At IBC 2017, multiscreen and TV Everywhere were some of the most talked about topics, although most companies in the industry are still looking for ways to address fast evolving consumer demand for content everywhere, at all times and on all platforms.
Since then, it’s become increasingly clear the industry needs to welcoming a new era of multiscreen that blurs the lines between the operator’s content catalogue, the subscriber’s personal library and external User Generated Content hosted on social media and YouTube. This is part of the reason we left the Content Innovation Awards ceremony on October 15 with ‘The Multiscreen Award’ – exactly one month after we brought home a CSI award for ‘Best TV Everywhere or multi-screen video’ for the deployment of ACCESS Twine™ for Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio)’s Jio Lifestyle service.
What is so different about this deployment, compared to all the multiscreen services out there?
Traditionally, multiscreen services have been confined to the operator’s own content. This results in end users having to remember which content to access from each service and device that they use to watch video. This fragmented experience is no longer valid as consumers expect easy access to all content everywhere and at all times – instead, operators today need to offer a one-stop solution for content consumption.
In addition, the mobile device is now the first screen for many consumers in the world. If we look specifically at India, the world’s second biggest smartphone country with 220 million users and 75% of Internet browsing carried out via mobile devices, broadcasters and content owners would struggle to enter the market via the big screen. While India is one of the world’ biggest – and mainly untapped – market, this move towards more mobile-friendly services is also present in the rest of Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
However, the operator headache doesn’t end with devices: consumers also want to be able to store and share their personal content with friends and family. To date, the challenge of meeting this consumer demand has been considered too complex to solve due the plethora of content sources vying for the consumer’s attention and a lack of robust methods to ensure seamless remote access to content.
Jio proved that these challenges could be overcome by providing its 100 million (and counting!) subscribers with a single sign-on to access premium content, store and share personal content and external sources such as YouTube, Dropbox and social media platforms. To do so, the operator used our ACCESS Twine™ 360° smart media platform for operators and content owners.
Through ACCESS Twine™, consumers can access the operator’s and personal content from set-top boxes, Android, iOS, Mac and Windows-powered devices both in-home and remotely out of the home. This is complemented by providing access to external sources such as Dropbox, Google Drive, YouTube, and social media platforms via the Jio User Interface. This way, subscribers experience a single user interface catering for all their needs.
Using the single service approach provided by ACCESS Twine™, operators such as Jio can also better understand the end-user needs and habits through a number of modules, including:
- Remote Access to content at home
- Aggregated content and search
- “Follow-me” functionality, enabling consumers to continue watching from where they left off on another device.
By launching a single service that provides access for all media consumption to its subscribers managed by ACCESS Twine™, Jio has demonstrated that there are easy, robust ways to combine a branded content catalogue with the consumer’s personal content stored in the cloud and external sources – without ever risking losing eyeballs to the competition.
Jio is a first mover in an emerging market. However, operators in mature, highly sophisticated regions can also take note of this creative approach to multiscreen to develop the next generation of multiscreen services. In the future, content, devices and sources will all be merged for the consumer – creating an opportunity for operators to regain the viewer’s undivided attention and trust.
Soon, even more devices will enter the multiscreen mix – from the connected car to IoT enabled screens – and operators need to get ready for this evolution. Winning the Content Innovation and CSI awards enables us to show that there is more to multiscreen than simply enabling media sharing between devices. As we prepare for a more integrated future, we are proud to show the way to the next stop in the multiscreen journey to the industry.