At the heart of any billing system is the customer model. In Cable, the customer was originally defined by a street address. Cable operators’ continued investments to identify and engage individuals with personalized services are forcing the customer model to change. Premises-based services continue to provide the most revenue, but individualized services represent a new growth opportunity. Here are several examples of the changing customer model requirements new services can dictate.
Entitlements determine access to TV Everywhere (TVE) content, but those entitlements are currently based on household-centric subscriptions. To personalize TVE viewing experiences, cable operators need to identify distinct users, build profiles, and gather their preferences and viewing behavior. They also need to relate various group or family members and tie them back to the correct household or street address. That way, multiple individuals can login to a personalized TVE service and make purchases there as well based on allowances, direct-to-bill charges, or a debit card in that individuals e-wallet.
As mobile devices become integrated with the Cable TV experience, individuals move to the center of the customer model. Currently, as with TVE, house-centric entitlements determine access to services based on a customer’s set-top subscriptions. The customer model is forced to change in a multi-device service environment because, if for no other reason, multiple individuals are able to interact with and transact through set-tops using their own mobile devices.
Open set-tops present users with touch-like navigation with newly redesigned remotes or via mobile app. They can present individual users with subsets of content that are relevant to them – their favorite shows, personal DVR content, and personalized video-on-demand (VOD) options. They are also, however, premises-based devices that provide service based on a household-centric subscription.
Home security is a growth area for cable operators who can enhance them with remote-accessible services via fixed and mobile broadband. Once again there is an intersection of the premises-based service and the individualized features it provides which forces change into the customer model.
Because of individualized services and customer experiences, cable’s customer model must adapt to account for individuals. This adaption, however, should occur in addition to, rather than at the expense of, effective premises-based customer models.
Photo by Richard Leeming with Creative Commons license
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