Content and Digital Services; Together is Better!

By Terence Carvalho
Senior Vice President, Global Telco Sales and Solutions, Vubiquity
September 19, 2023

The content and media landscape has been in turmoil the past few weeks – the manifestation of a challenging business model in the industry. Disruption is inevitable, and agile players must seize the opportunity as subscribers abandon traditional forms of TV.

The fundamentals remain strong, as Telcos/TV Providers have the delivery infrastructure into the home and an established (and trusted) billing relationship with the consumer. But more than ever, consumers want the ability to quickly discover relevant and entertaining content either in exchange for viewing advertisements or to pay a fair price for a bundle …all through a single provider and bill. In fact, this desired convenience isn’t only limited to video streaming services but extends to any digital service. Today, subscriptions are managed from multiple sources and paid for using different methods. There is a benefit of bringing these various services into a single platform coupled with premium licensed content and ad monetization. Consumers benefit from lower costs and greater value and convenience.

Utopia would be having access to every streaming service and a hybrid payment model (subscription + transaction + ad supported) across all these services. Such a scenario is a win for all involved parties. First, consumers get all the services in a curated, accessible, and discoverable manner – everything in one place with contextual journeys tailored to the device. Second, operators have a powerful acquisition and retention tool in addition to achieving ARPU growth. Lastly, content/digital service providers grow reach and gain sticky customers via the operator.

Telcos and TV providers have invested heavily in building networks to deliver their core services and content to the user, but they continue to incur a high OpEx to maintain the infrastructure and the challenge of maintaining user engagement. Digitally native D2C services cannibalize TV revenues, but sustainable and profitable growth has remained elusive. The industry needs to be agile and adopt new business models enabled by disruptive technology solutions. Tailwinds will hasten the change, so watch for the following:

  • Licensing windows are largely returning to pre-pandemic schedules and box office hits will drive premium content purchases
  • Telcos and TV Providers recognize the value of owning the screen and going OTT themselves
  • 5G Fixed Wireless Access and innovative home STB HW will make the TV experience trendy
  • Subscription fatigue is real, and the rising cost of living is causing people to reconsider their spend on infrequently used services

The Marketplace for content and digital services brings the promise of change with these key capabilities:

  • App marketplaces serve as one-stop shops, granting consumers access to a wide range of content and services. This convenience mitigates the need to subscribe to multiple services thereby reducing fragmentation.
  • Aggregated platforms provide sophisticated content discovery mechanisms, including personalized recommendations and search capabilities. These features help consumers discover new content, improving user engagement.
  • Consumers can tailor their content bundles to suit their preferences, creating a personalized TV experience where they can pick and choose subscriptions, genres, and channels, all within a single platform.
  • Licensed content can be delivered directly to the end device reliably and at a low cost without ingest and metadata issues that plague operations today
  • Telcos and TV Providers can easily (and quickly!) create a campaign and curate the screen real estate to keep consumers engaged and make the users screen the discovery, purchase, and launch point for any content or digital service.

As consumers adapt to the economic downturn, their consumption patterns are shifting, making it crucial for telcos and content & digital service providers to aggregate and curate their overall digital services. By offering this in a single platform, business owners and operators can keep consumers engaged and ensure their screens are the go-to launch point for any digital service experience.  The future is the marketplace of digital services.