Irdeto: Operators can combat OTT threat with Smart TV

connected-TVSmart or connected TVs are the most important device for an operator’s future content revenue, according to trend research from Irdeto, the specialist in Media Protection, Multiscreen and Revenue Assurance solutions. The vox-pop research, conducted among broadcast industry professionals at IBC 2013, also confirmed that many in the industry see OTT entrants as the biggest threat to broadcasters and pay-TV operators.

Opportunities: Perhaps surprisingly, the research found that 41 per cent of respondents see connected or smart TVs as crucial to an operator’s future strategy, possibly due to the variety of content increasingly available on a ‘big screen.’ However, there is no doubt that continued development of a seamless, intuitive user interface is required. In contrast, only 33 per cent identified tablets as the most important device for future content revenues and smartphones were considered the key device by 12 per cent of respondents.

Threats: Irdeto’s research provided interesting insight into the perceived threats within in the industry – only 20 per cent cited piracy as the biggest threat to broadcasters and pay-TV operators, whereas 53 per cent were more worried about new OTT entrants.

Monetisation: Revenue in the face of these threats is a key driver for all market participants and ‘subscription’ was considered the best revenue model for premium content, according to 51 per cent of respondents. This is followed by rental (15 per cent), download-to-own (13 per cent) and ad-funded (10 per cent).

Multi-screen Priorities: A potential disconnect emerged amongst respondents regarding the multi-screen priorities of operators and what is desired by consumers. Live sports streaming and a consistent cross-device user experience are what respondents felt was most in demand by the consumer, with 24 per cent of respondents choosing each of these options. While only 9 per cent or respondents felt that consumers desired personalised recommendations most, surprisingly 26 per cent indicated that personalisation was most desired by operators from their multi-screen vendor. In addition, 18 per cent cited device flexibility and another 18 per cent said monetization and business model options are most desired from a multi-screen solution provider.

The Piracy Problem: Respondents were asked about the most crucial activities in reducing piracy in the pay media industry, and while it is clear that a blended approach is considered the best way to fight piracy, improving the experience of existing services was identified as the most crucial activity, with 38 per cent of respondents citing it as important. Thirty-three percent of respondents felt that shortening content release windows was important, while 32 per cent felt there should be a broadening of geographic availability and 29 per cent identified a need for consumer education. Only 22 per cent called for more stringent protection measures.

“The trend research we conducted at IBC only underscores the increasing importance of compelling multi-screen services,” said Godert Burghard, VP Marketing, Irdeto. “Broadcasters and operators must move from the experimentation stage and focus on the multi-screen experience, as that’s what really drives revenue and loyalty. They must also not forget about the threat of piracy, which requires a blended approach encapsulating content windows, geographic availability and consumer education.”

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