Aggregators will return – Doug Smith, Vindicia

By iSportconnect | June 9, 2016


While traditional media aggregators continue to feel the pressure of new, disruptive companies and technology that dilute their influence, Vindicia’s Senior Vice President, Customer Success Doug Smith, feels that the aggregators still have a role to play, and will make their return.

Doug thinks peak fragmentation is yet to occur, but when it happens aggregators will start to make a comeback.

“I personally think you are going to see it fragment for a while, before it goes back through a phase of re-aggregation. The telecommunications industry is a good model. That fractured into local carriage and increased competition, before it started aggregating into the larger carrier groups again. You’re going to see that in the sport space as well.”

“There are certain advantages for aggregators, if you look at OTT in general, I don’t think that anyone wants to subscribe to the complete list of every series they ever watch on TV. That’s where the aggregators come into play there.”

However Doug thinks sports teams are an exception to the industry. The passion and dedication of the fans will continue to allow new ways of viewing content, that wouldn’t be viable for other content creators:

“Sports occupies a special niche, in that people have a very deep affinity for their sports team. Therefore it can hold itself separate from the rest of the subscription fatigue concern. Sports teams will always be able to engage with their fans in a way that other groups cannot.”

But one group that Doug doesn’t expect to become a measure player in the subscription market is social media.

Twitter and Facebook have both made their first steps into acquiring rights to show sports content, free to air. Twitter in particular have always made clear that their live broadcasting project supplements traditional rights deals, rather than being an attempt to replace it.

Doug felt that social media’s role was based around engagement:

“I think that social media channels are interesting to measure engagement. But ultimately folks are in this to make some money. While it’s nice to have things like Twitter and Facebook  to measure engagement, and allows engagement with people who might not be able to open their wallets today, it’s really just a acquisition channel for a long term relationship with that subscriber.”

As OTT and VOD becoming increasingly important and disruptive in the media market, it will be interesting to see what roles have to play in the emerging market.

Doug Smith is the Senior Vice-President at Vindicia and has over 20 years of experience in technology development and professional services in enterprise software and telecommunications. His primary areas of focus are professional services practice development and enterprise-scale integration strategy. Click here if you would like to visit the Vindicia website.