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June 15, 2023 2:28 PM

CTVS 2023: Pay TV in the 2020s – keeping subscribers and channels onboard


The Pay TV industry has undergone significant changes in recent years, driven by evolving consumer preferences and advancements in technology. In this expert panel at CTVS, Michael Bärlin (Allente Nordic), Adam Nightingale (3SS), Nancy Goldberg (NAGRA) and Andreas Waltenspiel (Waltenspiel Management Consulting) explored the challenges and strategies involved in retaining subscribers and channels in the ever-changing Pay TV landscape of the 2020s. From adapting to shifting viewing habits to delivering compelling content, Pay TV providers are faced with the task of staying relevant in a highly competitive market.

Changing Viewing Habits:

The emergence of streaming services and on-demand content has revolutionized how audiences consume television. Viewers now expect convenience, personalization, and a vast array of options at their fingertips. Pay TV providers must recognize these changing habits and adapt their offerings accordingly. This involves embracing digital platforms, developing user-friendly interfaces, and providing seamless access to both live and on-demand content.

Delivering Compelling Content:

In the face of increasing competition from streaming services, Pay TV providers must focus on delivering compelling and exclusive content to retain subscribers. This includes securing rights to popular sports events, investing in original programming, and offering a diverse range of channels and genres. By providing unique and high-quality content that aligns with the interests of their target audience, Pay TV providers can differentiate themselves and maintain subscriber loyalty.

Embracing OTT and Multi-Platform Delivery:

Over-the-top (OTT) platforms have gained significant traction in recent years, allowing viewers to access content through internet-connected devices. Pay TV providers can leverage the power of OTT by offering their own streaming services or partnering with established platforms. By embracing multi-platform delivery, subscribers can enjoy their favorite shows and channels across various devices, enhancing convenience and accessibility.

Enhancing User Experience:

A seamless and user-friendly experience is crucial for Pay TV providers to retain subscribers. This involves optimizing interface design, simplifying navigation, and incorporating personalized recommendations based on user preferences. Additionally, integrating features like cloud-based DVR and interactive content enhances the overall user experience, increasing engagement and satisfaction.

Flexible Subscription Models:

Flexibility in subscription models is another key aspect of retaining Pay TV subscribers. Traditional long-term contracts are being replaced by more flexible options such as month-to-month plans or channel bundles. Pay TV providers should offer customizable packages that allow subscribers to choose the channels and services that align with their viewing preferences and budget. By providing more control and value to customers, providers can increase subscriber loyalty and reduce churn.

Data-Driven Insights:

Leveraging data analytics is crucial for Pay TV providers to gain insights into viewer behavior, preferences, and engagement patterns. By analyzing user data, providers can make data-driven decisions regarding content acquisition, audience segmentation, and targeted advertising. These insights enable providers to deliver personalized experiences, optimize content offerings, and enhance subscriber satisfaction.


In the rapidly evolving Pay TV landscape of the 2020s, the key to success lies in understanding and adapting to changing viewer habits. By delivering compelling content, embracing OTT platforms, enhancing user experience, and offering flexible subscription models, Pay TV providers can effectively retain subscribers and channels in the face of fierce competition. With a customer-centric approach and the utilization of data-driven insights, Pay TV providers can thrive in the dynamic and ever-changing media industry.