How IoT can be turned into a Secure and Personal Multiscreen Consumer Proposition

Over a short space of time, web technologies have evolved rapidly in order to create new immersive web experiences such as tailored web browsing, multiscreen TV and the mobile web. For example, the web has matured considerably since the first mobile web browser developed by ACCESS for NTT DoCoMo, and has played an integral role in transforming consumer interaction with devices. With the emergence of Internet-enabled devices including smart TVs, wearables and the connected car, operators looking to deploy multiscreen services have room to create immersive services spanning the entire connected device spectrum, which combine to create the Internet-of-Things (IoT). A recent Gartner report predicts that the number of connected devices will increase by 30% in 2015 to 4.9bn before growing fivefold to 25bn by 2020. Due to the sizeable scope of IoT, this article will focus on the Internet of Connected Entertainment.

From linear TV to multiscreen
A few decades ago, the TV was a dumb screen offering linear programming on a few channels. However, consumer adoption of Internet-enabled handheld devices such as smartphones provided the breeding ground for operators to bring interactivity into the connected home and radically transform the TV experience. The emergence of IoT has facilitated the increase in the number of devices used for ‘at-home’ entertainment. The average British household has six devices or more to watch content, allowing operators to create a fully immersive multiscreen experience both in and out of the home.

However, the increase in Internet-enabled devices has also caused security concerns around content transiting over the open Internet. With more devices connecting to the service, the risk of unauthorised access is on the rise and operators need to integrate robust support for Conditional Access (CA) and Digital Rights Management (DRM) solutions within their multiscreen solutions to offer ‘studio confident’ streaming that earns the studios’ trust.

By deploying solutions that can ‘trans-crypt’ different types of CA and DRM systems on the fly, operators can secure the delivery of any type of content to any screen within the home via the home gateway, reducing the need to invest in cloud infrastructure. Additionally, using the in-home network increases quality of service, 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, opening the door to video consumption out of the home, and it’s likely that wearables and the connected car will enable TV Everywhere to truly emerge.

An important part of the explosion in IoT will be down to the connected car, according to recent Gartner research. A new report states that one in five vehicles will have some form of wireless network connection by 2020, accounting for more than a quarter of a billion cars across the globe. Bringing connectivity to the car is the first step for OEMs and integrators to offer video content in the confines of the vehicle, enabling TV services to extend to any environment.

Processing data in multiscreen, multi-device environment
This multiplicity of connected devices inside and outside of the home leads to a host of challenges for operators, including offering a seamless experience on all devices. As consumers now expect a single service spanning the entire connected home, it is imperative for operators to create a familiar UX (User experience) across all supported browsers, operating systems, screen sizes, device types and interaction methods. Integrating solutions that support HTML5 and the Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) and Media Source Extensions (MSE) can help operators to develop this seamless UX including a security framework on all screens automatically.

While providing a seamless experience is a pre-requisite for operators, constant access to web browsing and social media has led to a tremendous increase in the amount of data produced and shared by consumers. This has triggered increased subscriber demand for personalised services that are accessible on every device everywhere. Recent research from BI Intelligence predicts that IoT will contribute to $1.7 trillion in value added to the global economy in 2019, demonstrating considerable opportunities for operators looking to deploy large-scale multiscreen services both in and out of the home.

Operators are increasingly looking for solutions that automatically aggregate and analyse data to help them better understand subscriber behaviour, the types of devices used to watch content and more. They need to be able to offer more targeted services and content, including tailored advertising on multiple platforms and better search and discovery options. It is clear that data and analytics will play an integral role in determining the future of multiscreen and it is those operators who can be entrusted with their subscribers’ personal data and utilize it to tailor services that will benefit from multiscreen connectivity.

The article was by-lined to Dr Neale Foster, COO and VP Global Sales, ACCESS

Dr Neale Foster is COO and VP Global Sales at ACCESS, a global provider of advanced software technologies to the automotive, mobile, Internet of Things (IoT) and digital TV markets. Since 1984, ACCESS has provided advanced software solutions and services for over 1.5 billion mobiles, smartphones and tablets, connected TVs and set-top boxes. ACCESS will be demonstrating its multiscreen product portfolio including ACCESS Twine™, the NetFront™ Browser series and NetFront™ Living Connect at TV Connect at the ExCeL in London on April 28-30 (stand 93)

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Multiscreen’s 4 biggest challenges of 2015

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.

4. Monetization

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.

This blog was originally published on IP&TV News

CES Sees ACCESS Twine Extended to offer Virtual Multiscreen Content Library

We launched our multiscreen management platform ACCESS Twine™ at IBC 2014 to help operators address the technological complexity that the multiscreen world has brought to the fore. More devices and content encryption systems become available, proving a challenge for operators looking to launch universal services. This is why we have ensured that ACCESS Twine works with various Conditional Access and Digital Rights Management systems, while supporting industry standards including HTML5, HbbTV, WebKit and the new Blink engine to offer a seamless experience on every screen.

For International CES (6-9 January 2015, Las Vegas Convention Center), we have extended the capabilities of ACCESS Twine, which now offers global search and remote access functionality to help operators provide customers with a solution that enables them to easily find content across multiple sources via a single user interface. This allows subscribers to access the operator content as well as their personal media library on every device.

The new functionality enables operators deploying ACCESS Twine to:

  • Offer a single user interface to their subscribers, allowing them to access operator content and personal media securely on any device
  • Ensure that consumers access content within the operator environment, improving brand loyalty
  • Support advanced next generation advertising models including the possibility to push personalized advertising on every screen and report results

The multiscreen age has seen a wide range of devices brought into the TV mix, and consumers expect to be able to access the content they love on any screen, regardless of wherever it is stored. The ACCESS Twine extension means that operators can allow subscribers to access all of their content seamlessly via a secure TV Everywhere virtual library that brings a whole new level of personalisation to multiscreen.

The CES demonstration, hosted at the ACCESS demo suite in the Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas, will show how ACCESS Twine facilitates video content discovery and playback on mobiles, tablets and operator branded devices such as STBs. The extended solution can be easily integrated with external metadata sources, allowing consumers to find all their content in one place by collating all locally stored libraries on a single platform. The new global search functionality enables operators deploying ACCESS Twine to offer services encompassing traditional broadcast services, IP delivered content and access to personal content, whether recorded on one or more in-home Personal Video Recorders (PVRs), in the cloud via a nPVR, stored on personal Network Attached Storage (NAS) or on tablets and smartphones.

To see the extended ACCESS Twine multiscreen management platform at 2015 International CES, please request a meeting with us.

ACCESS Showcases True TV Everywhere at CES

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) projects that Americans will spend $33.76 billion on electronics this holiday season, the highest peak since the CEA began tracking holiday spending in 1994. This confirms the role that consumer electronics play in all our leisure time. This spending is driven by new features and services. However, it comes at a cost in more ways than one, with TV Everywhere and multiscreen leading to complexities and technological fragmentation as multiple content distribution models need to connect with a host of device types.

This multiplicity of devices will be showcased once more at International CES (6-9 January 2015, Las Vegas Convention Center), where we will demonstrate how our solutions enable operators to deliver premium content to any screen inside or outside the home while ensuring the media sharing experience remains resolutely secure. Our demo suite at the Bellagio Hotel will feature:

  • ACCESS Twine™: This solution makes it easier for operators to monetize and manage content services with additional consumer facing functionality, enabling users to better enjoy and share content on all devices
  • Multimedia Content Sharing for the Connected Car: ACCESS Twine enables car users to access, play and store content in the car. Through its brand agnostic technologies, ACCESS helps automotive OEMs to maintain and strengthen their own brands and relationships with the car owners
  • Support for the new DLNA® VidiPath™ guidelines: Integrated with NetFront™ Living Connect 3.1, the added support for the DLNA VidiPath technology on the client and server sides enables secure playback across consumer devices while allowing operators to control the user experience across multiple screens
  • YuMe’s multiscreen advertising solution integrated in ACCESS Twine: ACCESS and YuMe can provide operators with advanced digital advertising capabilities, including dynamic ad insertion, granular audience and inventory targeting, and normalization of ad creative across platforms in and outside of the home, including in the connected car
  • NetFront™ Browser BE: Built on the Chromium Blink browser engine, this advanced HTML5 browser features high stability on embedded platforms. NetFront Browser BE is an ideal solution for operators looking to deploy new generation hardware platforms and supports the latest HTML5 standards on high performance DTVs, set-top boxes, game consoles and automotive infotainment system.
  • Demo of ACCESS software integration with ZapperBox dongle powered by Entropic: The integration of the DLNA VidiPath guidelines with NetFront Living Connect 3.1 will showcase how DLNA VidiPath on HDMI dongles enables operators to quickly deploy VidiPath compliant services. The Zapperbox dongle demonstration will also feature the integration of NetFront Browser BE, as well as on an Android tablet.

If you’d like to discuss how our combination of standards and strong security solutions can help you deploy and maintain efficient multiscreen services inside and outside of the home, please click here.

Solving the multiscreen advertising conundrum at ad:tech London

Ad:tech London took place at the Olympia Conference Hall in London on October 21-22, which enabled us to dive into an examination of the ad led monetization opportunities that multiscreen provides during a fireside chat with our partner YuMe, a leading provider of digital video brand advertising solutions.

The broadcast industry has been built around advertising since the inception of television. Advertising has a well-established ecosystem and is the largest source of revenue for many TV operators. However, the web and the proliferation of multiscreen devices have changed the way many brands now approach advertising. Ad agencies and their clients are increasingly looking to understand subscriber demographics and behaviour, target them accordingly through tailored recommendations and personalized advertising, as well as report on the results.

At ad:tech, Owen Hanks, GM Europe for our advertising partner YuMe, commented: “If this was a one screen conversation, it would be horribly dull. However, the integration with ACCESS allows us to utilize several screens and the technology that YuMe provides offers the ability to reach a specific audience. So this isn’t just about how to reach them when they move from the TV to the PC. This is how we get consumers to see brands outside one or two devices and companies like ACCESS have the ability to offer technology that can reach consumers on 7 or 10 devices.”

This proliferation of devices combined with different methods and ways of consuming content has made the delivery of content to the right screen at the right time and in the right format exponentially more complex. This translates into technological challenges such as content trans-cryption as well as an increased need for granular targeting of user behaviours and demographics on every connected device. PayTV and OTT operators need to be able to offer insight into the devices used to access content, the duration each video has been watched, when subscribers switch from one programme to the next, etc. This requires robust real-time data analytics solutions that can feed the operator’s back end constantly, as well as efficient delivery to a myriad of screens. However, this constant wave of data can be difficult to navigate for operators, who need to be able to digest it in order to improve their services and ensure they offer consumers the content they really crave. In a multiscreen world where information flows freely permanently, it is crucial for operators to rely on robust and flexible technologies that adapt to their needs. Efficient data analytics can help them create personalised content catalogues that fit each viewer’s interests, as well as deliver personalised advertisements as pre- and post-rolls or even ad insertions in the consumer’s PVR content.

To offer a solution that delivers the right advertising message to the right screen at the right time in a multiscreen world, ACCESS and YuMe have collaborated to integrate YuMe’s SDK within ACCESS Twine to provide operators including cable MSOs, Telcos, and satellite TV customers, with advanced digital advertising capabilities. YuMe’s proven multiscreen solution supports ACCESS’ network technology in order to cater to operator’s needs, and enables delivery to every screen in the home through a single platform. YuMe’s efficient data sciences work in tandem with ACCESS Twine to better understand subscriber demographics and behaviour, and target them accordingly.

By integrating standards-based technology, operators can leverage a host of branding opportunities, including interactive banner or video advertisements in the first impression screen or as pre- or post-roll video. It allows operators to gain insight into service usage patterns and develop new revenue streams through data analytics, such as personalized recommendations and targeted advertising. ACCESS Twine enables operators to better analyse the consumer’s viewing habits and allows for targeted suggestions on VoD portals and TV user interfaces, which have been proven to increase customer satisfaction and ARPU.

There are already an average of 4.4 screens per person in the US and 4.8 in the UK and the number of screens used to access video is sure to rise even further in the coming years. This means that it’s increasingly important for operators to deploy solutions that facilitate delivery of content to every platform and to be able to serve targeted advertising to every screen and platform. Solutions like ACCESS Twine enhanced with YuMe’s multiscreen advertising platform enable operators to integrate the best of both worlds directly in their existing framework, ensuring that they will be able to understand their subscribers with clarity and offer personalised content on every platform to maximize the effectiveness and monetization of next generation ad models.

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