Video distribution, once a well-controlled and hierarchical distribution chain, with Pay TV as the most significant distribution channel to consumers, has been disrupted by a large number of over the top (OTT) services. Today, video suppliers themselves – broadcasters and cable programmer, are developing a variety of direct to consumer offerings, as well as promoting their own TV Everywhere applications, experiences where broadcasters gain more control of the consumers while leveraging authenticated credentials from the Pay TV provider. A variety of newcomers, from consumer electronics manufacturers to standalone services, are battling for the consumer with a variety of subscription, transactional and ad-supported services, and the availability for, interest in, and cost of content is at an all-time high.
This competitive environment is set against changes in consumption as well as regulation. From the consumer perspective, availability of on-demand content is leading to a rapid shift from broadcast and DVR content to streamed content over IP and unmanaged networks as well as the transition from traditional TVs to other devices, including tablets, smartphones, and other devices which connect to TVs. From a regulatory standpoint, governments are evaluating a host of regulations including net neutrality and the allowable relationships between OTT providers and network owners, the ability of mobile operators to participate in video delivery services, as well as content licensing regulations and the scope of content regulations.