Super aggregation: The new hero for pay-TV

“It’s in everyone’s interest that consumers spend more time watching content and less time looking for it: super aggregation is a critical solution in meeting this goal.”

The TV business has undergone significant waves of disruption in recent years with more platforms and services launching, to target consumers insatiable appetite for content. This demand for high-quality content has gained momentum with the advances to technology allowing consumer to streaming content anywhere, anytime on their smart device. Streaming is the currency of the new world and one that needs to be tapped into.

How can pay-TV providers adequately service their increasingly diverse range of subscribers? The key is super aggregation, which is defined as integrating streaming content and linear channels into a consolidated TV experience.

 

Capitalizing on consumers demand

Reacting to the evolution from linear to pay-TV services is accelerating amid the rise of over-the-top (OTT) multiscreen services disrupting the industry.

The industry is providing consumers with plenty of choice, but it has been less successful in providing consumers with convenience. Right now, consumers need to remember how they view their favourite shows, not such a problem if you have one pay-TV subscription and one streaming video on-demand (SVOD) service – but as the number of services each viewer enjoys increases this gets to be a real problem.

We believe that super aggregation can be the saviour and at Amino and 24i we believe that the video distribution business models that succeed are those that increase consumers choice and convenience.

 

Aggregation: Top of the agenda

Pay-TV operators in the main understand this — our customers see super aggregation as the key to remaining relevant — and by enabling that, consumers can stay in control through a streamlined interaction with all their content options.

The dominant tier 1 national or regional pay-TV operators that already have a strong foothold of customers and channels are merging OTT with broadcast and IPTV services. This movement is a top priority in putting the control and choice in front of the consumer.

The desired control moving forward is to:

  • Maintain the quality of content bundles
  • Offer niche OTT and multiscreen bundles
  • Retain the leading position by ‘super aggregating’ with as many of the top-tier SVOD services as you can

According to research from Ampere Analysis, Apple TV+, BritBox and Disney+ are the big disrupters that are expected to gain at least two million subscriptions — more than 5% of UK households — by 2023 and could collectively create 10 million new subscriptions in this time.

Ampere explained that the best aggregators will have existing audience scale, direct billing relationships with consumers, and hardware plays — with Amazon and Apple well positioned to capitalize internationally.

In the UK market, major primary TV platforms such as Sky, Virgin Media and Freeview all also have audience sizes that would enable them to act as aggregators. In fact, Sky’s subscription-based television and entertainment service Sky Q is exactly that. Sky Q is an aggregated next generation set top box with IP integration. The service boasts integrated apps such as Netflix, Disney+, and YouTube where users can access and pay directly for the offerings. It’s clear this is the way ahead, so let us save you time and money, and help you achieve aggregation in a cost effective way.

The market today has aggregators that cooperate in the form of media streamers provided by the likes of Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Google Chromecast. However, these services are app platforms and don’t curate or integrate viewing experiences. Reengineering streaming services is absolutely critical to stay competitive, particularly if you’re a tier 2 or tier 3 pay-TV operator.

Looking at tier 2 operators, aggressively following a super aggregation strategy is a way of competing with the dominant player in the market and defending your position relative to a virtual multichannel video programming distributor (vMVPD) and other streaming providers. While, tier 3 operators require super aggregation to stay in the game. As content costs rise, so too does access as content makers go direct to consumer.

 

The need for aggregation is fundamental

As operators look to focus their high-quality video offerings delivered through a premium service, the need for aggregation is fundamental for consumers to access an array of content easily and in one interface.

We believe the successful operators of the future will embrace content aggregation despite the challenges. Amino’s technology approach and focus on these integrations and scaling agreements gives our customers the tools to deliver a rich catalogue of content.

As more households choose to watch more hours of video through SVOD services, the subscriptions bills add up, super aggregation provides an exciting opportunity for the pay-TV operator to increase its value to the consumer by enabling it to increase consumer convenience.

As well, operators need to understand how to integrate apps — via app stores like Google Play; or by integrating individual apps like Disney+, Amazon Prime Video or YouTube. Amino has the tools already to make this easier and is continuously working with operators to simplify the relevant certification processes.

 

Embracing change in an evolving market

Consumers are at the heart of operator success and perhaps one of the greatest challenges for operators is developing a user interface (UI) that harnesses this aggregation — showcasing content and creating an engaging and meaningful experience.

The reality is that the entertainment industry will continue to evolve at a fast pace. Operators who set themselves up with technology partners that are equipped to manage platforms and systems through this journey will be best placed to succeed. Ultimately, it’s about adopting an attitude of understanding and embracing change, while keeping the customer at the heart of all decision-making processes.

Despite there not being one single solution to the aggregation of video, the possibilities to scale agreements with technology suppliers offers great support. We know consumers want choice and they value simplicity. Operators play a huge role in this. The goal is not for supper aggregators to create bigger and more complex bundles but to provide flexibility and convenience in accessing a wider range of content. It’s in everyone’s interest that consumers spend more time watching content and less time looking for it: super aggregation is a critical solution in meeting this goal.

 

Jamie Mackinlay
Global SVP Sales and Marketing