By the end of 2017 OTT revenue is forecast to surpass $50 billion, driven by the proliferation of broadband and connected devices writes Robert Guest, Global Director at Access.

Unsurprisingly, everyone wants a slice of the OTT pie. For instance, Disney recently announced the upcoming launch of its own direct-to-consumer streaming service in 2019, while Apple has set a $1 billion budget for original programming as it prepares to move into the film and TV space.

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Robert Guest, Global Director at Access

With more streaming services launching, consumers will have more subscriptions and apps to navigate than ever before. However, according to Altman Vilandrie & Company findings, 9 out of 10 US-based pay-tv subscribers are getting confused with the myriad of ways they can access content, and do not want a further increase in the number of video apps.

This discrepancy between the industry’s needs for control and consumer demand for simplicity of the user interface needs to be addressed. Otherwise, the operator-subscriber relationship could break, with device manufacturers in a good position to build strong relationships with consumers.

Research from Deloitte found that over half of the consumers surveyed reach for their connected device within a quarter of an hour after waking up and in the half hour before going to sleep, demonstrating how personal devices have fast become an extension of the consumer.

Yet, the battle for the consumer’s trust is not lost for traditional operators, as long as they follow three golden rules:

• Serve a plethora of devices: today’s consumers use a range of devices to watch content and it is crucial that operators can provide the same user experience on all screens – a feat easily solved by implementing HTML5 in a browser-based environment, enabling a unified user experience across all platforms.

• Syndicating all content sources: distribution rights mean that consumers cannot rely on one single service to meet all of their entertainment needs. Instead, operators need to offer a simplified service that aggregates all of these content sources in a single branded environment.

• Securing content delivery: with more devices comes a much bigger challenge to protect multiple content sources, delivered across a variety of networks. Operators need solutions that enable them to secure media across this plethora of options, with multi-DRM offering a unique solution to securely deliver content.

Forward-thinking operator Reliance Jio Infocomm, one of the world’s largest provider of mobile and digital services, has already deployed a multiscreen service providing its 100 million subscribers with access to multiple content sources – from Jio’s catalogue through to personal content and YouTube – across a wide range of devices.

Robert Guest will be taking part in the ‘Service design considerations for the multi-screen OTT world’ panel discussion in the Content Everywhere Hub (Hall 14.J10) on Sunday, September 17 at 15:30 – 16:15. Attendees to the panel discussion will be able to learn about the various elements to take into account when developing a multiscreen-friendly user experience and learn how to choose the right content protection solutions for their online video services.

Operators who want to compete or collaborate with pure OTT players can adopt this new type of service. By taking a holistic approach to multiscreen, operators can recapture the eyeballs of consumers by becoming their only point of content consumption.

This will ensure that the next generation of multiscreen and OTT services not only allows consumers to access content everywhere at all times, but also in an environment controlled and managed by the operator.

Access is exhibiting at IBC2017 on Stand 14.D14