Getting into gear for TV’s big shift

DIG-INSIGHT_Preparing_for_TVs_Big_ShiftThere has been a revolution in the TV industry in recent years, driven by the almost total ubiquity of smartphones. The shift in the content industry of direct-to-consumer services (DTC) and skinny bundles is both threatening and enhancing traditional pay-TV offers. Verizon Digital Media Services is prepared to take advantage.

TV everywhere
People these days talk of being in a TV-everywhere age, in which not only is Video on Demand (VOD) everywhere, but streaming live linear and events are inescapable. We probably have the rapid rise of mobile device usage to thank for for that.

It may also mean that the very concepts of TV Everywhere, over-the-top (OTT), Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) and the like may not really mean that much any more. Instead, it’s all about delivering the TV and video content to viewers at high-quality levels on every screen, everywhere, despite how they are packaged. Sounds straightforward. From the perspectives of both technology and business, it really isn’t.

What’s offered to the users is changing rapidly as traditional pay-TV players react at last to the Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) leaders with their own next-generation solutions in the form of skinny bundles and DTC services. People want to watch what they want to watch and when they want to watch it, without necessarily having ties to a content supplier. So, what’s happening with the industry, and what is likely to happen over the next few years? And how are TV providers planning to meet dynamic demands?

What is happening with the industry?
Jason Friedlander, director of product marketing of Verizon Digital Media Services, answers, “I think the shift is that we’re going to see more and more content owners starting to try to make that direct connection with each and every user, like Disney and ESPN are doing by launching their own direct-to-consumer services where they control applications and user experiences.”

What will this DTC trend mean for the video arena?
According to Jason, the DTC trend bodes well for content owners and for users alike, making more great content available to users than ever before. Yet, he cautions that “as it gets more and more disparate, you are going to need somebody or something that’s going to be able to tie all those apps back together to be able to give everybody what they want.”

“It’s going to be hard to get it right,” he adds. Since content is king, the company that figures out how to balance and monetize all of this great content and make the most of everything it creates will come out on top.

Content and quality of experience
Content may be king, but quality is queen. The challenge is that providers will have to offer content and experiences compelling enough to keep people engaged and coming back for more.

Large-scale solutions
How does Verizon stand out among competing companies offering the technology and services providers need? Jason breaks it down:

While the technology solutions are getting better and better, and tech companies like Verizon and our competitors work hard to make it easier for content owners to get up and running, scale will be the challenge to meet. Our solutions stand out most in data and personalization – personalized content, advertising and user experience. “We want to make sure that every user gets the content that is most relevant to them, whether that’s by their choice or whether it’s by business rules that the content owners have,” he says.

Broadcast solutions to IP-based solutions
Verizon Digital Media Services has a vast amount of experience and services, from our core business in enterprise IT and mobile networks to our Volicon Media Intelligence service to Uplynk Video Streaming service, which allow us to offer expert IP-based solutions to broadcast customers, including setting up cloud and big data infrastructures.

With connections to a lot of users on a daily basis, Verizon understands that major content owners want to be able to use all of the data in a way that improves user experience instead of hindering it. The big picture, according to Jason, is to deliver large-scale events that users “experience like television as they previously knew it, no matter where they are.”

Jason concludes, “Technology companies will keep the user engaged by serving the right content. Content owners keep users engaged by creating the right content. When those two things come together … with relevant advertising on top of it, it’s a win-win for everybody.”

Get in touch with Verizon Digital Media Services today to learn more.

By Joseph O’Halloran, Editor, Rapid TV Everywhere

This article was originally published by Rapid TV News