Are you entertaining the pirates too?

Pay-TV services have huge potential to help entertain subscribers during this time, but that must not be at the cost of neglecting to protect the content or service.

The current global crisis has had a drastic effect on the TV industry. Live sport events are being postponed or cancelled worldwide, and content production is beginning to stall as social distancing rules become commonplace and crews are forced to stand down.

However, thanks to the proliferation of streaming services, many providers are still able to deliver content that’s already been produced to their subscribers. Some are even working with film production companies to release movies directly to consumers instead of the movie theatre, enabling consumers to watch the latest screening, all while abiding by their national regulations. Coupled with the fact that so many consumers are at home and looking for entertainment, it’s not surprising that Omdia expects online streaming brands to see a 12% revenue rise this year.

Disney could be particularly well placed to benefit from this growth. With Disney+ already live in seventeen territories and counting, and while boasting a large catalogue of content at launch, it could be forgiven for congratulating itself for rolling out around the world now. However, Disney, as with all pay-TV, OTT and D2C providers, cannot rest on its laurels. Many industries are facing ruin from the COVID-19 crisis as consumers look for ways to cut back on their expenditure and ride out the storm. That could include cutting the cord or reducing their streaming stack. Many however, will still want access to the latest content and could churn to illegal services. Once they move to a pirate service, which may appear legitimate, as well as cheap, bringing them back to the fold becomes incredibly difficult.

No pay-TV service can compete with free, and all content is now at risk from pirates who see huge opportunities to steal programming from unprotected networks. And, while the final season of Game of Thrones was the most pirated TV show of 2019, D2C services like Disney+ must take note too, as the Mandalorian was in third place just six weeks after launch.

With so much content being streamed over unsecured internet connections, providers need to take action, and invest in protecting both their content and services. Doing so through a mixture of technology solutions, alongside legal and legislative activity will ensure they can protect their services now and in the future by investing in an anti-piracy programme that continuously delivers results and disrupts the pirate experience. By taking a holistic approach to fighting piracy, one that can adapt and grow as streaming services gain further traction over the coming months and years, operators can act proactively and reactively to any threats. And, when coupled with strategic marketing campaigns and clever skinny bundling options, providers can entice consumers back to their services, enabling them to continue investing in content that subscribers love.

Pay-TV services have huge potential to help entertain subscribers during this time, but that must not be at the cost of neglecting to protect the content or service. Failing to do so will not only lose them subscribers who can get similar services from pirates elsewhere, it will significantly impact their ability to secure and invest in new content to assure their future.

To find out how NAGRA can assist with Anti-Piracy services as part of its Active Streaming Protection toolset to support an OTT streaming strategy, click here.