NAB from the Trenches

April 19, 2018

  • churn
  • content producers
  • cybersecurity
  • GDPR
  • Lisa Gantman
  • NAB
  • OTT
  • OTT Services
  • pay TV
  • video service providers

From Security Issues to Churn, to Differentiating OTT

At NAB 2018 in Las Vegas last week, the world’s largest media, entertainment, and technology event, we had a chance to showcase Evergent’s solution, attend presentations and meet with customers, industry players, and other trendsetters. Our takeaway? A lot is happening in the live linear streaming, over-the-top (OTT) world, and in the creation, production, delivery, and consumption of video content.

According to a recap in CED Magazine, and research from Parks Associates, “In an increasingly crowded over-the-top video service market, consumer perception drives purchasing behavior and players must differentiate themselves in order to succeed.”

Parks Associates outlined three trends linked to success:

  • First, services with a recognized content brand, such as HBO Now.
  • Second, online pay-TV services or vMVPDs, such as DirecTV Now, which has reached the 1-million subscriber mark faster than any other service.
  • Third, original content producers, including Netflix and Amazon, differentiate themselves by creating compelling exclusive content. Read more.

At NAB in our conversations with customers and partners, we came away with these key takeaways and trends. In other words, these are the things everyone is talking about:

Security — An Inherently Hot Topic

It’s hard to avoid the ongoing Facebook privacy investigation and the cybersecurity breaches at retailers, credit agencies, and more. Further, the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has brought security and privacy issues to the surface.

At NAB, many of the panel discussions had to field questions on security — clearly and for good reason, it is on everyone’s mind.

OTT Services — Optimize and Improve

For most attendees, the question is no longer IF they should do an OTT service but rather how to improve the OTT service they already have. All the conversations we heard and participated in talked about the importance of:

With so many more players (content owners and distributors) in the field today, the pressure is on to stand out and differentiate your services. And we’ve found that many of the biggest players already in the market are now turning to efficiency.

OTT is here to stay: the annual study from Unisphere states that OTT video will overtake traditional viewing before 2020.

To Pivot to OTT or Not? That is the Question

Some PayTV operators have pivoted to OTT already, overcoming fears of cannibalizing their own business — AT&T is a good example. Others are nervously feeling the increased pressure to take the leap as they’re already losing customers. OTT partnerships and collaborations can provide consumers with more options for sure.

Is OTT the Blueprint for the Roadmap to the Future?

In talking with attendees, customers, and other industry players, we heard them wondering about how video service providers could expand on their OTT service infrastructure, and the additional services they could build into the cloud that may be sitting on legacy systems right now. When they launched OTT, they would have only included the necessary services. And most likely they kept other services like data analytics, marketing, or other integrated services separate. Now they’re wondering if they could ‘bake those in’ to the service offering.  What if they could use the OTT infrastructure as a blueprint for other infrastructure projects they’re embarking on? (The answer is ‘Yes,’ by the way. Contact us to learn how Evergent is already doing this for many of our customers.)

Vote Yes on Reducing Churn — A No-Brainer Topic

Everyone wants to reduce churn, and everyone talks about it non-stop. It makes sense since it is so critical to business growth. We heard people talking about how to improve marketing and segmentation of users to improve experiences and reduce churn and how to expand into marketing automation and analytics.

At Evergent, we see two fundamental challenges with any video subscription service: acquisition and retention. Read our blog on churn to learn more.