24May/160

Video On Demand: Europe’s main markets in the aftermath of Netflix world conquest

LEBORGNE-Florence_NB

Florence Le Borgne
Head of the TV & Digital Content Practice, IDATE DigiWorld

Generally speaking, the arrival of Netflix in a new market results in increased programming costs for its competitors.

 

Using North America as an example, this trend is expected to continue and grow in the coming years, which will question the profitability of such investments.

TVOD_value_sharing

 

Service typology

There are generally three types of pay video-on-demand (VOD) services:

TVOD (Transactional Video-On-Demand) services, which include:

EST (Electronic Sell-Through), also known as DTO or 'Download To Own', is like the traditional sale of physical videograms, but in digital form.

DTR (Download To Rent) is like the traditional rental of videograms, but in digital form.

SVOD (Subscription Video-On-Demand) services, which are based on the dominant pricing model used for linear pay-TV: subscriptions

It is common for the same service to offer several pricing models.

Business models and service positioning

The transactional video-on-demand model is based on revenue sharing between the service provider and the rights holders. Contracts between these two parties can be exclusive, but rarely so. The catalogues of transactional video-on-demand services are usually very large (from 10,000 to hundreds of thousands). Although most TVOD services are non-specialised, consumption is mainly focused on movies.

The business model of SVOD is similar to that of pay-TV. Content rights are purchased at fixed price, regardless of actual consumption. The rights may be exclusive for a given period of time and territory. SVOD catalogues have tended to be available for unlimited consumption so far, including many non-exclusive and older titles (over 5 years old). Although most SVOD offerings are non-specialised, fiction series tend to be promoted and consumed the most. Original and exclusive new content is increasingly used for differentiation. There are currently two contrasting marketing strategies used: strategies based on a volume/cost ratio; and differentiation strategies based on premium or special interest positioning.

Competitive environment

The VOD sector as a whole is witnessing strong growth in Europe, driven by a large increase in the number of services emerging in most countries. Between February 2012 and December 2015, the number of services available in the EU increased by a factor of 5.7 on average.

Although the market share in value terms is still dominated by DTR in Europe (56.5% of the total VOD market), this market segment has been the slowest growing segment over the last five years (+215% on average in EU countries between 2010 and 2015). Revenues from subscription services are experiencing stronger growth: a growth rate of 1,824% over the same period. They generated nearly one-third of VOD revenues in Europe in 2015, whereas they only accounted for 7.6% in 2010.

The true start of the SVOD market in a particular country is often whenever Netflix launches there. Note that Netflix is often the main beneficiary of the rapid growth in subscribers that its launch creates. The arrival of the North American giant does, however, trigger a response from the main players in FTA television and pay-TV. It is the combination of all these elements that contributes to better awareness of these services among the general public and facilitates their adoption.

Competitive environment

The growth and success of video-on-demand services can be very different depending on the market. There are various internal factors:

the propensity for local consumers to pay for access to content;

the price differential with local pay-TV offerings;

the prevalence of piracy of audiovisual and cinematic content;

...

Find out more about the various internal factors

Various issues specific to the structure of on-demand services and players' strategies also play a role:

the relevance of the marketing positioning of the services;

the existence of partnerships with distributors who already have a subscriber/equipment base;

the effectiveness of recommendation systems, which help increase consumption and provide a better user experience;

...

More information about these issues

Profitability conditions and the challenge facing Europe

The issue of achieving profitability with transactional services is not as critical as for subscription services. Because most transactional service costs are variable costs, proportional to consumption, these services are not expensive to create and only become so when the content is actually consumed.

Therefore, there are no real obstacles to creating new services and the costs of entry into the market are low. This explains the abundance of existing services and the great diversity of players in this segment.

The economy for SVOD services is more delicate: as well as technical and marketing costs, content acquisition costs can be regarded as fixed costs because the content is purchased at a fixed price, regardless of consumption. To that can be added costs related to development or acquisition of a recommendation tool. Subscription services therefore have significant costs even before they have started to recruit subscribers.

If the European industry cannot create some European champions of their own to compete with the US giants, many European players may disappear as the market rationalises.

Discover the perspectives,  key trends, and scenarios about the TV market for the next decade through our dedicated report and register to DigiWorld Future 2016 

DWF15 video report v3For the publication of the 16th edition of the DigiWorld Yearbook (pre-order now), IDATE is organizing a conference based on the detailed analysis of the current situations and some forecasts by IDATE experts on the major digital sectors, the discussion will deal with the great trends and challenges that will disrupt the digital markets by 2025.

Register

 

 

Subscribe to our newsletter and keep up to date with events and latest news.

 

27Apr/160

Connected TV: Accelerating OTT video development

BAJON_Jacques

Jacques Bajon
Director of Media & Digital Content Business Unit, IDATE DigiWorld

The development of connected TV is inextricably bound up with the widespread availability of high-speed Internet access, a shift to more and more individual viewing and the proliferation of smart devices in the home.

 

Together, these three elements are steadily revolutionising how viewers access their TV programmes, and providing them with an array of new functions and features. TV sets can be connected to the Internet in several ways. Using:
a smart or connected TV (direct connection, via Ethernet or Wi-Fi),
a connected set-top box,
a streaming box or stick,a connected game console,
or a smart Blu-ray player.

In 2015, almost three-quarters of the televisions being shipped are Smart TVs, even if their owners may not systematically take advantage of the Internet connection. At the same time, the market for streaming devices – whose main purpose is to play online videos – is progressing rapidly. Within this market that is still populated by a great many solutions and services, several trends are taking shape:
the way users access and employ connected TV services has become more simple, and shifted from Internet-centric to video-centric;
managing connectivity with users’ personal devices has become a key issue, with app systems playing an increasingly central role;
OTT services are moving to the TV and making real strides;
...

More information about main trends

Technological progress in a variety of areas is helping to bolster the market’s development, be it the growing ubiquity of broadband and superfast broadband access in the consumer market, major improvements in video optimisation and compression (HEVC), or the advent of innovative features such as casting which allows users to send video content from a personal device to the television. The main stakeholders in the connected TV ecosystem can be broken down into three categories, based on their original sector of activity: consumer electronics (CE) companies, TV market players and the Internet’s leaders.
CE industry players are working to improve their software interfaces, either through dedicated developments such as Samsung has done with Tizen, or by acquiring another company, as LG has done with WebOS. The aim is to capture the added-value in the marketplace, whether in the arena of services and/or by selling high-end devices.
Players from the TV universe are developing their OTT products, and working to bolster their position on the software side of the equation with more open and hybrid platforms. The connected TV could enable them to renew ties with consumers, and better monetise their plans. Broadcasters and pay-TV providers, especially in the United States, are therefore starting to roll out complete OTT plans which include a live component
Lastly, companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft that dominate the Internet, are very knowledgeable about software, and changing consumer habits. So they are in the best position to deliver a top-notch user experience, whether in terms of smooth and intuitive interfaces, or providing recommendations based on user data. Their increasingly vertical positioning – covering everything from the content to the device – is also bolstering their potential to capture a growing portion of the video entertainment market.

In this way, many scenarios are emerging for Connected TV to 2025, and will determine which industries are likely to increase their control over this environment:

Impact_scenarios_TV_connectee_2025_IDATE_DigiWorld_OTT_VA

The size of the OTT video market will vary considerably under these scenarios, depending on how the environment evolves and so which industries prevail, and The popularity of the different devices will also evolve along the same lines.

Discover the perspectives,  key trends, and scenarios about the TV market for the next decade through our dedicated report and register to DigiWorld Future 2016 

DWF15 video report v3For the publication of the 16th edition of the DigiWorld Yearbook (pre-order now), IDATE is organizing a conference based on the detailed analysis of the current situations and some forecasts by IDATE experts on the major digital sectors, the discussion will deal with the great trends and challenges that will disrupt the digital markets by 2025.

Register

 

 

Subscribe to our newsletter and keep up to date with events and latest news.

 

4Aug/150

Cloud TV: Video embraces IT

BAJON_Jacques

Jacques Bajon
Head of Media & Digital Content Business unit

 

 

 

The development of cloud TV solutions is part of the massive wave of change in today’s video market, and fuelled by users taking increasing control over their video viewing (on-demand, personal, multi-device, etc.). These changes require all service providers to adapt to the new paradigm and tailor their products to new viewer behaviours, and this inside an increasingly fragmented and competitive marketplace. The transition will also require them to find new ways to monetise content. The inherent uncertainties and complexity of this new state of affairs derive from the need to flexible, both from an operational standpoint and in the ability to roll out new services.

 The cloud TV market can be broken down into three components. Cloud TV is said to be private when the service is being supplied over the vendor company’s own infrastructure, and public when the infrastructure is located in a data centre outside the company’s premises, while hybrid solutions employ a combination of the two. These elements are combined with the various levels of service integration, ranging from infrastructure (IaaS) to PaaS (platform) and SaaS (software).

 The business model for cloud TV solutions is very similar to the one used by classic cloud computing products, i.e. payment based on consumption, or a monthly or annual subscription. It is the vendor of the cloud solution that invoices the TV provider. From a more general standpoint, adopting cloud solutions allows companies to convert their Capex into Opex by switching from a system of purchasing and amortising infrastructure to one of infrastructure rental.

 A number of players are involved in providing cloud TV solutions: the Internet giants and software specialists, telecom equipment suppliers and TV solution specialists who have beefed up the cloud dimension of their services. The television and home equipment sector has also expanded its product line to adapt to this new paradigm.

 Taking a broader perspective, the changes being forced on solution providers require them to acquire new skillsets, especially in the arena of software, but also in digital marketing, analytics, security, etc. These new skills can be acquired either through partnerships to create an ecosystem of solutions, or by taking over a specialised company.

 Cloud TV solutions are tailored to the customer’s needs, and typically rely on an ecosystem of partnerships, which can in fact cover the entire video content technical chain, from production to viewing, by way of post-production.

 Cloud TV products can occupy one or several niches, all aimed at satisfying customers’ new requirements. The market has been heavily influenced by video on-demand systems (incorporating nPVR), multi-device and unified interfaces, and systems for managing traffic surges on the network, notably thanks to hybrid cloud solutions.

 But there are still a number of lingering questions and obstacles in the cloud TV market. The infrastructures’ ability to manage a growing number of unicast streams raises concerns over quality of service further down the road. Regulatory uncertainties, notably over the use of private data and content copyright, continue to impede monetisation and product development. We expect that finding the optimal way to monetise video products will be the next big challenge the market will tackle. Because it lowers barriers to entry, the development of cloud TV will also increase competition in the video distribution market.

 It is also true that these solutions have helped make it easier to launch new video services – and especially more personalised and multi-device ones – by reducing the financial risks involved. This positive trend is on the supply side, where a great many vendors are positioned – including those from a TV industry is in the throes of a profound transition. But fully outsourcing content management does not seem to line up with market realities. What we are seeing instead is the development of hybrid cloud formats.

 How cloud TV products are positionedClients’ needs

Cloud TV products

 

 

Development of time-shifted viewing

·       nPVR: video recording in the cloud

·       catch-up TV services

·       (S)VOD

·       Time shifted TV

·       Management of consumption growth(server and unicast traffic peaks)

Multiple screens to address

·       Multiscreen delivery platform

·       Unified interface adapted to all screens, centrally managed

·       Encoding & adaptation of the video format to the consumption screen thanks to adaptive streaming

TV Everywhere

Indoor – Multiroom/outdoor

·       Multiscreen, network agnostic delivery platforms

·       Encoding, adaptation of the video bitrate according to available bandwidth and network used

Mid- to long-tail content – Personalized viewing – Live viewing

·       "Unlimited" storage

·       Consumption monitoring and recommendations for TV/VOD/Catch-up services

·       Live OTT for events and simulcasts

·       Virtualized playout centre (not ready for prime time)

Content rights management

·       DRM

·       Digital Rights Lockers (DRL)

Collaborative work

·       Centralised production, postproduction

Monetisation: Creation or improvement of advertising and pay-TV based business models

·       Dynamic ad insertion

·       Targeted ads inserted in the video stream or in the interface

·       Authentication

·       Centralised billing

Source: IDATE, "Cloud TV", March 2015

 Find out more about Cloud TV in our dedicated market report

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17Jun/150

DigiWorld Yearbook 2015, the great digital shake-up

IDATE, Europe’s premier digital economy think tank, uncovers major disruptions in the telecom, Internet and TV markets

Over the past 15 years, IDATE’s DigiWorld Yearbook has become a vital source of information for industry players, delivering analysis of the developments that have shaped the telecoms, Internet and media markets during the year gone by, identifying core global trends and providing snapshots of what lies ahead. The purpose and scope of the Yearbook has expanded as digital technologies have become an increasingly central component in the different sectors’ transformation: connected cars, financial services, insurance, healthcare, retail sales, the collaborative economy…

IDATE Chairman, François Barrault, is delighted to be celebrating this 15th edition, noting that, “we have entered into a new stage in the digital transformation over the past few months. Today, new intermediaries are coming to shake up the status quo, many of them from outside the industry, taking advantage of new technologies and new consumer cultural behaviour to revolutionise the value chain. Everybody knows how Uber has disrupted the taxi business, and Airbnb the hotel market. But finance, insurance, health and automotive industry leaders have all had to sit up to the risk of digital innovations shaking up their ecosystem, and forcing them to depend on external, unavoidable platforms.” This echoes the central theme of the upcoming DigiWorld Summit (17 – 19 November 2015), as IDATE’s annual conference will be held this year under the banner of: “Digital First”.

“For we here at IDATE,” says CEO, Yves Gassot, “whose business it is to wade through the latest market developments on a daily basis, the process of looking back over the year’s events only confirmed the significance of certain game changers such as mobility, the cloud, the Internet of Things, big data and social media. Some would also add 3D printing and artificial intelligence to the list.”

Scorecard for the digital economy in 2015: back on a growth path, but Europe still lagging behind

After the recovery announced in 2013, DigiWorld markets confirmed a stronger rate of growth in 2014, generating 3,700 billion euros. All segments combined, growth increased to 4.4%, which is 0.5 points more than the year before. These figures are still below those being reported for the economy as a whole: global GDP rose by 5.9% in current value in 2014, compared to 5.3% in 2013. This global recovery will become stronger still in 2015, with DigiWorld markets generating 3,900 billion euros, and climbing to 4,400 billion in 2018.
• This improvement can of course be attributed to Internet services which continue to boast more than 20% annual growth and, despite still accounting for only a fraction of the market, are helping to sustain the whole (growing from 275 billion EUR in 2014 to 475 billion in 2018);
• But also to stronger performances from a large number of more traditional segments – which are typically bundled together as core DigiWorld markets, i.e. telecom and IT equipment and services, consumer electronics, TV services, etc. Growth in these markets, i.e. excluding Internet services, rose from 2.8% in 2013 to 3.2% in 2014.
• Europe as a whole continues to lag behind increasingly vigorous North American markets, and the powerhouse that is emerging Asian markets.

2025: snapshots of 10 key trends and three outlook scenarios for Internet, telecoms and TV markets

For the first time, this year’s edition includes outlook scenarios for Internet, telecom and TV markets and players, provided by IDATE’s teams:
• Internet 2025: Will the top platforms become even more powerful?
• Telecoms 2025: Can the top telcos strike a balance between becoming commodities and competing head on with the top OTT companies?
• TV 2025: How can distributors avoid being cut out of the loop?

About the DigiWorld Yearbook

The finest market insights from IDATE experts who track the changes at work in the globe’s telecom, Internet and media industries throughout the year.
The DigiWorld Yearbook is published in English and French and available in print and PDF format.

> The 2014 edition can be downloaded for free on www.idate.org

> The 2015 edition is available for purchase. Print: €100, incl. VAT; PDF: €69, incl. VAT on www.idate.org

For more information: www.idate.org/digiworldyearbook/

infog yearbook15-EN

21May/150

Content is king. Still.

Yves Gassot

Yves Gassot
CEO, IDATE

 

Over the past few decades, TV service providers’ market power guaranteed them a certain leadership in production.

Vertical integration

Thanks to a steady relaxation of competition rules in the United States, the resulting vertical integration trend has seen production studios merge with TV networks and cable companies. In other markets, such as France, public authorities have continued to oppose such a trend, underscoring how vital production independent of the top networks is to sustaining diversity and creativity.

A new way of consumption

Here too the Internet is changing the status quo. We watch more and more videos. We watch them more on our own, and from increasingly global sources. Content providers and pay-TV distributors are being penalised both by their costs and their only national footprint, and are having to contend with two major threats: being cut out of the service equation and being cut off from customers. Market heavyweights like the ones found in the United States are having to weigh the pros and cons of working with a platform such as Netflix that is expanding worldwide, versus setting up their own over-the-top solution… and protecting what is still their main source of income, i.e. selling programmes to TV channels (including affiliate stations). But their dilemma is still less dire than the one facing Europe’s independent providers, who have a primarily national footprint and which are often restricted in the extent to which they can exploit the rights to the programmes they help finance.

Ecosystem and legislation

The European Commission likes the idea of having TV rights negotiated for the EU as a whole. It would provide an opportunity to introduce the idea of economies of scale in a lucrative sector, and one that has a tremendous cultural influence. Unfortunately, in its revised version, this plan, which is one of the pillars of the Digital Single Market proposal unveiled in early May, is coming up against Europe’s very disparate set of national TV ecosystems. As national laws – and especially the state of the industry – currently stand, very few companies in the EU can hope to come out winners in any negotiations for rights to all 28 European markets. Bluntly put, a very cut and dried application of such a scheme would more likely be a boon for outsiders such as Netflix, Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, etc.
Despite which, our desire to be optimistic leads us to hope that the steady and inexorable development of the OTT video model will drive a change in legislation across Europe, and lead to cross-border and possibly continental deals between Europe’s TV sector players.

For the publication of the last study about "OTT Regulation" and  the 15th edition of the DigiWorld Yearbook, IDATE is organizing a conference on the perspectives and key trends that will structure the digital economy for the next decade, DigiWorld Future

Register for the Conference in Paris the 16th of June     Discover the programme

More informations about IDATE's expertise and events :

www.idate.org      www.digiworldsummit.com      www.digiworldweek.com       www.gamesummit.pro

10Feb/140

What will the video industry look like 10 years from now?

Gilles Fontaine
Gilles FONTAINE

Deputy Managing Director
Director of TV & Digital Content Business Unit

 


Some views on the future of video from the IDATE think tank

The “Video As A Service” programme, which was managed by IDATE experts as part of the DigiWorld Institute’s Collaborative Research Programme, brought together 25 audiovisual industry professionals to explore what the future holds for the sector.

Over the course of three seminars held from September to November 2013, they discussed their views and those of the guest speakers, before establishing a consensus on the future of consumer behaviour, services and distribution. Although the complete results of the programme are available only to the think tank’s participants, we can share some of the more interesting ideas to emerge.

Lower barriers to entry

The leading media industry companies’ competitiveness used to be based on their control over three things: content, the networks and the devices. But video-on-demand offers are coming to undermine the exclusive content model, and the internet does away with the need to obtain a DTT broadcasting licence, or to negotiate with network operators that package pay-TV solutions. Added to which, the television is becoming an open access device.

Arrival of global players

If content production is already a relatively global business, distribution is still largely a national affair, controlled by national companies. But new entrants have a global footprint in mind.

Accelerated rate of technological development

For a long time, technological innovation in the audiovisual sector advanced at a snail’s pace. But the growing complexity of programme distribution today requires solutions that evolve as quickly as the internet does.

Software excellence becoming a key competitive edge

Intelligence centralised in the cloud to optimise the network, understanding where and how users are consuming their content, catering to a variety of devices, customising offers, offering the best possible user interface, making IT expertise a central part of media operators’ business.

More complex regulatory framework

Regulation that is specific to the audiovisual market, which in France is particularly strict, is not the only regulation to apply to the industry’s companies. With the increasing globalisation of both the markets and the companies that populate them, new sector-specific regulations, such as those concerning data privacy and net neutrality in some instances, or more generally the growing role played by common competition law, can result in a greater disconnect between cultural and economic regulation.

2014 Collaborative Research Programme: “What will tomorrow’s TV and video networks look like?”

In terms of screen time, traditional broadcasting networks are still the top distributors of TV programming. Depending on the country, terrestrial, satellite, cable and IPTV networks account for the majority of viewers’ screen time. But on-demand viewing is becoming increasingly popular with users, and increasingly available on portable devices.

In addition, the different networks are undergoing, and will continue to undergo performance-boosting upgrades, including the switch to DVB-T2 or DVB-Sx, the adoption of HEVC and VP9, and increased throughput on both fixed and mobile networks. Fixed and mobile internet networks want to incorporate linear multicasting.

All of which is creating new video distribution configurations. Hybrid solutions are already making the most of broadcast and unicast systems by combining fixed broadcasting and internet networks, and will soon include mobile broadcasting and internet systems as well. From a more general perspective, fixed and mobile internet networks can appear to be increasingly interchangeable, or at the very least complementary.

Further down the road, the dividing lines between the different types of network are bound to dissolve more and more: cellular networks providing last mile connections for fixed networks, the (already begun) convergence of fibre and cable, and the first forays into a unified wireless terrestrial network, capable of delivering both broadcast TV channels and unicast video services.

The longstanding configuration of TV broadcasting silos and services appears to be giving way to a more expansive view of hybrid systems, combinations that can be reconfigured according to the type of service being supplied and how mature the market is. Bringing this vision to full fruition would involve a sizeable change not only in the way spectrum is managed, but also in how technical distributors operate and how they interact with service providers.

To explore these various topics in depth, one of the IDATE think tanks in 2014 will be devoted to the question: “What will tomorrow’s TV and video networks look like?”

22Jan/140

Cutting the Cord: Common Trends Across the Atlantic

Published in COMMUNICATIONS & STRATEGIES No. 92, 4th Quarter 2013


Joint Interview between Gilles FONTAINE, IDATE and Eli NOAM, Columbia Business School

Summary of this issue: "Video cord-cutting" refers to the process of switching from traditional cable, IPTV, or a satellite video subscription to video services accessed through a broadband connection, so called over-the-top (OTT) video. The impact of cord cutting will probably differ among countries, depending on the level of roll-out of digital cable, fibre optic networks, and/or IPTV, on the tariffs of legacy video services, on the quality of broadband access and on national players’ strategies.
Regulation will play a key role in this new environment, as a strict enforcement of net neutrality could prevent network operators from leveraging their access to customer base to market their own video services.

Eli NOAM
Columbia Business School, 
New York, USA
 Exclusive:

 Joint interview with

 Gilles FONTAINE, IDATE,
 Montpellier, France
 
 Eli NOAM, Columbia Business School
 New York, USA
 

C&S: How would you define cord-cutting, from a US or European perspective?

Gilles FONTAINE: Cord-cutting, in Europe, is seen mainly as a USA phenomenon, where consumers would trade-off their pay-TV subscription for over-the-top Internet services. The last years, in Europe, have rather seen the rise of powerful cable and IMPTV operators competing in the pay-TV market with legacy satellite packager.

Eli NOAM: Cord-cutting is the dropping, by consumers, of expensive cable TV subscriptions in favor of online access to TV programs and on-demand films. Drawbacks for consumers are less certain quality (bandwidth), less availability of live programming such as sports, and absence of some channels. Advantages are cost-saving, no need to pay for undesired channels, better search, less advertising, greater choice, more control. In a broader sense, cord-cutting is a transition of TV from a broadcast/cable push model to an individualized pull model. So this is not just about switching to yet another delivery platform. That's the easy part. It is much more fundamental. Looking ahead, one change will be that by going online, TV will move from a slow-moving, highly standardized technology controlled by broadcasters and consumer electronic firms to a system where multiple technical approaches compete with each other and propel video delivery into an internet-rate of change and innovation. And that's just the technology. Equally important changes will take place on the content level, and in the structure of the media industry, in the advertising and business models, and in the policy.

Do you see any evidence that cord-cutting is really happening?

Gilles FONTAINE: Cord-cutting, in Europe, is not happening, or is not happening yet. Several reasons account for this: on the one hand competition is intense in Europe between networks, and is driving Internet access and television prices down, therefore limiting the incentive to "cut the cord". On the other hand, Internet services are far from having the same level of offer as US ones, even if catch-up television is increasingly available throughout Europe. Also, the video-on-demand market is very fragmented, with still limited catalogues and interfaces that could be improved and subscription video on demand is nascent, and mostly pushed by US-bases players, even if some European players have launched first services. Finally, the penetration of connected TVs and connected set-top-boxes is probably also lower in Europe than in the USA.

Eli NOAM: In the short run, there is less cord-cutting than media reports and hype suggest. For a variety of reasons, almost all participants in the media industry have an interest in dramatizing the issue. Broadcasters are making investments in ‘second screen' distribution, partly to be prepared for change, and need to justify them. ISPs are expanding bandwidth to position themselves as providers of mass entertainment options. Telecom companies, similarly, need to upgrade their networks. New providers of bypass service to broadcast and cable, such as Aereo in the US, create buzz to their market-disruptive activities. Media cloud providers such as Amazon or Netflix present new options. And even cable TV operators, who are the ones negatively affected, have an interest in presenting the problem as a crisis, at least to policy makers, in order to gain regulatory relief.

The reality is more modest, at least in the short term, but not insignificant. According to a credible analyst, Craig Moffett, The "pay TV sector" – cable, DBS, and IPTV – lost 316,000 subscribers in a 12 month period mid-2012- mid-2013. Since IPTV has gained subscribers, cable losses must have been larger. That is a loss of about 0.3%. Another estimate for 2012 has the number at 1.08 million. In a 4-year period 2008-2011, anywhere between 3.65 and 4.75 million subscribers were lost. But that was in the midst of the Great Recession, and thus not all can be attributed to cord-cutting.

Do OTT services really challenge telcos and cablecos managed TV and video offers?

Gilles FONTAINE: Many studies seem to show that OTT services propose a better customer experience than the equivalent launched by the telcos or the cablecos. OTT services are Internet natives, customer friendly companies, with a rhythm of innovation that is difficult to compete with. Telcos and cablecos still concentrate on the "linear television model", even if they have developed their own on-demand offers, whereas OTT services specialize in on-demand services. But telcos and cablecos still benefit from a privileged access to the TV set through their TV set-top-box, a competitive advantage which is about to be undermined by low cost solutions to connect the TV set, such as Chromecast from Google.

Eli NOAM: Overall, the extent of video streaming has been quite large. In the evening hours, about two-thirds of internet traffic are video-bits. Netflix alone has added 630,000 streaming subscribers in the US in 3 months in 2013, to a total of 30 million. Thus, while the numbers of cord cutters is not huge yet, as mentioned, a steady loss of subscriptions is to be expected, and it is backed up by surveys in which cable subscribers grumble about staying with expensive subscriptions which they do not fully utilize. This is particularly true for the younger generation. 34% of the Millenials (cohorts born 1980-2000) say that they watch mainly online video and not broadcast TV. For Gen X and for Boomers the numbers drop to 20% and 10%.

With OTT available, the traditional business model of cable companies unravels. In the past, they were able to raise prices and to pass on the raises by channel providers. This becomes more difficult. Similarly, it becomes more difficult to offer only bundled channels ("prix fixe"). Similarly, the ability of channel providers to offer content to viewers directly reduces their bargaining strength considerably. If they want to keep up, they also need to develop expertise in online technology, social networking, and mobile communications.

UK cableco Virgin Media and Sweden cableco recently signed a distribution agreement with Netflix. Do you foresee any revision of the cablecos and telcos triple-play model?

Gilles FONTAINE: Building an IPTV service is not straightforward for a telco: network costs can be high to ensure a homogeneous quality of service. They also face high programming costs and the complexity of negotiating with the media world. On-demand services hardly prove to be profitable, because of the market power of Hollywood studios combined with the strong competition between telcos and cablecos, has for instance led to almost unrecoupable minimal fees to access programs. The situation can be similar for a cableco that would not have the resources to acquire exclusive, attractive content: the recent deal between Virgin Media or Com Hem and Netflix heralds a change of strategy for the smaller telcos and clablecos, which could favor to comfort their Internet access business by offering the best OTT services rather than pushing their own television packages.

Eli NOAM: Overcoming all of these challenges is possible but requires an acceleration of internal processes, major investments, and a willingness to give up some control. There are signs of change in that direction. Comcast, which has just paid $ 39 billion for NBC Universal, thus gaining vertical control from the camera lense to the eyeball, has now announced a trial of a cord-cutting offer to subscribers: if they take a Comcast broadband service (of a quality that is today an upgrade for most customers) they get at basically no additional charge HBO Go (HBO's archive of self-produced shows plus current other shows, available anywhere in the US from most devices), plus the free broadcast channels. The regular monthly price $ 70/ month, compared to a price of $ 135 for a full complement of 200 channels including HBO Go. So the viewer willing to skip regular cable channels saves a lot of money. The data cap for such a service is 300 Gigabytes. This is about 120 hours of HD viewing per month, which is adequate for single viewer but tight for a multi-device, multi-viewer household.

So this shows that cable companies are considering to embrace cord-cutting as an inevitablity. Another development in that direction is the US cable industry's considering to integrate Netflix into its operations. They are holding talks with Netflix to make Netflix an option on their set-top boxes. In such a scenario, Netflix would, in effect, become cable companies' major VOD provider and revenues would be shared. This, together with the cable MSO's own cord-cutting option, would in effect accelerate cord-cutting. However, cable companies would not be entirely bypassed. They would mitigate cord-cutting into channel cutting. Ultimately, cable companies' main asset is their transmission network. Its exploitation will undergo transformation.

TV channels also face another form of cord-cutting, as viewers may directly choose their on-demand programs. How do you see their future role, if any?

Gilles FONTAINE: TV channels, as aggregators, may lose their specific role if on-demand consumption develops significantly. However, they will evolve proposing more and more live events to continue gathering strong audiences at the same time. Moreover, there is still a need of arranging the on-demand catalogues, pushing the right content to the right viewer at the right time and on the right device. TV channels should be able to leverage their linear programming to play their aggregator role in an on-demand market. But they will need to heavily invest in IT and review their trade-off between linear and on-demand distribution.

Eli NOAM: TV channels gain and lose. They gain in bargaining power over cable and other distributors. They can deal directly with users, though more likely they will go through new types of intermediaries such as Apple and Amazon.com. In a profusion of content offerings, strong brands are a valuable way for users to search for content. And if they can identify users or user characteristics they can fine-tune and individualize advertising. The danger for channel providers is that the loss of cable MSOs hold over viewers means that they cannot share in the MSOs pricing power. Furthermore, content providers can disintermediate them by going directly to viewers. Sports leagues, for example, could deliver their events directly and cut out the networks. Most of the channels do not have major operational IT expertise, and this provides an opening for an entire industry of new service providers and video clouds.

Gilles FONTAINE's Biography

Gilles FONTAINE is IDATE's Deputy CEO and is also in charge of IDATE Business Unit dedicated to media and digital content. During its 20 years experience in the Media sector, Gilles Fontaine has become an expert of the media economics and of the impact of Internet on content. He directed numerous studies for both public and private clients, including the EC, governments and local authorities, telcos and TV channels. Recent assignments have included a participation in the future MEDIA programme ex-ante assessment, the analysis of new video internet services economics, a long term forecast project on the future of television. He has also monitored the impact of digitization and online distribution on other media, radio, press and music. Mr. Fontaine holds a degree from the highly reputed French business school, HEC (Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, 1983) and from the Institut MultiMédias (1984).

g.fontaine@idate.org

Eli NOAM's Biography

Eli NOAM has been Professor of Economics and Finance at the Columbia Business School since 1976. In 1990, after having served for three years as Commissioner with the New York State Public Service Commission, he returned to Columbia. Noam is the Director of CITI. He also served on the White House's President's IT Advisory Council. Besides the over 400 articles in economics, legal, communications, and other journals that Professor Noam has written on subjects such as communications, information, public choice, public finance, and general regulation, he has also authored, edited, and co-edited 28 books. Noam has served on the editorial boards of Columbia University Press as well as of a dozen academic journals, and on corporate and non-profit boards. He was a regular columnist on the new economy for the Financial Times online. He is a member of the Council for Foreign Relations. He received AB, AM, Ph.D. (Economics) and JD degrees, all from Harvard. He was awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Munich (2006) and the University of Marseilles (2008).

Published in COMMUNICATIONS & STRATEGIES No. 92, 4th Quarter 2013

Contact
COMMUNICATIONS & STRATEGIES
Sophie NIGON
Managing Editor
s.nigon@idate.org

17Dec/131

Interview with Craig MOFFETT MoffettNathanson LLC, New York

Published in COMMUNICATIONS & STRATEGIES No. 92, 4th Quarter 2013


Video cord-cutting

Summary of this issue: "Video cord-cutting" refers to the process of switching from traditional cable, IPTV, or a satellite video subscription to video services accessed through a broadband connection, so called over-the-top (OTT) video. The impact of cord cutting will probably differ among countries, depending on the level of roll-out of digital cable, fibre optic networks, and/or IPTV, on the tariffs of legacy video services, on the quality of broadband access and on national players’ strategies.
Regulation will play a key role in this new environment, as a strict enforcement of net neutrality could prevent network operators from leveraging their access to customer base to market their own video services.

Craig MOFFETT
MoffettNathanson LLC, New York
Exclusive:
Interview with Craig MOFFETT
MoffettNathanson LLC, New York

Conducted by Raul KATZ,
CITI (Columbia Institute for Tele Information),
New York

 

C&S: Is cord-cutting affecting equally cable TV and telcos in the US?

Craig MOFFETT:

There's a fundamental difference between the cord-cutting experienced by the cable operators, which is all about video, and that experienced by telcos, which is all about voice. Video is a high bandwidth service and voice is a low bandwidth one.

Low bandwidth services are the easier target, so up to now we've seen much more aggressive cord-cutting in voice than in video. The fact that the cable operators have a more robust physical plant than the phone companies has left the telcos losing share in broadband as well as in voice, making the losses all the more painful for the telcos.

Video is such a high bandwidth service that video cord-cutting is only just beginning. By our estimates, there are now as many as 2 million households that have cut the Pay TV cord in the U.S. That's only about 2% of the market, but it is a growing segment. In these early numbers you can see the beginnings of a bigger problem.

What are the different retention strategies deployed by each type of player to prevent an acceleration of cord-cutting trends?

The telcos seem to have concluded that they are fighting a losing battle to retain wireline voice customers. The residential voice market as a standalone business is vanishing before our very eyes. Unlike in Europe, bundling wireline and wireless therefore isn't really an option. In the U.S., the telcos have regional wireline footprints but also have national wireless ones. Naturally, they are reluctant to make a compelling integrated offering for fear that it will simply reduce the competitiveness of their wireless businesses outside their footprints.

Cable operators have an advantage in that they've got the best physical plant (at least where there is no fiber-to-the-home alternative). So they've been able to bundle video and broadband, and even voice, as a retention strategy. That has proven very sticky. And by tilting the pricing of their services – higher for broadband and lower for video, at least on the margin – they can make it less and less attractive to leave.

And the cable operators have another advantage. It is easier to defend high bandwidth services than it is to defend narrowband ones. The key is whether the cable operators will be able to begin charging for broadband usage. If they can, defending against high bandwidth video streaming becomes relatively easy. Or rather, it becomes a moot point, since a carrier charging the right price for usage is economically indifferent whether video is delivered via traditional Pay TV or via internet-based OTT (over-the-top) alternatives. The question here is entirely regulatory. Whether they will meet regulatory resistance to their early trials is unclear.

Would any changes in the content arena (e.g. sports content) accelerate the cord-cutting trend?

In many ways, sports programming holds the key to how the ecosystem will evolve in the U.S. Today, sports are exclusively available via the traditional model. Cutting the cord is therefore appealing to a relatively smaller segment of the population. If the most popular sports events were to be made available over the Internet you would suddenly begin to see a much more rapid migration to video over the Internet.

Conversely, if traditional cable and satellite operators are ever able to force the unbundling of sports networks by putting them on a separate tier, they would relieve what is otherwise a tremendous pressure point on the system. In theory, that would slow down cord-cutting. Today, cord-cutting is primarily about cost, not technology. And the biggest driver of cost inflation is sports programming. Taking it out of the basic programming tier would lower the cost to non-sports enthusiasts, reducing their incentive to cut the cord.

Would you see that cord-cutting would trigger additional changes in the content value chain (e.g. backward/forward integration, M&A)?

For distributors, the key question is whether the economic value of the video transport function can be preserved in an over the top model. If it can, the distributors will fare relatively well. Even satellite operators would benefit, since the economic benefit of cord-cutting would be mostly eliminated, which would naturally slow down the migration. Again, the real questions here are regulatory, not technological or economic.

For programmers, the key question is whether cord-cutting will necessitate unbundling. Most consumers think that content bundling is driven by the distributors. It is not. It is driven by the programmers. The programmers sell bundles of cable networks to the cable operators, and their contracts require that those bundles be kept intact.

Cord-cutting is typically assumed to entail a move to unbundling, or a la carte, programming, but that doesn't necessarily have to be the case. One can imagine a model where video is delivered over the Internet in the same unwieldy bundles that are today delivered by cable and satellite operators. If things evolve that way, the implications for the programmers will be relatively modest. On the other hand, if programming is ultimately unbundled as it moves to the Internet then the value chain as we know it will be upended. Value in that model would move further and further upstream, ultimately to the actors and artists, accelerating a migration we've been witnessing in slow motion for years. The value of the media conglomerates would radically decline as their revenues declined and as their costs of content acquisition and production rose. At this point, it is too early to say whether this will happen in video. It already has in music, and the results haven't been pretty.

Biography

Craig MOFFETT is the founder of MoffettNathanson LLC, an independent institutional research firm specializing in the telecommunications, and cable and satellite sectors. Mr. Moffett spent more than ten years at Sanford Bernstein & Co., LLC as a senior research analyst. He was previously the President and founder of the e-commerce business at Sotheby's Holdings. Mr. Moffett spent more than eleven years at The Boston Consulting Group, where he was a Partner and Vice President specializing in telecommunications. He was the leader of BCG's global Telecommunications practice from 1996 to 1999. While at BCG, he led client initiatives in the U.S. local, long distance, and wireless sectors, in both consumer and commercial services, and advised companies outside the U.S. in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. He was the author of more than 20 articles about the telecommunications industry during the 1990s. He published analyses and forecasts

Published in COMMUNICATIONS & STRATEGIES No. 92, 4th Quarter 2013

Contact
COMMUNICATIONS & STRATEGIES
Sophie NIGON
Managing Editor
s.nigon@idate.org

26Sep/13Off

Television 2025

Gilles Fontaine
Gilles FONTAINE

Deputy Managing Director
Director of TV & Digital Content Business Unit

 


Live TV vs. on demand viewing: what does tomorrow’s world have in store
for broadcasting?

The publication of our new report “Future TV 2025” provides us an opportunity to completely rethink the distribution models used for TV and video content, much in the way we believe content producers and providers, network operators and app stores are doing”.

We have elaborated a "Business as usual" scenario, characterised by several key points including:

  • live viewing partially overtaken by on-demand viewing;
  • piracy that creates obstacles to the switch from physical to online viewing;
  • increased competition in the pay-TV market, affecting prices;
  • ad rates for live TV decrease and increase for video on-demand (VoD).

According to this prediction, the video market on fixed and mobile networks worldwide will grow by an average 3.2% per year from 2013 to 2025 – which includes average 2% growth for live TV and 14% annual growth for on-demand service. The market’s growth will be much lower in developed markets, however. This means that in Europe’s top five markets (EU-5) – i.e. Germany, France, the UK, Italy, and Spain – average annual growth will stand at 1.6% from 2013 to 2025, with the live TV market (including broadcasters’ catch-up TV services) in decline by 0.7%, while on-demand services experience an average annual increase of 18.5%.

Growth of video service revenue on fixed and mobile networks (EU-5, million EUR)

TV 2025 Revenue

Source: IDATE

Alongside this “middle of the road” scenario, we outline two alternative possibilities that depict how the increased replacement or parallel use of live and on-demand viewing would affect the TV industry’s future:

  • "The music industry syndrome": in this pessimistic, disruptive scenario, the video services market in the EU-5 will shrink by an average -0.8% a year, and not be offset by on-demand services, including catch-up TV services that will decrease by an average -4% annually.
  • "Best of both worlds": at the other end of the spectrum, this optimistic viewpoint puts average annual growth at +3.9%, including 2% growth for live broadcasting services
The three development scenarios for the TV market, 2009-2025 (EU-5, million EUR)

TV 2025 development scenarios

Source: IDATE

IDATE has released the latest edition of its report devoted to the future of TV, and to video distribution as a whole: "Future TV 2025". Supported by their latest research, IDATE indicate a tipping point in TV industry evolution, predicting changes in viewer behaviour and evolving business models, as the new industry player hierarchy is now taking shape. In this report, IDATE identifies how current consumer behaviour is shaping TV services for future years.

13Aug/13Off

The TV market wading into new waters

Florence Le Borgne-Bachschmidt

Florence Le Borgne
Head of the TV & Digital content Practice, IDATE.

Worldwide video & television revenues will increase from EUR 392bn in 2012 to 483bn in 2017

 

Although video consumption has never been heavier than it is today, the video market’s total income has been shrinking due to the steady drop in revenue from physical video distribution, and traditional television’s business models are being seriously undermined by over-the-top (OTT) video distribution.
According to IDATE, television and video revenue stood at €392.2 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach €483.0 billion in 2017.

  • To date, linear television will continue to generate nearly 91% of video market revenues.
  • The market share of the video on demand gains momentum compared to the physical video with 7.0% and 2.1% of the total video market by value in 2017 and +49.6% and +150.5% respectively between 2012 and 2017.

Global TV revenue will come from EUR 358.3 billion in 2012 to EUR 483.9 billion in 2017.

  • Pay-TV revenue will grow by 22.7% between 2012 and 2017, or by an average 4.2% annually, to reach €210.2 billion in 2017.
  • Ad revenue will enjoy even stronger growth of 25.8% between 2012 and 2017, to reach €191.4 billion in 2017. Public financing/licensing fees will continue to increase significantly (+7.5% in 5 years) to reach more than €37 billion in 2017.
Global TV industry’s revenue distribution, end 2012

Global TV revenue breakdown, 2012

Source: IDATE

In this context, the number of TV households worldwide will reach 1.647 billion in 2017 (+9.9% in 5 years) and the number of digital TV households worldwide will come to 1.443 billion in 2017, which translates into 87.6% of TV households.

  • Cable will the remain the chief access channel (571.7 million households in 2017) but will gradually lose ground to satellite and IPTV which will account for 32.4% and 8.5% of TV households, respectively, at the end of 2017.
  • Despite the development of hybrid TV solutions, terrestrial TV will continue its decline and drop down to number three spot by 2017, with a roughly 24.4% share of the global market.

As of video hard copy sales, they will total EUR 10.3 billion in 2017, they are a part of a continuous decline as the global market will have shrunk to half of what it was in 2012. Blu-ray will be the most common format, while the rental market will overtake the permanent sales market.

Meanwhile, video on demand (VoD) revenue will reach EUR 34 billion in 2017, which is 150% more than in 2012

  • OTT video will continue to be the biggest earner, generating 74% of total revenue.
  • VoD will still be the dominant model on managed networks. It will generate €6.6 billion in 2017 versus €2.2 billion for subscription video on demand (S-VoD).

This analysis is an extract from our World TV & New Video Services Markets Status Report + Database which we propose within our ongoing monitoring of Television & OTT markets.