Ultra-broadband infrastructure is helping pay-TV executives attain two of their top priorities: innovation and launching new products and services.
By moving away from siloed, legacy systems in favor of standards-based, next-generation infrastructure for ultra-broadband, service providers are narrowing the agility gap once dominated by over-the-top services like Netflix and Hulu, said Jon Watts, founding director of research and strategy consultancy MTM, in an interview with UBB2020.
Last year, MTM, in partnership with NAGRA -- a digital TV division of the Kudelski Group that offers security and multiscreen user experience solutions for the monetization of digital media -- formed the Pay TV Innovation Forum to catalyze innovation and stimulate growth across the global industry.
Initial research from the Pay TV Innovation Forum study, slated for release next month, found 92% of respondents agree that driving growth in the future will be heavily dependent on the launch of new products and services, said Watts. In addition, 74% of those polled said innovation must become more important, he said.
Despite that consensus, change is happening slowly: In 2017, 85% of the top 250 operators had at least some IP connectivity compared with 81% in 2016, the forum's research found.
"The other thing we're starting to see is the virtualization and cloudification of operations. Some of the more advanced operators, people like StarHub, are pushing the borders of what's possible by shifting their infrastructure into the cloud and delivering pay-TV services which will genuinely be advanced by any standard," said Watts.
For example, some operators are looking at alternate ways of bundling pay-TV offerings to attract new subscribers and expand their footprint, he said. One provider no longer expects many more mass-market opportunities and will, instead, try to create ten services for approximately 5% of its vast subscriber base, said Watts.
"I think the industry's response has got to be to diversity, to broaden the range of video products and services that are offered to consumers because a one-size-fits-all big bundle of channels no longer fits the purpose. Broadband networks are going to be, obviously, very key to that," he said. "It's about creating businesses that can deliver portfolios of services, some of which may never gain mass-market adoption but things which a sufficient number of your subscribers will want to generate a decent return. Plus finding a way to get out of footprint."
— Alison Diana, Editor, UBB2020. Follow us on Twitter @UBB2020 or @alisoncdiana.