TVU Networks has outlined a vision, and introduced some of the technologies, that could industrialise the ultra-personalisation of TV programming. A programme from the Geneva Motor Show would include different reports depending on your consumer profile, like size of family and if you like sports cars. Asset and metadata management needs a revamp in order to make it realistic.
Sky News has unveiled a powerful use of machine learning and face recognition for TV. The broadcaster is working with AWS and others to give viewers a ‘Who’s Who’ guide to the guests arriving at this month’s Royal Wedding. The guests will be identified in real-time and their names and information about them will then be revealed to viewers who want to see it. This multiscreen application is designed to enrich the live event coverage.
Service providers can introduce ‘skills’ for digital voice assistant ecosystems (like Alexa and Google Assistant) so consumers could say, ‘Upgrade my broadband’ or ‘What is my current bill?’ They should also create their own assistant ecosystem for more ‘sensitive’ matters like diagnostics and customer care, it is being argued. Multiple assistant ecosystems could be hosted on a single operator supplied device, which might be a combined Wi-Fi extender, speaker/assistant and IoT hub.
Three statistical gems were presented by a leading London research firm this week: Subscription OTT revenues will exceed license/tax funding of public broadcasters by 2020; Commercial TV is now growing faster than Pay TV and will continue to do so for several years; TV advertising and traditional Pay TV are the least concentrated markets of five key media verticals.
With less cable operator-specific developments, cable migration towards all-IP solutions and a focus on goals that are shared across all service providers – like making it easier for deep native OTT apps integration or getting HTML long-tail apps onto STB platforms – RDK has never been more relevant to non-cable operators. Fraser Stirling at Comcast said recently: “The requests that come in from my product team are going to be the same as everyone else’s.”
Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, ProSiebenSat.1 and the Internet services company United Internet are behind the European netID Foundation, an initiative to create a single privacy portal and backoffice where consumers can give instructions about how media companies, e-commerce providers and other retailers use their data. It is an important attempt to make privacy management easy both for companies who must comply with GDPR and ePrivacy regulations and for end consumers.
The Connies are the definitive awards to champion innovation across the whole television and media ecosystem. The shortlists include VR music concert coverage, a world-first advertising format with personalised audio and a voice assistant designed specifically for the Pay TV industry. The winners will be unveiled during an awards lunch in May.
Tom Morrod at IHS Markit has highlighted how a Netflix pivot means the company has the same challenge as Disney, Discovery and Fox: gaining the widest reach possible. And while some content owners want to develop their direct-to-consumer offers, Netflix is travelling in the opposite direction, embracing the Pay TV platforms as bundling partners. While Netflix fights in a high reach but low ARPU category of media firms, Amazon keeps different company among the technology ecosystem providers seeking much higher ARPUs (though not necessarily from video).
ProSiebenSat.1 Media used to provide its seven ad-supported channels and catch-up via the 7TV streaming service, but in October last year Discovery Communications added its content as part of a joint-venture, and Sport.1 and Axel Springer came onboard this week. The ambition is to develop a broadcaster-friendly online platform where all German channels, producers and studios can reach a broad demographic under one roof. 7TV is viewed as a counter-weight to the U.S. giants Netflix and Amazon Prime.
The DVB is working on a new specification called DVB-I that will try to replicate the classic linear TV channel experience but via broadband. The idea is that you will not have to launch apps, and content owners will not have to support multiple vertical app/device ecosystems. Device owners will never find that an otherwise good CE receiver is obsolete because either the app provider stopped supporting the device, or the device maker stopped supporting the app.