Around the corner: CABSAT 2020



he 26th edition of CABSAT is set to be held from March 31 to April 2, 2020 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. This year’s edition is set to have several highlights and DWTC’s assistant vice president, exhibitions, Thomas Löffler takes some time out to talk about them.

Löffler says: “ [This year we have will have] Content Congress — the region’s leading summit for content creation, distribution and consumption; CABSAT Africa Forum; GVF SATEXPO Summit; Digital Hub; Esports Congress; and Imagescape.

“These sections will feature alongside an all-new 5G Focus day conference. Around 75 speakers, including three-time Primetime Emmy-winning digital series creator, writer, director and producer Bernie Su, will present more than 100 hours of content.”

Löffler also notes that CABSAT is expanding the show into new areas of interest for the broadcast industry, including the burgeoning Esports sector. “Esports is a hugely exciting segment which attracts buyers including broadcasters, advertising and marketing agencies, premium brands and game developers. With our content market ContentScape, we are attracting content creators and sellers who will present their ready-to-be-released content to content buyers.”

Flix on 86, a facet of CABSAT 2019, has given way for ContentScape, which will be hosted in collaboration with Original Arabic and international content will be screened to visitors at ContentScape, which will also serve as a platform for businesses to exhibit their latest content, explore production and co-production opportunities, while discovering the latest formats in TV and film.

“Ramadan 2020 is at our doorstep and a lot of Ramadan buying decisions are yet to be made for what is a crucial 30 day window for broadcasters and production houses. We can expect a lot of activity to take place at ContentScape,” Says’s Heba Korayem. The cinema screening area is set to be bigger and better this year, with a provision to host larger audiences. “We received a phenomenal response to the screenings last year, we are hoping to better that in 2020,” Korayem notes.

Elucidating to a recent PwC report based on the five-year forecast of consumer and advertising spending across South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania predicts there will be an additional $13.1bn in E&M revenues over the next five years.

CABSAT’s Content Congress will highlights two core areas of OTT – “The evolution of the OTT landscape has seen the core mix of OTT players transforming into a myriad of choices vying for their share,” Löffler. Content Congress will seek to answers to questions such as ‘What are linear TV broadcasters doing — or not doing — to get viewers’ buy-in?  Are streaming chiefs working around complementing rather than competing with linear TV? Secondly — and importantly — what’s the monetisation plan for OTT services?

So what do the organisers of CABSAT want delegates to remember the 2020 edition for? “We want audiences to understand the fundamental ways that content creation and consumption are shifting,” Löffler says.

“We all know how streaming giants have disrupted traditional broadcasting models — but this transformation is only just beginning. These shifts will inevitably impact legacy business models, and we want to provide a platform to keep the all corners of the industry informed of the latest developments so that they can stay ahead of the curve. One example of that is anticipating what content our children of the Generation Z will be consuming, and how they will be consuming it. Their consumer expectation and experience will be different from what we’re used to. The ways that users manage multiple subscriptions is also a pressing and curious question, and one that will challenge content platforms to engage users. The challenge of subscriber acquisition and retention in an OTT-heavy world brings forward a burning question, can one subscription under one OTT deliver all?” Löffler notes.

The other obvious and major shift in the industry is the impending arrival of 5G. “That’s a huge shift which is certain to bring disruption, and we want to shed light on the ways that organisations can prepare for the shift in expectations that that will bring,” he concludes.  

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