The Webit Digital Entertainment & Media Summit (DEMS) is turning out to be an important event.
The latest edition, held for the second year running in Sofia – next year’s will take place in Valencia or again in the Bulgarian capital – had a number of highlights. They included two panel discussions moderated by Broadband TV News, the first being on the sustainability of distribution models adopted by pay-TV operators and telcos and second on the evolution of thematic linear channels in times of digital transformation.
Speaking in the former were leading executives from Volia (Ukraine), Turkcell (Turkey) and Bulsatcom (Bulgaria). Of particular note was how Max Ziff, the CEO of Bulsatcom, highlighted the critical issue of the grey and black market for pay-TV services in the country and how this was damaging in the long-term and had to be addressed.
He also spoke positively about the change of ownership at the Nova Broadcasting Group, which was recently sold by MTG to the Bulgaria’s Advance Media Group.
The second panel meanwhile featured executives from Viasat World, Marc Dorcel, AMC Networks International and Discovery. It offered contrasting views, with Viasat World’s Emma Jones, for instance, discussing the success of Epic Drama and Gregory Dorcel , CEO of Marc Dorcel, how his company continues to develop against the backdrop of free adult content streamed on the web.
It other sessions, Haymi Behar, CMO of SPI International/Filmbox, provided an update on the recently launched Timeless Drama Channel and its distribution objectives for the rest of year.
Meanwhile, Thierry Fautier, the president of the UHD Forum, spoke about and moderated a panel on UHD HDR delivery and Maria Rua Aguete, executive director IHS Markit, moderated panels on 5G and superaggregation.
In addition, one of the standout panels on the second and final day of the event was on content acquisition in times of abundance and changed consumer behaviour. It featured leading executives from four CEE telcos – Telekom Srbija, Telekom Slovenije, Magyar Telekom and One Vip Macedonia – and provided invaluable insights into the respective companies’ strategies.
All in all, Webit DEMS proved in Sofia that is an important event and has the potential to grow significantly over the coming years.