nScreenMedia OTT multiscreen media analysis

Pay TV and SVOD co-exist. Time for them to co-habit.

One Remote pay TV SVOD aggregation splash

Pay TV and SVOD services co-exist in many homes in the US and Europe. It’s time for the services to co-habit on the operator STB to the benefit of all.

Pay TV and SVOD co-exist in most homes

The new free nScreenMedia white paper One Remote: How Everyone Benefits from Pay TV SVOD Aggregation shows that most homes already have both SVOD and pay TV. In the U.S., three-quarters of households still subscribe to traditional pay TV, and over half of homes have both pay TV and at least one SVOD service. The story is the same in Europe. For example, in Denmark three-quarters of homes have pay TV, and 54% have pay TV and SVOD.[i]

People are also beginning to find more services online they like. The average SVOD home in the UK and Germany have two services, while in the US the average home has 2.8 services. Also, online originals now regularly attract audiences as large as traditional TV shows. For example, Stranger Things 2 attracted 15.8 million viewers in the first three days of its release on Netflix. The Walking Dead season 8 premiere on regular television in the US attracted 15 million viewers in the same period.

With choice, comes complexity

Viewers with multiple video services feel happier with their TV entertainment lives, relationship between number of entertainment services and satisfactionand the more, the merrier. In a recent survey, 40% of those with one TV subscription agreed their needs were being met, while 62% of those with four or more agreed. However, more choice brings increased complexity. Only 22% said multiple services made it easy to choose what’s best for them to watch. When asked if they would rather access all their TV content from a single source, many said they would. Of the half that expressed a clear preference, 69% preferred a single source while 31% preferred accessing sources individually.[1]

However, most viewers who want a single-aggregator don’t want the big bundle back. More than 2 in 5 want to choose and pay for only the networks they like. Just 10% want large pre-set bundles.

An opportunity for pay TV operators

Pay TV operators are the best placed to help subscribers manage their increasingly complicated television lives. They can bring SVOD and pay TV together on the operator set-top box (STB) to the benefit of all involved.

That said, aggregating SVOD is much more difficult than TV channels. With SVOD, an operator must support an entire experience rather than deliver a television channel. Moreover, to deliver an SVOD experience, an operator needs a robust app platform with full app lifecycle management on the STB.

The operator app environment must also appeal to both SVOD providers and pay TV customers, or they won’t use it. After all, consumers and SVOD providers always have the option of forging a direct relationship online. However, it is time for pay TV and SVOD to move from benign co-exitance, to co-habit on the STB to the benefit of all.

The new free white paper One Remote: How Everyone Benefits from Pay TV SVOD Aggregation looks at how pay TV operators can become SVOD aggregators. The paper examines what an app platform is, what it must do, the onboarding process it defines, and the opportunities and challenges SVOD aggregators face.

Why it matters

SVOD and Pay TV co-exist in many US and European homes

The complexity of managing many different TV services is an opportunity for pay TV operators.

However, aggregating SVOD services is much more complex than TV channels.


[1] According to Hub Entertainment Research, 48% expressed a clear preference for either a single aggregator of content or individual services. 52% had no opinion or only a slight preference either way.

[i] From a presentation given by Richard Broughton of Ampere Analysis, at the 2018 Copenhagen Future TV Conference.

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