As we look to 2020, we cannot help but think about how we gain clarity around what the future of the TV looks like. We have seen significant change in the past several years as consumers opt out of Pay TV contracts and pursue seemingly endless alternatives in the form of vMVPD, SVOD or D2C services. Even as more content is being produced, the future of TV is dependent on what consumers really want.
We believe consumers want what we call a modern TV experience. A modern TV experience gives the consumer rich, engaging, flexible and personalised ways to access and consume video content. We already know that consumers are using more devices than ever before to watch videos. While the TV itself is still a meaningful device it is. by its very nature, limited to in-home viewing. Networks continue to advance with 5G rollouts underway and improved WiFi solutions fulfilling consumer demand for connectivity on any device.
We believe consumers want a rich visual experience – across all of their devices and across all of their services. So, whether they are watching linear TV provided by their local pay TV provider or binge watching their favourite streaming app, they want a unified experience. They want to see captivating images from the list of programs available, plus pertinent data about those programs.
And, they would like the user interface and their experience in navigating it to be consistent, regardless of device.
We believe that a modern TV experience allows consumers to personalise their experience by identifying favourite channels and programs. It should be easy to pause watching a program on one device and resume watching that same program on another device. Consumers now expect that we understand their daily journey and the devices used throughout that journey. Consumers want to seamlessly transition between these devices, which means they should be able to easily authenticate access to content across all devices.
The modern TV experience requires a focus on quality. This includes the quality of the video itself whether it is broadcast or streamed. Does the video start as expected? Are there pauses caused by buffering? Is the visual quality as expected? It also includes the consumer’s quality of experience as they interact with their service of choice. Can they easily find programs? Is it easy to subscribe or unsubscribe from a service? How many clicks does it before the consumer actually clicks “play”. Are the recommendations meaningful?
The modern TV experience means that consumers not only gain new flexibility but that they also have the power to influence the future of TV. Consumers want more control over how their home entertainment budget is spent. Consumers are opting to subscribe to services that provide the content they want. This may mean OTT only or some mix of linear and OTT. Content may be the driver for service selection, but the user experience will be the key to subscriber retention.
We believe our customers are as focused on delivering consumers what they want, as we and our ecosystem partners are in innovating solutions to drive the future of TV – what we call TV X.0. We invite you to join us on our journey to TV X.0!
Contact us to schedule a discussion at CES 2020!
Group Chief Executive Officer