Verizon reportedly will enter the OTT fray when it launches a nationwide TV service this summer. The service provider is delving into a competitive market, where cable operators, CSPs and less traditional businesses vie for subscribers and eyeballs.
The service provider has been inking deals with television networks to secure streaming rights in order to offer dozens of channels this summer, according to Bloomberg. The service would be separate from Verizon's FiOS home TV and go90, a YouTube-like streaming video service for teens, Friday's article said.
Verizon will be only the latest to enter the OTT world. "It is an increasingly crowded market. How it will play depends upon Verizon's pricing, content selection, customer interface and bundle specifics," said Kamalini Ganguly, a senior analyst in Ovum's Broadband and Multiplay team who spoke to UBB2020.
This crowded market means good deals for consumers -- both on price and content -- as cable operators, service providers and OTT companies compete, partner and infringe on each others' traditional territories. It also generates the potential for customer confusion, given the growing array of available options and competitors.
The reason for so much competition is clear: US adults spend more than five hours each day watching video and 64% of US households subscribe to an OTT video service, finds a Comcast Technology Solutions infographic.
US pay-TV providers lost 1.7 million video customers last year versus a loss of 1.1 million in 2015, according to MoffettNathanson. And one-fifth of existing cable subscribers are dissatisfied with their current service, Parks Associates research finds.
Content consumers have more choices than ever as traditional cable companies, service providers and others compete for viewers by reshaping the OTT market, shrinking offerings into so-called skinny bundles and pursuing deals directly with content creators. Here's a look at some recent moves and news from the intersecting worlds of OTT and pay-TV.
About two years ago, Dish Network began selling Sling TV services, a skinny bundle that starts at $20 per month. Others quickly followed suit, and Sling TV and AT&T's DirecTV Now accumulated about 900,000 subscribers in 2016, MoffettNathanson estimates.
That figure does not include subscribers to Sony's PlayStation Vue. Alphabet YouTube is expected to enter this market in the next few months, followed by Hulu.
The cable operator, which recently finalized its acquisition of NewWave Communications, sees continued growth from high-speed data and business services powered by fiber-based ultra-broadband, executives told a financial conference this week.
During the first quarter of 2017, cable operators gained about 1 million subscribers in this period, while the top telephone companies lost approximately 45,000 subscribers, according to a recent study by Leichtman Research Group.
Global communications service providers continue to evolve their networks to deliver the user-driven service models and higher bandwidths demanded by consumers. At the same time, 5G densification initiatives are top of mind around the globe, with hundreds of thousands of 5G small cells needing an open, programmable and highly scalable access technology to fuel the growing demand for connectivity. As a result, 5G densification projects will demand fixed-access networks, supporting fronthaul, backhaul and crosshaul applications that provide:
Service agility by applying modern data center principles aligned with DevOps service creation and deployment
Hardware and facilities redundancy offering unprecedented business continuity
Low latency supporting the rigid specifications of the 5G standard
Network elasticity to support service growth to not just multi-gigabit, but multi-10Gbit/s levels
Cost sensitivity supporting mass market services further enabled by Fixed Access Network Sharing (FANS)
With the current maturation of 10G broadband technologies, and the heightened demand for high-speed fixed and mobile connectivity, 2017 is promising to be the year mass-market, multi-gigabit 10Gbit/s fiber services become commercially viable.
NG-PON2 broadband access technology is already in trials with multiple major network operators but is it too early for the commercial deployment of this next generation ultra-broadband technology? In this UBB2020 live radio show, ADTRAN's Kurt Raaflaub provides an update on NG-PON2 developments and chats to Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre about how this technology could play a role in production access networks in 2017.