5 Priorities for Your Pay-TV Digital Transformation Strategy

By Simon Trudelle, Sr. Director Product Marketing

Digital transformation is more than just the latest buzzword du jour. It is the mantra that is driving all industries forward, including those in the M&E space.  Ignore it, and you will fail.  Embrace it, and you will thrive. While most already know this to be the key to future success, implementing a strategic digital transformation plan is easier said than done.  Where do you start?  What should your priorities be?

NAGRA recognizes these challenges. We also know that gaining a deep understanding of the current issues and opportunities being faced in the industry is an important element to effectively start this process. This is the platform that everything else can evolve from. Once you have an accurate pulse on what customers are needing, thinking, and wanting, then determining the best course of action for your specific needs can follow. 

This is why three years ago NAGRA partnered with MTM, a leading international research and strategy consultancy, to provide the industry with the Pay-TV Innovation Forum.  Now in its third year, the research program brings together leading pay-TV and TV network executives to explore industry challenges and opportunities.

The Pay-TV Innovation Forum recently disclosed its 2018 North American findings. The top five priorities for industry executives to consider in their digital transformation strategies are to:

  • Manage the roll out of a more diverse range of video products: MVPDs are transitioning from selling big channel bundles to retailing multiple smaller content packages, such as skinny bundles and direct-to-consumer services. However, neither the existing pay-TV business model nor the contractual agreements with content owners were set up to support this transition, and, as a result, will need to be adapted to offer the flexibility increasingly demanded by consumers. At the same time, as the competitive landscape becomes increasingly fragmented, industry executives see a major opportunity for existing MVPDs to offer a user-friendly re-aggregation of an increasingly complex range of content and services.
  • Unlock the full potential of advanced TV advertising across the industry: As pay-TV subscription revenues decline, executives are focusing more heavily on expanding their advertising businesses. MVPDs are exploring new partnerships with cable networks to sell a higher share of their ad inventory available on MVPD platforms and are leveraging their direct access to customers and their data to offer addressable TV advertising and bring new advertisers to TV.
  • Transform the end-to-end customer experience: As it is increasingly difficult to differentiate pay-TV services based on content or price, customer experience is widely seen as a major priority for companies looking to deliver a successful next-generation pay-TV service. As new digital video services raise the bar for customer experience, service providers must work hard to deliver more user-friendly, personalized, and interactive experiences, spanning all customer touch points.
  • Leverage customer data: Advanced data, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) are an important area for investment and development, presenting opportunities to improve operations and deliver efficiencies across pay-TV businesses.  For example, advanced data, analytics and AI can help automate and improve customer service, deliver more relevant advertising, personalize content recommendations, and help companies understand the full value of their content portfolio.
  • Invest smartly in infrastructure and technology: As competition intensifies, it will be more important than ever to optimize infrastructure and technology investments, to ensure the delivery of great products and services while reducing risks and costs. Key priorities in this area include rolling out fiber and 5G networks, transitioning to IP-based technology, and leveraging consumer devices for video service delivery, as network infrastructure and billing relationships – rather than proprietary set-top boxes – become the gateway to the customer.

To learn more, download the North American findings brief and visit for additional insight on the Pay-TV Innovation Forum.