Pay-TV can use their aggregator position to take on OTT | Media Analysis | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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Pay-TV providers and other digital content aggregators are in a natural and unique position to gain rich insights into the behaviours and preferences of customers — a state of affairs that they can leverage multiple ways.

svod2According to Accenture, there are two main ways to make use of this position: to enhance their understanding to improve their own offering and user experience; and, to offer analytics as a value-add for content providers. But, they have to do that while retaining the end user’s trust.

The living room is still the core space for viewers despite changing consumption habits — and by controlling the set-top, pay-TV operators have a clear advantage over other industry players in the battle for dominance there. While owning consumer premises equipment (CPE) is a cost centre, it’s also an asset that can be used to build a coherent, consistent multi-device offering. And going forward, future offerings using CPE will allow leading companies to further differentiate themselves, Accenture said.

For instance, the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart home initiatives will offer an opportunity to launch innovative and engaging service offerings that bring greater value to the customer. They can also build new capabilities such as DevOps-driven platform development models to help minimise overheads, while enabling more and more innovations to be pushed out into the evolving digital service ecosystem.

Better insights into individual customers will also underpin the creation of more relevant and engaging adverts, resulting in greater revenues for both providers and distributors. Accenture pointed out that Sky, with the launch of AdSmart in the UK, is an early adopter in this field, but others will soon follow as dynamic advert-insertion capabilities become a priority.

“In addition to evolving their capabilities in data-driven direct marketing, [aggregators] will need to drill down from a household to an individual view,” Accenture noted. “Developing an understanding not only of who their customer is, but where that customer is and what devices they are using, will only increase the relevancy for sales, marketing and support services of the improvements — for example, adopting a standards-based approach, such as RDK, reduces time to market and accelerates innovation. Additionally, moving to a single micro-service-based platform that serves both traditional and new service offerings will further support this model.”

For any of this to work, bolstering consumer trust is critical. “Customers who believe that [aggregators] will safeguard and use their personal data appropriately will be willing to share more sensitive data,” the report noted. “DCAs need to provide a framework that allows services dependent on personal data (such as healthcare offerings) to be delivered securely. This is critical to both building consumer trust and avoiding disintermediation by device manufacturers and super platforms, who are also looking to win the trust of customers.”

In other words, users need to believe that the pay-TV provider is the appropriate organisation to hold their connected digital identity, on which they rely to access digital services from the DCA and a wider ecosystem of providers.

“In many geographies, DCAs are starting from a position of relative strength to win consumer trust,” the report said.

Accenture found that consumers globally still trusted their TV broadcaster/satellite operator (31%), their cable TV company (26%) or their telecommunications-broadband provider (22%), more than digitally native competitors such as Internet video providers (15%) or social media service providers (5%).