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Biggest Challenges Facing OTT Providers

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Learn more about OTT at Streaming Media West 2020.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Darren Lepke: Our challenges are typically our customers' challenges. When I think about the things that Michael and Geir are going through with the loss of live sporting events due to the pandemic, and certainly the kind of changes in behavior of consumers maybe shifting more towards SVOD services for the remainder of the year, our biggest challenge is going to be, how do we support our customers when live sports and other live events return--whatever we call this new normal? I'm 100% confident that we will get back to a normal state. We've already seen some green shoots of sports leagues, restarting in Europe. There are some big announcements coming around NBA, NFL, and MLB here in North America.

Our challenge is to maintain the current level of service for our customers, because, in general, everything is up. Traffic is up, video streaming is up. And then, when live events return, we don't expect everything else to decline. We think it will be additive to what's happening. For us, that means preparing to be running multiple live events during one day. We're expecting peak traffic across the internet to continue. So we'll continue to invest in our network capacity and network quality, and ultimately to ensure that when things come back, that everybody has the opportunity to capture on the consumer interests around live sports and ultimately translate that into subscription or advertising dollars.

Nadine Krefetz: Of course that's important. And in fact, we haven't even touched on the monetization side, but I think I'm going to jump over to Geir--your challenges, are they similar or are they different?

Geir Magnusson: They're very similar. We're a sports-first, "come for the sports, stay for the entertainment" offering. So the cessation of sports has been interesting for us. We have seen an increase in consumption because people are home now and, and they need to consume news, certainly, and pay attention to what's going on. And then also with the entertainment offerings, they're just using it to spend time. Going forward, I think we're going to see sports come back. We are starting to see it. Bundesliga has started already. I'm fully optimistic. It will be back. It may be different, certainly weird to watch a soccer game in an empty stadium. But we'll sort it out. As a business we're constantly focused making a better consumer experience. And then we recently have become a public company. That brings a set of challenges that as a private company, that's going to be our focus also, and increasing subscriber growth, increasing our margins and usual stuff.

Nadine Krefetz: Now, in fact, because sports is coming online, is there anything special that you're thinking about since you're the new content in that you are getting refreshed?

Geir Magnusson: So the thing that keeps me up a little bit is, because of the growth of OTT in the last couple of months, we're starting to see some of the national distribution infrastructure getting a bit stretched. As we get even more content with more simultaneous viewership--which is what happens with sports--we're paying very close attention to this to make sure that we can deliver that good experience that people are looking for.

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