This blog is by Antti Koskela, our head of communication and entertainment solutions, and covers how we’re leading the transformation to converge the Internet and TV
According to our recently published Acquisition & Retention Study, almost 75% of fixed Internet subscribers in mature markets buy what are known as ‘service bundles’ – combinations of broadband access with other services – and almost half of these bundles include TV. In spite of the flood of free videos available online, it seems many people still want to pay for a decent TV service!
Most people do not want sound-pictures out of sync, poor picture quality and they also want to watch programs in their preferred language, so they’re willing to upwards of 60 Euros a month for their bundles – as long as they are simple to use, match what they are interested in and delivered in high quality. These users are a high-value customer group, and operators should be on the lookout to increase the number of these users on their subscriber base.
Mobile market: A few steps behind but catching on fast
The combination of high bandwidth availability and increased computing power in consumer devices has caused a real shift in how we all consume media. Nielsen Media Research has found that the number of people who record TV to watch at their leisure – what we call time-shift TV – Increased by more than 18% compared to 2009 and the number of people who access video on their mobiles increased by more than 50%. What this shows is that people are already simultaneously consuming Internet and TV, accessing TV content outside the living room and doing this on devices other than the ‘traditional’ TV.
Our Ubiquity Multiscreen TV Platform is the perfect way to meet this increasing consumer trend. It is not just about adding a few new features to digital TV equipment such as network based recording or pausing a favorite TV program for later viewing. Its benefits lie in removing the traditional silos between pay TV programs and movies, Internet content and applications. It gives operators the opportunity to develop services which their customers love, and opens the stage for the developer community to offer apps, fully integrated with multimedia content. Our platform can change the way people watch TV. Users can watch videos on the device of their choice irrespective of where they are and interchange the device with another when they feel like it. They can add an application to the video stream if they find it useful or share their video content with peers.
New players and the opportunities for incumbents
Newer media market players, such as Google and Apple, are entering the arena with their own platforms and with their business models. These companies can give the free TV and pay TV markets a big push.
But operators do have the means to rise up to the challenge these new entrants pose. First, they can make the most of their trusted brand and high network quality. Second, they should adapt 3-screen strategy for their services, that is, provide their content for TV, Internet and mobile devices. The 3-screen strategy opens up a big opportunity for telecom operators compared to Internet and IT players who are initially focused only on the Internet.
Operators should offer both paid (managed) and free (un-managed) TV services to avoid losing viewers. In addition, operators can use their telco assets to blend media and communication services in a manner which isn’t possible for new entrants, since they don’t have the required assets. A possible scenario unique to operators is to allow subscribers to start watching a premier league soccer game on their mobile on the way home from work. Once at home and needing to prepare dinner, a user can hit pause and continue to watch the game after dinner on the HD TV set at the exact point where it was paused on the mobile. On top of this, you could receive your SMS or chat messages on a separate window on the corner of your TV screen to keep on chatting with your peers about the goals.
This is the future that we at Nokia Siemens Networks envisage. We can help operators converge their various ‘siloed’ solutions and existing network assets into a single multiscreen platform, to gain cost-efficiencies both in terms of CAPEX and OPEX. Multiscreen TV Platform will help operators ensure their customers get the best TV experience, be it IPTV, DVB-H, satellite or Internet-TV.
We see a dramatic transformation in the media domain. Our Ubiquity TV can help fixed and mobile operators to tackle the challenges this change is bringing by enabling a simple, relevant and high-quality TV experience.