How Cable Operators Can Level the Playing Field with App-Based Video

When it comes to pay-TV, app-based streaming video services (aka Virtual MVPD or vMVPD) are the Wave of the Future. Whether through smart phones, tablets, PCs, Roku (and similar) plugin USB sticks and boxes, or Apple TV and other ‘Smart TVs’, vMVPD services, such as Sling TV, DIRECTV Now, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Video, are grabbing viewer eyeballs and their entertainment dollars.

At the same time, these lower cost vMVPD services (compared to conventional cable) are biting deep into traditional pay TV subscriber numbers. According to research firm MoffetNathanson, vMVPDs gained 962,000 U.S. subscribers in Q3 2017 alone, while traditional pay TV operators lost 872,000 U.S. subscribers in the same period.

Logically, if budget-priced vMVPD services over IP are what consumers want, then cable operators should start offering them. This is precisely what Comcast is doing with its broadband-only Xfinity Instant TV streaming service; a ‘skinny basic bundle’ over IP that starts at $18 a month.

This said, Comcast is a big Tier One MVPD with deep pockets; it can afford to do such things. But what about Tier Two/Three cable systems without Comcast’s resources – how are they supposed to compete?

One possible answer is Evolution Digital’s affordable eVUE-NOW! end-to-end IP video service that provides the key components for delivering IP video services to cable subscribers’ streaming devices.

Available to cable and telecommunications operators across the U.S., eVUE-NOW! enables MVPDs to deliver a branded, cost-effective skinny package of local broadcast and cable channels, plus any free IP Video on Demand (VOD) content provided by each operator. Each MVPD that deploys eVUE-NOW! provides its subscribers with a branded app for accessing these skinny bundles on Roku, Apple TV, Android TV plus iOS and Android mobile devices.

Additionally, eVUE-NOW! allows subscribers to record and store up to 20 TV programs, movies and events for up to one week on Evolution Digital’s ‘network DVR’ solution, as well as watch those programs whenever they want with access to pause and fast-forward functions. After a week has passed, eVUE-NOW!’s intuitive system automatically replaces the stored program with the next available episode of that series or event). eVUE-NOW! also provides viewers with an easy-to-use onscreen Program Guide with the ability to search across all content including Video on Demand and local broadcast channels.

Collectively, eVUE-NOW! allows traditional pay TV operators to compete with vMVPDs through the oldest, time-proven rule of pragmatic warfare: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.The new service also gives cable operators a way to add video services to broadband-only customers or to recapture cord-cutters with a cost-effective package of the most-desired local broadcast channels.

"We are proud to launch this innovative new service that gives providers a new tool to compete with other streaming apps," said Chris Egan, CEO and co-founder of Evolution Digital. "Using our app-based service streamlines deployments and helps providers capture back a market that has steered towards vMVPD subscriptions.”

eVUE-NOW! is part of Evolution Digital's eVUE-TV® IP managed video platform, which provides MVPDs with a low-cost way to deliver IP VOD, IP linear and network DVR services to traditional cable set top boxes. Together with the company’s eBOX ‘powered by TiVo’ set-top boxes that can receive both IP- and QAM-delivered content in customer homes, eVUE-NOW! is giving cable and telco providers a way to fight back against app-based streaming services -- by moving these operators into the vMVPDs’ turf and letting them play by the same rules.

Additional Resources:

Evolution Digital Debuts App-Based OTT-TV Platform for Smaller Cable Ops

Multichannel News takes a look Evolution Digital’s eVUE-NOW!, and how it can help MVPDs sell skinny basic to a full range of app-using consumer devices.

How Cable Operators Can Address the Shift Towards App-Based Television

This white paper explores how moving to a vMVPD delivery model can help cable operators and other MVPDs compete with app-based streaming services

eVUE-NOW! Deliver a Skinny Bundle to Popular Streaming Devices

Product brief explaining the features and benefits of the eVUE-NOW! VMVPD platform.

Bringing OTT into Cable’s Walled Garden

This white paper looks at how adding OTT (over the top) streaming services into a cable company’s roster of channels can help retain subscribers and keep them satisfied.

Evolution Digital Expands Customer Roster for ‘eVUE-TV’

Broadcasting & Cable reports that 23 MVPDs are using Evolution Digital’s eVUE-TV platform. They include Cablevision of Marion County, BELD, DTC, LHTC Broadband, Tullahoma Utilities Board, Valley Telecom Group and Gold Coast Broadband.