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)

This article was originally published on www.tvbeurope.com

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

IHS Screen Digest report puts multiscreen monetization under the microscope

At ACCESS we are producing solutions to drive the success of multiscreen deployments. We are also aware that the business models to drive multiscreen are not yet solid – so to help drive multiscreen monetization debate forward we asked IHS Screen Digest to look at the issues surrounding monetization. The result is a white paper ‘Unlocking and Securing Multiscreen’s Monetization Potential’, now available at http://mediapilot.access-company.com/screendigest.html.

The IHS Screen Digest paper sites ‘insurance’ as the main driver of present multiscreen deployments, with monetization some time I the future. IHS Screen Digest states this as follows: “Pay-TV multiscreen is not a reaction to eroding subscription bases, or revenue loss in the present. It is a form of insurance, and secures the future where consumers continue to purchase high-value pay-TV subscriptions.  … In pivoting their extensive content offers beyond the set-top, operators can protect the future of the subscription income stream, place subscriber acquisition on firm footing, and monetise wide- reaching content distribution in proactive, incremental fashion.”
In addition, the report identifies the three following technologies as key to driving multiscreen success: DLNA, HTML5 and security.

Key findings of the report include:

  • OTT has so far had little or no discernible impact on subscriber numbers (see graph below)
  • OTT is not affecting marginal revenues from operators’ advanced services
  • Consumers content spend is still predominantly on Pay-TV subscriptions
  • DLNA, HTML5 and security are the three key technologies key to multiscreen success

IHS_graphic
Our work in producing DLNA and HTML5 solutions and our collaboration with CAS/DRM partners means that we’re playing a key role in all three technologies that IHS Screen Digest identifies as at the heart of enabling the multiscreen revolution.

Although the report finds little hard evidence of OTT yet hurting the TV operators, when I’m talking to customers they are pretty sure that Pay-TV VoD buy rates are lower when a consumer has OTT. Our research also suggests that OTT ARPU is in almost all cases considerably greater than incremental Pay-TV VoD ARPUs.

Putting together what the report says with what I’m hearing anecdotally it’s clear that Pay-TV operators are in a strong position. However, it’s critical that they guard against OTT chipping away at their customer base and VoD revenues. The best way to do that is by deploying powerful DLNA and HTML5 powered VoD, OTT, multiroom and multiscreen services that at least match their OTT rivals in terms of both usability and content breadth. If they can do that their natural advantages of existing strong content relationships, scale, QoS and customer care combined with the cross marketing and discounting they can offer to cross-sell VoD and OTT services to their existing customers will ensure that Pay-TV operators will continue to prosper relative to their OTT rivals.

 Joerg Eggink
Global Product Director, Connected Home
ACCESS Europe GmbH

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