The road to pay-TV super-aggregation

Operators know they have to rise to the challenge of OTT services. But their proliferation also presents opportunities for pay-TV providers to essentially become content “super-aggregators”.

According to findings from the latest Pay-TV Innovation Forum, operators know they have to rise to the challenge of popular – and now ubiquitous – OTT services.
But the proliferation of said services also presents opportunities for pay-TV providers to essentially become content “super-aggregators”: 79 percent of executives polled as part of the research believe that major OTT subscription services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video can be a valuable part of the overall pay-TV offer. 

Addressing fragmentation…
On-boarding OTT services can deliver both convenience and utility, as well as creating new marketing and bundling opportunities. 
Think about it; today’s consumer has limitless choice when it comes to content – but not everything is available in one place. 
It almost feels like a new must-have OTT service (complete with its own high-budget, exclusive content) is cropping up every day, meaning yet another app to wade through, leading to more and more fragmentation. How many OTT services can consumers take? 
Luckily, this current phase of fragmentation and the proliferation of diverse streaming options will be superseded by more moves to pull different offerings together. In other words, the pendulum will swing back to convenient and smart aggregation.

… and integration
Now, part of this pendulum swing will depend on how the apps and services are integrated into different services with rights, user data, price point and billing being front of mind. 
This means it’s not so much a technology problem as it is a business discussion between pay-TV provides and various OTT apps. After all, for OTT providers like Amazon and Netflix, being smartly integrated into a pay-TV platform has huge benefits in terms of reach. 
Of course, there is still the thorny issue of who owns the data, and we can expect this to become an increasingly heated discussion. 

The future landscape
Looking ahead, the growth of OTT services is undeniably impacting the pay-TV and content industries. 
But let’s not forget, pay-TV operators can become a great channel to market for content providers like Netflix. With smartly integrated apps, operators have the chance to become aggregators, placing everything under one roof.
And while service providers face a transformation risk (like any modern business), the best way to manage that risk is to keep innovating, to have no self-imposed technological limitations, and to be flexible enough with their overall multiscreen play.
Initiating smart actions now will ultimately shift the pendulum back to convenient, smart aggregation. And it’s a win-win for content owners, direct-to-consumer content providers and pay-TV operators alike.
It’s exciting to see that while challenges exist, focus is emphatically on creating opportunities for growth and delivering services that will delight and engage consumers.