The Rise of OTT: Can the Satellite Industry Continue to Prosper?

Editor's note for the September 2016 edition of Via Satellite.

Over-The-Top (OTT) television has been little short of a phenomenon in recent years. Netflix, for example, was a company that almost no one had heard of a few years ago, yet now everyone around the world knows it, and has become a “disruptive” force in terms of pay-TV. In fact, it is rather startling how many satellite companies you hear talking about Netflix now.

However, despite its success, and others like Amazon, having strong video strategies, satellite broadcasting remains a good news story for the industry. The move from SD to HD to 4K to even 8K fuels the need for bandwidth, and keeps the satellite industry relevant in an increasingly fragmented environment. Our Assistant Editor, Caleb Henry once again takes a look at the 4K market and talks to some end users about bringing 4K content to a market that is slowly getting ready for it. It will no doubt be a hot topic again at IBC this year, as we gage whether 4K content will make a big step forward over the next 12 months. With a lot of this content now being streamed, it will be important to figure out how traditional satellite broadcasters will respond to this.

The broadcasting market is always a good overall barometer for the satellite industry as a whole. The satellite industry is always looking for the next ‘big’ market whether it is 5G, IoT, connected transportation, etc. However, while new markets are fun to talk about, if the broadcast market ever suffered a dramatic slowdown, I am fairly sure these other markets would not be able to pick up the slack. Broadcasting is still the oxygen a number of companies in our industry need in order to be successful. So, for the good of our industry, we hope the 4K revolution will happen quicker than we all perhaps expect and that the key DTH players in major markets will be able to hold their own against the likes of Netflix and others in a more fragmented landscape than ever before. VS

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