The cable industry has faced many challenges in recent years. From the advent of OTT services through to consumer demand for multiscreen, operators have learned to adapt to a new era of content consumption where the consumer is King. However, with the PayTV market expected to grow to €2.4 billion in Germany and €2.6 billion in other German speaking markets, it appears that operators have retained their competitive edge despite the rising popularity of OTT services. At ANGACOM, we anticipate that many of the discussions will focus on how operators can stay ahead of the curve whilst simultaneously increasing customer loyalty and boosting revenue. In the run up to the event we’ve developed a step-by-step guide for operators on how to remain competitive:
1) Step one: Understand your audience
Recently, there has been a lot of discussion around Big Data and how it can drive personalisation and recommendation. Prior to the proliferation of connected devices, it was quite easy to imagine every consumer having relatively similar viewing habits. However, now consumers are using numerous personal devices to access content, which means there is an abundance of data providing insight into what content different TV audiences are watching, what device they are using and at what time. For example, a person may reach for their smartphone as soon as they wake up to access world news but watch their soap operas on their tablet whilst cooking dinner.
Service providers who want to deliver an unrivalled experience to their subscribers need to be able to utilise this data effectively. Our multiscreen management platform ACCESS Twine™ enables the TV industry to aggregate data on consumer habits, device usage and facilitates the deployment of highly targeted content catalogues and personalised search and discovery options.
2) Step two: Deliver content to every device
The multiscreen era means that consumers expect to be able to access content at any time, any place and on all the devices they own. The reward for service providers who can achieve this is huge: they will have a far more detailed view of their customers than ever before. Then, being able to store and analyse the data coming in from multiple data sources empowers service providers and operators to provide more sophisticated recommendation engines to retain customer loyalty. It also allows them to design user experiences that take advantage of the varying interaction methods used to access content from connected devices. After all, no matter how great the recommendations are, a consumer will abandon a service if it does not provide a cohesive and familiar delivery of the user interface and content across all the devices they use. Thus, it is critical to provide a compelling cross-platform user interface that accommodates subscribers who are accessing content via everything, from touch screens on smartphones to gamepads on game consoles, and to the traditional TV remote control.
This is where our NetFront™ Browser family can help: regardless of the device’s capabilities, we have a solution that ensures that consumers can enjoy a seamless experience on every platform. Operators have the benefit of a standards-based approach, enabling them to reuse their code across devices. It also provides easy access to the services that consumers demand, such as BBC iPlayer and other catch up TV services, and YouTube on TV, within the controlled operator environment.
3) Step three: Protect your content
Whilst consumers want to be able to access content from any device, operators need to ensure that the content is protected in order to fulfil their studio obligations. To offer the latest Hollywood blockbuster or acclaimed TV series, operators need to be in control of the media sharing experience by deploying solutions that protect assets every step of the way. By deploying market ready solutions that enable operators to better understand their subscribers, devices used to access the service and ensuring the highest level of security, MPVDs can stay safe in the knowledge that their content is secure.
We have developed ACCESS Twine™ with this idea in mind. Alongside DLNA-compliant media sharing, it supports a wide range of Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems to ensure that content remains protected – and hence only accessible by authorized users. ACCESS Twine™ also enables consumers to securely access their content when away from home.
The days of PayTV and Over-The-Top (OTT) in opposition are now over: by using the right technology, operators can turn OTT services into a complimentary offering available directly within their service. This enables operators to remain in control of the relationship with consumers and to become their main advisor for all their video needs.