Netflix and other SVOD giants won’t reaggregate easily

Netflix remote control image
PlayStation Vue from day one offered a la carte channels because it saw the need to offer a common interface for different channels. (Pixabay/Creative Commons)

SAN FRANCISCO – The reaggregation of video services (or Pay TV 3.0) has become a common consumer demand. But it won’t be easy to bring everyone back under one roof.

Dwayne Benefield, head of PlayStation Vue, said the challenge will be convincing juggernauts like Netflix to join platforms like Amazon Prime Video Channels, the Roku Channel and Apple TV. And much of that comes down to usage data and direct-to-consumer platforms' desire to control that data for personalization and programming decisions.

Alex Gonzalez, senior vice president of brand distribution for WarnerMedia, agreed that reaggregation platforms are a compelling consumer proposition, but if they control all the usage data then they become very powerful.

Steve Reynolds, president at Imagine Communications, said a possible solution to that problem would be a consortium or company that becomes a third-party clearing house for all viewership and usage data. He added that coming up with a currency to determine value is going to be very important.

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Benefield said that PlayStation Vue from day one offered a la carte channels because it saw the need to offer a common interface for different channels. But he said that only the big device players (like PlayStation and Sony) will be the ones that have the opportunity to launch streaming video aggregation platforms.

“You’ll see a handful of them evolving and surviving,” Benefield said.

The topic of reaggregation or rebundling is one that has been popping up in a lot of conversations lately. Michael Greeson, president and co-founder of TDG Research, said during the Pay TV Show in April that right now services like Amazon Channels are piecemeal but at some point they could start offering discounted bundles.

“I can imagine a moment a few years down the road where they start to bundle these channels together for you,” Greeson said. He added a warning to traditional service providers to not sleep on this model.

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