How telcos should approach taking up and offering pay-TV services

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It’s true that telecoms operators have a unique opportunity to claim a foothold in the pay-TV market.

In the last few years, we’ve seen them increasingly compete with cablecos in providing broadband services and access to video and TV content – the kind of service consumers today expect.

Take a look at the current landscape. TV and online video industries are converging, consumers expect easy access to the best content, and they’re willing to pay for an integrated experience.

Providing access to premium content, and ensuring the smart aggregation of OTT and linear TV content across all devices, has proven to be a powerful strategy for network service providers. In many cases it has helped them to create differentiation, perceived value and increasing subscriber stickiness.

And as such, the recent thinking has been that because broadband infrastructure is such a key asset for the new TV and video landscape, telecoms are surely best placed to take advantage.

But of course, as the landscape has continued to evolve, the situation has become slightly more complex and nuanced.

The content distribution game, for example, has been complicated by OTT delivery. This has led to the emergence of new consumer segments, or “TV tribes”, as coined in recent research by NAGRA and UK firm Ampere Analysis. The research identified five distinct tribes: Content Connoisseurs, Broadcast Bingers, Digitally Detached, TV Traditionalists and Super Spenders.

And each of these tribes consume content in unique ways – for example, Content Connoisseurs prefer SVoD over any other platform. TV Traditionalists meanwhile spend still prefer to consume more linear content on their main TV screen. The comparisons and contrasts go on.

So with the demands of these consumer segments in mind, it’s clear that to be successful in today’s market, telcos must create a versatile video and TV platform – and also one that leverages IP delivery, cloud infrastructure, data analytics and other actionable intelligence.

The platform also needs to allow for the on-boarding of OTT apps and the aggregation of multiple content sources, so that subscribers get maximum value from their preferred network provider.

For example, Android TV Operator Tier is a key solution component that can help easily on-board OTT video apps. Interfaced with a multi-journey UEX platform that offers advanced TV services (from start-over and catchup TV to cloud DVR and SVOD), secured with content value protection technology (to ensure access to the best content rights), the solution offers telecoms operators (especially small ones) a future-proof platform to effectively monetize video content, increasing total ARPU while reducing churn.

SaaS or cloud-based integrated solutions meanwhile can specifically help smaller telcos leapfrog into the future of video and pay-TV content delivery at the right price point and with sufficient agility to stay successful over time.

Telecoms operators are potentially well-placed to claim a foothold in the pay-TV market. But while broadband infrastructure lends them a head-start in the race, they must also remember to seek out the right expertise to help them across the finish line.

Written by Simon Trudelle, Senior Product Marketing Director for NAGRA, the digital TV division of the Kudelski Group

This article was produced in partnership with NAGRA

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