Cable Tech

Streaming video services and telcos need each other

MWC was canceled this year, but Omdia analysts pulled out all the stops to offer an afternoon of executive briefings at our fabulous office in London.

The sun was shining brightly through the huge glass windows of the 19th floor at 240 Blackfriars road, and although we didn't see La Sagrada Familia, guests and colleagues were offered wonderful views of St Paul Cathedral and the city, resplendent behind it. We were not in Barcelona, but I encouraged participants to close their eyes and visualize the Spanish city in their minds.

After a turbulent 2019, the key themes chosen for 2020 are friends and partnerships. Why?

In 2017 Reed Hastings went to Barcelona looking to make friends with telcos and pay-TV operators from across the world.

Today, three years later with 140 partnerships in place, Netflix is certainly the streaming video service with the most friends. The modern telco ecosystem has a requirement for partnerships that far outstrips the needs of the past.

Streaming video services and telcos need each other. Increasingly, consumers need to find aggregators that can bring together libraries, putting their content in one place; data plans that would allow those services to be consumed without incurring huge data expenses; and billing solutions, to help them keep track of what they own and manage their finances.

Telcos are uniquely positioned to answer this call, and the fastest moving ones are now promoting this super-aggregation role heavily in their marketing campaigns; BT, Vodafone and Telefonica all have prominent and recent examples.

In 2020, some relationships may be ending, but with more and more services launching every day, we at Omdia like to think of it as the year of friendships.

— Maria Rua Aguete, Research and Analysis Director, Omdia

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