The pay-TV content protection market is thriving, driven by the ongoing digitisation of cable in emerging markets and by continued investment in advanced applications and ‘TV Everywhere’ offerings in major markets.
Analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the market earned revenues of
$1.63 billion in 2011 and estimates this to reach $2.6 billion in 2016.
“As over the top content consumption grows, many are rushing to sound the death knell for pay TV as we know it – and, by extension, the content protection industry,” noted Frost & Sullivan Digital Media Senior Industry Analyst Avni Rambhia. “The truth is that consumer demand worldwide for pay TV content remains strong, although the ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) revolution is forever changing the way video content is delivered and consumed.”
As new online video services grow and as existing pay TV service providers innovate and expand to remain compelling in this new consumer-centric landscape, both CAS and DRM segments are flourishing. South East Asia and Latin America continue to see rapid deployment of new pay TV services, particularly with digital cable and IPTV, adding to market momentum.
“A key challenge in major markets is falling average selling prices, particularly in the smart-card based CAS segment which accounts for the vast majority of total market revenues,” remarked Rambhia. “There is a growing trend of providing CAS systems at little to no cost when bundled with a total head-end and customer premise equipment (CPE) contract, making it extremely challenging for standalone CAS vendors to innovate and grow.”
Vertical integration is a widely adopted strategy to combat cost pressures while maintaining sustainable profit margins. This has driven a wave of acquisitions. Leading set top box manufacturers are acquiring conditional access and middleware companies, and traditional CAS vendors are acquiring software DRM companies.