Video Entertainment

Pay-TV super aggregation under your watch

Super aggregation is now the norm in pay-TV to maintain business growth and stay relevant in the media and entertainment arena. The boundaries between industry players have blurred and now “competition” comes from all fronts. Content owners (studios and sports rights holders) are going direct to consumers (DTC). Simultaneously, consolidation between pay-TV and telcos brings a series of additional services beyond video. It is no longer just a race to get a bigger “household wallet-share”. It is now also about getting the most “time-share from individual users”. Strategies are more targeted. Unquestionably, there is only a limited amount of time in a day that people can spend on entertainment. The race for time-share includes social media platforms, over-the-top (OTT) video streaming services and gaming, among others.

How to fast track your pay-TV super aggregation strategies? – Go open source for the OTT stack

Super aggregation by itself is no longer a differentiator. Offering the right mix of Broadcast and OTT content is vital, nevertheless being capable to experiment with new business models and features (e.g., Voice, Advertising, Gaming) has become the key for differentiation. It is a fact that the most efficient way to implement the OTT stack is to choose an open-source platform (e.g., Android TV and RDK-VA). That way, pay-TV operators leverage on third parties’ investment and innovation, as well as gaining plenty of room to test and experiment with new features and functionalities.

However, the only way for pay-TV operators to achieve significant return on investment is to carefully select a trusted experienced partner. A partner to help you build (and manage) your hybrid platform (Broadcast + OTT) following a secure-certified reference process. This has been the only proven way to reduce costs (TCO), minimize time to market (TTM) and maximize the platform’s lifespan.

Android TV is booming. Great! but it has also awakened pirates’ appetite and became attractive for fraudsters

Android TV is increasingly the platform of choice for hybrid and pure OTT STBs (Set Top Boxes). It provides a fast-track to play a super aggregator role with attractive third-party content via its Google Play Store. We observe Android TV deployments continuously growing around the world and have already reached considerable volumes. This has awakened the attention of “serious” pirates. Not so long ago, Android TV volumes were considered not “worthwhile” by pirates, and piracy numbers were practically irrelevant. But now, it is becoming a real problem for content providers and a potential threat that could jeopardize pay-TV operators’ investments and capabilities to access/retain the rights to premium content.

Source: Rethink TV May 2022

5 Reasons why you must keep watch of your pay-TV super aggregation platform

1. Retain control while offering openness

Pay-TV operators must keep the ability to control the usage of apps on their STB population. Yet, it is also critical to act fairly and in the spirit of openness that underpins the Android TV platform license, allowing users access to an open app store. Maintaining this critical balance protects your consumers and investment without disrupting the user experience. Particularly capabilities such as direct messaging to individual consumers attempting to install or use problematic apps, or even blocking or removing illegitimate apps from the STB platform, allow super aggregators to monitor and protect in real time their subscribers’ usage of the 3rd party app store.

2. Secure your access to Premium Content and Premium Apps

Content is king! Getting the best content for your subscribers is always a top priority. However, convincing content right holders that your hybrid STB platform is a safe environment for their premium live sports, movies and TV shows can be an uphill task. Hollywood studios and premium sports rights holders mandate certain levels of content protection for their premium content. Premium Apps (e.g., Netflix, Disney+, YouTube) also mandate a series of requirements to guarantee the security of the app and content, but also the integrity and correct performance of their apps on the pay-TV operator’s platform.

3. Protect your customers from malware

Pay-TV has been proven secure and trusted by studios, yet the connected world brings additional security challenges.  Some apps in the open store might contain malicious software (e.g., phishing, sideloaded playlists, ransomware, DDoS, or data snooping). Cybercriminals target popular apps with decreasing market performance, offering them bribes in exchange of access to the app to install malware to attack the users. Super aggregators must keep watch to prevent damaging privacy breaches, protecting their customers and their brand’s reputation. Capabilities to identify and warn consumers of these kind of cyber-threats is critical in the connected world.

4. Guarantee a premium hybrid STB UX

User experience is a top priority for pay-TV operators. Google’s Play Store keeps growing rapidly, and despite Google’s security controls, some apps won’t work correctly with specific software or hardware. Even legitimate apps can “hang”, become unstable or overload the STB CPU. Hence, the hybrid STB can slow down or even crash, impacting the UX and even causing subscriber’s churn. Blocking installations or removing already-installed apps should not be taken lightly. This might impact the end user’s perceived freedom to choose how they use their STB. Excessive blocking jeopardizes the operator’s Android TV licensing agreement. A high degree of granularity is needed when configuring rules for each app.

5. Comply with regulatory requirements

In some geographies, authorities have banned the use of specific apps or content. As a matter of fact, government regulations restricting access to specific content is increasingly more common in certain regions. It is critical for pay-TV operators to take appropriate actions to block the access to specific apps or content, to avoid legislative actions.

How to keep watch of your super aggregation platform?

Irdeto App Watch provides you with the most efficient and effective capabilities to retain control and maximize the performance of your hybrid STB deployment. Keep piracy, malware, and underperformance apps out of your Android TV video platform. Develop new business models and create new commercial opportunities that match your viewer’s demands. In essence, Irdeto App Watch provides the optimal way to balance the security needs of pay-tv operators, consumers’ UX demands and Google’s license agreements.

Contact us to have a detailed conversation on how Irdeto App Watch can help you maximize your pay-TV super aggregation potential.

Stay tuned to our blog series. On the next deliveries we will share additional insights on how to leverage the capabilities of your Android TV platform. How to develop New Business Opportunities and how to secure Business Continuity and future-proof your investment.


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