Dieter Brockmeyer, MCMS Congress Chair and Dr. Julian Oberdörfer, CEO ERA Europe welcomed attendees and speakers to the MCMS congress 2017. Dieter Brockmeyer outlined the MCMS congress day, describing it to the audience as THE platform to talk about present and future multi-channel issues, and underlined the focus on how companies will be able to monetise trends in the future.
The morning agenda revisits the trends we looked at last year to review progress, and the afternoon focuses more on the regulatory side of the business.
Drivers of a new business reality and digital growth
Maria Rua Aguete from IHS Markit who moderated this session, introduced Guy Bisson from Ampere Analytics who gave an excellent 30 minute presentation on where the TV market is heading and the implications that might have. He demonstrated that the TV market has changed a lot with more and more people thinking of SvoD (Netflix/Amazon) as their main TV. He spoke about the impact of this shift and also about the rise of the monster which is Amazon, how channels are diversifying to accommodate this, as well as different behaviours in different demographics. Guy thinks Voice Control is one to be looking at.
Panel: Business Driver Virtual Reality and Practical Virtual Reality Expectation
Maria Rua Aguete introduced the panel which consisted of Alex Kunawicz from Laduma who makes VR content for lots of organisations and brands for the practical VR expert perspective, Richard Burrell, ex-QVC to give the industry perspective and Maurits Bruggink from EMOTA who represents the interests of members in Brussels. Maria Rua asked the panel why we are investing in VR...because it's cool or can we really make money out of it? What do you think needs to be done to make it a mass market technology?
Alex said its important to look beyond the headsets and commented that a lot of people want to put it on their mobile phone or on social media. Richard added that the headset must not become a barrier - people want an experience, not a technological experience. Maurits added that its all about conversion - every time a consumer has to make a decision, the customers drop off.
Maria asked: if they don't invest in VR, will people be left behind? Alex said some customers do it because they want to be seen as relevant, some to position themselves, some for social media and advised to define where you are and fit it into your marketing strategy. Richard encouraged us all to try VR - you can pick up a headset on ebay for 1€ - might not be for you, but maybe for your customers.
The discussion continued covering the high costs and technical challenge of producing VR content, how this will limit how it is used, how with VR its difficult to control where people look. The panel noted they have yet to see anything on a retail level that made sense for product. The panel see the future us for brands and advise that companies should experiment on it but not to 'bet the store on it' and to do it only for the right reasons.
Panel: Fields of growth
This MCMS Update panel was moderated by Andrea Michelozzi and consisted of four panellists: Jürgen Sewczyk spoke about video as a strong and growing core business and explaining why Eutelsat is 'a digital entrepreneur'.
Emanuele Frontoni, from the Università Politecnica delle Marche, spoke on the fascinating subjects of reality mining, showrooming, moving from sell to interaction, adaptive contents, AI driven Semantic Content Positioning, and the real-time monitoring of human emotions in social multi-media and text.
Richard Kastelein was back once again to give the MCMS update on the hot subject of the Blockchain Revolution. Pablo Alvarez from JML gave a pragmatic and helpful update on the EU General Data Protection Regulation - read his newsletter article here - this is relevant for everyone.
HSE24 Italia presentation by Paolo Iacono, CEO HSE24 Italia
Paolo gave a short presentation about TV Shopping which he said is not well-defined. When he talked about HSE24 Italia, he described the company as "HSE24 is TV, is E-commerce, is Social, it's the Omni-channel destination". Paolo describes HSE as "not a channel, closer to being media". He talked about the need to create storytelling, to give the viewers an amazing experience and to build something more long-lived in the customers minds and he went on to give examples from HSE24 Italia.
MCMS direct: Presentation of the new 2017 Multichannel Home Shopping Survey by Professor Klaus Goldhammer (Goldmedia)
This was the absolute highlight of the MCMS and drew the biggest audience of the day. The study states that multi-channel home shopping net sales in Europe totalled €4.8bn in 2016. By 2022, revenues are forecast to grow by 34% to €6.4bn. Particularly Russia is predicted to develop very strongly in the next five years. The report identifies that an issue to be addressed is the decline in TV linear usage and the increase of non-linear. Members of ERA Europe can download the whole 160 page study in the Members Only area of the website where it can be found under 'Reports'.
Product Pirates and Self Regulation – can Industry Standards also protect Intellectual Property?
Dieter Brockmeyer, MCMS Congress Chair took over the moderation of the afternoons panel discussions and introduced the next panel which consisted of Tina Osojnik (JT Business Development Ltd), Roger Colaizzi (Venable) and ERA Europe's independant Self-Regulation Officer, Sabine Christmann. The panel discussed how its getting harder for companies. Everyone is online all over the world but the jurisdictions are very local so its very challenging for lawyers to protect companies. Customers don't care enough about piracy until it happens to them. Companies need a lot of expertise and a lot of funding to stop piracy. Tina advises to think of the worst case scenario and to use a European Trademark or a European Design or a European Patent (hopefully soon). Companies have to understand that consumer protection and a high quality standard is an outstanding competitive advantage and consumer benefit.
EU Regulatory Update
Dieter Brockmeyer discussed regulatory developments with Eve Saloman (CommVision), Ed Hall (Media Expert Partners) and Dr. Julian Oberdörfer (ERA Europe). The update included the information that the consolidated version of the revised directive is expected to be published soon. Ed commented that the directive is primarily important to broadcasters/part-broadcasters and that many ERA members are more busy with products or production, however it was commented that for any UK licensed company, irrespective of how optimistic one is about Brexit, any well planned business needs now to be putting in place structures and systems towards planning for an environment where the UK is not part of the EU - this affects a lot of ERA members!
Executive Panel: Crises of the European Project - Brexit etc.
Dieter Brockmeyer, Ed Hall, Richard Burrell, Maurits Bruggink, Emanuele Frontoni and Ross Biggam debated the subject. Here are some snippets of the discussion: Maurits who lives in Brussels says he would order from the UK but he wouldn't be prepared to wait 1-2 weeks if 1-day delivery is normal. Richard is sure that British manufacturers will want to sell their goods in Europe and vice-versa. He doesn't see the UK as a commercial pirate ship off the coast of Europe breaking all the rules and thumbing their nose! Ed is sure that German car industry will be having very serious discussions with the government about the UK market. Emanule is concerned that universities will not be affected by Brexit. Ross is concerned by the lack of progress versus a year ago. When asked to sum up, Ed sees a much rockier road to establishing a good relationship between the UK and Europe, Emanuele hopes Brexit will shock the EU to be more flexible and faster, Maurits recommends all businesses to promote solutions to whats going to happen - be proactive! Tell Brussels whats going to work for our industry - that's whats he's going to do. Still unsure how Brexit will affect the home shopping industry? Read Richard Burrells 'Comment: After all the noise and fury, what does Brexit mean for the home shoppng industry' in this newsletter.
In Conclusion: Christopher Peterka (Gannaca/The HUS Institute), as someone not that involved in the industry, was invited to give his thoughts and a critical review of the day to get some external perspective on the topics and discussions. Christopher's challenging comments are worth reading in his article.