It appears as though CenturyLink is looking to get into the over-the-top (OTT) video-streaming space with their own video-streaming service sometime in early 2017. The current challenges surrounding acquiring content, combined with CenturyLink’s relatively small share in the video market could present an interesting opportunity for the provider. According to a FierceTelecom report, CenturyLink’s chief technology officer (CTO) Glen Post said,
“We believe it will be more profitable for us and we can handle 17 channels versus 200 or 400 channels and trying to manage those costs and be competitive in that area.” He added, “We think over the top video is going to be a real positive for us and still drive the pull through.”
The increasingly high monthly costs of cable providers are causing many consumers to turn to OTT devices to find their video content. With the space seeing so much growth, it makes sense to see CenturyLink moving in that direction.
CenturyLink is hardly the first provider to focus on OTT services. Current market leaders include DISH Network, Netflix, Playstation Vue and DirecTV Now. The as-yet-nameless CenturyLink service plans to break into the space by focusing on successfully delivering a mere 17 channels of premium OTT content bundled with an array of local channels. CenturyLink has also made sure that this service can be bundled with their other broadband services as well, for those looking to have access to as much content as possible.
In the same FierceTelecom report Post points out that the real value of this OTT service comes when CenturyLink can begin to bundle it with other packages, like high-speed internet. Consumers can expect to see an array of bundling options when the video-streaming surface finally does launch.
This is an important move for CenturyLink as the company works to correct significant broadband subscriber losses. CenturyLink maintains that these broadband losses were due to their recent increase in credit standards for their subscribers. Whether that is true or not, the success of their OTT video-streaming service will certainly be integral in the future of the company.