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IBC365: The Dawn of the Super Aggregator

IBC365: The Dawn of the Super Aggregator

 August 2020

A recent article by Adrian Pennington in IBC365 discusses how “the TV business is on the verge of being taken over by super aggregators, with pay-TV in pole position to lead and SVODs holding the balance of power.”

Accedo’s Head of Sales and Marketing, EMEA & LatAm, Alex Wilkinson, contributed to this article, highlighting why he believes the aggregation model is attractive for consumers. “Audiences are tired of navigating between multiple services to find what they are looking for. The current approach is not only time consuming, it’s also difficult for the user to compare content across different providers.”

According to a recent survey by PwC, 90% of US consumers are watching video content over the internet. For some time now, we have also seen a trend for consumers to subscribe to multiple services. According to a recent report from Deloitte, subscribers now pay for an average of four streaming services, up from three before the outbreak of COVID-19.

Multiple services mean a certain amount of complexity for viewers who ultimately want to switch their TV on and quickly find something to watch. This will likely become more apparent as the global climate returns to some level of normality and consumers get back to leading busier lives. The result will be that most users gravitate towards whichever service they perceive as having the most content choice, unsubscribing from less attractive offerings, or leaving them unused.

A number of pay-TV companies have already launched an aggregated SVOD service. We are now seeing a definite shift in the market, where even more players are starting to move in that direction.

Pennington’s article quotes Ampere Analysis’ Guy Bisson who states: “Aggregation is on every major pay-TV operator’s agenda and that is a fundamental change from 12-18 months ago. There is almost universal recognition of the need and importance of integrating streaming services as part of the pay-TV offer.”

And pay-TV operators certainly are in a good position to lead the charge when it comes to aggregation as pointed out by Accedo’s Wilkinson: “Operators have vast subscriber bases, consumer trust and will have a key role in this ecosystem. By providing easy access to a selection of video services and by providing a superior cross-service user experience, we’ll see operators gradually regaining some of their previous role in this industry.”

For the consumer, this means easy access to all their content choices in one place, making it much quicker and simpler to find something to watch, and greatly enhancing the user experience. At the same time, having billing all in one location makes it easier to monitor spend and add and remove packages at will.

For the pay-TV operators, the aggregator model means access to more data on what the consumer is watching and how they are interacting with different video services within a bundle. It shifts control to the pay-TV provider by providing much more intricate viewing data, which can be used to ensure stickiness and reduce churn.

However, shifting to an aggregator model requires a lot of investment to ensure integration between the different services and with back-end billing systems. It is likely that over the next few months we will see more operators adopting this approach but, at least for now, it will probably be limited to Tier 1 providers due to the substantial investment needed.

Ultimately, consumers want to perform one straight-forward action – switch on their device and watch engaging content. The aggregation model will make that much simpler.

Read the full article at IBC365.


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