Dr. Ramazan Demir, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Turk Telekom, on the potential for multiscreen video services in Turkey, the challenge presented by content owners seeking to become a viewer’s first touch point, and the impact that multiscreen’s popularity is having on overall broadband usage.
To what extent is the growing penetration of smart devices driving demand for multiscreen services in Turkey?
As we monitor the market, it is obvious that the demand for multiscreen is directly correlated with the installed smart device base. Tablet and smartphone owners in particular are attracted to multiscreen services.
Most of the mobile smart devices are introduced to market with data packages from mobile operators. Thus, two critical barriers – device ownership and connectivity – are to be overcome for multi-screen market growth.
Service providers have a natural advantage in leveraging this device base to offer multiscreen services to their existing customer base with successful pricing and bundling initiatives.
Pay-TV operators have also realised this trend and introduced complementary multi-screen services which mainly aim to improve customer retention.
What effect are catch-up and place-shifting services having?
Catch-up and place-shifting are definitely valuable differentiating features for pay-TV operators and OTT players. Time and place-shifting offer consumers the freedom to use the services whenever and wherever they want.
We are at too early a stage to see any significant impact of catch-up and place-shifting services, since customer awareness is not high in the market yet. These services are mainly positioned for customer retention purposes.
What impact is content disintermediation and unbundling having on the Turkish video market?
I believe the Turkish video market is very promising in many ways. We witnessed a global device manufacturer and multiple internet players launching trial OTT multiscreen video services in the country last year.
As I mentioned previously, it is fair to say that the real challenges may come directly from the content owners, who wish to become the direct touch point with the customer, disintermediating through operators’ high quality Internet infrastructure and becoming increasingly available on other hardware/software platforms.
Here, I think, operators may have to introduce and drive innovative business models in order not to destroy the overall value of this new media ecosystem.
Are you seeing broadband penetration and usage increasing as a result of the popularity of multi-screen services?
The impact of multi-screen services is observed more in the increase of usage rather than the increase in broadband penetration. The effect of multiscreen can be best described as an increase in complementary service ownership or mobile broadband penetration among existing customers.
New broadband customers are generally basic internet users who are likely to consume limited data via basic internet services such as e-mail, chat, web surfing etc.
On the other hand it is an obvious fact that video traffic is getting a higher share in total internet traffic every day. For sure, multiscreen has a considerable effect on this trend.