In the trenches, over-the-top delivery has become top priority

Jim O'NeillA cord cutter is a cord cutter is a cord cutter, and no matter what the reason for cutting the cord, the end result is the same... one less customer paying for service, be it to a cable operator or to a telco.

There's been a lot of commentary to the contrary of late, with everyone from analysts to CEOs claiming that there are different classes of cord cutters; there are those that cut the cord because they're early adopters of technology; there are those that cut the cord because the economy is rotten and they can no longer afford to pay, or they simply choose to spend their money on other pursuits, and there are those that are just frustrated with pay-TV and have decided that they just aren't going to take it anymore.

But again, the constant is that the cord is being cut.

Fact: The cable industry lost at least 711,000 subscribers in the second quarter, a number that one analyst said wasn't really valid because, dude, the second quarter is always weak.

Sure it is, but it's not every year (in fact, has there ever been a year?) where almost three-quarters of a million subscribers bagged.

And, the third quarter has shown the cable industry again is taking a hit, with Big Daddy Comcast saying it had lost some 278,000 subs.
But, the cable industry and its promoters have kept their collective heads buried in the sand, ignoring the growing trend of OTT adoption by consumers, and, more importantly, the growing interest in OTT that's come from content providers, the folks who actually hold the keys to the castle.

I had an interesting conversation last night at Streaming Media West trade show with a couple of guys who are in the trenches, selling OTT solutions to content providers and to any telcos and MSOs that will listen to them.

They're take?

"Right now, we're so busy we're like arms dealers," said one. "We sell solutions to both sides, and both sides are buying."

Just a few months ago, a popular session at industry confabs looked at over-the-top delivery as the new kid on the block, there were sessions with titles like "OTT: Friend or Foe?" It's no longer a question that needs to be asked. Now, it's "OTT: How to Make it Work for You." And it's a question that more companies want answered.

Back to my Streaming Media West buddies:

"We have no problems getting in to talk to people about OTT solutions because they all see it's coming, and they're worried that if they don't do something they're going to be in trouble," one said. "Companies are scrambling to figure out just where it's going... the only thing they're sure of is that's it's growing and they want to get a piece of it."

Friend or foe? How about opportunity? -Jim