Operators Now Seeing the OTT Glass Half Full, Survey Says

While cable and broadband operators haven’t been shy in voicing their fears and opinions about over-the-top (OTT) content, new research shows that providers may be seeing the OTT glass half-full opposed to half-empty.

A recent survey – examining the impact of OTT content on cable and broadband operators from Incognito Software – found that 70 percent of cable and broadband providers surveyed recognize new business opportunities presented by OTT services. Specifically, OTT is said to be driving network-capacity upgrades.In fact, almost 82 percent of survey respondents have already upgraded their network infrastructure to sufficiently handle increased subscriber bandwidth usage brought on by the escalating use of streaming video and TV Everywhere services.

In terms of managing OTT consumption, fair usage policies was the most common method among respondents (40 percent), followed closely by bandwidth caps (34 percent) and proprietary OTT services (22 percent). However, the latter is predicted to experience the most growth over the next year, while 70 percent of survey respondents’ utilize more than one method of management, or at least plan on doing so in the future.

With the proliferation of the second screen and growing popularity in OTT services, cable and broadband operators are recognizing that they must rethink their business model in order to best serve their customers.

One such operator shaking things up is Cox, which is currently rolling out the beta version of its OTT service flareWatch. Cox is said to be the first U.S. Pay TV operator providing OTT subscription TV service that is not coupled with a concurrent cable TV video purchase – which is seen as an attempt to take back business from cord-cutters.

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