As 2014 draws to a close, it’s time to start looking forward to next year. IP&TV News asked Miles Weaver about the dominant trends he thinks will shape the TV industry in 2015… here are his big three –
Personalization will be a huge trend for 2015, and we’ll reach a point where it will increasingly shape how we discover and engage with content. Advanced personalization – hyper-personalization as we term it – is truly going to be the future of user engagement and multiscreen consumption, for all content, including video.
By providing extremely targeted recommendations to users that go beyond simple viewing histories and leverage user behaviour, device, and location data, operators and content providers will be able to consistently deliver content that is relevant to users at that given time. If users are able to access all their content in a manner that works for them no matter what they’re doing, it has the effect of creating a feedback loop of analytics and understanding for suppliers, enabling them to continue offering compelling and exciting content experiences that keep consumers engaged. This will be a crucial differentiator in the coming year for the innovators who are looking to stay ahead of the pack in an increasingly competitive space.
Crisis for cable?
2015 will be the year where cable will experience its first serious attack. WWE Networks made the first move by putting out its own OTT offering, but with the big players like HBO and CBS taking the plunge, it won’t be long before other networks follow suit.
2015 may see the big sports and entertainment brands begin to release all their content for streaming, putting a big squeeze on the traditional cable model and opening up the market in a big way. Netflix is expanding into new markets and also building serious momentum with its original content strategy – House of Cards and Orange is the New Black look as though they could be in with a good chance of winning an Emmy.
HBO vs Netflix
HBO’s OTT play will have a big impact on Netflix, and is potentially the streaming giant’s first major competitor. While Amazon Prime subscribers can access some of the past seasons of HBO’s programming through the streaming service, HBO retains the exclusive rights to pretty much all the most successful new content, like Game of Thrones. Now that everyone will have this readily available to them with a HBO OTT subscription, any hope that Netflix might have had of acquiring that content has for its own service has ended. Netflix may have a fight on its hands, but as the recent major deal with DISH shows, cable and pay-TV companies are already beginning to integrate access to the service into their own offering.
Miles Weaver is Piksel’s Innovation Programme Strategist, overseeing the strategy of Piksel’s Innovation Programme. He closely monitors trends in living room technology and user behavior and is an avid commentator on the digital TV revolution. Connect with him on Twitter with @mrmilesweaver or @piksel.