The way we watch TV is changing dramatically, the abundance of new and exciting devices on the market is fuelling consumer demand for higher quality, more choice and greater flexibility for watching video. Our research tells us that consumers still value linear TV services, with 93% still regularly tuning into scheduled TV. Our challenge now is to incorporate the linear TV experience into the new anytime, anywhere multi-screen future.
As someone working in the industry, I am excited about how we are going to make the most of the new devices emerging in the market and how we are going to deliver the video services that will provide the desired consumer experience.
While Multi-screen TV seems like an attractive way to enable this vision of access to great content wherever and whenever the consumer wants, it is not going to change the way we watch TV unless it embraces, and integrates into, our social and personal lifestyles. Multi-screen TV mustn’t be thought of as a service, but as a way of life, an evolution through which everyone will consume, share and interact.
This means that as well as developing improved content, devices and broadband access we must think about how these will link with our social and personal lives. That way, instead of merely being a repackaged version of Mobile TV, it evolves into a whole new way of discovering and watching content.
In Ericsson’s vision of The Networked Society we predict that by 2020 there will be 50 Billion connected devices globally and of these more than 15 Billion are expected to be video enabled. Taking a fresh approach to Multi-screen TV will enable us to help operators and content owners to leverage this connected world, where different devices are all connected to one another and allow consumers to use them to their full potential.
In my daily life, scheduled or ‘linear’ TV is still how I watch most of my content, often time shifted, and series linked recording, but increasingly I notice that people are multi-tasking in the living room; being together as a group, but watching and doing different things at the same time on various devices. What I now want to be able to do is connect my individual devices to the TV to watch the content I have found, stored or recorded.
In a truly Multi-screen world I would be able to find content on the PC, watch it on my television, pause the video, and play it from where I left off on my tablet when I leave the house. As well as tapping into social networks so I can discuss, receive and share content with my friends. This is the future of multi-screen TV and connectivity. The applications, connections and use cases will expand significantly in the future, and in today’s rapidly evolving world, in ways we do not even know yet.
To make this future possible we decided that, rather than creating solutions that are vertically focussed on target devices or delivery network type, we would build a unified service delivery platform that simplifies the operator’s delivery of Multi-screen services.
By combining common functions of content management, service control, and media processing, a unified multi-screen delivery service is a reality. Using an architecture that enables an operator to provide the ultimate consumer experience, but also deliver and maintain that service in a cost-effective manner, is the core tenant of the Ericsson End-to-Endless approach.
I’m looking forward to the reaction to the launch of our new Multi-screen compression platform for linear TV at IBC. It combines the best parts of hardware and software to provide the most powerful and flexible approach to enabling the hundreds of linear TV channels that will need to be driven to all the new Multi-screen devices. This is the latest addition to our Multi-screen portfolio and highlights Ericsson’s innovative thinking, helping to drive the Networked Society.
July 23, 2011 3:02 PM EDT
Each tech giant has their case for obtaining Hulu in leading its company toward dominance on the web. Apple seeks interest in possibly jumpstarting their Apple TV services. Google may have a similar case along with solidifying its social networking features on Google+. For Yahoo, the former premiere search engine website seeks a comeback in both traffic and revenue with Hulu as their missing piece of the puzzle.
Hulu shines as a highly attractive online property by proving its value with over 1 billion ad impressions a month, according to Comscore, and impressive offerings of video content. The latest auction for Hulu has left many pondering on the potential combination of services that may birth from current bidders in Apple, Google, and Yahoo.
Google+ has been rising in popularity with their innovative approaches to content sharing and video chat. The addition of Hulu could concrete Google’s spot as the top online video website as a new flood of content may do wonders for visitors and advertising revenue. The search giant already owns YouTube, which rakes in nearly 150 million unique visitors a month, and will seek ways to integrate video watching within Google+. The Hangout feature in Google+ may open the door to online video watching with multiple friends at once. The platform makes watching video content and commenting on them through mobile devices easy and social. Content from Hulu combined with Youtube’s offerings can lure potential users to join Google’s growing social network.
Apple’s case for a potential bid for Hulu comes in the form of Apple TV and content for their upcoming lineup of mobile devices. Financially, Apple may hold the advantage in terms of having over $76 billion in cash on hand for a purchase. If Apple were to follow its current business model of renting out shows rather than making revenue on ads, then the Hulu acquisition can potentially transform into another Netflix service. Apple would then hold great advantages in terms of reach, marketing, and content distribution through iTunes. As GigaOm pointed out, the deal would definitely provide Apple with additional video content to offer through iTunes and increasing the company’s content value.
In terms of distribution, Hulu’s high definition, HD, quality content can be a valuable asset as Apple’s new platform of HD capable iPhones and iPads plan to hit the market possibly later this year. The iPhone 5 and iPad 3 are rumored to have HD display screens that can play 720p and 1080p videos. With Hulu already reaching out to media devices through it s Hulu Plus subscriptions, the millions of Apple mobile devices will only increase the content reach.
Of all the players involved with the current bid, Yahoo may appear to be the front runner as it has much to lose without Hulu. Yahoo would love to see more traffic and utilize its strength in media and content. .
In an interview with Adage, EVP of ‘Americas’ at Yahoo Ross Levinsohn spoke about Yahoo’s desired future plan, “to be the premier digital media company. We’re No. 1 or 2 in 19 categories. That’s insane! That doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world. You embrace that. You support that. We’re focused on premium content. Some of its original, some of it’s curated, some of it’s aggregated. And we’re focused on premium advertising,” said Levinsohn.
The Hulu acquisition would bolster the media aspect in Yahoo’s offerings as well as increasing their online advertisement revenue. Without Hulu, Yahoo may have less footing in their continuous role in playing catch-up with premiere rivals in YouTube or Apple.
Recent news ruled Microsoft out of the bidding for Hulu saying that the company would not continue with future offers in the second round. With Microsoft out, the remaining three big players will duke it out for ownership of a highly prized online commodity. According to reports, Yahoo would be willing to pay $2 billion in a deal that includes an exclusive package for TV shows and movies. Based on that, the LA Times suggested that Yahoo may be in the lead spot among other bidders.