Whereas in the past, over-the-top (OTT) and pay-TV were considered arch enemies, there’s been a shift within the industry in recent months. Now there’s a belief that the TV industry is moving toward a model that combines linear TV and OTT video. Just recently, during TiVo’s earnings conference call, CEO Tom Rogers said that the company has always believed that the merger of linear TV and OTT is where the future of TV will inevitably end up.Cable “has the ability to jump over the experiences offered by its competitors” by merging their services with OTT services, he said, adding that Netflix has “risen to the level of a ‘must have’ on the OTT side” driven by its deep library of content and quality original programs.
Following a trail that occurred just a few months ago, TiVo is partnering up with Virgin Media (UK) to offer Netflix to consumers through its set-top box. However, one obstacle stands in its way of offering a Netflix-linear package in the U.S.: restrictions limit where Netflix content can be distributed. Moreover, because of the cost of programming, it’s difficult to offer a service that provides both streaming and linear content, unless, of course, the cable operator is a partner, Rogers added.
This partnership between linear and OTT seems to be working in TiVo’s favor. During the Q3, TiVo added about 300K MSO subscriptions, up nearly 25 percent from the same quarter a year ago. In fact, about 80 percent of the increase was driven by MSO providers other than Virgin, the company revealed.