How Will the Entertainment Industry Change in the Future? Insights with CobbleCord

by Parks Associates | Dec. 12, 2018

Prior to Parks Associates’ 1st-annual Future of Video: OTT, Pay TV, and Digital Media conference, Virginia Juliano, CEO/Founder, CobbleCord shared insights with the analyst team to discuss the future of the video industry.

Virigina participated on the The Future of Discovery, Brands, and Content Positioning panel on Tuesday, December 11, at 10:45 AM. The following panelists joined her on this session:

Gabe Berger, CEO, ThinkAnalytics
Ramon Duivenvoorden, Chief Commercial Officer, 24i
Julian Franco, Head of AVOD, Vudu

What is the greatest challenge facing the video industry over the next three years?
There are certainly some consumer pain points around discovery of content. A big complaint that people have is that they spend more time searching for something to watch than actually watching. There needs to be a solve for this across walled gardens, and if the major streaming players don’t cooperate, the frustration, overwhelm and content fatigue of consumers will come back to haunt them.

It's an embarrassment of content riches out there and getting harder to figure out what's worth watching and subscribing to. I created CobbleCord to help folks cobble together personalized bundles (of free & paid services) using our patented process based on content, device & price preferences.

What is driving growth in video entertainment today? How does that change over the next few years?
Connected TV and streaming in general is clearly becoming the preferred way to watch. Along with the explosion of streaming services in all shapes and sizes, we’ll be seeing cord-cutting become more mainstream, with older consumers finally mustering the courage to take the plunge. And CobbleCord is here to help facilitate that.

I’m also tired of hearing the argument that it’s cord-shifting vs cord-cutting. This is pure semantics. Streaming Services (including so called ‘Skinny Bundles’) have no installation fees, no long-term contracts, no equipment, no hidden fees, better interfaces and much more consumer control and choice. All at a fraction of the cost -- and btw, a fraction of the margins for the TV providers. Whatever you call it, it's changed the business and consumer power dynamic dramatically – for the better.

What technology will have the biggest impact on your business in the next 18 months and why?
There’s always room to improve your streaming mix. In fact, I suggest people reexamine their streaming portfolio on a monthly basis. And I expect that subscriber churn is going to skyrocket as people begin to truly understand the amazing amount of control they now have over their entertainment and the huge (and growing!) amount of choices available. And since CobbleCord is free, you can go through the process as many times as you want to switch up your combinations and see what else comes up. 

What is the top growth opportunity for content producers over the next few years? What about for cable networks?
There are 200+ streaming services out there, including some very good free, ad-supported ones that most people have never heard of. People watched an average of 15-20 channels with raditional Pay TV Services, so think there's room for more than 2-3 streaming services w/in consumers' OTT portfolios.

The beauty of the new world order is that no one 'has to’ subscribe to anything and you can easily move in and out of services. Most people don't want to recreate the overstuffed packages of the traditional TV Bundle. And why would they? The bundle was abused for years by MVPDs. But now that consumers have a choice they will refuse to go back to what they perceive as a one-sided relationship. And they shouldn’t. The genie is out of the bottle. Transparency and freedom of choice will soon be table stakes. 

What is one thing that the pay-TV ecosystem needs to learn from the online giants in video (Google, Netflix, Facebook, and Amazon)?
Clearly, the user interface and smart use of data on the part of the online giants is superior to the pay-TV ecosystem. But I hope that we will begin to see a move toward more consumer control. For example, the ability to organize your home screen as you see fit, and the ability turn on/off annoying auto-play previews – I’m looking at you, Netflix. 

What will pay TV services look like in five years?
Churn is going to massively increase when the streaming PriceWars really start picking up steam. Entertainment is now an ongoing series of evaluations, not just one static decision and consumers will need to stay on top of their streaming choices and periodically reexamine update their streaming service mix to get the most for their money. 

You can subscribe to or cancel a ton of services at any time. You're no longer locked into the bundle that cable forced on you (along w/its contracts, fees & penalties). We now have the power to easily control our entertainment choices on a monthly basis. And if they try to put the genie of ‘no contracts’ back in the bottle there would be a consumer revolt!

Most consumers think traditional TV services are overpriced & they DESPISE being forced into 'the bundle'. Although the ever-changing OTT space will likely bring some casualties, it will also bring opportunities. I created CobbleCord to help people navigate the exploding streaming landscape & help them figure out how to cobble it together to best suit THEIR needs.

For more information on the Future of Video, visit:

Next: What is Driving Growth in Video Entertainment? Insights from Verimatrix
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