Over-the-Top is the Future of Consumer Communication Services
The world of consumer communication services is evolving at an accelerating rate. In the last year, Stratecast has documented the decline of traditional discrete communication service offerings such as plain old telephone service (POTS) and subscription video, in favor of a new model comprised of broadband access and over-the-top services. Although this trend is in its infancy, consumers are demonstrating waning interest in traditional quad play packages, and growing interest in the new dual play.
Obviously, a dual-play model only works if there are compelling and useful services available over broadband connections. Consumers need to feel that dropping more conventional services will not deny them the ability to communicate as they wish, or consume the content they want. Consequently, it is encouraging that innovation is alive and well on the Internet: new services are being developed daily that enable a full panoply of consumer-friendly offerings.
Yet, consumers do prefer service packages: every consumer survey that Stratecast has conducted over the last five years has indicated that consumers prefer the convenience of a single bill for all of their communication services. They also prefer packages that work well together: video services that also incorporate social media, as an example. In the past, these integrated service packages were not available over-the-top. Now, however, such packages are beginning to be developed.
In fact, Stratecast predicts that integrated service offerings that include every aspect of the quad play—voice, video, data and wireless—are right around the corner. Over-the-top players, like Google, are very close to delivering such service packages; and other social media sites are closing the gap. When integrated service packages become available, it is likely that network operators will be pressed to offer similar over-the-top offerings themselves.
About this report
This year’s report focuses on the changing dynamics of the OTT market. What is resonating? What do consumers like and, more importantly, want from OTT service providers? What is required to achieve a fully competitive OTT service package, and who are the players closest to achieving it? While the news is not necessarily bleak for network operators, a revolution in consumer consumption patterns is occurring at hyper-velocity. Operators are well positioned to take advantage of this dynamic, but only if they accelerate their OTT efforts. This report will be of interest to both the network operators and their new OTT competitors.
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