2021 will be a good year for MVPDs, as they continue to migrate to IP streaming. This conversion will be partly due to pandemic-related capital constraints, C-band spectrum relocation and aging legacy video infrastructure.
We’ll continue to see more independent operators switching to managed TVaaS offerings and away from managing their own headend operations for TV delivery, thereby saving on capital expenditures and operating costs. These savings are particularly important in light of rising retransmission costs and subscriber loss, which are impacting carriers’ bottom lines.
Fortunately, consumers will remain highly engaged, especially with streaming cable services, for which the average viewing time is over eight hours per day. If MVPDs are able to offer streaming, supplemented by complementary SVOD services, they will likely be able to hold onto potential cord cutters. Consumers will become stickier as they engage with personalized SVOD packages made possible by service aggregation and new ways to discover, switch and manage their SVOD selections. Moreover, if packages can offer an attractive, simple user interface, MVPDs will start to see a trend of cord-cutters and cord-nevers moving to streaming cable alternatives. This could be as much as 10% of new pay-TV gross additions.
MVPDs that offer a streaming cable replacement will win customers, especially if they leverage their ability to bundle internet and video. As dynamic ad insertion (DAI) takes root in the pay-TV space for operators and content owners alike, video margins will improve for MVPDs.
This is especially true because MVPD subscribers are two-to-four times as valuable (based on usage) as OTT subscribers when it comes to impression-based advertising. 2021 will be a year of integrated services to satisfy consumer demands for flexibility, ultimately allowing for a more streamlined and comfortable user experience.