may june - Page 10

Cover Story Finders are keepers Broadcasters and SVoD providers are scoring record audiences through the lockdowns. As some degree of normality returns, users will be making choices about the value of their entertainment. With so much content available, it is not just about what’s on, it is also about how to find what you want, and how you’re shown what you don’t know you want. Colin Mann asked a range of industry experts about the latest developments in UI, search and recommendation. Post-crisis might see some consolidation of content providers as recessions tighten household budgets. How important is UI and discovery when it comes to winners and losers? “Service providers need to make their customers aware of relevant, quality content and make it easy for them to access. In a more consolidated world, the fight for a premium spot ‘on the shelf’ will be even greater. Nailing the right metadata to be there first, and getting the most engaging and relevant poster so that the user will not only be aware, but hit ‘Play’, will become ever more critical,” says Lior Friedman, VP global partnerships and strategy, Amdocs Media. “The impact of the crisis has disproportionately affected certain sectors and possibly the only sector to benefit from it is the 10 EUROMEDIA streaming and direct-to-consumer,” notes Guy Bisson, director at Ampere Analysis. “There has been greater subscriber uptake and greater consumption. What we have seen across the industry is trends that we have been talking about for the last four or five years have been, and will continue to be, accelerated. The shift from linear to streaming are happening faster than they would have done if we hadn’t have been locked at home.” “I have been saying for a very long time that the next battleground is aggregation and that encompasses a range of issues, such as UI and discovery; these are absolutely central to successful aggregation, because it’s not just about bringing services together on a single platform, it’s about cross-interface and service discovery and navigation. That’s the thing that, frankly, nobody has solved particularly well at the moment.” “It’s the issue that Apple is trying to focus on. There has been criticism of Apple for its lack of originals but I don’t think that was ever the point. Apple TV+ was the icing on the cake of a strategy that was based on super-aggregation. The space that we think of as ‘aggregation’ is getting interesting and more crowded and stimulated by entrants from outside the TV space,” he states. CONSOLIDATION. “While consolidation will ultimately be driven by larger issues, most notably the need to scale content, platform, technology and data, companies will be evaluating their D2C portfolios post consolidation and choosing winners and losers,” says Andre Christensen, CEO and co-founder, Firstlight Media. “The leaders that emerge will be those that can demonstrate their ability to innovate and deliver platform capabilities that have direct impact on the key D2C metrics: customer acquisition, life-time value and churn. UI and discovery are among the key factors in delivering against these metrics.” “During the Covid-19 crisis, we are seeing significantly increased consumption of video content across the board,” notes Gracenote’s chief product officer, Simon Adams. “It is not unusual for TV viewing to spike during broadly disruptive events when people are staying indoors. Based on the ideas that more content choice is better and that familiar user experiences will keep consumers on their platforms, consistency of look and data across these services are the starting points for fulfilling content discovery.” “The overarching consumer requirement is the ability to find relevant content in an easy quick way. We know that viewers rely on a number of sources from any combination of cable or satellite providers, IPTV services and multiple OTT streaming services to get the TV shows and movies they want. But the time “In a consolidated world, the fight for a premium spot ‘on the shelf’ will be even greater,” - Lior Friedman, Amdocs Media