Is OTT Pay-TV the Future?

Will traditional pay-TV operators soon dominate the online subscription TV market as opposed to dedicated online services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime? The answer: yes. While over-the-top (OTT) content currently supplements pay-TV, the growth of online subscription TV will end the first phase of online viewing. In fact, although online subscription TV is still in its infancy, it will be the driver for OTT spending growth in the next five years, with global spending set to accelerate to $4.7 billion (€3.53 billion) in 2018, according to market research firm, Strategy Analytics.“We are entering a new phase in the evolution of TV distribution over the public internet. Pay TV service providers are recognizing the defensive imperative in ensuring they have a major say in the development of online TV,” said Strategy Analytics’ director of digital media strategies, Ed Barton.

Big-name traditional broadband service providers are already making the shift to “all-OTT.” Just recently, there was talk that Comcast was preparing a new broadband and HBO streaming bundle, called “Internet Plus,” which would include limited basic TV (20 channels and video on demand), it’s streaming service – dubbed StreamPix – 25 Mbps broadband, and HBO/HBO Go. Comcast isn’t the only provider offering up pay-TV OTT packages. Cox recently concluded its first pay-tv OTT promotional trial called flareWatch, while Time Warner Cable has been working with major game console makers to get their streaming apps hosted.

Just when the concept of TV Everywhere (TVE) was starting to gain ground, there’s been a cultural shift in which broadband service providers will soon deliver all of their video content via OTT.