Clearleap, which powers multiscreen distribution for many TV networks and pay-TV providers, has announced another big new customer, A+E Networks. Under the deal, Clearleap will enable on-demand access to A+E’s portfolio of cable TV network brands across multiple devices.
Until relatively recently, the primary distribution model for cable TV networks was pretty straightforward – virtually all linear and all through their pay-TV partners. But now, with the explosion of both on-demand and digital opportunities, the complexity of managing distribution and business models has soared.
As David Mowrey, VP of Product at Clearleap, explained to me, the result has been a layering on of various technology solutions. But managing all of them has become ever more operationally complicated, especially for content companies for which technology isn’t a core competency.
So the more recent trend Clearleap is seeing in the market is a move to both consolidate work flows and streamline organizations to gain greater efficiency and reduce costs. The latter point is all the more important among cable TV networks because they face stiff resistance to requests for fee increases from their pay-TV distribution partners (who themselves are challenged to keep subscription rates under control given inexpensive OTT alternatives which are getting better all the time).
Needless to say, all of these trends are only poised to accelerate.