The explosion of video-enabled, Internet-connected devices means the global pay-TV market is undergoing a significant evolution; it is predicted that by 2019 there will be 1.1 billion pay-TV subscribers.* With the rise of new platforms, devices and distribution models, it is becoming a strategic imperative for operators to embrace the TV Everywhere vision. Behind the scenes many are evaluating how to align subscriber provisioning, billing and payment whilst creating compelling experiences for an increasingly diverse audience.
As a result, operators are facing three distinct challenges in the new pay-TV landscape:
What pay-TV operators need to overcome these challenges is a next generation subscriber management system (SMS) — a system that provides centralised multi-device subscription management, systems interoperability and flexible payment services across multiple technical platforms to enable the delivery of compelling TV Everywhere solutions in a highly productised and quick time to market.
First and foremost, a next generation SMS will provide streamlined access for consumers across any device used to sign up for services in any location. The system will manage different device profiles, limitations and user authentication practices; as well as validate billing and process payment across a diverse range of debit, credit and online payment services.
Additionally, the SMS will efficiently interact with a combination of technologies, data exchange standards, APIs and pay-TV ecosystem platforms such as Conditional Access (CA), Digital Rights Management (DRM), Online Video Players. It will act as a bridge between different platforms to perform the necessary transformational steps from customer registration to content viewing, and will enable elements such as subscriber signup, billing and payment processing to be agnostic of underlying technology restrictions.
Finally, a next generation SMS must support international payments options. It will offer payment methods in hundreds of currencies worldwide, including pre and post pay models, credit and debit card processing, direct debits, and local payment options. It will also have mobile phone operator integration, cash economy options powered via voucher, and white-label and branded e-wallets. With the click of a button, the SMS will aim to allow the customer to be exposed to a world of content using a payment method convenient to them.
Ultimately, a next generation SMS will enable pay-TV operators and other media companies to truly monetize the TV everywhere experience, overcoming the three unique industry problems of pay-TV everywhere, platform interoperability and payment anywhere . For more information on how to overcome the challenges of subscriber management in the TV everywhere landscape, download the latest PayWizard whitepaper Pay-TV on every device and any platform’ here.
* Source ABI Research, Digital TV Research
Jamie Mackinlay is Commerical Director at PayWizard where he’s responsible for sales, strategic planning and managing key client relationships.