The Challenge of Defining an Analytics Strategy for Pay-TV

There are many challenges when it comes to using analytics, and it’s clear that pay-TV and OTT operators are struggling to use subscriber data to understand their consumers needs and drive action throughout the consumer lifecycle. We recently surveyed US operators to discuss their current analytics capabilities and future plans, and we discovered that there is a large gap between where operators are and where they want to be. The interviews with leading telcos, online video providers and broadcasters highlighted a number of key analytics challenges:

The Headache of Integration

The threat of digital disruption has caused a race for scale and there has been a huge increase in merger and acquisition activity, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. This causes a lot of challenges with integration of systems or platforms from these acquisitions and need to be carefully managed. The ingestion of datasets and analytics systems from acquired companies can be complex, time consuming to understand and operators need to be able to adapt to change due to differences in ways analytics are used.

Service Bundling

In recent years, there has been a rise in SVOD type services offering a bundle of services from different content owners, some included in the price, and others not with Apple TV Plus being the most recent platform to use this new type of business model. This kind of bundling means huge analytics challenges for both those performing the aggregation function and the service providers who are on these platforms. There is a reduced or even non-existant data flow with these types of offerings as there is a lot of hesitation on sharing consumer data with partners who are usually also competitors.

Becoming Consumer Focused

Learning how to position consumers at the centre of the business is a commercial and cultural shift that that many legacy providers are going through, but data analytics should be at the centre of this. To deliver a comprehensive understanding of customers, it’s not enough to rely on third parties to manage these relationships. TV providers need to be completely consumer focused if they are looking to acquire, retain and grow loyal customers.

Online Video Business Models

There is an increasing mix of business models, and although some services are SVoD only, a growing number of services are offering freemium ad-supported content as well as premium extras. This is done to generate a larger market with the potential of converting customers into paying subscribers. With this though, there needs to be an analytics solution in place to track and monitor these different paths that customers take.

Using Analytics in Multi-play

Being able to offer multiple services like video, mobile, broadband and telephone should be a huge advantage for operators. However integrating and managing multiple datasets is convoluted and there are many structural differences between services. Mobile business for example need to be focused on the individual user but broadband and TV services should focus on the household. Different services also means different privacy issues, which can be difficult to overcome.

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Are you facing any of these challenges with your own service? Discover out best practise recommendations in our latest paper: Customer Analytics in the Post OTT Age: Insights from US Service Providers.