The notion that sources of programming are identifiable, predictable and somewhat limited is outdated. Now, programming comes from everywhere: traditional linear and VOD cable programming, the Internet, a training session at work or a video of the kid’s soccer game. This is the infinite catalog.
People clearly are using the Internet to watch video. Research firm Point-Topic reports that the number of IPTV subscribers in the US during the first quarter was a shade more than 6 million. That’s almost a 50 percent hike from almost 4.2 million during the same quarter of 2009. Another firm, In-Stat, said that U.S. households viewing OTT programming will grow from 38 million last year to 81 million in 2014, and revenue will quadruple to $20 billion. The attractive 18- to 24-year-old demographic dominates.
The emergence of the infinite catalog is one of three related trends driving this growth. The second is that content is headed to more screens -- TVs, smartphones, handheld devices, PCs and others -- than were dreamed of a decade ago. The third is the explosion of mobility means that subscribers demand programming be delivered a thousand miles away as if they were in their dens – except local digital rights management rules must be followed.
So, how should operators approach these dramatic new conditions? This Special Report helps explain the challenges that await operators as they enter a new era of consumer controlled content.