Expect a rash of direct-to-consumer over-the-top offerings from networks and broadcasters in the next year or so, says Marty Roberts, co-CEO of thePlatform in an interview with Beet.TV. “Networks and broadcasters need to establish a direct relationship with the audience,” he says, and direct-to-consumer offerings let them do just that. “We need to watch their viewing habits and engage with them on a one-to-one basis.”

The Seattle-based company is fully-owned by Comcast.

These offerings can also make for good business sense because of the low cost of entry. The back-end technology and e-commerce behind them is relatively inexpensive, he says. “You don’t need big customer numbers to show a nice return on your overall investment. We will see some nice things happen with over-the-top services,” he adds.

However, on an international basis, these offerings are more necessary for competition against services like Netflix, he explains.