Are you ready for the TV revolution?
With the developments in Smart Phones and Tablets over the last few years, it would seem that TV has been lagging behind. Many would argue the foundations of broadcast TV have stood still since the 1960s. But all that is about to change. The world of TV is getting a major makeover – are you ready to embrace its new look?
“The very definition of television is changing. Free-to-air, pay TV and digital Over The Top networks are all finding themselves side by side on Smart TVs, game consoles, tablets and other connected devices.”
Eric Berger from Sony Pictures Television
Dealing with on-demand(ing) customers
Remember the bad old days? When television executives controlled every minute of the schedule? When their linear broadcast model dictated when we should be entertained and we were all ‘happy’ with limited channel options and a slew of advertising breaks?
On-demand changes all that. Now with smart entertainment hub (like ours) audiences can connect to the internet and choose to stream a huge range of on-demand content. No need for a cable subscription and no need to stick to the regular TV schedule. The impact of on-demand content is huge and broadcasters now need to consider:
- Identity: Can individual channels continue to have a programing identity when what consumers value is the show not the channel?
- Quality: Can the channels continue to offer just three hours of quality ‘prime time’ programing in the midst of 21 hours of poor quality shows and repeats?
- Advertising: Why would any audience accept 20 minutes of advertising during their 40 minute show when they can stream it advertisement free?
- Scheduling: What happens to all that careful lead in content planning channel competition, show teasers and optimal programming slots?
Gone is the need to stay in or even record a favourite program, now we can watch what we want when we want.
One way in which Broadcast TV is evolving to cope with these changes is to move into ‘appointment viewing’ – focusing on live sports, and events.
‘Bye bye’ lounge room
The truth is the stereotype of the family gathered around the glow of the TV screen is a thing of the past. Content is now consumed in a variety of situations, from watching a quick show on the tablet before heading to bed, to killing time at the bus stop watching a short video.
The following ConsumerLab chart shows the average number of hours people spend watching content on different devices.
Instead of having separate TVs in each room, a growing number of households use a large main TV, as well as several mobile devices that offer more convenience, greater access to content, and more flexibility.
The growth of second screening
In simple terms ‘second screening’ refers to the use of a device (like a smart phone or tablet) to provide an enhanced viewing experience when watching content on the TV. A recent report by Ericcson ConsumerLab reported that 75% of consumers multitask buy using mobile devices while watching TV. One in four even watch multiple video sources at the same time. Popular activities include:
- reading email
- using internet apps to find out more information
- using social forums to discuss TV content with others
- watching two shows at the same time
- watching the same show from two different camera angles
- accessing different commentary options for sports events
- interacting with the show to comment or vote
- live betting on a sports even while watching.
It’s clear consumers are looking for a more interactive TV experience, rather than just passively viewing – broadcasters must continually seek new ways of engaging viewers.
A good example of this occurs in sports TV where broadcasters offer alternative content (such as unseen moments, different angles etc.) while watching the game. In the US, HDNet Fights use second screening to synchronise live Mixed Martial Arts broadcasts – allowing viewers to access stats, vote on fights and rounds, chat, win prizes, and see how fellow second screen users voted.
TV apps are shifting the balance of power in the entertainment world, as apps migrate from smart phones and tablets to the television space. Consumers can choose between the more expensive smart TVs or the less expensive option of set top boxes – in fact over 20% of US consumers have already connected in one of these ways. A new report from BI Intelligence reports that 32% of users use their smart TVs to access Apps at least once a week.
A future without TVs?
Some believe that TVs will become irrelevant, but at Seebo we believe they will always have a place in our homes.
While TVs will continue to slim down and improve in picture quality, many users will augment their content viewing experience with mobile devices. The social and physical enjoyment that comes with sitting around a large screen with a large group of people isn’t going to go away.
In this video, Digital Spy‘s Technology Editor Hunter Skipworth discusses the way home entertainment is evolving.
TV is finally evolving into a more interactive experience, one in which the viewer has more control than the broadcaster.
These are exciting times and the Seebo team will be following the ups and downs of the journey here on our blog. Stay tuned.
About the author
Patrick Tyers – Sales and Marketing Manager at Seebo Networks
Patrick Tyers is a marketing professional whose passion is finding innovative ways to take brands, products and concepts to market. Pat has experience with a wide range of marketing strategies and techniques deployed across different markets and industries. Pat has immersed himself in the entertainment industry, with a particular focus on new innovations in in-home entertainment and the revolution of the humble TV set.
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