MyBundle.TV, provider of aggregation and other tools for streaming TV bundles, has scored a deal with the National Content & Technology Cooperative (NCTC) and its 700-plus pool of independent service provider members.
The deal follows on the heels of an agreement in August with the NRTC, a co-op counting 1,500 members, serving more than 3 million access lines. A month earlier Dish’s Sling TV was the first virtual MVPD to integrate billing within the MyBundle.TV platform.
MyBundle’s total tally of broadband partners now stands at 117, representing more than 9 million customers nationwide. And over a dozen more are coming on soon, according to MyBundle CEO Jason Cohen. The company already works with around 15-20 providers who happen to be members of NCTC.
Broadband, TV, communications and other service providers are the company’s main target, and Cohen is optimistic about onboarding more.
“Our view for MyBundle is, if there’s 2,500-3,000 broadband providers across the country, 2,996 should be using us,” he told Fierce Video in an interview. He added that MyBundle has plenty of capacity to bring on as many as want to come.
MyBundle.TV touts tools that can support a variety of models its broadband partners might desire - whether they are looking for a complement to current TV offerings or a standalone video bundle. That can be particularly enticing as many in the traditional cable industry have shifted more focus to serving broadband-only customers, but may still want to enhance their offering and retain customers with video. MyBundle can also help TV providers that want to stay in the business offer a more compelling video service by helping to solve consumer streaming struggles and bring bundled services and rewards into the mix.
The NCTC is a little bit different from other broadband-only partners in that it was historically a cable-focused cooperative. It recently rebranded, including a name change from its former National Cable Television Cooperative, in a shift away from its cable television roots to focus on new business models and priorities as members look to the future.
“It’s 2022, no provider, no matter how excited they still are about traditional pay TV, they know they have customers that are not taking their pay TV package, that are broadband-only. Even those who are still very gung-ho on traditional TV, we offer solutions to help their broadband-only customers, help their current cable and streaming customer,” Cohen said. “This deal is affirmation that MyBundle is for everyone, not just for providers that don’t have a video solution.”
Shifts in business strategies come at a time when streaming consumption continues to increase its share of total TV viewing time, surpassing cable for the first time this July, based on Nielsen data. Recent Parks Associates data forecasts traditional pay TV will decrease to 76.4 million households by 2024, it’s lowest penetration in a decade.
Initially, over the next 12 months or so, Cohen thinks there will be a higher mix of NCTC members that adopt MyBundle as a complement versus replacement, but that could change down the line.
“If we look out three years from now, five years from now…a portion of that membership base probably won’t be in the traditional TV business anymore,” he said, adding that while those that want to remain in TV do, the aim is to help providers keep thriving and offer alternatives, while also being ready to offer solutions if business approaches change.
MyBundle also offers tools for things like streaming rewards, something Cohen said he’s excited to see expand, and which enables providers to build new products and offerings. Another plus is the speed. At it’s fastest, MyBundle can have aggregated streaming bundles or other offers up and live on a broadband partner’s site in a span of just two days, he noted.
NCTC itself sees multiple benefits, as the organization’s CEO, Lou Borelli, in a statement highlighted that the deal is a comprehensive agreement covering a variety of options.
“In a short period of time, we have seen MyBundle.TV have great success in working with broadband companies to fortify their businesses. The NCTC is very pleased to enter into a comprehensive agreement with MyBundle.TV that will bring its array of tools to all of our members nationwide,” Borrelli said. “We look forward to working with Jason and his team in the years ahead helping our members deploy an array of innovative options that not only help their end customers save money, but also enhance their current broadband and video experiences.”
Need for a central aggregator
The deal with NCTC marks progress on MyBundle’s roadmap and gives additional credence to the MyBundle value proposition. Importantly, boosting the number broadband providers partners within the MyBundle ecosystem feeds into the other intertwined arm of the business, which is getting streaming providers on board.
As broadband partners grow, “it’s just more attractive for streaming services to do that one integration,” Cohen said.
The core idea is that there are a large number of streaming services – all looking for ways to not only reach new subscribers, but also retain existing customers – alongside a large number of independent communications services providers also looking to build and maintain customers, and for ways to solve video business challenges or enhance the customer experience.
The two sides seeking out deals with the other, or individual streamers taking it on themselves to create combinations and bundles with other services, isn’t a likely scenario in Cohen’s view.
For example, he pointed to the nine top SVODs. Using rough math here, he said there are around 512 different combinations for how to bundle those. Add in nine virtual MVPDs that might serve as the base of a consumer’s TV package - and the potential combinations grow to over 4,500. Not to mention working out the logistics of deals with thousands of smaller broadband provider partners.
“I’m very confident that they are not efficiently going to be able to do it themselves,” Cohen said of individual companies.
There’s also the consumer side, as managing and combining the growing number of streaming options is a well-documented struggle – and there’s high desire for aggregation to make the experience better.
Hence the need for a central aggregator – a role MyBundle is more than ready to play.
“We think MyBundle is uniquely positioned to tie it all together,” Cohen said, adding that it’s shooting for the role of other major aggregators such as Roku and Google.
Cohen said MyBundle was already having nice traction with streaming services and “in deeper conversations with a number of streaming services” even before the NCTC deal.
“From our conversations to date, there have been no ‘no’s’,” he said, regarding streaming services. With more broadband partners on board “we think that conversation gets even better if you’re a streaming service to be able to jump in.”
On the flip side, bringing in more streaming services makes MyBundle tools and offers all the more enticing to service providers who can give their customers a more valuable streaming bundle or perks, and ultimately to the end user who wants options for bundles.
“It’s about helping consumers find the content on those services that’s right for them,” Cohen said. “I think doing that helps the streaming services, helps the broadband providers, and helps consumers.”