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Mobile video streaming could replace traditional pay-TV

Friday, January 9th 2015 by Hannah Langston

Streaming services such as Netflix need to find a way of managing the many ways consumers can access its content, a Verizon boss has said.

Speaking to Cable.co.uk at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, chief product officer Chris Carey said content companies are finally able to offer services directly to consumers via the internet, removing the need for pay-TV subscriptions.

“That creates a really great opportunity for content publishers, but it also creates challenges, which is they’ve got to find a way to manage the diversity of devices.

“The next generation TV experience is all about cross platform, cross device, cross operating systems, to reach everything from your tablet to your big screen TV, to your set top box, to your smartphone.

“Those are the things that we think are going to create challenges for the streaming video professional,” he said.

Mr Carey highlighted the difficult relationship between content companies and device manufacturers.

“Device manufacturers want to differentiate. Content publishers would like to have a unified experience that’s the same whether it’s in iOS or Android or others. Google and Apple want to find ways of making the Apple experience better than the Android, or vice versa and so on with set top boxes and the rest.

“I think there’ll always be a dynamic tension there,” he added.

Mr Carey said Verizon, a US mobile and broadband provider, is focused on solving such issues: “so we can allow content publishers to quickly stand up a direct to consumer experience, take all that workflow complexity out of it and provide it to them as a service, and really let them focus on content – which is what a publisher really is all about.”

He added that the surge in cross-platform content is a “global phonemenon” but that the US and Europe are “a little bit more advanced in looking at new ways to reach consumers”.

US TV networks HBO and CBS recently started offering stand-alone streaming services via the internet, in a bid to attract broadband users who don’t have pay-TV.

Mr Carey's comments mirrored those of Sylvain Thevenot, EE’s Director of TV who previously told Cable.co.uk that the time is right for streaming TV.

He said: "Consumers have a lot of choice today in how they access their favourite TV shows and increased competition encourages everyone in the industry to improve."

Additional reporting by Ellen Branagh

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