Pay-TV providers face increasing competition as subscribers continue to adopt alternative devices and services to consume video. Smart operators are paying attention to consumer requirements and trends impacting their selection of video services. Flexibility and convenience go hand-in-hand when consumers are considering where to spend their hard-earned entertainment budget.
The consumer desire for flexibility in how content is accessed reflects the comfort consumers have in using a wide variety of devices. As people have become more technology savvy in the age of the smartphone, there is an overriding desire to gain access to great content, on their preferred screen, with as few technical hurdles as possible.
While mobile video has been touted as the next big thing, the vast majority of longer form high-production-value drama, comedy and sport is still viewed in the family room on a larger screen. The traditional TV is still the most-used device for watching content, accounting for 42% of American’s media time. To this end, consumers expect the convenience of an integrated pay-TV service providing a consolidated channel line-up that includes access to local TV channels, premium sports, movies and OTT streaming content and apps.
The big screen TV situated within an optimal seating area along with its instant access to video, familiar remote control, audio options and access functionality such as closed captioning, is the prime real estate for every content service provider. The last few years have seen several operators recognize that owning the HDMI 1 input on this premium content delivery environment is essential for long term success.
This is exemplified by the recent integration of Netflix SVOD into the channel lineups from national operators such as Comcast Xfinity or Verizon FiOS. Not only does Comcast offer simple sign-up and single billing, but Netflix movies and TV shows are integrated directly into the menus and search functionality of Xfinity X1 for an integrated user experience.
This level of simplified integration is not just the preserve of larger operators. In the United States, regional operators such as Cincinnati Bell and CCI have all started to converge access to their linear channel line-up and OTT streaming services (e.g., Netflix or YouTube) into a single consumer interface – and, in some cases, have consolidated these channels and services into a common EPG with search and discovery across all content.
This is the expectation for the future of TV – that ALL content, from whatever source, is available on ALL devices. Providing subscribers with the required flexibility and convenience is the baseline criteria for a future ready video service.
Pay-TV providers are content aggregators and must provide their subscribers with the flexibility to access linear and streaming content wherever and however they like. Amino solutions such as AminoOS and Operator Ready AndroidTV give operators the operational agility to fulfill subscriber demand.