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Should Disney+ and Netflix Be Considered ‘Pay TV’?

(Image credit: Future)

MARINA DEL REY, CALIFORNIA — Should the definition of pay TV be broadened beyond bundles of linear channels delivered by cable, satellite, telco and virtual services?

That was the question asked this by Parks Associates’ top OTT research analyst, Brett Sappington, to a morning panel at firm’s “Future of Video” conference event. 

“We get lost in semantics,” said Sappington, proposing the possibility that subscription services like Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max should also be labeled “pay TV.” 

“Most households have some money available for television service. And that bucket can include up to 10 services, which might include Disney+ and other subscription services, and it seems useful to call that pay TV, too,” said Trent Wheeler, senior VP of video product for Gracenote. “It’s video to be monetized.” 

Wheeler suggested re-defining larger, more expensive traditional linear bundles as “premium pay TV.”

“I think we need to broaden that definition a little,” concurred Virginia Juliano, founder and CEO of CobbleCord, a company that seeks to help consumers better understand the complexity of using streaming video services. “It doesn’t fit within the buckets we’ve been working with in the industry.”