NAGRA Pay TV Findings: Expect More Competition, Piracy Challenges

Nearly 85% of pay TV executives are bracing for more competition in the paid-for-video services space, and 90% say they need to emphasize innovation to remain relevant, according to new research from content protection and multiscreen television solutions firm NAGRA.

The Aug. 29 “Pay-TV Innovation Forum” report found that because of the convergence of traditional TV services and OTT, pay TV players are shifting to a platform-agnostic model, adding next-gen advanced TV services, and more diverse multiscreen offerings.

“Change is the one constant in the global pay TV industry, driven by numerous pressures from competitors, pirates and subscribers, making it challenging for service providers and content owners to maintain revenue growth,” said Simon Trudelle, senior director of product marketing for NAGRA. “It has never been more important to understand new consumer expectations, anticipate future needs and innovate, and this report reflects the way pay TV service providers around the world are taking the necessary steps to strengthen and grow their product and service portfolios.”

The report also saw 47% of pay TV executives say that piracy will lead to more pressure on the industry overall over the next few years. “Content piracy remains a concern, with executives agreeing that the industry is experiencing a significant threat to the long-term sustainability of pay TV and OTT businesses,” the report reads.

Roughly two thirds of pay TV providers told NAGRA they’ve improved their technology in the past year, including the deployment of next-gen set-tops that support advanced functionalities, including third-party apps, personalized recommendations and 4K video.

Nearly 80% of respondents said traditional pay TV bundles will evolve out of necessity in the coming years, and many executives reported that fixed and mobile broadband services are expected to grow in importance.

“It is exciting to see a growing number of service providers embarking on the next stage of innovation, encompassing product and service portfolio improvements, alongside advanced technology platforms and new commercial and operating models,” said Jon Watts, managing partner of MTM, which conducted the study with NAGRA. “By keeping innovation at the core of their strategies and recognizing the need to diversify, service providers can continue to compete effectively and grow revenue.”