Report: 42 percent of households will have one OTT service by 2017

LOS ANGELES--Searching for the elusive Dream Screen that will entertain, navigate and most importantly add and retain viewers was front and center for a parade of panelists at The Cable Show's Dream Screen session in Imagine Park.

Fresh studies from IE Market Research and Amdocs provided clear evidence of the need for better navigational tools, deeper dives into content and simplicity.

"When we thought about the research with Amdocs, we wanted to see if there was a threat to cable service providers from OTT providers and where the revenue opportunities are. The trends are undeniable," said Nizar Assanie, vice president of research for IE Market Research.

One revealing trend is that in 2017, 42 percent of U.S. households will have at least one OTT service in their home. And, 87 percent of respondents said price is the main difference between OTT services and cable, with 77 percent saying they want availability of content on multiple devices.

"Customers want one source to search, discover and consume all of their video content, and many would pay more for such a service," said Guy Leventon, vice president and chief strategy officer for Amdocs.

And the Dream Screen isn't just an American dream. Added Assanie: "Issues like customer service, video quality, content and especially access to content are kings globally."

Intelligence in the Dream Screen is also a priority, particularly when searching for content, according to Darren Gill, product vice president for Rovi, Corp. "Research tells us that 66 percent of people want a search solution, but it's not the end game. They want to browse too," Gill said.

And browsing means more intelligence in the search and discover process. Added Gill: "We want to look at what viewers have watched and a 360 degree view is important. So, we're seeing a combination of metadata, big data and science. They can drive discovery."

For cable service provider Cox Communications, its in-house study revealed navigation to be more than just a content guide, but a value driver as well.

"Navigation is a real value driver so we've integrated the same research engine into tablets. We're really seeing some tangible results and we're using it as an acquisition and upgrade tool," said Steve Necessary, VP of video product for Cox.

Analytics is playing a role in the evolution of the Dream Screen as well, explained Peter Docherty, Founder and CTO of ThinkAnalytics.

And it's really about the business. "The real business purpose is to present exactly the right content at the right time at the right price. It must support the business," Docherty said.

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