CABSAT 2019: Interview with show organiser Syed Ali

Syed Ali, CABSAT 2019 show organiser, tells Digital Studio what's new, what's hot and what show attendees can expect to see and do at CABSAT 2019.
Syed Ali, show manager, CABSAT.
Syed Ali, show manager, CABSAT.

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DS: What is new at CABSAT 2019?

In its refreshed format, CABSAT 2019 will bring focus to the three most dynamic pillars of future broadcast media: content creation, content production and content distribution. Some of the new features at the show are:

Content Congress: A conference that engages a unique cross-section of senior industry stakeholders and up-and-coming influencers to share forward looking insights into how to adapt traditional broadcast models, the benefits of disruptive thinking and the future of broadcasting not only for the region, but worldwide.

Digital Hub: CABSAT’s Digital Hub focuses on the Digital & Over The Top (OTT) technologies that facilitate the delivery of video or digital content via internet protocol and purpose-built platforms for ‘anytime, anywhere’ consumption.

E-sports: Launching this year at CABSAT 2019, the E-sports showcase will provide Broadcasters, Advertising & Marketing Agencies, Premium Brands & Game Developers a tremendous opportunity to understand, learn and adapt these bite-sized formats. CABSAT will be launching this new sector providing an opportunity to showcase and understand monetisation models. An invite-only networking event for high-level executives to create a marketplace for E-sports deals

Satellite Summit: The GVF Satellite Summit takes place within the satellite area of the CABSAT exhibition, using a dedicated, purpose built, centrally located and high-profile meetings facility. Not only does the GVF Satellite Summit comes closer to the exhibition space and to CABSAT’s thousands of visitors, but offers participating organisations – sponsors and speakers – a higher level of visibility for their support of the event programme, and for the vitally important dialogues and opportunities for networking that the programme facilitates and promotes.

Photography Workshops: Being one of the sectors of CABSAT for over 25 years, the show will continue to support the entire photographic and imaging sector and feature the latest in photography including the following segments: cameras, lenses, equipment, video technology, studio equipment, lighting, data storage, digital imaging, graphic design, photofinishing and print.

New to this sector will be access to free educational seminars and interactive learning sessions presented by leading professionals via keynotes and panel discussions. Photography showcase will cover: Mobile Photography & Optimisation for Social, Photo Editing/Post Production, Lighting, Workflow, the Perfect Stage.

Global Meetings Programme: CABSAT Global Meetings Programme is the exclusive, free to use, networking service that allows registered visitors and exhibitors to search, connect and book meetings with key contacts at the show.

DS: What are the technological trends you are most excited about?

According to the PWC Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2015-2019, the MENA region is forecast to be the biggest global contributor to the growth in the entertainment and media industry, growing at a rate of 11.5% per-year and anticipated to reach US$66 billion in value by 2022. As new streaming services such as Spotify enter the MENA market – and content distributors like Netflix and Amazon Prime make strategic moves into content creation – the industry is pushed to look at the rapidly evolving media ecosystem in a completely new light. Business models throughout the industry are being reinvented to unleash new revenue streams, and CABSAT 2019 will be putting these opportunities centre-stage.

DS: What are some of the hot topics that will be addressed during the conference?

CABSAT's Content Congress platform will tap into some of the key challenges and opportunities facing the global and regional markets as they seek to deliver fresh, creative content, innovative formats and effective, sustainable business models in the age of disruption. Some of the topics that will be discussed include evolution of TV and its future by Sanjay Raina, General Manager, FOX International; creating content that stands out in the crowd by Ahmed Abdelhamid, Head of Programming & Acquisitions - MajidKids TV; a discussion on Piracy looking at the international and local regulations and how to utilize them and another interesting one on Arabic TV that will tackle the question of why MENA region is a heavy consumer of foreign content but is lacking in producing products that compete globally.

DS: Why are big industry shows like CABSAT important to the industry and to attendees?

Shows like CABSAT are reflective of where the industry is headed and provide a deep insight into what technological innovations are taking place across different markets. CABSAT is the single most important platform for the digital broadcast and satellite industries in the MEASA region. It is the largest technology event of its kind, bringing together digital content creators, software developers, tech companies, entertainment brands and technology enthusiasts.

DS: How are the attendees and companies participating in CABSAT changing?

The industry in the region is diversifying and as such so has the interest for CABSAT. Last year, we had an estimated 13,000 industry professionals are attending the event and we only expect it to increase this year. With the diversification taking place in the media and entertainment ecosystem, CABSAT is introducing new features such as the e-sports pavilion, photography workshops, content creation and distribution through Flix on 86 and the digital Hub. 

DS: What is your outlook for the Middle East content market? What are the biggest opportunities for content creators, buyers and distributors in the region?

“Content is King” is a term that has been thrown around for many years now but couldn’t be truer than it is right now. Appetite for video content is growing at such a rapid pace that is doesn’t come as a surprise that over 60% of CABSAT C-Level attendees cite ‘buying new content’ as the most important activity for business success in the coming years. CABSAT has traditionally brought this ecosystem together but in 2019 is taking it one step further with ‘Flix on 86’, a screening theatre delivered in partnership with UTURN & Mena.TV, it will feature a carefully curated catalogue of Arabic and non-Arabic filmed entertainment. Content creators, buyers and distributors will have the opportunity to discover the latest and hottest content and formats, explore production and co-production opportunities and network with the industry elites.

DS: With many OTT services launching in MENA over the past year, how can regional broadcasters and content owners scale and monetize their digital offerings?

OTT services serve as an opportunity for MENA region. According to Satellite Markets & Research, Middle East & North Africa OTT TV episodes and movies will generate revenues of US$1.75 billion by 2022. In order to maximize return on investment, it is important for operators to have a solid market understanding from a consumer perspective - the size of the potential market, preference for premium content, willingness to pay for premium, brand preferences, satisfaction with the experience to date. With 9.2 billion mobile subscriptions expected by 2020 globally we’re seeing a significant paradigm shift in the way we consume videos. Mobile video is revolutionizing the way we consume content and put forward a great opportunity to tap into. This is one of the hottest topics being discussed at CABSAT in both the Content Congress and CABSATS dedicated OTT ‘Digital Hub’ – a 2 day free to attend seminar covering content delivery innovations, client case studies, industry insights and importantly tried and tested monetization strategies for future growth.

DS: What are the top three things visitors can do at CABSAT 2019?

One would definitely be the E-sports Pavillion. CABSAT will be the the first and only e-sports B2B focused event in the region. Launching this year at CABSAT 2019, the e-sports showcase will provide broadcasters, advertising & marketing agencies, premium brands and game developers an exclusive opportunity to understand, learn and adapt these bite-sized formats. Besides E-sports, Flix on 86 - the MENA region's marketplace to buy, sell or co-produce tv and film content for the Arabic market as the Content Congress where we'll have world-class speakers addressing key topics are a must for visitors.

DS: What do you hope attendees take away from CABSAT this year?
CABSAT 2019 will offer a one stop-shop for the region’s media and entertainment industry catering and covering all aspects from content creation, production and post production to content delivery and monetization.

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