Guest post by Dr Neale Foster, COO and VP Global Sales TV, ACCESS
Multiscreen is maturing at a rapid rate thanks to increased operator competition and consumer adoption. However, there are still challenges to overcome before we reach true TV Everywhere:
1. Secure high quality delivery to multiscreen, in and outside the home
As well as overcoming the challenges of a consistent user experience (UX) on multiple devices, operators need to ensure that their multiscreen services offer high quality content catalogues to attract and retain subscribers. To achieve this, they need to comply with the content industry’s stringent security requirements and ensure the high quality of service that consumers expect. Home gateway solutions that can ‘trans-crypt’ multiple types of Conditional Access and Digital Rights Management systems on the fly enable operators to deliver any type of content to any screen within the home, reducing the investment into cloud infrastructure. This also increases quality of service by using the in-home network, while limiting the risk of that content being accessed or streamed illegally over the Internet. Content can also be downloaded in the appropriate format to companion devices such as smartphones and tablets for viewing when away from home.
2. Knowing the user and reacting to changes quickly
Consumers have more choices to consume content than ever before, whether OTT or alternative pay-TV providers. Operators need to provide the highest quality of content and service in order to attract and retain consumers. It is highly critical for operators to better understand the consumer requirements and detect any change in subscriber behaviour. Better understanding of how consumers use the service will enable operators to make the right decisions in a timely manner. This will help reduce subscriber churn, increase subscriber satisfaction, improve the operator’s service and gain new subscribers.
3. Seamless experience on all devices
The proliferation of devices and systems used to access content means that operators have to deploy solutions that support multiple browsers, operating systems, screen sizes, device type and interaction method. A key requirement for every operator consists in creating a familiar UX across all supported devices. For the consumer, the ideal solution is a seamless service spanning linear and catch up TV services, OTT, multi-room, PVR and other personal content. Solutions that support HTML5 and Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) and Media Source Extensions (MSE) help operators deliver a seamless UX on all screens.
Providing the best experience and offering the best content catalogue everywhere is crucial to retain subscribers, but operators need to ensure that their multiscreen services are profitable. For the past fifty years, advertising has been the TV industry’s main means of increasing revenue and it’s unlikely that this will change in the near future. To ensure that advertisers also see a benefit from multiscreen, operators must offer data analytics on subscriber behaviour, devices used to watch content and more. This in turn helps advertisers tailor their campaigns to deliver them to the right audience at the right time and on the right screen.
2015 will see operators launch effective business models based on advertising and high quality content catalogues to consolidate the multiscreen market. Aggregating and analyzing consumer data will be pivotal in enabling operators to offer a successful multiscreen experience. This business intelligence data will be particularly crucial as pure OTT players and broadcasters start fighting head on for multiscreen supremacy.
The 2015 International CES is focusing on integrating CE devices in with the multiscreen mix, and taking TV Everywhere a step further by deploying it in smart cars. This demonstrates that once more, technology plays a crucial role in enabling the industry to refresh and create new personal stories that will resonate with all audiences, in every location and on every device.