Some say that we are living in a new era of Television, I think that is true. Consumers have an ever expanding choice of content to view. And in today’s connected world, they have a wide array of channels, devices and apps at their disposal to watch their favorite program at any time and on any device. But how do incumbent pay-TV operators keep up?

No choice but to deliver
If the consumer can’t get what they want, they look elsewhere, and elsewhere is quite often the illegal alternatives.

Key to giving them what they want, is to license the content relevant for your market and to ensure that it’s distributed on the maximum number of platforms and devices. Next, is to balance the need for content protection, cost and user experience.

It’s not easy being a successful operator. From complying with the content owners licensing requirements to coping with a fragmented device market demanding different DRMs; it’s a complex environment.

Reaching all consumers
What’s the best way to meet content protection requirements while delivering consumers choice? The answer is obvious. It’s multi-DRM. If only the implementation and management was as obvious.

Most operators realize that having a vendor who supports all major DRMs is essential when it comes to being able to offer high value content on iOS, Android and Microsoft and embedded STB platforms. And they mean all DRMs. Operators are waking up to the fact that not all vendors are able to do this.

Having a single vendor who supports multi-DRM not only allows operators to deliver content securely to all devices, but also helps their cost base. Being able to support multiple DRMs and MPEG-DASH allows them to take the most cost effective option and still give their consumers choice.

Choice is nothing if the quality sucks
Consumers expect a high quality of service but may be willing to compromise depending on price. For a low cost OTT subscription the odd outage and quality problem might be acceptable. Not so for premium pay-TV subscriptions. That needs to work on any device, 24*7/365 days a year.

Being able to offer broadcast quality for OTT money is the differentiator lots of operators are wanting. As the landscape becomes more complex doing all the work in-house isn’t always feasible. For some, the answer is working with a vendor who has a managed service approach which facilitates them to offer the quality of service and choice their consumers expect.

What’s the secret?
It’s simple to say but harder to do. It’s being able to securely deliver content to all devices. That entails managing all DRMs with ‘Day One’ support for new versions of operating systems; managing business policies such as entitlements or content usage rules; offering a high service quality. Because, after all at the heart of consumer choice is content.