Nagra Declares the "Post-OTT Era"

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We have entered the post-OTT era in which it no longer makes sense for any operator to run separate online video and TV services, according to digital security and delivery solutions company Nagra. The company also said the TV industry needs to learn from content pirates.

"OTT is officially dead," declared Ivan Verbesselt, SVP group marketing at an event in Switzerland, host country of Nagra parent the Kudelski Group. "It doesn’t make any sense to run a business without a unified IP network. The time has come to bring this together, to take the IP network as a baseline and not think in a bespoke way."

Key to this, for pay-TV providers, is to embrace digital native experiences and devices.

"We need to acknowledge that consumers want a frictionless experience that embraces all devices," said Verbesselt. "In the TV industry we seem to think that we can treat native IP devices as an afterthought. The industry should stop ignoring that [such devices exist] and place them on a par with the set top box."

Coupled with this should be a revised approach to content security, he argued. Nagra suggests $90 billion worth of film and TV demand goes unmonetized each year.

"Broadband ubiquity is driving piracy," he claimed. "The longevity of the entire creative value chain is at stake with live and premium content most exposed. We should learn from the pirates. Let’s be honest, pirates are becoming pretty convenient for the consumer and that is why it’s a real problem. We’re talking about pirates who bring all the desired content into one convenient place. This brings us to the biggest threat to pay TV as we see it, which is that it is self-created. The industry has made so-called advanced TV or TV everywhere too complicated. With more and more fragmented services, we have created stress in the value chain for everyone."

Instead, he said the emphasis should be on a fundamental simplification for discovery, consumption, and operations that caters to all demographics. "We need to look beyond piracy and secure the end-to-end digital ecosystem which will open up opportunities for operators in the internet of things (IoT). Some pay-TV operators can credibly stand up as a supplier of critical infrastructure for the IoT. They have the opportunity to bring the customer along with them by being the service provider customers can trust with their personal data."

Ultimately, Nagra says it has a solution based around its multiscreen software OpenTV about which it will reveal more at IBC, as well as details of a contract with a major sports league.

Since the ideal replacement for OTT—IPTV—has already been used perhaps prematurely, Nagra's Senior Director Product Marketing Anthony Smith-Chaigneau suggested that instead the industry might use the term "pure digital IP" or simply "TV".

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