Large grouping increases speed

News arrives today that the smart TV maker VIZIO is set to join the ranks of aggregators, launching a service called VIZIO Accounts that will allow viewers to subscribe to multiple streaming services, including the new STAR
AR
Z, through their new VIZIO account.

VIZIO thus joins the ranks of Roku, Amazon
AMZN
and major MVPDs like Comcast
CMCSA
and FIOS by providing customers with an easy way to manage their subscription television services. In addition to the ability to pay for their subscriptions, users will also have the ability to consolidate their subscriptions and receive exclusive VIZIO discounts only on these subscription services.

This fully meets consumer demands. A recent study by Hub Entertainment Research revealed that a whopping 91% of American consumers wanted some sort of aggregation service.

The reason is not difficult to understand.

With so many streaming services available, there are nine multi-billion dollar SVOs
VO
D services (streaming video on demand) right now – it’s hard for consumers to keep track of what services they subscribe to and manage all those passwords.

More than that, it’s hard to keep track of which shows are on which services.

With the exception of Discovery+ and Disney+, the main SVOD services have very similar programming – high-quality dramas and comedies as well as the occasional movie – and so remember which service the series your friends are telling you about is on. talked about can be quite a challenge.

That’s why one of the keys to the aggregation system is that viewers can access all the apps they subscribe to from a single interface.

This is a plus for viewers as it provides a superior UX, but it poses a problem for SVOD providers in that it allows viewers to skip their apps home screen and some of the data that accompany this experience.

Given the level of competition in space and the high churn rate that are reported, it looks like giving up some ability to collect data in exchange for more subscribers and less churn will be a worthwhile decision for many SVOD services and we can expect to see more OEMs and MVPDs join the ranks of aggregators.

More groupings along the way

From there, it’s easy to see how aggregators can come up with a bigger bundled package.

For OEMs, the model would be Sky UK’s SkyGlass offering.

SkyGlass provides users with a brand new TV as well as a subscription to Sky’s pay-TV and streaming service, all for a fixed monthly fee. This is in many ways similar to how telecom carriers charge monthly fees to rent smartphones in conjunction with cellular data plans.

So, it’s easy to see an American manufacturer bundle various lines of subscription and free-to-air (FAST) services with an optional linear TV service and offer them, along with a brand new TV, for a monthly rental fee.

Given the low cost of TVs, adding a monthly rental fee for the TV wouldn’t add much to the overall cost, making the new packages a popular option for consumers. For streaming services, the carrot would be the ability to lock in large numbers of subscribers for years – SkyGlass requires a four-year subscription – which would prove an ideal way to reduce churn.

For MVPDs, the obvious addition to the streaming package is broadband. MVPDs make most of their money from broadband as it is, and therefore are not loyal to the traditional linear pay-TV package, except as a way to create rigidity. So if a streaming bundle can accomplish the same goal, there’s no reason for them to avoid that path. Especially since they can probably convince new subscribers to upgrade their broadband speeds to ensure they can handle all the bandwidth these new streaming services are going to need.

Comcast is uniquely positioned in this regard. In addition to being Sky’s parent company and being aware of how SkyGlass works, Comcast now manufactures a Comcast-branded smart TV that uses its proprietary Flex streaming interface. They even have their own SVOD service and two FASTs (Xumo and the free version of Peacock.) Combine these with broadband and Comcast seems to have what it takes for a very popular streaming package.

Smaller MVPDs have options in this regard too, thanks to startups like MyBundle.TV and Paket Media that can help them put together streaming-friendly bundles while helping consumers find the services they might like. .

The Intrinsic Value of Bundles

If there’s a lesson to be learned here, it’s not to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.

While the old system of overloaded and overpriced cable bundles may have been highly inefficient and unpopular with consumers, the idea of ​​bundling remains popular, especially as a way to manage the complexity of the new streaming ecosystem.

By managing the creation of these new bundles in a more transparent and user-friendly way, new aggregators can create products that work for consumers and programmers alike.

About Hannah Schaeffer

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