Inside Content

07.07.21

Keshet International on changes in TV distribution

Jack Davison Colour

Jack Davison Executive Vice President

In this episode of ‘Inside Content - the TV Industry Podcast’, I speak with Kelly Wright, SVP Distribution and New Business, and Rose Hughes, VP of sales from Keshet International. KI is a leading global content producer and distributor and part of the Keshet Media Group, Israel’s most successful media company.

One of the key topics discussed in the episode was how the TV distribution market has evolved - the global market has become more competitive, there is an increasing demand for content and audiences' expectations have shifted. Rose explains that previously it was about selling finished tape and formats, whereas now the distribution models and types of partnerships are changing. She explains that there is now a key focus on co-productions and pre-buys and working closely with partners to produce content together. This shift in the distribution TV marketplace is an exciting one and Kelly agrees that although challenging, it has led to deeper partnerships along with mutual respect and growth.

We also discuss the surge in new D2C streaming video platforms such as Netflix, Disney +, HBO and Britbox. Rose describes how Keshet International are working with these new SVOD platforms, as they still need third party content to grow their audiences and complement their studio owned content offering. She explains that it is an exciting time, as it provides new platforms and homes for their shows. Kelly discusses how the growth of these new SVOD platforms does provide some challenges. A lot of studio owned content is going into its vertical (D2C OTT platform) but they are also seeing local OTT platforms that are wanting to go global. For example in India with HotStar and SonyLIV, that are wanting to adapt formats but take global rights in all languages. She explains “Not only is content becoming sometimes more restricted to within its vertical conglomerate, but it's also on the horizontal spread - content that you're selling to one territory doesn't just stay in one territory anymore. So I think there are those two sides of the coin”.

Another highlight of the episode was discussing the recent changes in how content licensing deals are being structured, exclusivity and windowing. Rose explains that previously there used to be three to four windows for each deal and you could incrementally grow your revenue. Whereas now, when “you make a show for a global partner then you may never be able to sell it again. If you are licensing that content to a global partner, then maybe you have a 12 to 18 to 24 month holdback and then the conversation is...what catch are you going to be able to give to the secondary window”. She explains that the amount of catch-up that you give to a secondary window massively impacts upon the interest of the partner to take that content because “digital is queen now”. Rose discusses how the likes of Scandinavian companies such as SVT, are premiering on their digital platforms first and then putting the content onto linear - this ‘digital-first’ approach is a growing trend. She explains that it is a key challenge, as if you can only grant a rolling 5 catch up right to a secondary broadcast partner then you may not sell it, so you may have to wait until the holdback has expired.

Other topics discussed including the growth of international formats, AVOD and media conglomerate mergers.

Here is a breakdown of the topics discussed in this episode:

[02:52] Introduction to Keshet International

[06:08] How has the distribution market evolved?

[13:58] How has the surge of new D2C streaming video platforms impacted the TV market?

[15:58] What are the key challenges of these new D2C vertically integrated models?

[18:55] How have content licensing deals changed in respect to exclusivity and windowing?

[19:27] How has the shift to digital-first distribution strategies impacted your business?

[24:51] Can you tell us about the growth of the international format business?

[34:10] Do you consider AVOD to be a major growth area?

[42:08] What impact do you think the media conglomerate mergers are having on the TV landscape?


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