Q&A 16 June 2017

Our team recently sat down with Brad Samuels to discuss his take on the impact of over-the-top (OTT) content creation and distribution on the future of the media and TV landscape.

What does your role as Head of TV Distribution / Americas entail?
My team manages Bloomberg TV’s partnerships with all types of pay TV and OTT platforms to maximize our distribution reach and related revenue. We also develop and maintain branded TV partnerships in Canada and Mexico (with more to come soon) which involve partnering with a regionally-based media company to produce local content that increases our relevance and commercial success across all media platforms (TV, digital, radio, and Businessweek)

Who is on your team?
My team consists of five business development execs who all have deep experience in content distribution and partnerships. Each is focused on a specific region of our overall territory.

Why did you pursue a career at Bloomberg? What brought you here?
After spending most of my career in cable TV network distribution in the US, this position represented a rare opportunity to join a very strong media brand in a role that involved expanded geography and responsibility for a much broader mix of media platforms.

How has the TV and media landscape changed in the past decade?

The impact of the web and digital technology has accelerated in the last 5-10 years, creating growth opportunities but also heavy strain on the legacy pay TV model. Social media and video centric web sites and apps like YouTube and Netflix have enabled an explosion of video content production and engagement, causing fragmentation and heightened competition for attention, and also both advertising and subscription revenue.

How is OTT changing the fundamentals of content creation and distribution?
The web has greatly reduced the barriers to entry and consumer access and OTT is beginning to exploit those advantages. Starting an OTT site with the capacity to reach huge audiences is being done at a fraction of the expense of launching a traditional broadcast or pay TV system so the number of distribution platforms is growing exponentially. While we already have large success stories like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, it’s unclear whether many of the less established entrants will have the wherewithal to produce compelling content and capture viewer engagement in such a crowded environment. Advertising dollars are already flowing to digital platforms and with the recent acceleration of cord cutting, it’s clear that subscription spending is also moving rapidly to new OTT services.

Interested in learning more about the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities facing the TV business? Don’t miss Bloomberg’s “Up and Over: Understanding Trends in the OTT Ecosystem” webinar which will take place on Thursday, June 22, 12 p.m. EDT.

Catch the webinar live and register here. Can’t attend? Register anyway and we will send you the slides and presentation.

– Gabriela Tama

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