Will we soon be paying our respects to PayTV


Malcolm Harland TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
Download PDF
Download PDF

Recent reports show pay TV in the US peaked in 2012 and will keep dropping over the next five years. Digital TV Research’s North America Pay TV Forecasts state the US will see a 20% drop between 2012 and 2023. Should the UK be readying for a similar change in consumer viewing, or is something different happening here?

Looking at UK pay TV revenues, it would appear the broadcast television industry is okay. According to Ofcom Technology Tracker, 2016 revenues rose 1.0% in real terms. Interestingly, this increase was driven by a 2.8% increase pay-TV subscriptions revenues, despite the average household spend on television services staying fairly flat since 2014.

So, what’s driving this revenue rise? Primarily it’s the viewers’ increasing freedom to break from schedules once imposed by broadcasters. Viewers are quickly taking to the huge range of devices and services that let them watch what, when and where they want. Ofcom’s 2017 research shows the growing tendency for people to view content away from home. Over a third surveyed (37%) stated they watch content on a device outside their home, including while on holiday, commuting and even in their local pub or restaurant. Younger viewers are leading this change, with 58% watching content away from home.

Growth in alternative viewing devices means the use of traditional televisions and DVD players is declining. Smart TVs are the consumer choice, with internet connectivity allowing access to on-demand content and streaming services from apps such as BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub. In 2017, over a third of UK households had a smart TV and 10% had a set-top box supporting digital services, including subscription TV and gaming.

Other threats to revenue include teens viewing on YouTube (66% in 2017 per Ofcom) and illegal streaming of content. 2017 YouGove research estimates that about 5 million people in the UK were using pirated streaming services to watch everything from top sports events to the latest movies €”all for free.

As people increasingly move from traditional broadcaster offerings, the industry must find ways to generate new revenue. An answer has been to increase subscription fees or add advertising €”both cited as primary reasons viewers are moving away in the first place. Ofcom’s research shows people are actively choosing to avoid adverts. About 7 in 10 people choose to watch TV on demand, primarily so they don’t have to sit through ad breaks. Even if they continue watching, viewers now have other options to fill the breaks; for example younger viewers switch to other devices. While ad revenues may be falling, an opportunity comes from people’s willingness to pay something to avoid ads.

Digital video technology solutions are providing opportunities

While consumers are gaining power in the viewer/broadcaster relationship, broadcasting’s future isn’t all doom and gloom. Viewers’ changing habits open a plethora of opportunities; technology itself is allowing the watch “what, when and where” phenomenon. Beyond keeping pace, sometimes technology is even leading change, and allowing providers to react instantly to viewers’ preferences.

Technology change is happening in several ways:

1. Keeping the workforce mobile
Live broadcast TV remains most viewers’ chosen source for news and for watching big events, such as sports and music. Interestingly, it’s also the source for their “background noise.” To keep ahead of options competing for viewers’ attention, broadcasters must use every means possible to get to breaking news first and to provide enhanced live coverage throughout an event.

Until now, a satellite truck, production equipment and a host of skilled people were needed to broadcast live events. Connectivity and speed limitations meant the final produced programme needed to be done at the event location before being broadcast to the world. But that’s changing with technological innovations such as wireless transmission over multiple global 4G cellular networks and ultra-low latency delivery over fibre. Now, if you want to showcase a live event far from your home base, affordable technology makes it easier, with less equipment and fewer people needed onsite.

2. Meeting the demand for faster processing and higher quality
Over 90% of adults will have a smart phone by 2023 (Deloitte). It’s certainly the device most feel is a necessity, with lines blurring between its use for work, entertainment and social connection. Who’s driving this change? Not younger users; actually those in older age groups are having the biggest impact as they adopt the technology.

The arrival of Gigabit-per-second connectivity speeds, faster processing power, and artificial intelligence, and the emergence of augmented reality means the potential for as yet undiscovered content and consumption.

Broadcasters want to meet viewer demands in ways that don’t increase costs or that improve quality to the point that more viewers watch and therefore revenues increase. HEVC the latest high-compression format is being pushed to the forefront of technology as it’s increasingly adopted by iOS and Android portable devices, as well as on broadcaster set-top boxes for premium 4K UHD delivery.

Many viewers say they prefer to watch sports on TV because they miss too much when at an actual event venue. But when watching a live streamed event, they’re worried it will lag and buffer, and about a third expect poor picture quality. Solutions are emerging that drive viewer engagement by providing high-quality video with less than a half second of end-to-end latency to almost any device. The result: millions of concurrent users can experience the same event streamed live without adding any discernible delay and without the annoyance of the action being heard multiple times across different devices as the game unfolds.

3. Personalising content for the individual while improving workflows
Viewers are increasingly taking up options such as back-to-back viewing of their favourite series and catching up on their shows while travelling or commuting. Content is now being developed and shared by organisations, community groups, even viewers themselves. It’s precisely the availability of the software and devices making all this possible that makes more relevant than ever the adage “content is king.”

With the Internet of Things, it’s now possible to collect data from every part of your workflow. This lets you quickly fix issues that may cause viewers to turn to other options. Software and technology also let you track data about when, where and how content is being viewed. It’s possible to allow viewer interaction during a live event that provides feedback for immediate use to improve viewer experience or for future programming. The information can even be used to target customers by recommending behavior-based content.

4. Replacing lost advertising revenues
While broadcasters still receiving significant portions of their revenue from advertising won’t drop it all instantly, ad formats and load need to be viewer appropriate. Technology is making it possible to target advertising down to the individual, based on stated interests or viewing habits. With evolving transmission technologies and viewing devices, soon a programme on TV may show different adverts than the one on a tablet.

Fan bases for entertainment and sports teams can quickly and easily go global giving content providers opportunities to view their markets differently and provide added advantage. For example, fragmenting content agreements will be done more often. For sports rights holders, rights will be split among multiple providers, and premium sports rights are being split across the traditional subscription TV platform operators as well as online and OTT operators. In the UK, viewers from 2019 will need to subscribe to three separate subscription platforms to watch every Premier League game delivered live.

Live is still viewer preference
It’s important to not lose sight of the present as we prepare for the future. Despite many technological changes, traditional live broadcast TV still dominates viewers’ choices. According to Ofcom, around 50% of people in the UK simply switch on the TV to see what’s going to be airing that night. Teens see live TV as the service they’re most likely to use for family time.

Pay-TV operators, including Sky, Virgin Media, BT TV and TalkTalk TV, account for 46% of industry revenue. Viewers see on-demand and streaming services as complementary to their pay-TV subscription, with about three-quarters of on-demand and streaming subscribers also having a pay-TV subscription (Ofcom 2016).

No matter how inexpensive or ad-free the content, viewers won’t watch for long if they’re not satisfied with it. Increasingly, content needs to expand their experience. In sports, this has resulted in growth in behind-the-scenes coverage. For entertainment events this means pre- and post-show programmes and interactive apps. It’s all about engaging with viewers directly, such as through social media, and encouraging them to treat their viewing as community, friends and family events.

Ultimately, it’s the calibre of content that will remain most important for the viewer. Technology innovation won’t change that, but it can give broadcasters many opportunities.


Tags: iss132 | garland partners | GPL | paytv | ott | iplayer | youtube | ofcom | workflow | sky | virgin media | talktalk | Malcolm Harland
Contributing Author Malcolm Harland

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Download PDF
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Garland Partners at BVE 2016

    Garland Partners at BVE 2016

  • Garland Partners at BVE 2012

    Garland Partners at BVE 2012

  • 4k and HEVC with Garland at BVE 2018

    4k and HEVC with Garland at BVE 2018

  • Teracue IQ Grid and Media Excel shown at BVE 2018

    Teracue IQ Grid and Media Excel shown at BVE 2018

  • Garland at BVE 2017

    Garland at BVE 2017

  • Safer OTT and TV Platforms from Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2017

    Safer OTT and TV Platforms from Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2017

  • Smarter OTT and TV Platforms from Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2017

    Smarter OTT and TV Platforms from Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2017

  • Scott Hill uses EditShare: Lightworks at NAB 2013

    Scott Hill uses EditShare: Lightworks at NAB 2013

  • Vimond Control Center at NAB 2013

    Vimond Control Center at NAB 2013

  • Telestream Vantage v5 at NAB 2013

    Telestream Vantage v5 at NAB 2013

  • Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2016

    Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2016

  • Prime Focus Technologies at IBC 2016

    Prime Focus Technologies at IBC 2016

  • Kino Flo at NAB 2016

    Kino Flo at NAB 2016

  • Comigo at IBC 2015

    Comigo at IBC 2015

  • EBS at IBC 2015

    EBS at IBC 2015

  • Volicon at IBC 2015

    Volicon at IBC 2015

  • Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2014

    Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2014

  • BBright at IBC 2014

    BBright at IBC 2014

  • Visual Unity at IBC 2014

    Visual Unity at IBC 2014

  • Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2014

    Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2014

  • SIS LIVE ManPak and LoStow at IBC 2014

    SIS LIVE ManPak and LoStow at IBC 2014

  • Perception at NAB 2014

    Perception at NAB 2014

  • Visual Unity at NAB 2014

    Visual Unity at NAB 2014

  • ATEME at NAB 2014

    ATEME at NAB 2014

  • TMD talk asset management solutions on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    TMD talk asset management solutions on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Cambridge Imaging Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Cambridge Imaging Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Bridge Technologies QoE Monitoring with Mobile Videowall Display at IBC 2013

    Bridge Technologies QoE Monitoring with Mobile Videowall Display at IBC 2013

  • Bridge Technologies PocketProbe App at NAB 2013

    Bridge Technologies PocketProbe App at NAB 2013

  • Tariam Tooway stand at BVE 2013

    Tariam Tooway stand at BVE 2013

  • Broadcast Pix at NAB 2012

    Broadcast Pix at NAB 2012

  • Facebook and YouTube live integration with Monarch HD from Matrox at NAB 2017

    Facebook and YouTube live integration with Monarch HD from Matrox at NAB 2017

  • ChyronHego show their PRIME Workflow at IBC 2018

    ChyronHego show their PRIME Workflow at IBC 2018

  • All IP Workflow from Quantum with Xcellis Workflow Storage solutions at NAB 2018

    All IP Workflow from Quantum with Xcellis Workflow Storage solutions at NAB 2018

  • Object Matrix Hybrid Workflow and Artifical Intelligence at NAB 2018

    Object Matrix Hybrid Workflow and Artifical Intelligence at NAB 2018

  • Workflow Solutions from Pronology at NAB 2017

    Workflow Solutions from Pronology at NAB 2017

  • Snell Advanced Media (SAM) 4k workflow at IBC 2015

    Snell Advanced Media (SAM) 4k workflow at IBC 2015

  • LIVEU Workflow solutions at NAB 2015

    LIVEU Workflow solutions at NAB 2015

  • TMD talk workflow on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    TMD talk workflow on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Quantels Stream-based Workflows at IBC 2013

    Quantels Stream-based Workflows at IBC 2013

  • Streaming Media with Interra Systems at NAB 2017

    Streaming Media with Interra Systems at NAB 2017

  • New CEO and news update from TMD at NAB 2017

    New CEO and news update from TMD at NAB 2017

  • SGL Broadcast at IBC 2015

    SGL Broadcast at IBC 2015

  • Tiger Technology at BVE 2015

    Tiger Technology at BVE 2015

  • ERA - Adobe Anywhere - at BVE 2015

    ERA - Adobe Anywhere - at BVE 2015

  • NETIA at BVE 2015

    NETIA at BVE 2015

  • Dalet at IBC 2014

    Dalet at IBC 2014

  • Pronology at IBC 2014

    Pronology at IBC 2014

  • Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

    Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

  • Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

    Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

  • Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

    Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

  • Telestream Wirecast and Switch at IBC 2014

    Telestream Wirecast and Switch at IBC 2014

  • Telestream Vantage support for DPP at IBC 2014

    Telestream Vantage support for DPP at IBC 2014

  • Broadstream Solutions at NAB 2014

    Broadstream Solutions at NAB 2014

  • Telestream Enterprise at NAB 2014

    Telestream Enterprise at NAB 2014

  • Telestream Switch at NAB 2014

    Telestream Switch at NAB 2014

  • Dalet at NAB 2014

    Dalet at NAB 2014

  • ERA at BVE 2014

    ERA at BVE 2014

  • ERA Avere at BVE 2014

    ERA Avere at BVE 2014

  • Pixel Power on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Pixel Power on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Atomos talking 4K on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Atomos talking 4K on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Metus on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Metus on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Volicon on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Volicon on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Broadstream Solutions on the Oasys stand at IBC 2013

    Broadstream Solutions on the Oasys stand at IBC 2013

  • Oasys Chameleon at IBC 2013

    Oasys Chameleon at IBC 2013

  • Loft London Solutions with Cubix on the Oasys stand at IBC 2013

    Loft London Solutions with Cubix on the Oasys stand at IBC 2013

  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about LTFS at IBC 2013

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about LTFS at IBC 2013

  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Mediaflex CI

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Mediaflex CI

  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Post Production

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Post Production

  • Facilis at IBC 2013

    Facilis at IBC 2013

  • Telestream with Wirecast version five at IBC 2013

    Telestream with Wirecast version five at IBC 2013

  • Telestream with Post Producer at IBC 2013

    Telestream with Post Producer at IBC 2013

  • Yospace: Advert Insertion at NAB 2013

    Yospace: Advert Insertion at NAB 2013

  • TMD at NAB 2013: MediaFlex Reporting Module

    TMD at NAB 2013: MediaFlex Reporting Module

  • TMD at NAB 2013: MediaFlex Systems

    TMD at NAB 2013: MediaFlex Systems

  • TMD at NAB 2013: Content Intelligence

    TMD at NAB 2013: Content Intelligence

  • Telestream at BVE 2013

    Telestream at BVE 2013

  • Guntermann and Drunck GmbH at BVE 2013

    Guntermann and Drunck GmbH at BVE 2013

  • Tedial at NAB 2012

    Tedial at NAB 2012

  • Marquis Broadcast at NAB 2012

    Marquis Broadcast at NAB 2012

  • Root6 at NAB 2012

    Root6 at NAB 2012

  • Editshare at NAB 2012

    Editshare at NAB 2012

  • TMD at NAB 2012

    TMD at NAB 2012

  • PlayBox Technology at BVE 2012

    PlayBox Technology at BVE 2012

  • Suitcase TV at IBC2011

    Suitcase TV at IBC2011

  • Net Insight at IBC2011

    Net Insight at IBC2011

  • Tedial at IBC2011

    Tedial at IBC2011

  • IPV at IBC2011

    IPV at IBC2011

  • TSL at IBC2011

    TSL at IBC2011

  • Skype TX for Radio from Broadcast Bionics at NAB 2017

    Skype TX for Radio from Broadcast Bionics at NAB 2017

  • Skyline 90 from Miller at NAB 2017

    Skyline 90 from Miller at NAB 2017

  • Broadcast Bionics show the Bionics Studio at BVE 2018

    Broadcast Bionics show the Bionics Studio at BVE 2018

  • NewTek TalkShow at IBC 2014

    NewTek TalkShow at IBC 2014

  • Kit Digital at IBC2011

    Kit Digital at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • Show 26 - 20th November 2013

    Show 26 - 20th November 2013


Articles
Using Wireless Transmission
Jeremy Benning Wireless acquisition is a staple of live sports, entertainment and reality shows where cable free capture permits shots not previously possible, for health and safety reasons, and gives the camera-operator greater artistic licence to roam. The same is increasingly true of narrative drama where cinematographers are keen to work handheld or Steadicam where that helps tell the story. Any equipment which frees their movement and time by being lighter, easier to use and reliable in performance is going to tick a lot of boxes.
Tags: iss134 | wireless | 4k | transmission | Jeremy Benning
Contributing Author Jeremy Benning Click to read or download PDF
Giving Welsh sport a global audience
Adam Amor From the Ospreys Rugby Union team, to the Football Association of Wales, as well as national cycling, swimming and boxing coverage, Port Talbot based Buffoon Film and Media has been heavily involved in putting Welsh sports on the world stage.
Tags: iss134 | blackmagic | atem | buffoon | micro studio camera | Adam Amor
Contributing Author Adam Amor Click to read or download PDF
Shedding Light on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k BMCPP4K
Garth de Bruno Austin “What is it about light that has us craving it?” Is the question asked in the opening seconds of Garth de Bruno Austin’s latest short, The Colour of Light. Exploring this natural, human need as well as our innate desire to control it, Garth’s film showcases everyday people going about their lives in differing degrees of luminance, whether that be an artificial streetlight or a natural morning sunrise.
Tags: iss134 | blackmagic | cinema camera | 4k | cpp4k | Garth de Bruno Austin
Contributing Author Garth de Bruno Austin Click to read or download PDF
The brave new world of software based production
Boromy Ung In today’s rapidly evolving broadcast industry, the only constant media organizations can truly count on is change — and the need to adapt as rapidly and cost-effectively as possible. One of the biggest agents of change is the IP revolution, driving broadcasters to migrate their operations to all-software solutions running on commodity, IT-based technologies.
Tags: iss134 | chyronhego | graphics | sports | ott | Boromy Ung
Contributing Author Boromy Ung Click to read or download PDF
Protecting the continuity of transmission
Lorna Garrett Your viewers love you. You consistently bring them their preferred channels 24/7. They’ve come to rely on you for their viewing pleasure. They never miss cheering on their beloved sports teams. They’re the envy of their friends as they watch live concerts of their favourite bands. They gather the family around and catch up on their must-see shows. They don’t have a bad word to say about you.
Tags: iss134 | garland | gpl | streaming | artel | disaster recovery | Lorna Garrett
Contributing Author Lorna Garrett Click to read or download PDF