Pay-TV operators: Do You Really Own Your Content Strategy?

Pay-TV operators: Do You Really Own Your Content Strategy?

You are a pay-TV operator — you’re familiar with today’s pay-TV environment, and know that competition is fierce. Not only has the quality and quantity of content increased significantly, but content is now available from a variety of sources on a slew of devices. A recent study by ABI Research found that the number of pay-TV viewers is expected to reach 1.1 billion by 2019 thanks in part to the availability of more service offerings and content choices.

As a pay-TV operator, you know that offering unique and high-quality content is critical to your business success. If operators do not offer relevant content to viewers, they may lose eyeballs.

Equally important to achieving success is offering personalized content recommendations for viewers and ensuring an interactive TV experience.

But how much control do you really have on your content strategy? Content users these days serve as distributors in a way, leveraging all media and digital platforms available, recommending and referring content. They have a say on many things and are happy to push content that they are interested in. No doubt, they have power.

This post looks at three important points operators should consider when it comes to their content strategy.

Viewers MUST have a say!

Whether they realize it or not, viewers have an impact on offered content and must have a say in the types of content available. Some operators are deploying cloud-based analytics solutions that allow them to get insights on their viewers’ behaviors in order to determine which content is most watched. For instance, if a large number of viewers turn off a sitcom after only watching for a few minutes, this signals to the operator that viewers are not enjoying the program.

The data collected about viewing patterns should shape the types of content operators ultimately provide to viewers. An excellent example of a data-driven content strategy is Netflix. The streaming service claims that a whopping 75 percent of its subscribers are influenced by tailored, personalized recommendations that it suggests.

Viewers WANT to promote content!

A growing number of TV viewers are using different social media platforms to promote TV content of their interest and personal content recommendations, with 85 percent of consumers active on Twitter during primetime hours. Furthermore, consumers want to personalize the services they consume by getting only relevant targeted ads, related movies referrals, etc, with their search, recommendations, and social features becoming increasingly integrated across media. Accenture found that 43 percent of viewers prefer finding new video content by using personalized recommendation engines that track what they’ve watched and suggest similar content.

Operators cannot ignore these facts. They need to provide a personalized, interactive, and social TV experience across all device types.

Business models NEED to cater to viewers!

Business models must be built around consumer needs rather than those of a particular channel, platform, or advertiser. Parks Associates notes that over the next several years, multiscreen services will become an integral part of the pay-TV service, both in features and in market strategy. However, offering content across multiple device types isn’t the sole route to success. It goes back to operators’ ability to provide exclusive and premium content that engages viewers.

For example, the BBC is offering original programming via its iPlayer app as well as its linear channels. Likewise, Sky Deutschland is launching innovative OTT services to provide additional value to its customers, reach new prospects, and respond to the threat from new entrants, such as HBO’s new stand-alone HBO Go Service and app.

Viewers have something to say: Are you listening?

Today’s viewers have the power when it comes to what types of content is available. Through social media, apps, interactive voting, and more, viewers are providing feedback about the kind of content they like. At the end of the day, viewers essentially “own” the operators’ content strategy and a single shared view of the customer — often across different channels — is a prerequisite for a successful, consumer-focused multiplatform strategy.

Not satisfying viewer demands for personalized, social, and interactive content on all device types means losing customers. So it’s in your best interest, as an operator, to align your content strategy with the ever-evolving requirements and interests of viewers.

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