& cplSiteName &

Scoring Big With Cloud DVR

Alan Breznick
9/11/2015
50%
50%

If you think that cloud DVR service can't make much of an impact on the pay-TV landscape, then take a good look at Spain.

Over the past 21 months, Telefónica has climbed to the top of the charts in the Spanish pay-TV market, thanks at least in some measure to its rollout of network DVR service. In fact, the telco IPTV operator now boasts more than 2 million video customers in its home country, having nearly tripled its video subscriber total since launching its new cloud-based service in December. That puts Telefónica ahead of its four closest pay-TV rivals in Spain, which include the nation's biggest cable operator, ONO , Digital+, Orange Spain and GoTV.

Besides attracting new customers to its IPTV platform, Telefónica has also generated great enthusiasm among its subscribers with its cloud DVR offering, as detailed in a new white paper produced by Heavy Reading and sponsored by Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU). In February, the latest month for which figures are available, the IPTV operator reported that its number of cloud DVR users had actually quadrupled over the previous four months. As a result, nearly half of its video subscribers were already using the service a little more than a year after it was introduced.

"Cloud DVR has been one of the building blocks of our market proposition and certainly our most successful service on IPTV so far," Roberto Porras, brand manager of Moviestar TV for Telefónica, told Heavy Reading for the paper. "It's one of the most used features by our customers."

Plus, in a survey conducted by Telefónica, an impressive 80% of its network DVR users said they were tapping into the service "very often." How many other pay-TV providers can claim that kind of frequent usage for one of their new video services or applications?

"It's a big jump," Porras said. "We couldn't have imagined that incredible increase in usage in a few months' time."

Like Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) in the US, Telefónica does not charge video subscribers anything extra for its cloud DVR service. Instead, it bundles the service as part of two bigger Moviestar TV content and communications services bundles, one that costs €65 ($73.37) a month and comes with 50 hours of storage and a bigger package that costs €73 ($82.40) a month and comes with a whopping 350 hours of storage.

Telefónica does not break down how many subscribers take the cheaper Moviestar TV package and how many take the pricier option. But it seems pretty clear that both bundles, aided by the popular new cloud DVR service, are finding their mark.

Porras credits the initial success of the network DVR offering to several factors, including its "accessibility," flexibility, new user interface and much lower capital costs. By relying on the cloud to do the heavy lifting, Telefónica can beam the service to all its video subscribers without needing to install new set-top boxes or upgrade their current set-tops. It can also add new features and make other service changes much quicker than before, when it offered a traditional set-top-based DVR service.

Like Comcast,Telefónica has no plans to monetize its basic cloud DVR service directly, at least not yet. But, with its overall video subscriber numbers soaring, the Spanish IPTV provider appears pretty content right now.

In a sign of its satisfaction, Telefónica introduced a more advanced cloud DVR service, called Cloud Catchup, in April. This premium service automatically records all programming on all TV channels over a seven-day period. So customers can catch up with any shows they may have missed over the last week.

In the white paper detailing Telefónica's rollout, Heavy Reading offers up a number of tips for other service providers thinking about launching their own cloud DVR services. The list is too long to go through here. But, if nothing else, Telefonica's early success proves one point -- it can pay to have your head in the clouds.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/11/2015 | 7:18:48 PM
On Demand
I had thought that the idea of "Cloud DVR" was somewhat past its prime. Don't people just want on demand services now? What's the point of recording things that technically have already been recorded by the content providers? No wonder people are moving to streaming services. 
More Blogs from Breznick Unbound
In a Big Communications Event panel, AR and VR experts will examine whether immersive media experiences offer realistic new revenue opportunities for service providers.
In a new Light Reading breakfast forum at the NAB Show in Las Vegas next week, top content, service and technology providers will explore the opportunities and challenges of immersive, 360-degree VR video.
In a special Light Reading breakfast forum at the NAB Show in Las Vegas next month, top technologists will explore the opportunities and challenges of immersive, 360-degree VR video.
With video cord-cutting surging again in the third quarter, pay-TV providers are still fighting an uphill battle to stem the tide. How much worse will it get?
Could the FCC Chairman be taking such a radical position on net neutrality just to force Congress's hand and broker a compromise?
Featured Video
From The Founder
John Chambers is still as passionate about business and innovation as he ever was at Cisco, finds Steve Saunders.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
June 26, 2018, Nice, France
September 12, 2018, Los Angeles, CA
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 17, 2018, Chicago, Illinois
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 7-8, 2018, London, United Kingdom
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
NFV Is Down but Not Out
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/22/2018
What VeloCloud Cost VMware
Phil Harvey, US News Editor, 5/21/2018
Trump Denies ZTE Deal, Faces Senate Backlash
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/22/2018
5G in the USA: A Post-BCE Update
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/23/2018
Are Oracle's Aggressive Sales Tactics Backfiring?
Mitch Wagner, Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, Light Reading, 5/22/2018
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed