Verizon reportedly will enter the OTT fray when it launches a nationwide TV service this summer. The service provider is delving into a competitive market, where cable operators, CSPs and less traditional businesses vie for subscribers and eyeballs.
The service provider has been inking deals with television networks to secure streaming rights in order to offer dozens of channels this summer, according to Bloomberg. The service would be separate from Verizon's FiOS home TV and go90, a YouTube-like streaming video service for teens, Friday's article said.
Verizon will be only the latest to enter the OTT world. "It is an increasingly crowded market. How it will play depends upon Verizon's pricing, content selection, customer interface and bundle specifics," said Kamalini Ganguly, a senior analyst in Ovum's Broadband and Multiplay team who spoke to UBB2020.
This crowded market means good deals for consumers -- both on price and content -- as cable operators, service providers and OTT companies compete, partner and infringe on each others' traditional territories. It also generates the potential for customer confusion, given the growing array of available options and competitors.
The reason for so much competition is clear: US adults spend more than five hours each day watching video and 64% of US households subscribe to an OTT video service, finds a Comcast Technology Solutions infographic.
US pay-TV providers lost 1.7 million video customers last year versus a loss of 1.1 million in 2015, according to MoffettNathanson. And one-fifth of existing cable subscribers are dissatisfied with their current service, Parks Associates research finds.
Content consumers have more choices than ever as traditional cable companies, service providers and others compete for viewers by reshaping the OTT market, shrinking offerings into so-called skinny bundles and pursuing deals directly with content creators. Here's a look at some recent moves and news from the intersecting worlds of OTT and pay-TV.
About two years ago, Dish Network began selling Sling TV services, a skinny bundle that starts at $20 per month. Others quickly followed suit, and Sling TV and AT&T's DirecTV Now accumulated about 900,000 subscribers in 2016, MoffettNathanson estimates.
That figure does not include subscribers to Sony's PlayStation Vue. Alphabet YouTube is expected to enter this market in the next few months, followed by Hulu.
Over the next two years, approximately 60% of service providers (both large and small) will adopt virtualization on a wide scale across their networks, according to the latest survey report from Ovum. Why are providers making these moves? Is there an easy way to start?
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