Simon Trudelle :: Senior Director Product Marketing
What do you think the main changes have been in the ecosystem since 2014?
I would say the biggest change or movement we’ve seen since last year is the increasing “cloudification” or “virtualization” of pay-TV. This is a key change and trend and is important for the industry as it is a realization that technology is modifying consumer TV habits, especially for the millennium generation who are exposed to direct-to-consumer offerings which are further segmenting the consumer video and TV market. But it also presents new opportunities for service providers to leverage available IP and broadcast technology to deliver a compelling, integrated user experience to their subscribers.
We’re used to hearing about how the internet is affecting TV – but how is TV changing the internet?
It definitely is! We’re used to always talking about how it’s the internet that’s changing TV – and that’s a fact, it has, but we also can’t ignore the impact TV is having on the internet. The internet used to be all about accessing content online but now it’s so much more than that – TV has played a huge role in transforming the internet to being about delivering content, and primarily video content, to multiple screens, including the big screen.
And it is this video consumption, which started with TV, that is now making content delivery to multiple screens and devices the key driver in broadband usage growth and overall screen usage for consumers worldwide. Netflix is a great example of “TV re-inventing the Internet” in the sense that its content library and delivery technology are educating a whole new generation of consumer about accessing premium/paid video content over the Internet on multiple screens. And NAGRA’s deal with Netflix means that service providers can seamlessly propose Netflix services within their overall pay-TV offering on a set-top box, leveraging NAGRA’s connectware and security platforms. So no fight for controlling the HDMI 1 port on the TV set but rather a win-win approach to provide a great mix of broadcast and on-demand TV services to consumers through an integrated big screen experience.
What are the challenges these changes present to operators, and how can they be met and transcended?
Today’s service provider landscape is seeing the long-heralded convergence of traditional pay-TV services with internet-based services. Call it the connected home or n-play offerings smart home, the Internet of Things – in either case, they’re here to stay and all, in one form or another, are impacting service provider strategies. They are also forcing operators to re-evaluate their business models and platforms to deliver the services today’s connected consumer is asking for while striving to grow ARPU. This drives the technology choices they make to not only power these new hybrid services, that address both the broadcast and Internet environments, but also address an increasingly fragmented market with multiple devices, and multiple standards. Creating innovative business models, addressing this fragmentation and ensuring the interoperability of service provider and consumer media devices available in the home will be key in ensuring a service provider’s success. Solutions such as NAGRA’s JoinIn Connected Home solution enables service providers to combine NAGRA products with their existing infrastructure and third-party products to successfully and seamlessly deploy connected home media services with a compelling user experience.
What are the hot topics you expect to dominate this year and what are the big contributions Nagra can make to these discussions?
OTT and multiscreen continue to be very much top of mind, with the additional focus of the cloud and how it is impacting the industry. Cloud TV is leading to a more dynamic TV market environment for incumbent pay-TV service providers, requiring new types of investments; at the same time, ever more powerful portable devices like smartphones and tablets mean that consumers now have portable TV sets in their hands and want their best content on all screens, creating new monetization opportunities for service providers. What’s more, operators are increasingly looking at how they can optimize infrastructure costs and gain more flexibility. The Cloud offers a lot in this context whether it’s in the deployment of full-scale multiscreen services, or some of its components like content protection, there are clear benefits to leveraging the cloud for service providers.
And NAGRA brings a lot in this space. We’ve gone through a broad expansion of our product offering over the past five years. By leveraging our market leadership in broadcast pay-TV monetization and content security, we’ve become an independent and focused end-to-end TV solution provider that delivers multiscreen and IP-based TV solutions for Tier 1 international customers – more than 20 today. Our products can be delivered as on-premise software, in a public-private cloud infrastructure environment, or as a managed Cloud TV service. By choosing to work with NAGRA, telco, cable or satellite service providers select a partner that understands the business of content monetization in today’s hybrid broadcast and Internet environment using the most appropriate set of technologies, from content protection to user experience, innovative CPE and service delivery to multiple devices.