In March, Deutsche Telekom’s distinguished Oran Cassem (SVP Business Unit, Television), will be delivering a keynote and also appearing on the Keynote Super Panel Discussion (“Creating Innovative New VoD Services”) at TV Connect 2014.
Indeed, TV and VoD services are an increasingly important part of DT’s present and future plans, as Oran explains in the following IP&TV News exclusive interview…
IP&TV News: What have been the main challenges and achievements for DT’s Entertain to go service in the past year?
Oran Cassem: The main achievements were the launch of 3 major releases during the second half of 2013. We launched Entertain to go on PC and iPad in July (with LiveTV@home and VoD everywhere). By year end we also introduced support for iPhone , as well as Android tablets and smartphones.
On one hand the German law concerning content rights is challenging. This led to highly complex requirements regarding user and content permissions. On the other hand Entertain to go is not a stand alone service but a multiscreen TV service which is converged to the Entertain IPTV service on the TV set. This results in high complexity building and integrating the Entertain to Go service platform with the legacy systems.
We are fully satisfied with the downloads in the stores and also with the subscriber take rate.
What distinguishes Entertain to go in the German market – what innovations have you introduced?
Entertain to go is a highly innovative product and not just another OTT service. There are 2 aspects to this, firstly the full multi-screen convergence and secondly a compelling companion functionality.
One main differentiator to other TV services in the German market is the convergence of the LiveTV and VoD services across all screens, including the TV set at home. The user can watch all his content on any device, VoD at any place and in future live content at any place too. All Entertain to go devices can be used in a convergent way at any place, for example placing things on the watchlist, reviewing the watchlist on any device or scheduling recordings on any device to watch it on the TV later on at home.
Another key innovation of Entertain to go is the support of smartphones and tablets as companion devices for the TV set at home. This means, that the user can use the Entertain to go application to discover the convergent content by using the recommendation or search functionality. As soon as the user has found relevant content he can decide to watch it on the Entertain to go device itself or comfortably shifting the content to the large TV screen at home.
How big a part does DT think TV will play in its future?
TV is absolutely crucial for an integrated Telco player like Deutsche Telekom and plays a central part for us and our customers; today and in the future. We have more than 5.5m TV customers in the DT group and Entertain is the undisputed leader in the German IPTV market, so Entertain supports the core business of Deutsche Telekom and is an essential differentiator for our strategy.
You’ll be appearing at TV Connect in 2014. From a telco’s perspective, what are the most exciting innovations in home entertainment?
I expect a very dynamic market with evolving TV usage patterns. TV will be more and more a personalized multi-screen experience and will be enhanced by even more use cases such as catch-up TV, startover TV and interactive features. Not to forget an intuitive user experience with enhanced search and discovery functionality, ie. on companion devices with the possibility to placeshift to TV. We are continuously working on new functions to make our TV offering even better. Beyond Entertain to go we offer a lot of innovative features like interactive red button apps (e.g. soccer) or a remote control app with voice control. Also we are working on expanding our HD channel line up, building further on our clear number 1 position in the German HD market.
Oran Cassem will be appearing at TV Connect 2014, 18-20th March. For booking and more info go here.