The pay TV industry is facing increasing competition from new entrants to the digital TV market using IP delivered content to boost viewers’ access to entertainment services. High profile launches of services such as YouView and GoogleTV have attracted attention and are helping to establish the concept of Over the Top (OTT) with mainstream audiences. While it is debatable whether these services can challenge premium pay TV to become a dominant force in the living room, OTT does potentially open up additional revenue windows for both pay TV companies and new entrants alike.
There’s no doubt that IP delivered content in a lean back context will increasingly become a standard part of consumers’ viewing habits, the question is who will manage the user’s access to this programming? The company that “owns” the remote psychologically takes ownership of the whole viewing experience and that brand becomes synonymous with what is typically a major component of the viewers’ leisure time.
Younger consumers are looking for a more interactive television experience as demonstrated by the increasing use of portable devices, such as tablets and smartphones, to access social media outlets and engage with friends around TV shows.
This is borne out by research conducted in the UK by Digital Marketing Agency Digital Clarity earlier this year, this showed that 72% of the under 25s surveyed multi-task by using social media apps on smartphones to comment on shows while they are watching them.
There is no doubt the TV landscape is changing thanks to the rapid adoption of connected technologies. Viewers are using these to supplement their linear TV consumption with VOD and other services delivered over the top. Tablets and smartphones are also becoming increasingly popular as video consumption devices which demonstrates that people are looking to take their TV experience with them around the connected home. These companion devices offer more flexible viewing and allow users to engage with their favourite shows through social TV apps.
Netgem set-top box N8000
Since more and more people are using tablets to access content, service providers that fail to support these portable devices risk losing customers to alternative services outside of the traditional pay TV infrastructure. Therefore operators need to offer subscribers interactive and multi-screen viewing experiences that are consistent and simple to use.