HbbTV at the heart of European broadcasters’ new platforms

Geneva, November 21, 2018 – HbbTV will be a key element of the new hybrid broadcast and OTT platforms currently being prepared by major European public and commercial broadcasters in countries such as Germany, France and Spain after similar moves in the UK and Italy for instance. This was confirmed by representatives of the involved broadcasters at the 7th HbbTV Symposium and Awards, co-organised with Deutsche TV-Plattform, which took place on November 14-15, 2018 in Berlin under the theme Growing Value Through HbbTV.

With over 300 delegates from 27 countries, the HbbTV Symposium and Awards 2018 reached a new record number of visitors and speakers.

“The TV industry faces major challenges and needs to adjust by embracing OTT to complement and enrich the traditional broadcast services,” Vincent Grivet, Chairman of the HbbTV Association, said in his keynote. “HbbTV is the way to integrate OTT in the classic TV world and grow the broadcast business.”

Historic public and commercial broadcasters react to the changes in the market following increasing competition by global VOD players and rising on-demand viewing by forming national alliances, which have been discussed during conference sessions. Through its open specifications, HbbTV ensures that these new platforms reach a maximum of smart TVs and set-top boxes in the market from the start.

Further panels and roundtables at the HbbTV Symposium and Awards 2018 focussed on topics such as addressable TV and targeted advertising solutions, growth opportunities for the TV business, improvements of the user experience and the possibilities the new OpApp holds for platform operators. The Symposium keynotes and presentations evidenced a strong consensus among the participants of the panel sessions regarding the importance of introducing addressable advertising in broadcast TV and the usage of HbbTV to open up this new revenue source. One major global digital player, which recently became a member of the HbbTV Association, summed it up: “HbbTV is awesome.”

The annual key event of the connected TV world also hosted the HbbTV Awards, showcasing and celebrating excellence in the HbbTV community. The prizes were awarded at a prestigious ceremony on November 14, 2018. Details about the winners and jury comments can be found here.

This year HbbTV celebrates its 10-year anniversary in Germany. The definition of the specifications began in 2008, Andre Prahl, Chairman of Deutsche TV-Plattform, said in Berlin. The release followed in 2009. In 2010, HbbTV was adopted as an ETSI standard.

“We are very happy about the successful HbbTV Symposium 2018, co-hosted by Deutsche TV-Plattform,” said Prahl. “We have followed and supported the introduction of HbbTV from the very beginning, which has been a tremendous success and continues to develop with constant updates adding new features. We are convinced HbbTV can help the market to thrive in times where consumer behaviour is much changing. Deutsche TV-Plattform – just like the HbbTV Association – is offering the tools needed to communicate and to work on the challenges our industry is facing. We therefore invite all stakeholders in the value chain to join us and to participate in our working groups.”

The 8th HbbTV Symposium and Awards 2019 will take place in Athens at the invitation of Greek public broadcaster ERT.

Note to editors: The presentations, audio recordings of all conference sessions and the photo gallery of the 7th HbbTV Symposium and Awards 2018 are now available for download on the HbbTV website.

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Contact HbbTV Association:
Angelo Pettazzi
Chair HbbTV Marketing and Education Working Group (MEWG)
email: angelo.pettazzi@kineton.it
Tel: +39 335 7614 596