News & Updates

Pay TV: Who will be the next big provider?

By James MacTavish / Oct 19, 2014

Watching Tv

Pending the merge of Comcast and Time Warner, consolidation in the American cable industry continues to be a controversial topic. Examining the dynamic change in the mobile carrier one thing is for sure, even with owning the last connection point to the consumer, nothing is a for sure thing.

Mobile carriers enjoyed decades of customers paying a premium on voice and text messaging plans, and for many this seemed like a simple and impenetrable model. With the rise of 3G networks and inversely smart phones, people now had apps and over-the-top services to make its more economical to communicate. Even more telling of this dynamic shift, was now consumers had choice. Beyond just using apps to text and call cheaper than the mobile carrier, they also had the choice of a variety of apps to meet each function. From Skype to Google Hangouts and Whatsapp to WeChat the options are now much more diverse for consumers. Outdone by lean fast moving companies, mobile carriers preserved traditional business models as opposed to redefining it in light of these new technologies.

Just as better networks and smart phones shifted the dynamic of the mobile carrier space, we are now seeing technology effectively challenging pay TV operators and what they provide. 4G LTE Wireless and 1 Gigabyte fibre wire networks now make internet transmissions capable of high quality video and music consumption. Movies, TV shows and games can now all be encoded, transcoded, and readied on the fly and in the cloud enabling Content Distribution Networks a reliable high quality content delivery system. All of the necessary components to creating a rich and compelling and more importantly competitive OTT video platform are now readily available.

Ultimately the great debate around traditional TV being on life support is centred on one thing, content. While major studios and networks continue to drive up the prices for content in a desperate attempt to maintain audience numbers, quality is not always indicative of the price. We are now in the YouTube generation in which video content is produced cheaply, and creators are attracting millions of users worldwide across multiple devices. This type of content and its accessibility are proving that there is more to this market then Hollywood and skyrocketing prices.From HBO recently announcing its own web based streaming service for its programming to Amazon acquiring Twitch.tv, the next big TV provider really is influx and who knows, it might not even be a telco.