Parks Associates Blog

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Cable Europe Not Afraid of Over-the-Top

Today the European cable industry spent the afternoon at its Cable Congress in Brussels discussing the impact of OTT content. Through a number of spokespeople, the message was clear: cable is ready and anxious to play a role in over-the-top. Some key points include the following:

Set top box maker ADB reminded the audience that the brand in the hand is the brand that wins. That is, cable companies must provide remote controls which support the set top boxes that support the features most desired by consumers. As soon as consumers move to alternative set top boxes, the cable provider loses the opportunity to provide the superior experience to the consumer.

Telenet’s EVP of Residential Marketing said that her company’s market leadership has enabled the company to test, for some months, a number of over-the-top interfaces in order to be ready before any serious competition provides a superior alternative.

UPC’s VP of Strategy implored the cable industry to work together more closely and suggested that providing a better interface to real time web access as well as a better VoD library will be the keys to accommodating over-the-top experiences.

Kabel Deutschland’s CCO welcomed over the top content as he said access to YouTube and other web portals has fueled tremendous broadband subscriber growth in Germany. When asked if YouTube should be sharing revenues with cable, Virgin Media’s CEO stated that the company has a variety of business models attached to different types of content and that many revenue opportunities will exist within the cable ecosystem.

YouTube EMEA's Director of Partnerships offered that the company was engaging in a number of revenue sharing models with broadcasters and that we will see more branding as a part of YouTube, suggesting that the relationship between aggregator and pipe may become increasingly cooperative.
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