Best of TV: Tomorrow's television is preparing itself now
By Marine Dehossay, PUB magazine

Between optimising the experience and the data race, the barriers are thin. The media, and therefore television, need to know their audiences well to keep them close. But what is the limit to this data? Is TV enough on its own? What is the future for this duo? With the help of experts in the field, PUB magazine has crossed big technologies and small screen.


Home sweet home or when data makes you feel at home, everywhere... Enzo Ricciulli, Managing Partner at Mediascale Benelux wants to live a personalised experience in everything he does, including watching TV.

For Delphine Goor, Hybrid Channel Manager at Mediaplus Benelux, TV, and therefore the use of its data, should be accompanied by other media platforms for an efficient result.

Finally, Xavier Damman, co-founder and president of Open Collective, is a great enthusiast who doesn't hesitate to shake up preconceived ideas: "I think that data can improve the user experience, but there is a fundamental problem which is its accessibility. Either the data is open, or it is closed because it is private and fuck off! [laughs].

Combine for a better ruling

Between TV and data, it is important to have a complete view of what kind of data we have at our disposal," explains Enzo Ricciulli:

"There are aggregated data, deterministic data (CRM) and probabilistic data. We combine all these types of data and with data science, machine learning, AI, we try to be as accurate as possible in order to predict the effects of a TV campaign based on the results and business objectives of a client. This is how we create our media plans.

"Television is a medium that remains very strong despite what many people say, it depends on which target and other factors," adds Delphine Goor.

"In terms of data, not everything that we have just put in place for e-commerce corresponds to all these new features (Addressable TV, Catch Up TV, etc.) that are not used enough. They need to be developed so that there can be a sort of unification in Belgium, because for the moment there are still too many different technologies per network."

The good example to follow in terms of media for Xavier Damman is that of RTBF and its podcasts: "There is zero data or tracking in podcasts like Salade Tout and Notes pour demain, for example. You can just measure how many times the person has downloaded the file. For me, that's the media of tomorrow, a media that comes in several platforms and that puts itself at the "service" of the population by promoting projects that make sense. For me, TV must absolutely invest in the creation of TV shows made in Belgium. It's really the return of the local, accentuated by Covid, and the race for data is the wrong race. »

Just as in the US

For Delphine Goor and Enzo Ricciulli, there are two major problems concerning the use of data in television in Belgium: the lack of communication between production companies and the lack of use of data. "At the moment, TV and the market do not make enough use of data," explains Delphine. "The fact that we are already in this system where we make a forecast of the impressions we can get according to our plan is something that is still in its infancy for the entire market." And Enzo Ricciulli predicts:

"In 5 years time, there will be no more linear TV. The role of telcos in data management will be crucial. Proximus, Telenet, Voo, are the players who, together with the TV channels, will make the difference. If they don't reach a consensus among themselves, we will never have a personalised experience like in the US. "For Delphine Goor, we are already in the process of personalising TV: "for the moment there are 4 control rooms that do addressable TV but they don't communicate with each other. So the reports I'm going to get from SBS will not be the same as those from DPG, the same for IP and RMB, so it's very difficult to present a global plan. Everyone refuses to communicate their figures, that's where the brakes on these technologies lie. »

Don't switch channels

In this period, the public is very much questioning the information. According to Delphine Goor, the values to be conveyed by TV today remain entertainment: "I think they all understand this, that's why the number of channels that are multiplying are theme channels. If we go on YouTube, it's for entertainment, TV must do the same. »

Enzo Ricciulli adds: "TV has more curated content but it is like Netflix and Disney+ trying to create new channels with organised content. On YouTube you can find anything and everything. As far as this relationship of trust between TV and social networks (or other platforms) is concerned, it is always TV that remains the most credible, and that is also why we accept that there is advertising on TV.  »

What's next?

In terms of the future, all the changes that have taken place in TV in recent years are heading in the same direction. According to Delphine Goor, we must continue to move towards a TV that responds on demand and adds that, "on the other hand, all technologies and data must be used to optimise TV advertising, with the aim of responding properly to the needs of advertisers. »

"Content is king and the timing is queen," says Enzo Ricciulli. "We produce a lot of content and then we don't have the time to consume it. From now on, I think we're going to spend more time developing quality content and fine-tuning the content that we already like. This is in order to be more exhaustive. »

Xavier Damman concludes with his vision: "Decentralisation is one of the keys. Each community will have its own media and we will have platforms that will help all these communities to learn how to create a media, how to make a podcast, how to make a YouTube channel,... We will finally free the content from the TV box. Freeing the content is another key. The future is positive, it is the return of the local and of creation! »

Interview from PUB magazine (December 2020). Article by Marine Dehossay.

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Nancy Delhalle
Enzo Ricciulli
Managing Director

+32 (0)2 774 01 23

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