We recently took part in a webinar discussion hosted by Digital TV Europe looking at TV as an app. Kicking off the discussion, Omdia analyst Sam McLaughlin painted the picture of a crowded, disaggregated OTT market. He shared two options available to address disaggregation chaos: re-aggregate - with operators becoming the super aggregator; or go the app route.
Sam also acknowledged that for the super aggregation option, set-tops give the best possible experience, offering a consistent stable environment, but that operators are challenged with how to keep up with technology to deliver apps - with legacy platforms proving a particular problem.
During the discussion, Chris Linden made the following points:
- There is a huge opportunity for the Pay TV operator to aggregate OTT content. They have access to the best real estate in the home - the TV. If they can bring in SVOD and increasingly AVOD OTT services, they can provide a ‘one stop shop’ for consumers
- The school of thought has been that set-top hardware should be built to cope with as many of the OTT apps that can be launched. But there is a cost trade off, because of the volume and the refresh cycles of those devices
- The challenge now is the real estate on those set-tops - once we've exhausted this with the current apps in play today, how do we make the long tail of apps available? Hardware is becoming exhausted, and it presents a major refresh challenge and cost for an operator to change it out in order to support all apps in the future
- There is a better way to approach the set-top real estate challenge: decouple the fast paced software application cycle from the embedded hardware lifecycle so operators can leverage their capex as long as possible
- The OTT providers are developing at the speed of the internet, with the very best UXs, and want to deliver in real time. Being able to deliver these new features on a weekly, monthly basis, rather than waiting on a yearly refresh cycle is a strategic benefit and a significant value for the OTT partner community.
To listen to the discussion in full you can watch the replay now