nScreenMedia OTT multiscreen media analysis

Putting Netflix on the STB imperative, getting easier with new solutions

Netlfix on Elisa TV

It’s no secret that Netflix wants to get on pay TV operator set-top boxes, and slowly operators are beginning to realize this could be in their best interests. However, getting Netflix on the STB can be struggle. New solutions are coming to market that should make it a breeze.

Operators are facing an increasingly complex integration of video services in the home today. Traditional pay TV often stands shoulder-to-shoulder with new SVOD services like Netflix and old technologies like over-the-air broadcast channels. To get to these disparate services, consumers must continually switch away from the operator STB to another input.

Letting subscribers spend time on other TV inputs is risky for pay TV operators. They risk losing incremental revenue from pay-per-view and, ultimately, subscribers to competitive OTT TV services.

What operators need is a platform to integrate all these services together, particularly SVOD services like Netflix, on an operator controlled set-top box.

To that end, Netgem announced today that Netflix has been added to its Internet TV platform. Using the solution, operators can integrate TV service with IPTV and OTT services delivered in an HTML5 framework. The solution also supports network DVR, catch-up and restart services.

The Netgem platform, including Netflix, has already been deployed at two operators. In Mexico City, one of the leading providers of fiber broadband is Totalplay. Netflix has been launched in the Mexican market since September 2011 and has over a million subscribers. Many of those are also Totalplay customers, and count both services as essential parts of their regular TV diet. Totalplay now integrates Netflix with its TV service on the set-to box.

This is a double win for Totalplay customers. The company tops Netflix’ rankings of ISPs in Mexico. Not only do subscribers get an integrate TV and Netflix experience, they also get the best quality experience of the Netflix content.

Elisa is a Finnish operator that has also integrated Netflix using the Netgem TV platform. Taken together, Elisa and Totalplay have 400,000 subscribers using the new Netgem integrated solution.

There are other options available in the market to achieve some level of this integration with Netflix. One way to do it is through a TiVo DVR. Operators in Europe and the US have already deployed a TiVo DVR with Netflix integrated. Another way is to deploy a Roku set-top box with Netflix, though an operator would need another platform (like Minerva’s cloud TV solution) to bring live television into the mix.

The pressures to deploy a flexible TV platform are mounting for pay TV operators. By the end of the year, nearly 40% of US households will have Netflix. And for most the only way to watch the service is to switch to another TV input. This situation is likely to get much worse. By 2018 there could be as many as 60% of households with at least one SVOD subscription. Having the ability to integrate these into the set-top box alongside traditional television is becoming a critical issue for operators.

Why it matters

With Netflix penetration nearing 40% in the US and other countries, pay TV subscribers are spending increasing amounts of time outside the operator experience.

This is a dangerous situation for operators who risk losing ppv sales, and ultimately subscribers, to OTT services.

Operators need a flexible TV platform that allows them to integrate TV and OTT services in a unified experience.


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