Cable providers still have a monopoly on consumer television viewing habits in certain regions of the world, but that does not mean they aren’t under threat of churn. In fact, the threat is ongoing and in some cases, over-the-top (OTT) providers—like Netflix—have come out on top. Netflix fourth quarter subscriber numbers for 2017 reached 117.58 million worldwide*, nearly half of which were U.S. based. This is significant because U.S. cable subscribers for 2017 fell short of U.S. Netflix subscribers by approximately 2.75 million. This goes to show that cord cutting is a serious threat to the cable industry. And with 4G/LTE—and soon to be available 5G networks—there is more than enough bandwidth to disintermediate cable companies completely. Luckily, there is a solution for the cable industry: Partner management.
Partner management can help cable providers regain their place in the digital service ecosystem by introducing proactive customer care and driving loyalty improvement initiatives that show cable customers the value in increasing their breadth of service. On top of those benefits, a partner management strategy can also help with process improvement and address the threat of OTT providers:
Many cable providers have multiple sources for management, control and leadership. But the right partner can ensure that service related issues are centralized and managed by a single source. As a result, change requirements and business processes also become easier to address.
With partner created services, cable providers can gain a single service orchestration process, eliminating what could be a different process for each OTT partner that is onboarded into the service ecosystem. This helps to prevent unnecessary system complexity, failed partner onboarding, order fall out and service delivery problems.
Many OTT providers have to invest in IT infrastructure in order to sell and bill content. This can be time consuming and costly. But if cable providers partner with a service provider that can provide the billing and revenue management functions for the OTT provider, the OTT provider is more likely to work with the cable provider than alone. Having a working relationship with an OTT provider can help keep the cable provider relevant.
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