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Future of Media: OTT whales and minnows, Upfronts waves, CTV software wrestling

The Drum's senior reporter and media correspondent John McCarthy rounds up the latest media trends and developments. Also available in your inbox every Thursday as The Drum's Future of Media email briefing. Sign up here.

John McCarthy, media editor at The Drum, here. It's week two of our Future of TV deep dive, and if you've missed any of our coverage you can catch-up in our dedicated hub. Meanwhile, check out the winners of The Drum Awards for Online Media ceremony, hosted by yours truly, last Friday.

Now to this week's stories

Future of Media TV

With week one of our Future of TV theme in the bag (read the best bits here) we've been quizzing media buyers about their thoughts on the medium, which appears to be halfway through a glorious rebirth. But change never comes without pain. Enders Analysis released a fairly damning report about how TV buying needs to adapt - and I highlighted it in a super-technical BuzzFeed-style list.

It's Upfronts season. We had buyers lay out the seven biggest trends impacting the events. The erosion of network TV (looking at you Oscars), the rise of CTV and the resulting fragmentations are just some of the things we had some clever folk dig into.

It's fair to say the OTT video space is now cluttered. Everyone and everything's going direct to consumer (keep your eyes peeled for McCarthy+ this fall). Picture an ocean of whales, sharks and minnows competing for food. Welcome to the world of Sea TV. Can the niche minnows live in a world of giants like Disney+ and Netflix? Chris Sutcliffe answered that question. I won't spoil it, I'm fishing for views - read it here.

So if whales and minnows are content creators the oceans they reside in must be o(cean)s - operating systems. Hardware companies are drawing the borders to have the biggest CTV oceans with the most fish, and fishers (viewers) by becoming the de facto software guiding your viewing and ads via in-built software, games console, streaming stick, set-top box, and even your mobile. I spoke to Roku, Rakuten and ITV to get a feel for the consolidation ahead.

Over State-side US editor Kenneth Hein took some time with NBC Universal boss Linda Yaccarino to get a feel for what makes her tick. 3 Actionable Insights served up hot here.

And if you still want more TV content, check out our devoted hub. Already we look forward to our gaming theme later this month, and I'm taking pitches. Contact below.

Other stuff

That's you all caught up. If you missed the last installment, read it here. You can subscribe to our other briefings here. And if you want to talk to me, I'm on Twitter, Linkedin and email.