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Cablecast recently announced the expansion of its Screenweave mobile and OTT apps, but some PEG channels are still hesitant concerning OTT. Steve Israelsky, President of Cablecast Community Media, shared four reasons why PEG channels need to move beyond cable playout and embrace OTT as a distribution platform.
1) Audience shift. Fewer and fewer people are subscribing to cable. Audiences still want content, but they are shifting from local cable to internet delivered services. Particularly for younger people, mobile apps are where they view content. “In order to serve our viewers, we need to reach them in all the places they are consuming content,” Israelsky said. “Being on these platforms means local stations can still reach their audience, even when they cut the cord.”
2) HD. Most PEG channels produce content in HD, but it’s a continuing battle with cable companies to actually get an HD channel. However, not only can PEG channels stream HD programming, they can make that HD feed available to OTT audiences. “With OTT, people can watch their community channel in HD in their living room,” he added. “That’s huge.”
3) Visibility. It’s a real struggle for PEG stations to be included in their cable system’s channel guide – and when you’re not listed, it’s hard for your audience to find you. “That’s a significant disadvantage,” Israelsky noted. “But with OTT devices, the viewer decides what is most important and in which order their local PEG stations appear in their channel guide. So, you could appear between HBO and NBC if you are valued as such by your community.”
4) On demand. Most viewing these days is not linear but on-demand. By keeping PEG program listings off the channel guide, cable companies also preclude on-demand viewing of their programming on the cable system. Not so with Screenweave OTT. Viewers can watch local programming on-demand at their own convenience.
Screenweave makes it easy and affordable to bring live and on-demand programming to your viewers via mobile and OTT apps. Find out more here.