Monday, April 19, 2010

Value Added Services and Applications by Michael Lantz, Accedo Broadband

Over recent years, we have seen a vast amount of change in the video ecosystem and the way in which content is delivered to the end-user, whether that be video content, or add-on applications. TV has been transformed into a rich, interactive experience, giving viewers the same, if not more, flexibility they experience from a PC. It’s no longer just about watching linear television, consumers will gradually change their behaviour into using more applications, both stand-alone and integrated with the video content..

With the proliferation of IPTV and Connected TV solutions, the opportunities are widespread, and it is my personal belief that usage will be very fragmented, in the same way as usage on the PC Internet is fragmented. There will not be any “killer application” and people use different applications depending on interest and context. Some viewers will interact with additional content from their favourite programs, others will pass the time playing games, and others will catch up with what their friends are doing on a social media application.

I see the most attractive area being the broadcasters’ programme extension services, giving viewers the ability to, at the click of a button, catch up with the latest gossip surrounding their favourite programme or share their views about the actors or the episodes. This can extend the viewing of a programme to considerable time before and after the actual programme, and will create consumer loyalty, as well as new revenues from advertising and upsell services. The majority of broadcasters worldwide have already launched one or several websites dedicated to extending and enhancing the broadcast experience online.

For the first time, broadcasters are able to cost-efficiently establish a direct relationship with their viewers. IPTV and Connected TV will be the natural extension of those online applications and services that viewers enjoy. The broadcasters successfully embracing the power of the new application technologies will be the winners of the future TV world.

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