Over-the-top video providers are not yet an adequate
substitute for traditional pay TV, at least in the UK, according to British
research company Ovum.
Based on a survey of 3,000 U.K. broadband users about over-the-top
(OTT) providers Amazon, Apple, BBC, Google, Hulu, Netflix, Samsung, Sony and
Xbox Live, Ovum concluded that "although OTT TV services now more closely
resemble those of their network-based competitors, they have a long way to go
before they can match the quality and breadth of content of traditional pay-TV
The company said the study found that at least for now, OTT
is a complement rather than an alternative to traditional cable and satellite.
"While we expect OTT to become increasingly integral to the
home video entertainment mix, there's little evidence yet of consumers dropping
their pay-TV subscriptions in favor of purely operator-independent solutions,"
said Ovum chief analyst Jonathan Doran in announcing the study.
But the company says traditional providers should not be
resting on their laurels. It cites YouTube's big-pocketed parent, Google, and
LoveFilm's parent, Amazon, as having the financial strength to
"substantially" improve their positions.