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NAGRA Blog: VOD and OTT - Global Trends in Pay-TV

By Simon Trudelle, Senior Director Product Marketing, NAGRA

TV as we know it is evolving. As more content is delivered online, the line between linear television, video on demand (VOD) and over the top content (OTT) continues to blur. For viewers, it's a win-win situation as they can increasingly watch the content they love on their own terms, picking the screen of their choice. For pay-TV providers, the explosive OTT and VOD growth creates both opportunities and challenges. On one hand, providers have a variety of new channels and content to distribute to a growing number of screens. But on the other, they face a daunting issue: How to retain customers in an increasingly fragmented market.

No doubt, this new reality raises a number of questions for service providers. To help answer these, NAGRA, in partnership with the international research consultancy MTM launched the Pay-TV Innovation Forum. This initiative examined, among other topics, the role of OTT and its impact on the pay-TV industry. It also aimed to reveal the primary drivers of change and the opportunities for pay-TV providers. The Forum involved a series of surveys, data analysis and in-depth interviews with providers across four main regions - Europe, Asia-Pacific, North America and Latin America - with global findings presented at IBC 2016.

A dive into the underlying metrics of the market is necessary because the landscape is certainly complicated.  Worldwide, 80 percent of providers offer TV Everywhere services, according to MTM. But that figure rises to 100 percent in North America and 90 percent in Europe, while it lags in Asia Pacific (67 percent).

OTT-only services are also expanding, but again its size varies by region. MTM found that 27 percent of pay-TV operators currently offer OTT-only services, such as Sky’s Now TV and DISH’s Sling TV. This figure is a robust 40 percent in North America and 30 percent in Europe. But the numbers are lower in emerging markets, reaching only 16 percent in Latin America.

Overall, the statistics show that TV Everywhere and OTT are becoming the new industry standard as pay-TV providers adapt to new customer expectations. With Internet video traffic set to reach 80 percent of all consumer traffic by 2019, it would take one person over five million years to watch all the video crossing IP networks every month. This startling figure helps explain why more pay-TV operators have started offering OTT and VOD services - and why it also makes sense for them to converge multiple content sources into one place.

Contact us to find out  more about the work of the Pay-TV Innovation Forum or click here.