Will the real pay-media disruptor please stand up?

Just in time for 2017 predictions about the pay-media industry. Typically, there’s always something about disruptors. But let’s be frank, so far the so-called disruptors haven’t brought the industry to its knees. Is the industry too resilient or is the real disruptor yet to make an entrance?

What got me thinking
Last Sunday, after a pleading text from my student son I transferred money to his account. It took 26 seconds to reach his account! On a Sunday! TransferWise, a London-based Estonian company, is shaking up the banking transfer market. A heavily regulated market that is often viewed as slow.

Another industry that continues to be disrupted is music. Again, an industry with a high barrier for entry: music rights are complex and expensive. Yet Spotify, with its freemium business model for access not downloads, is having an impact. Not forgetting, the much cited Uber disruption in taxi world.

Why not pay-media?
Pay-media is also regulated with complex expensive rights issues. But Netflix, the once heralded pay-media disruptor, hasn’t bankrupted any pay TV operator. In fact, many are embracing Netflix and are including it in their packages and on their STB. There is no video-like Spotify offering access to all types of content. Consumers need multiple packages to satisfy their viewing appetite. Is pay-media immune to seismic disruption?

Or do the content owners themselves hold the key to disruption? Imagine if the content owners formed a content market place, if you will. Providing access to consolidated content without the pay TV operator in the middle. Now that would send shock waves through the industry.

Looking at it differently
But what if content isn’t king? What if the catalyst for disruption is platforms mining for big data? Offering content can drive consumers to websites. And understanding what content consumers watch provides deeper insights into their preferences; their propensity to buy. If that’s the case, maybe players such as Amazon, Apple or Google are the ones to watch?

These players have the financial standing and offer a robust infrastructure. What’s more, by adding live sports to their offering they would remove one of the key differentiators the pay TV operators have. Yet although global players can offer the infrastructure and purchasing power, the local knowledge of your market and regulatory framework is still important. This will drive the formation of regional platforms offering similar services.

To paraphrase Games of Thrones: Disruption is coming
With technology driving new ways to produce, distribute and monetize content across the media landscape, it’s fair to expect that real disruption can’t be far away. No matter what the changes, there is one constant. Security will play a fundamental role going forward: protecting content as well as the consumers.

Having a trusted security partner with the expertise across the value chain and knowledge of how to apply the technologies and services in the changing landscape is key to helping you stay flexible and agile.