Pay TV Operators Speeding Up App Releases

About half of pay TV operators are deploying multiscreen TV software releases at a speedier rate in 2015 versus 2014, a new survey of nearly 30 operators in the U.S. and Europe from S3 Group revealed.

Of those that are deploying software released more frequently, 46% boosted the number of software releases by more than 20% in 2015, while 39% saw output increases of between 11% and 20%.

Also, 78% of that group cited automated testing (see chart) as the top initiative that contributor to these faster software development timelines, said S3 Group, which also happens to specialize in automated test tools for pay TV providers.  

While pay TV providers have historically been saddled with cycles that allow for one to four releases a year, 26% issued more than one release per month on average in 2014 (ranging from 13 to more than 50 releases annually), and an additional 30% of operators 30% of operators made between five to 12 releases annually.

S3 Group, whose survey covered pay TV operators spanning 77 million subs, said the results amplify the fact that the group is embracing their roles as software companies more rapidly adopt Agile, DevOps and “continuous deployment” models that largely emerged out of the software world. For more on this trend, see this Multichannel Newscover story (subscription required).

Among other survey findings, 41% ranked service availability as their top priority, followed by speed (32%) and efficiency (27%).

“Unlike yesteryear, pay TV providers’ reliability and innovation is no longer driven by the physical plant, but rather by software code,” said John Maguire, chief strategy officer, TV technology at Group, in a statement. “Video service providers are striving to shorten innovation cycles, test and launch services faster, and make updates more frequently.  As our survey shows, this trend is pushing operators to realign their software lifecycle tools and organizational structure to balance the need for speed and stability.”