With the rise of OTT services, consumers are starting to analyze their monthly entertainment expenses. The good news is that many don’t want to lose their pay-TV operator service. The downside is they want to pay less for it.

Is it the same across the globe?
What’s clear from my customer meetings is that pay-TV services are not being eroded completely by OTT. They’re still important. But pressure is building on operators to drive down the cost of delivery. From Mexico to Malaysia this was a common goal.

And it affects operators who subsidize their STB in monthly subscriptions as well as operators whose boxes are retailed in stores. All pay-TV operators need to become more cost-efficient. Not only will this be more attractive to consumers but by doing so, operators release funds to finance other services and investments. Services such as pay-as-you-go premium content and investing in smart TVs, smart phone and tablet opportunities.

Where can savings be made?
In some ways the only option open to an operator is to invest to get the price down. After all, a mass market product or service is expected to have a low price point. The current technology is mature and the security is proven. Not much space there to find savings. Therefore, it’s only by investing in new devices, next-generation silicon, new technology and reducing the complexity within the STB that operators will be able to drive out cost.

Speaking from experience, many of our customers have managed this transition by using software CA. It offers significantly lower costs. No smart card needed at all. This means no slot needed in the STB and eliminating the smart card inventory, logistical costs. And they are not compromising on security – software CA is a robust, proven technology.

How can a security partner help?
By having a security partner with experience across the value chain, their reach and influence extends to all partners, e.g. chipset and STB vendors as well as middleware. Working closely with all the parties in the ecosystem, the security partner can contribute towards the operator’s cost-efficiency goal. How? For example, integration issues can be ironed out upfront or in some cases the solution may even come pre-packaged; by working with the chipset and STB vendors new designs can be agreed to reduce the bill of materials per box while still adhering to the particular security requirements. Success depends on all parties being tightly coupled commercially to make the difference.

And this is echoed in the feedback that I’ve received from operators. For operators it’s now more important than ever for their security partner to be a recognized player across the whole suite of security solutions for their platform. In an earlier blog, I expanded on the 5 core characteristics required to be such a trusted security partner.

It’s no longer a technology sale. It’s about close working relationships to help operators solve their security problems.