Innovation: The key to the U.S. pay-TV evolution

In the digitally disrupted U.S. pay TV market, we know that innovation is one of the most important priorities to staying competitive in the evolving TV landscape. However, this is a broad solution leaving many to ask the question - “When it comes to innovation, where do I start?”

This topic was addressed in a recent article, “What are today's opportunities for pay TV?” featured in Broadband Technology Report. In this piece, Simon Trudelle, senior director of product marketing at NAGRA, featured some insights from industry executives who took part in 2018 Pay-TV Innovation Forum, the global research program for senior executives, developed by NAGRA and MTM, designed to explore and catalyze innovation across the pay-TV industry. As part of the program, MTM conducted a series of interviews across the United States to explore the views of the executives working in the current landscape. The piece featured the expertise of Digital Video Technology and Product Executive, Scott Boyarsky, and Ben Grad, head of Content Strategy and Acquisition at fuboTV.

The fact of the matter is, competitive pay-TV players are embracing innovation. According the Pay-TV Innovation Forum report, 89% of executives agree that pay-TV providers will have to innovate to enhance customer experiences, such as advanced UIs, personalization and multi-platform content offerings. It’s clear the industry is not putting its head in the sand. It is a positive sign that 65% of pay-TV providers globally have improved their portfolios over the last 12 months – a trend that is set to continue.

An important part of this success is content choice and its impact on consumers in the market. Consumers are increasingly moving to smaller, more targeted content packages and new OTT video services.

In the article, Boyarsky states, "Consumers have more choice than ever to get the content they want.” He continues, “While no one has the winning strategy on how to remain relevant in this space, it's clear that they (MVPDs) all recognize the need to change and adapt to the environment in which consumers have much more choice over content and who will provide it."

Grad added his thoughts on the topic by stating, "People don't want to pay for 300 channels if they're only ever going to watch fewer than 20. This has been an issue for a while now, but there has been a real acceleration of people moving away from big bundles over the last 12-18 months. This trend is driving consumers towards new (OTT) video service providers."

We are now at a stage where to evolve, pay TV needs more flexibility to address consumer needs, and this must include the right technology solutions to adapt.  This starts with the right platform and industry expertise, which are critical components to continuing to provide more options to customers. We are moving to a world where there will be a platform agnostic approach to distributing content. Traditional TV and OTT video are blending together, and must be readily available across all networks and devices. This is the platform agnostic, paid for video platform future.

NAGRA will be demonstrating the latest technologies and solutions that address these topics, including active content monetization, smart business operations, and end-to-end content value protection at CES 2019. If you are attending the show, solutions will be on display at NAGRA’s new location in The Venetian Meeting Rooms, Level 4, Zeno 4609, from January 8-11, 2019.

NAGRA will also lend its expertise at this year’s 2019 Variety Entertainment Summit. André Kudelski, Chairman & CEO of the Kudelski Group, will be a featured speaker of the 2019 Variety Entertainment Summit at CES®2019, in the opening panel “Audience Battle Royale – The Future of the TV Industry” on Wednesday, January 9 at 9 a.m. at C-Space in the Aria Hotel and Casino.

As the go-to show to establish the priorities and trends for the upcoming year, Ivan Verbesselt, SVP Marketing, NAGRA, shared the company’s perspective as CES 2019 quickly approaches. “As we move into 2019, pay-TV service providers are uniquely positioned to create a truly unified experience by proactively blurring the lines between pay-TV and OTT to become the central gateway to all content that consumers love. At CES, we will showcase solutions that enable operators to be ‘smartly digital’ and effectively claim their new role as super-aggregators by ensuring an efficient on-boarding of OTT content, effective content value protection and an elegant data-driven approach to content discovery that actively drives service loyalty and monetization.”

NAGRA will be demonstrating its latest solutions in end-to-end content value protection, active content monetization, smart business operations and smart home security at CES 2019. If you are attending the show, come visit us at the Venetian Meeting Rooms, Level 4, Zeno 4609, from January 8-11, 2019.