The global Entertainment and Media (E&M) industry is in the midst of a significant shift as viewers demand a more personalised experience, both in terms of the content they consume and their platform of choice. The fast-paced development of mobile and streaming technologies have sparked a marked shift in consumer behaviour, thrusting the industry into an era analysts are referring to as Convergence 3.0. In this new wave of entertainment, technology is giving a voice to the consumer and that voice is clear - viewers are demanding bespoke content that they can consume anytime, anywhere. With expectations at an all-time high, the E&M industry must adapt to meet the brief.
With digital revenues set to make up 56.9 per cent of the industry’s income by 2022[i], competitors and niche providers alike are forced to reevaluate obsolete business models driven by advertising revenue, instead shifting their focus to providing bespoke content to consumers on an in-demand basis. Experts from all corners of this industry in flux will come together at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from March 12th-14th at CABSAT, the leading specialist event for the broadcast, satellite, digital media and filmed entertainment industries for the Middle East and North Africa to discuss the changing roles of content creation, distribution and consumption.
CABSAT’s Content Congress plays a critical role in uniting the discussions surrounding the rapidly changing content landscape. The event will bring together over 250 leaders in their industry, including Carlos Tibi, Chief Executive Officer, icflix; Raffaele Annechino, President and Managing Director for Viacom International Media Networks' (VIMN) Southern & Western Europe, Middle East and Africa; Kaswara Al Khatib co-creator UTURN and, Sanjay Raina, General Manager, Fox International. At CABSAT, the entire E&M ecosystem will be addressed by experts from all corners of the industry. The event will host three key tracks - Content Creation, Content Production and Post-Production, and Content Distribution and Delivery.
“Viewers are consuming more content than ever today, and this is great news,” explained Raffaele Annecchino, President, Viacom International Media Networks Southern & Western Europe, Middle East and Africa, who will be unpacking the new media landscape as an expert speaker at CABSAT. “We’re living in an era where content is at the centre of everything we do. Our viewers consume content where and when they want, on the device of their choosing, so our mission today is to be everywhere, producing great content that can work on different platforms creating experiences for audiences that work across devices and in real life.”
Content creators, distributors and buyers will gather at CABSAT’s Content Marketplace to exhibit the latest content offerings, explore production and scout for content that will speak to niche audiences and global fan bases alike. With viewers calling the shots, the industry is seeing a cadre of new, personalised content. This is particularly true in terms of content tailored to regional tastes, languages and cultural mores. Streaming content giant Netflix is now available in 190 countries and is aggressively sourcing content that speaks to regional audiences.
The MEASA market is ripe for innovators looking to unlock new revenue streams. The Content Congress at CABSAT will provide in depth insight into how to disrupt and adapt traditional broadcast models to meet the demands of viewers looking for a bespoke experience. Panelists at the Content Congress will be addressing issues that the industry cannot afford to ignore, including the fate of broadcast television, the potential of content creation in the MEASA region and the integration of social media platforms in traditional broadcasting.
Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director of Dubai Studio City, said: “Today, the content creation landscape is a dynamic and evolving one, and the biggest challenge remains to keep up and adapt to the changes. As a developing content creation hub in the Middle East region, our future truly lies in producing exciting and ground-breaking work that meets and exceeds the expectations of our consumers. Lately, we have introduced several products and initiatives – including CineMENA – to provide a direct gateway into content creation.”
As entertainment goes mobile, business models are being reinvented to unlock new revenue streams. Content creators and distributors alike are looking to develop loyal, fan-based audiences with quality user experiences that engage viewers. This shift is most apparent in interactive sectors of the media market such as e-Sports. Though the MENA region is a relatively young market for E-Sports, the regional industry has been valued at nearly USD $3 billion[ii], with huge potential for growth in the coming years.
"The video-games industry is now bigger than film and music industries combined. The push for more interactive, entertaining and engaging content that is accessible anywhere, at any time has opened the door for a boom in e-Sports," said Saeed Sharaf, the CEO of eSports Middle East. “E-sports is the next big revenue growth engine for entertainment entities. This is particularly true in the MENA region, with its high internet penetration and young demographics.”
Launching this year at CABSAT, the E-Sports Showcase will provide broadcasters, premium brands and developers a key platform to come together to understand and unleash the potential of the gaming revenue stream.
“The Entertainment and Media industry is in the midst of a huge wave of change. Companies need to bring in new, high quality content delivered through the latest interfaces to stay at the forefront of this shifting industry landscape. CABSAT is the MENA region’s leading platform for unveiling the latest in content, technology and distribution,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Events & Exhibitions Management, DWTC.