By Metrological
February 17, 2022
4 min. read
In blog

The Exciting World of Pay TV

A Transformative Time for Operators ànd Content Providers

Preparing for the next-generation of TV services

There’s an exciting transformation taking place in the world of pay TV as operators prepare for the next-generation of TV services – with enhanced user experiences, apps and OTT services – on legacy, as well as newer platforms. This transformation presents significant opportunities and challenges for operators and content providers worldwide—most of which seek to answer: How do you keep consumers satisfied with the latest and abounding content choices behind one UI and one remote?

Think out of the D2C box

To expand their reach and monetize on their content, content providers should look beyond direct to consumer approaches to get their apps and OTT content into living rooms at scale. However, as the integration of apps is device specific, it can be a daunting task to create myriad versions of their app to run across TV operators and a dizzying array of platforms and devices. Doing so requires immense resources in terms of time and investment.

TV operator as Super Aggregator

To ensure the viewer stays engaged with the TV platform, many pay TV operators have elected to act as the “super aggregator” to integrate the content providers’ app experience into the pay TV environment. By aggregating such services, the pay TV operator – with access to the existing customer relationship – can remove complexity and appease consumers’ ever-changing content appetites with the right mix of premium OTT content alongside niche and localized apps. Thereby the consumer comes to rely on the operator’s TV app store as a centralized location to easily search for and watch pay TV as well as OTT content and services. But bringing OTT to TV often comes with integration challenges, especially when devices are old and memory constrained.

Revamp the installed base of legacy devices

While there is often a desire to bring new set-top box-based video experiences to market, many pay TV operators have a large installed base of legacy devices with memory constraints. It can be difficult in terms of time, resources, and investment to swap these devices out for newer versions to stay relevant with the latest video experiences. So, how can the existing base be revamped with new user experiences, and onboard apps and OTT services on TV? On these limited devices, while it can be a challenge to support an upgrade, it’s often necessary because of the rich ability of these devices to reach the existing base of customers with an appetite for new OTT services.

Cloud-based application platform

Onboarding apps and OTT services on a set-top box requires more memory, because of the richness of the UI and video experiences. This, for memory-constrained devices, necessitates a platform to run browser-based apps with as much performance as possible from the cloud, and not the devices itself.  While the operator could build an app platform themselves, this can be a costly and resource consuming endeavor. Operators are better suited to choose an existing app platform with back-office functions for easy onboarding, monetizing, and management of the lifecycle of OTT services and apps across all set-top boxes.

Utilizing an app platform, such as Metrological’s cloud-based Application Platform, with back-office functions like billing, customer management, and an App Library with more than 300 pre-integrated TV apps, can help operators to integrate new user interfaces, apps and app stores across devices.

Lightning development framework

For legacy devices, using the highly efficient Lightning™ open source development framework and Software Development Kit (SDK) helps content providers create lightweight yet high-performant apps and UIs, which is key for those (legacy) devices with lower processing power/chipsets, as well as the newest generation of IP-enabled set-top boxes. A single Lightning app can be deployed across TV operators, OTT platforms, smart TVs, and streaming devices, which reduces costs and time-to-market.

As the industry continues to transform, operators and content providers are going to look to deliver even more outstanding, locally relevant OTT content and services on TV whilst realizing economies of scale for next-gen and legacy devices alike. 

Keep consumers satisfied with the latest and abounding content choices behind one UI and one remote

Metrological's Application Platform can be integrated into operators' existing UX to seamlessly integrate, manage and monetize OTT services and apps on next-gen as well as memory-constrained legacy devices. Content providers can expand their distribution and reach across a global network of TV operators by launching a single app in the Metrological App Library to reach millions of TV viewers and start generating revenue on selective operator devices through in-app operator billing, advertisements, analytics, and more. 
With this approach everyone benefits: the end consumer gets seamless access to all content behind one remote control and UI, the content provider can reach millions of households in a seamless manner, and the TV operator gets loyal customers and new revenue streams.