Rewind: Key takeaways from OTT Question Time Live 2023

Alex Banham
Marketing Executive

This year, Candyspace were thrilled to sponsor VOD Professional's OTT Question Time Live, where members of our team, our clients, and fellow industry experts shared insights on everything streaming, from the products loved by the nation to the latest technology and innovation strategies.

Now we're taking a look back on the key insights from the day and giving you the opportunity to catch up on what you might have missed throughout the conference with a selection of takeaways by our Candyspacers. 


It's time to move fast with FAST

"Free, ad-supported TV (FAST) is growing exponentially in the US and it's starting to gain traction in the UK too. With the average Netflix viewer spending an average of 12 minutes in the app before they finally settle on what content they want to view, it's no wonder that discovery fatigue is beginning to set in. Instead, many of us are starting to look to FAST for familiar, easy-to-consume content. It's ideal for a quick, 'no-brainer' hit of content during a lunch break or after a long day of work. In 2020, 'Friends' was the most-watched comedy on broadcast or cable TV, with 96.7 billion minutes viewed – that's a 30% increase from 2019! 

On day two of OTT Question Time Live, AI Dubbing system Papercup highlighted the importance of moving fast with FAST. As more of us are returning to 'safe' content, such as Friends or The Office, the shows are becoming a prime advertisement spot for advertisers. FAST content allows businesses to promote their products on a guaranteed, brand-safe show in front of a niched, retained audience. 

AI can help enable streaming platforms to push their FAST content catalogues out to a wider audience too, as tools such as Papercup can unlock single-language content and make it available in more languages. With all the latest discussion around ChatGPT, it's unsurprising to see AI cropping up in the streaming world too, stepping in as an aide to roll out content across wider audiences."

Ally Banham, Marketing Executive


Breaking down commercial models

"One topic discussed throughout the event was how streamers monetise their services. There are three common models within VOD streaming:

  1. Advertising-on-demand (AVOD): Where content is free to view for users but is subsidised by advertisers.
  2. Subscription video-on-demand (SVOD): Where users subscribe to a paid-for service to view content – usually ad-free.
  3. Transaction video-on-demand: Where users pay per view e.g. rent a single show or film.

Certain streamers balance two or more of the above models. For instance, ITV recently launched ITVX – their streaming service that offers a blend of AVOD and SVOD options.

In interview with Candyspace's Managing Director, Matt Simpson, ITVX's Chief Product Officer, Deep Bagchee discussed the importance of maintaining an attractive advertising proposition to support live broadcasts and the free to view content, while offering an exclusive ad-free subscriber experience to rival global streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+.

Deep highlighted the challenge of creating a single funnel to content discovery that allows users to browse content first and decide whether they want to subscribe at a later stage and how ITX are constantly re-evaluating the balance between ads and content exchange."

Rosie Stano, Senior Product Consultant

Watch the full interview

The engagement paradox

"As UX designers working on digital products we are tasked with increasing user engagement, making products 'sticky', increasing dwell time and customer lifetime value. On the flip side of this, the amount of time we are all spending looking at a screen is increasing year after year and behaviours across more sectors are being identified by the World Health Organisation as compulsive or addictive. Is the constant push for more engagement healthy and what are the consequences? This is a paradox that everyone in digital has to grapple with and something that we all have a responsibility to recognise.

We explored this paradox, looking into the history of engagement and entertainment through the ages and how technology has supercharged it by orders of magnitude. We look into the psychology and science behind why we crave the 'dopamine hit' as a species, and how digital companies leverage this to gain our attention so effectively. We explore industries such as tobacco and gambling that have now been transformed by legislation, but were once the same as digital – vying for our attention and only speaking about the positives.

Change is already afoot and is starting to permeate into the digital industry, albeit at a slow pace. Companies such as TikTok are already limiting the use of the app among teenagers in China to just 40 mins a day, Instagram gives the option to hide the number of likes and Netflix allows users to disable autoplay next episode to reduce binge watching."

Jonathan Kelly, Experience Director


Want to learn more?

In partnership with the experts at VOD Professional, Candyspace evaluated over 200 digital products that each have a significant streaming element to their product from video streaming services to online newspapers and sport team apps. Discover what made a top streaming product in 2022 with your complimentary copy of The Streaming 100.