Digital Excellence

Panel Members:

Cristian Livadiotti, CEO – Backlight Streaming
Guillaume Postaire, Media Factory Director – France Televisions
Johannes Franken, Director of Digital – Host Broadcast Services (HBS)

What does it take to deliver comprehensive digital coverage?

Cristian Livadiotti addressed the main issue directly: “What governs in the digital era is fragmentisation, content scattered around tons of platforms. We created a platform to optimise the way they created content to address that fragmentisation. We can turn that into an opportunity.”

Guillaume Postaire pointed out the change in viewing habits and demands from the public: “5/6 years ago people would consume what you offered them. Now they want the things they want on the device they want.”

Johannes Franken emphasised the need to offer a great variety of content, tailored to audience taste and interests: “We have customers from different countries with different appetites. We cater for those needs with a story for them. China is a big market for Virtual Reality. The World Cup had millions of viewers on VR in China.”

Livadiotti agreed: “You have to diversify the format and diversify the story, targeting various parts of the audience, changing the way you are creating and producing the content.”

He was keen to stress it is not just about sports highlights clips any longer: “Live sport on digital is coming back, big events like the Olympics and Roland Garros – when you go to digital, you unlock the monetisation of those events.”

In terms of highlights of those major events Postaire outlined some major considerations, particularly if the event is taking place in a different time zone: “You have to have in mind, what content, how you deliver and what time of day you deliver. Every contact is important.”

Franken emphasised the need to think smartly: “You need to decide where you put your money.” He admitted that footage from a smartphone can be better than a 4K television camera.  “The picture that came out of the smartphone has authenticity.”

Speed is essential, Postaire said: “If you are not on social media within seconds, you have lost it. You need to be online quicker than everybody.”

Livadiotti: “Click a button and be live right away. You need to ensure whatever happens you click a button and you are out there. Not just in sport, but also in news. Speed is key if you want to prevail on digital.”

And what of the future? Franken had an interesting view on AI. “People [staff]  are scared of it. But the pressure coming from the tool will make our editors better. It will push us to a new level of what we can deliver.”

Livadiotti added: “The goal has never been to replace humans. AI is just a tool box.”