If you did not get a chance to watch our webinar, The State of Video Delivery, we’ve got you covered! Today we are going to be summarizing some of the topics our panel of industry experts covered during our live webinar. Topics that are covered include key trends of the ever-shifting video space, opportunities for growth, and challenges faced by Pay-TV operators.

Now let’s dive in!

What is the biggest driver for subscriber expectations and how do TV operators keep up with demand?

As Nick Hamilton-Piercy, the former CTO of Rogers Communications said back in the day, “people are going to watch what they want, where they want.”

This thought is now a fabric of everyday life, however, at the time of the inception of YouTube, it was a revolutionary thought that customers would have such ownership and autonomy over their experience. Consumers don’t want to cobble together different content on separate platforms with independent user interfaces. They don’t want to deal with unrelated authentication schemes, instead, they want a seamless experience. Only recently has technology caught up to these changes and the demands of subscribers. This has brought new challenges, like the availability of customer premise equipment (CPE) that does exactly what Pay-TV operators promise. With these technological changes, customer’s demands have also shifted. Now customers can not only watch something whenever they want, but where ever they want as well.

Operators need to facilitate that experience for consumers. They have the flexibility of viewing options, now operators need to streamline that experience and aggregate it into one unified platform.

Is local content important?

People want to see hyper-localized content and understand the on goings and events in their communities. Pre-pandemic people could visit the local theatre, event center and other shared spaces to do this. However, after Covid-19, people lost those opportunities and sought other ways to keep in the loop.

This effect is showcased with news being the most popular TV genre viewed in 2020, with the most popular TV news source being local television.

Local content is important, as it provides content with a focus on things that impact people’s day-to-day lives. Anything from local politics, bingo channels, local sports, community broadcasts, church events, etc. is extremely important. In providing this to their subscribers, operators give a voice to these ‘non-voices’.

How else can operators provide a competitive offering to subscribers?

Individualism and Personalization
Perhaps with the implementation of a recommendation system. A system is built to bring content together based on an individual’s likes, dislikes, and preferences.

Centralizing Authentication
We all have dozens and dozens of passwords, so a centralized authentication feature would be a great opportunity to simplify this for subscribers.

Universal Search
Where consumers can have the universal ability to search across content offered on different services while staying on one platform.

Is it possible for operators to future-proof their businesses? Or are things changing too quickly?

As a TV operator, you want to make sure all linear and over-the-top (OTT) services are accessed through your platform.

“We are not a set-top box connecting to an input on a TV, competing with some OTT streaming service. We can all coexist. As operators, we need to stay on input one and avoid becoming the forgotten input two.” – Ehren Hawks, Supervisor of Network Operations at Easton Utilities.

Whether you want to customers to get to YouTube, HBO, or national networks, they all should reach these services through the operator. Becoming this aggregator will enable operators to carve out a space for themselves and offer value to the subscriber.

To do so, operators need to make sure that their back-end services support all these services. It is key to offering a real seamless experience to subscribers.

What is the most important thing for TV operators in the video space?

Common Platforms that facilitate consumer choices.
One common workflow that services the multi-platform experience in an easy and seamless manner. If TV operators are not aligned with the consumer, they will get left behind.

Back-end workflow aligning with the output.
Customer service and support must be in tune with all outputs and back-end workflows to be equipped for problems that may arise in workflows of the services offered. Acquiring and working with a reliable provider is key to support current customers, and enhance their experience.

Whatever you do today you are going to have to continue for a longtime, thus you need to plan. Planning ahead is key so what you implement today can be sustained in the future.

What else?

  • Are legacy products and platforms holding Pay-TV operators back?
  • Can Pay TV-Operators coexist with over-the-top (OTT) streaming and devices?
  • What do Pay-TV Operators overlook when designing systems that feature local content?


Written by:

Manuela Diaz
Marketing Co-op at WISI America