Trender Research™

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Current Trends and Business Model Implications for Broadcasters, MVPDs, and OTT Providers

I’m on a tear to read a white paper a week for the remaining 10 weeks of the year. I’ll be sharing some of the better ones with you.


This week we have a nice primer of current trends shaping the worlds of both new OTT content providers and traditional Pay TV broadcasters and operators. It comes in the form of a white paper from SeaChange, a past sponsor of the OTT Executive Summit ( I’ve gotten to know SeaChange pretty well over the past couple of years through my research and consulting work and interviewing their top executives for the magazine. They’re in a pretty unique position bridging the old world of cable operators and the new more free-form world of OTT content providers. I’ve watched as their strategy has moved from premise-based hardware to being more agnostic to premise and cloud-based architectures. In short, they’ve made the company shift that many of your own employers have had to make, be they technology providers or service operators.


I like papers that are short and sweet but packed with thoughtful insights that help you tease out the salient business points and trends in the industry. This white paper is one of them.


The paper covers six reference indicators found in measures of consumer behavior and cutting-edge technology deployed by various players in the broadcast, MVPD and OTT camps. These include: 1) increasing need for bandwidth; 2) long-form video consumption on connected devices; 3) changing consumer viewing habits; 4) growing role of live TV for OTT; 5) personalization and quality of experience; and 6) emerging TV formats. Each section is backed by supporting data from various research firms.


In my opinion, one of the biggest trends shaping the industry right now is the reemerging preeminence of live TV integrated into time-shifted DVR/VOD and streaming content. Livestreaming is a requirement I am seeing in almost all of the RFPs I work on for OTT content providers. Even if the OTT content shop isn’t ready to roll out live TV right away, they want to select an OTT platform that is future-proofed to accommodate live integration in the near future. And of course, everyone is trying to figure out how to integrate a Facebook Live strategy for either delivering streaming content or as a way to create teasers for their long-form shows.

A close second trend is consumers’ growing desire for more immersive video viewing experiences. Whether that means embracing virtual or augmented reality, community chat, or onscreen sports stats or polling, more immersive experiences are not only being demanded by consumers but also have the benefit of uniquely taking advantage of OTT technology.

In light of these six trends, the white paper closes with recommendations for capitalizing on new business models for three different entities: 1) broadcasters; 2) MVPDs; and 3) OTT service providers.  I won’t steal their thunder so you’ll have to read the white paper for yourself.


Of course, no 10 page paper can cover every facet in sufficient detail to satisfy everyone, but if you are looking for a good overview of current Pay TV/OTT trends and their business model implications, this is a good read.


 Brian Mahony

CEO, Trender Research

Founder, OTT Executive Summit & Magazine

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