By Simon Leadlay, Director of Pay TV Business Development
Sky has made the move after finding that very few customers drop their Sky bundles in favour of Netflix, instead they choose to get it alongside their existing TV deal. This echoes points I made in last week’s blog – Transforming PayTV: Part 1 on the benefits of Pay TV operators offering custom bundles of linear and on-demand TV. It also reflects the views of our CEO, Michael Lantz on the viewing and subscription trends of today’s multi-service customer.
The aggregation of linear and OTT VOD content is of course, a great move for Pay TV subscriber satisfaction, which in turn will reduce churn and grow ARPU – good news for any operator.
Creating that single user experience where all types of video — from linear broadcast, to operator video on-demand and catch-up TV, to OTT libraries — can be presented in one easy-to-navigate and highly-personalized fashion, is of course, what will be the critical success factor.
The expectations of subscribers of how reliable a Pay TV service should be are just as complex as those of operators on the technology service provider community. While both topics deserve extensive discussion, for the sake of this blog post, we have identified the top five (5) requirements of pay TV operators launching new bundles of linear TV and OTT video services
1. A Quick Time to Market
While the traditional operator update and upgrade cycle has previously been long and slow, the new operator ecosystem of combined linear, on-demand, and OTT video services is driving the need for quick responses to the changing market. No longer is a multi-year release plan acceptable: now operators are requesting short release cycles and pushing a very agile process. An agile development mentality is a must here for technology providers.
2. Continuous Roadmap Development
While a short initial delivery schedule has suddenly become much more important to pay TV operators who are launching into the new world of aggregated OTT services as quickly as they can, the longer-term life-cycle of their offering still remains an important consideration for the years to come. Supported by a combination of agile development and shared product-based roadmaps, operators can benefit both from custom responses to their local needs and also from ready-made turnkey solutions for market-wide requirements. Now, more than ever, operators need new features on a regular basis and compatibility with the latest platform releases and requirements.
3. Managed Costs
Having a well-understood cost model is critical to the success of the Pay TV operator, especially one who may have a larger fixed cost base due to running a managed network or due to paying for inflexible satellite transponder space. Being able to plan the costs of a project, including ongoing feature updates and phases, is an important factor to the operator. Controlling operating costs through product-based roadmap updates, full-service support, and self-directed management platforms is a similarly important part of the Accedo ethos.
4. Always-on Reliability
Pay TV operators have long been heralded as the suppliers of highly-reliable services. With an eye to maintaining this reputation for reliability, we have crafted our pay TV products for 100% availability thanks to a well-engineered client data-caching architecture and the 99.99% uptime of the Accedo One cloud-based UI configuration & management platform.
5. 24/7 On-Call Support
TV is a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week operation, where there’s no downtime and no switching off for maintenance. With this expectation, it’s all the more important that should anything go wrong, there should be someone to manage the situation and to provide any necessary fixes or solutions. While developing highly-reliable, product-based solutions for Pay TV and for OTT, Accedo has come to the same realization: we require and we offer 24/7 on-call support to our Pay TV customers, with solution engineers available in all time zones. It’s always the right time of day for TV!
Find out more on how Accedo is transforming the video experience of Pay TV operators by downloading our Android TV whitepaper – THE ANDROID TV OPERATOR TIER LAUNCHER: Delivering The Pay TV Operator-Driven User Experience.