Why super aggregators are the new pay-TV heroes

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We’ve now reached a fragmentation tipping point and there has to be a re-bundling at some point. Could the answer lie in super-aggregation?

By Ivan Verbesselt, SVP Marketing, NAGRA

The rise of on-demand OTT multiscreen services has transformed the entertainment landscape. And in this on-demand world, consumers want content on their terms. 

But are these consumers getting what they want? There’s no doubt they have plenty of content to choose from, however reaching the show you want to watch means weaving through a maze of menus across multiple apps and services.

The issue is compounded when you see studios looking to own and distribute their content direct to consumers, circumventing licensing fees that come with broadcast TV or third-party streaming services. While that may help the studio’s bottom line, it doesn’t support the service providers.

Disney announcing the details of its own Disney+ service is the most recent high-profile example. Content choices are endless, but consumers are more likely to get frustrated by having to search multiple sources for content to reach the shows they want to watch.

We’ve now reached a fragmentation tipping point and there has to be a re-bundling at some point; someone has to step up to the plate.

Could the answer lie in super-aggregation? 

While some may argue that another SVOD platform in the market will lead to pay-TV subscriber churn, it’s possible that it is, in fact, an opportunity for service providers to claim their role as “super-aggregators” of OTT services, becoming the central gateway to all the content consumers want and love.

To be a super-aggregator, providers should be consumer-facing, boast a large use-base, and primarily be a branded content distributor that offers choice, flexible pricing and convenience – all in one package that’s designed around the customer, not the source. 

Furthermore, a key responsibility for super-aggregators is product and service innovation. 

As our Pay-TV Innovation Forum research shows, the user experience is becoming one of the defining factors for consumers when choosing a pay-TV operator. This means that those operators who want to become super-aggregators will therefore need to innovate their user experiences and UIs as well.

As the volume of content available continues to grow, the foundation of a great user experience will ultimately be a great content discovery experience.

Subscribers today want to effortlessly search for and consume content through a simple, uncluttered and engaging interface, regardless of the source – operators need to give them just that.

If operators are serious about becoming super-aggregators, they should master efficient OTT content on-boarding (by smartly harnessing companion OTT apps as appropriate), effective content value protection and a data-driven approach to content discovery.

The TV industry must transform into a world with a platform-agnostic approach to distributing TV content and video, blended together and made available across all networks and screens.

Ultimately, pay-TV providers have a great opportunity to play a key role in aggregating OTT services. As super-aggregators, they can become, in effect, the new pay-TV heroes.