Unlocking Super Aggregation (part 2): Navigating the opportunities and challenges

In today’s fast-paced and fiercely competitive landscape, the survival of pay-TV providers, Telcos, and media companies hinges on a revolutionary concept: Super aggregation.

It’s not merely a buzzword but a strategic imperative that has the potential to reshape the entire industry. In the first part of the Unlocking Super Aggregation blog series, we delved into RDK and the critical significance of collaboration and expert guidance, shedding light on the pivotal role of the RDK Technical Advisory Board (RTAB) in guiding the industry forward, by leveraging the power of open-source platforms. Irdeto contributes valuable insights and expertise in certification, content monetization and cybersecurity enabling super aggregation for the video entertainment industry.

But what exactly is super aggregation? What is propelling its rise? Who are the key players championing this paradigm shift? What challenges and opportunities lie on the horizon? These questions will be addressed in this blog, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of the forces shaping the future of the pay-TV and media landscape.

Let’s embark on this journey to demystify the concept, explore its driving forces and unravel the intricacies of this industry-altering phenomenon.

What is super aggregation?  

Super aggregation, at its core, is about bringing together a diverse array of content and services. From premium sports, studios, premium apps, niche and local content to digital services, advertising, gaming and IoT, super aggregation bundles them all together under a single, user-friendly interface and seamless experience.

This approach offers a unified and personalized experience, allowing users to easily find desired content without navigating multiple sources. Furthermore, it simplifies transactions by providing unified subscriptions, single sign-on and entitlement management for all content and services, enhancing the convenience for users.

In short, super aggregation is a one-stop-shop for all things entertainment and beyond.

The driving forces behind super aggregation   

In an age characterized by content fragmentation, the ability to bring a wide set of offers together is crucial, as this fragmentation brings not only diversity but also higher complexity and fails to address current challenges.

A growing number of studios and content right holders are transitioning to Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) models. Users now therefore have to subscribe to multiple apps or platforms to be able to watch the shows or movies they want. Subscribers struggle to conveniently find content across multiple apps and need to deal with many subscription bills at the end of each month. This leads to subscription fatigue and in many cases to subscriber churn for these services.

Meanwhile, pay-TV operators are facing challenges to retain subscribers and grow their Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), due to increased choices for customers and reduced content differentiation.

Super aggregation therefore emerges as the next wave of opportunity to bring everything back together, satisfying the changing demands of key stakeholders.

  • For consumers, they benefit from a unified, personalized experience that simplifies content discovery access and subscription management.
  • For content creators and owners, they get easy access and better visibility of their content, increased reach to their target consumers and build a wider audience base, establishing future-proof strategies and partnerships to effectively monetize their content.
  • For pay-TV operators, they can aim to attract and retain more subscribers by providing an unparalleled offering that includes the best content, an enriched user experience, actionable analytics and appropriate opportunities for monetization.

The complexity of super aggregation implementation 

Super aggregation is a complex endeavor that cannot be done alone. To stay competitive in the pay-TV industry, transitioning into a super aggregator is essential. While the past might have seen success with in-house platform development, the current landscape is too intricate for a do-it-yourself approach. Building your proprietary system consumes valuable time, resources and capital. Underestimating the complexities of aggregation can lead to suboptimal solutions and further delays.

In the realm of super aggregation, several key challenges loom large. Firstly, these include cost management, as building your own system can be financially draining. Secondly, fragmentation and futureproofing are essential concerns due to the significance of compatibility with emerging technologies as the industry evolves rapidly. Thirdly, partner lock-in and innovation balance on a fine line, as strong partnerships are vital but over-dependence can hinder adaptability.

In addition, piracy and security demand vigilant protection to safeguard content and customer trust. Furthermore, business continuity and scalability challenges arise as markets shift and expand. Last but not least, the ability to differentiate in a crowded field is an ongoing struggle, making it vital to carve out unique user experiences and monetization strategies.

Savvy operators are adopting a new approach to super aggregation. They collaborate with trusted allies who offer sought-after content and possess the expertise to navigate the intricate challenges of aggregation. These experts streamline development, deployment and ongoing management, even identifying and resolving unexpected roadblocks.

Moreover, partnering with the right aggregation expert empowers pay-TV operators to deliver a tailored user interface, user experience and business model. This flexibility enables adaptation and differentiation in a competitive market, creating unique user experiences and monetization strategies to capture a significant market share.

Super aggregation: Opening a new era for pay-TV 

As mentioned above, expert guidance and certification are crucial to navigating the complexities of super aggregation implementation. Looking forward, the next part of the Unlocking Super Aggregation blog series will delve deeper into this topic.

In the meantime, have a listen to our Irdeto experts, Steve Russell and Bruce Curtin, to explore more key insights on super aggregation, as well as how it brings opportunities and challenges to the pay-TV market.

And don’t forget that you can start a conversation with our expert team to discuss your business needs anytime!

This is part two of the Unlocking Super Aggregation blog series. Don’t miss out on part three where we shed light on the crucial role of certification in RDK.