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The future of global content consumption lies in what the industry terms ‘super aggregation,’ the idea that with the increasingly competitive subscription service market – including Video-on-Demand (VoD), music, e-books, sports, e-learning, gaming, fitness, e commerce and more – consumers will want, or eventually need to, consolidate their accessibility and payments through a single ‘perfect bundle’ from a service provider, writes Amdocs Media’s (www.Amdocs.com) VP for Africa, Gary Finch.
With their large client bases and local insights, operators and OTT Brands in Africa are well-placed to become super aggregators or expand their existing offerings to create a more comprehensive, unified media experience. By offering attractive and seamless ‘super bundling’ options, operators will be in a strong position to increase customer retention and generate new revenue streams in the rapidly evolving over-the-top (OTT) and media space.
‘Super bundling’ allows for the grouping of multiple subscriptions under a single umbrella with one account , thereby addressing the issue of consumers having to subscribe to numerous different content providers.
From a user experience perspective, having one home screen that gives easy access to multiple apps; and has the ability to recommend content from different sources – rather than having access content through separate apps – makes for a much richer user experience.
For example, if customers already have particular shows or movies in mind, offering them the ability to search across all subscriptions at once, instead of painstakingly searching through each application – one after the other – will increase their satisfaction and keep them coming back.
The greatest requirement needed by operators and OTT Brands to be super aggregators is the ability to be nimble and offer solutions that are adaptable, easy to sign up for and meet their customers’ consumption needs.
Importantly, access to a comprehensive content ecosystem needs to be underpinned by scalable solutions that allow operators to quickly enhance their entertainment offerings and maximise revenues while gaining increased customer insights from content consumption.
Based on the success of operators in other regions, local African video and entertainment players that remain dominant in their respective markets, are also seeing the potential of collaboration in the OTT space and partnering with global and local OTT streaming media services to enhance their offerings.
For those operators and OTT Brands with established own-branded services, the opportunity exists to create hybrid, cross-platform offerings by leveraging partnership integration to deliver unified and easy-to-navigate experiences.
With 30.7 million pay-TV subscribers in Africa at the end of 2019 – a number that is expected to grow to 47.26 million by 2025  – the future growth potential for the continent is really coming into focus.
In addition, with growing demand for localised African content, the super aggregation model is perfectly suited to providing a distribution platform for local and global OTT brands to be presented alongside each other.
For content providers, this means looking into the opportunities offered by new-generation content strategies, whereby instead of providing all the content themselves, they can complement their existing offerings with those from third-party providers.
This requires vendor collaboration and partnerships. Not only does this benefit operators – Other OTT brands are able to expand their reach into new markets by tapping into user bases and leveraging the insights of partners who understand the local markets, and have both a critical mass and a subscriber base that can be monetised.
Success hinges on technology. The key to succeeding in this space is having the monetisation capabilities to support OTT partnerships.
There is no doubt that there is a demand for content in Africa. Success lies in being able to create a “super aggregator” business model that allows operators and OTT Brands to leverage the strengths of the entire ecosystem to create the “perfect bundle” and ultimately maximise their monetisation opportunities.
 Subscription Aggregation – The Rx for OTT Fatigue? by Alex Evans, Managing Director, and Michael Kaufman, Senior Manager, at L.E.K. Consulting
 Africa Pay-TV forecasts by ResearchAndMarkets.com