Tag Archives: pay-TV

Report: 2.65m US pay-TV subs ‘cut the cord’ in 2008-2011

Some new evidence from the US claiming that ‘cord-cutting’ may be a real phenomenon after all.

Today’s Morning Bridge cites research from Convergence Consulting Group saying that “2.65M Americans between 2008-2011 canceled their pay-TV subscriptions in favor of those offered from internet streaming services.” Convergence predicts that by the end of this year, “as many as 3.58M consumers will cut their cord.”

The Bridge adds that in a separate report, Leichtman Research has found that the top 14 US MVPD operators added 175K fewer subs in 2011 than in 2010.

Claims about the impact of cord-cutting have frequently been disputed because it is difficult to gauge what proportion of customers are churning out of pay-TV simply because they’re cutting back on their entertainment expenditure during the recession, or for other reasons unrelated to the availability of OTT services such as Hulu and Netflix.

Update: Leichtman Research has pointed out to Connected TV that it was Convergence Consulting Group and not themselves which was responsible both for the 3.58M cord-cutter prediction, and the conclusion that OTT was the culprit. This was not made clear in the Morning Bridge article, and the above post has been amended accordingly.

Heavy Netflix streamers bear out pay-TV ‘cord-cutting’ fears

New research from The Diffusion Group suggests that although the propensity for ‘cord-cutting’ (i.e. downgrading or termination of pay-TV subscriptions) in the USA is mainly associated with economic stringency, this changes amongst heavy users of Netflix video streaming.
TDG found that 61% of moderate to heavy Netflix streamers cited online video usage as the top reason why they would do so. Only 24% of this group cited economic issues as their main rationale.
For the average Netflix user, however, the finding was reversed: only a third would cord-cut because they thought use of online video was substitutive.

IBC Report – Civolution water-marking technology poised for Q1 2010 rollout with major US pay-TV operator

The first large-scale deployment of watermarking technology in the pay-TV world should take place in the US in Q1 next year, Connected TV has learned.

Watermarking is a technique which embeds invisible identifiers into broadcast and other content, which can survive multiple transmission, compression and copying stages, in order to identify the sources of pirated material. Each device in the pre-production, production and transmission chain, all the way down to individual set-top boxes, can be given a unique code to pinpoint where the ‘leak’ has taken place.

Speaking at IBC, Alex Terpstra, CEO of Philips watermarking spin-off Civolution, declined to name the US operator in question, but said the Civolution solution it would be supplying is a hybrid one, integrating the technology at the encoder end and the set-top box. This means that as well as identifying piracy taking place at the headend, any set-top box used to illegally re-distribute protected material  can be precisely identified.

“There will be deployments in the field, we hope, in Q1 in North America,” he said. “I believe it is a break-through in the development of this industry.” The water-marking technology will be targeted at  protecting HDTV content.

Previously, except for a few small-scale IPTV deployments where watermarking is integrated into the DRM system , such content identification technologies have been confined to the pre-release market.

Examples include protecting preview copies of films given limited distribution before events such as the Oscars or the Cannes Film Festival, or content aimed at in-hotel distribution (where premium movies are made available before standard pay-per-view and pay-TV release windows).

Terprstra said the fact that the technology was now mature would permit new business models: for example, consumers might be happy to pay a premium to watch a movie at home in VOD mode while (or even before) it was being shown in the cinema. Previously, the studios might have been reluctant to allow this to happen without some sort of guarantee that piracy risks were being addressed.

At IBC, Civolution also announced that Taiwanese company MStar Semiconductor had become the first chipset maker to integrate NexGuard – Civolution’s core watermarking technology – in hardware, as part of its MSD3A11 chipset.