Will OTT win DTH platforms and other linear services? This is one of the most discussed questions for the last few years. Researchers and analytics estimate growth of both DTH and OTT services. According to NSR research Linear TV via Satellite: DTH, OTT & IPTV, growth of Ultra HD, HD and SD channels will push the platforms development. By 2014 they expect over 21,000 channels through different kinds of operators.
“Nevertheless, longer-term, it will essentially be compulsory for DTH and other pay TV platforms to offer OTT as a supplementary service, to both increase retention amongst existing subscribers, and signing up new subs based on exclusive content, and effectively becoming a ‘one-stop-shop’ for content as much as feasibly possible,” stated Crisp Alan Crisp, Analyst with NSR and lead author of the report.
Euroconsult’s report Satellite Pay-TV: Key Economics & Prospects estimates even more: “Global subscriptions should reach 340 million in 2023… Nearly 30,000 channels should be distributed in 2023, with growth favored by the take-off of HD in emerging markets and rollout of the 1st UHD channels”.
Digital TV Research predicts that OTT TV and video revenues globally will increase by $64.78 billion in 2021 from $29.41 billion in 2015.
OTT can’t provide a guaranteed quality for HD and, especially, Ultra HD. According to OTT giant Netflix’s data of November 2015, it rates Belgium with an average speed of 4.12Mbps (the USA, for reference, manages 3.41Mbps). While 3Mbps is recommended for SD video, HD needs 5Mbps and Ultra HD requires 25Mbps.
The perspectives of OTT and DTH are an important point to discuss by telecom professionals. During a panel on New Europe Market conference (Croatia) Stanislav Georgiev, Head of Broadcasting, Telekom Austria Group said: “Operators will try to fulfill the demands of an audience, especially, for OTT-services which turning to be more and more popular, we continue to keep DTT, as people need it. OTT is difficult to monetize though. We don’t see Ultra HD in our life practically, operators are not to push it. When we see a demand for it we will follow”.
Apostolos Triantafyllou, Senior Vice-President of Sales for DACH, CE Europe, Israel, Caucasus & Central Asia, Eutelsat, took part in the panel: “Manufacturers of electronics are pushing Ultra HD, but we can’t monetize it yet. It is very expensive, requires content and a lot of capacities. Nevertheless, the trend is to go to HD and further, to Ultra HD. Satellite is the only technology to provide a proper Ultra HD quality, OTT can’t do it”.