Andrey Kholodny, director of media products at Russia’s Rostelecom, on integrating Facebook into TV services, and the costs currently involved in developing companion screen experiences.
What work are you engaged in to combine managed IPTV and over-the-top video delivery?
Rostelecom has already launched a single IPTV/OTT platform which can deliver digital content (video and audio) via IPTV (multicast) and via OTT (unicast).
How can social networks be tapped to improve the content discovery experience?
Social networks bring our customers together: they allow a customer to be on the same “wave” as his or her friends. They enable a viewer to share what they are watching and view TV programmes or movies together with other people, even if they are not physically in the same room.
For this purpose, we’ve conducted bi-dimensional social network integration – users announce what they are watching, and their friends are able to join in viewing by simply clicking on a Facebook post, to take just one example.
What potential do you see for companion screen experiences in Russia?
It’s a nice feature which can enhance user experience; however, developing companion device apps as an add-on for large-screen video consumption is quite sophisticated and expensive.
How can cloud services be maximised by telcos as a service differentiator?
Using cloud-based service provisioning is the only way to provide a real multiscreen TV service. This is the approach we have taken at Rostelecom, and it works!