From Threat to Opportunity: Pay TV Fights Back

MPP Global Posted by MPP Global on Monday, 19 August 2013

MPP Global’s CEO Paul Johnson, explains the future of the television industry in this exclusive interview with The Business Reporter and The Sunday Telegraph.

What changes have you seen in the broadcasting industry?

New TV services such as IPTV and OTT have been available for some time now, however, they are evolving. OTT companies are challenging linear operators and how we traditionally consume content. A recent industry poll concluded that a majority of broadcasters believe 26 to 50 per cent of their revenue will come from digital services by 2015. Broadcasters are adapting to these services.

TV was traditionally a “push” industry, with boardroom executives deciding what the nation watches, at a specific time. This is no longer the case.  Now, it’s very much a “pull” industry where viewers are taking control. It’s now TV Everywhere, with users pulling the content they want to watch, whenever and wherever they are.

What does the future hold for linear operators?

They need to ask: How do we embrace progressive technology and secure new viewers without alienating existing customers and business models?

It’s about pure play OTT streaming services, usually accessed via a dedicated STB, and TV Everywhere. Traditional operators are moving into these areas, by creating interactive EPG’s along with apps for live streaming on multiple devices.

Unlike VOD or IPTV, which gives content owners control over distribution, OTT players are demonstrating that the technology, and the mind-set itself, is ready for wider adoption.

Why are pay TV operators moving from cable to cloud?

Cloud TV provides a consistent way to service the growing landscape of IP-connected, multi-media devices. These services are being built with a software mentality, which matters in terms of the pursuit of a culture of continuous improvement and, of course, service agility.

It’s helping do two big things: 1) Deploy new services, on the viewer-facing side, and 2) on the back-office side, flexibly establishing workflows, storage efficiencies, monetisation models and advertising. This is a priority for operators to take back some market leadership from the lovely people of the World Wide Web.

This all lends itself to a more efficient, cost effective and centralised approach.

How can you measure and manage customers?

Measuring growth, consumer behaviour and creating reports is a crucial aspect to developing digital services for the millennial generation. Centralised CRM systems to engage and manage existing customers running alongside analytical systems to understand customer behaviour is imperative.

Linear operators have large Data pools. How can they use this Big Data? Marketing and informing audiences about new services available online is an obvious answer. Once those customers are converted to digital services, it is essential to understand their viewing, purchasing and order histories.

What are the best business models for monetising multiscreen?

Offering centralised services for end-users across multiple devices. Single sign-on and integrated entitlement systems enable customers to move from one channel to the next. The payment journey and model needs convenience. Payment types and methods should be tailored to your target audience and if you’re monetising content globally, it is important to include localisation services such as currencies and languages.

Ultimately, the customer is king, and operators need to build a business model around their preferences.

MPP Global will be at IFA in Berlin and IBC in Amsterdam, this September.