virtual Summit is generously supported by Gold Sponsor Brightcove; Official Pit-Stop Sponsor TV5MONDE and Silver Sponsors Broadcast Professional, Conviva, Limelight, MediaKind, Netflix, PubMatic and Vuulr.

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