It's Christmas time. The streets are packed with shoppers carrying bags, lists and umbrellas, and the World Wide Web is packed with those hunting for online sales. Soon, many of us will be gathering with our families and friends to celebrate; eat, drink and unwrap gifts. Some of us will be looking back at a wonderful year, while others will be making New Year's resolutions. And many of us will be watching TV. Lots and lots of TV.
In this special post, VO's experts gathered to share some of their reflections, insights and resolutions.
Time for Shopping: Gift Boxes Under the Christmas Tree
2014 started with disappointing reports showing a 9% loss in television unit sales in 2013. A recent New York Times article predicted "the end of the TV viewing party" for millennials. But third quarter reports told a different story: according to a Display Search report, TV shipments improved 4% year on year. The trend continued, and just before Christmas, new figures supported this prediction and suggested a rise in TV sales.
Black Friday proved there was room for optimism: according to IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, Black Friday sales were up 8 percent from a year earlier. Target said the company was selling 1,800 televisions a minute between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Thursday night, and the Best Buy website crashed for a while on Friday. While detailed figures are yet to be released, it looks like this year's Best sellers – both online and in store- are iPads and other tablets, Xbox and TVs. Great news for those seeking an ultimate content experience!
Time for Delighting: This Year, Wrap the Experience of Content and Give it Away! By David Leporini, EVP Marketing, Products and Security
Every gift tells a story. A story about the person who gives. A story about the person who receives. A story about their relationship. Studies actually show that the highest level of satisfaction is reached when people are simply asked about their preferred and desired gift. Surprises often turn out to be not as good as we, givers, believe they are – we all know the efforts required to hide our disappointment when such a "surprise" is unwrapped on Boxing Day. Why do we love children writing Christmas letters to Santa Claus? Because it's all about careful listening, to what is told and what is untold.
And the same goes on in our industry. Consumers have been writing their content services wish lists for long – craving for a more interactive, personalized, contextual and enriched experience. Connectivity is an amazing enabler to listen carefully to consumers. To what is told and what is untold. It’s Christmas time and now that consumers have the power of choice, they are not expecting bad surprises anymore.
Spending Time with the Family, Watching Traditional "Christmas TV"/ By Efrat Fenigson, Senior Director of Marketing Communications
We love the holiday tradition of watching Christmas specials together. For content providers, this season is a great opportunity to shine with old and new shows, sports events and films. Up until a few years ago, it used to be a challenging time for all of us TV addicts: choosing the right show and rushing home from a Christmas dinner to watch it on time. The TV Everywhere revolution makes life easier: instead of relying on TV guides, audience can now use recommendation solutions and engage with their friends during a Game of Thrones marathon. And instead of tying ourselves to linear schedules, VOD and catch-up solutions give us the freedom to watch these shows anywhere, any time, on any device.
No reason to worry about the post-holiday blues. 2015 will bring about some promising titles: On TV, the new, long-awaited season 5 of Game of Thrones; Girls season 4, and House of Cards season 3. In cinemas, potential blockbusters such as 50 Shades of Grey and Star Wars: Episode VII are about to be released. Excellent content to look forward to, and with video libraries doubling the number of their titles in only two years, there's no doubt that the TV Everywhere experience is about to get better and better. Moreover, according to the 2020 TV report, some 500 million TV sets worldwide will be web- enabled by 2015 - either as a default option or supported by a set-top box. We love it when content and technology meet. This magic makes a great promise for the New Year!
And Then, in The Dead of Night, Enter the Christmas Pirates... By François Moreau de Saint Martin, CEO
Christmas is a dream: we all enjoy an abundance of food, drink, presents – and some believe it's all delivered on Santa's sleigh. As if all this abundance is free; as if all this abundance doesn’t require hard work, investments and savings.
The spirit of Christmas often misleads us into thinking that there is no limit to what you can own and what you can share and consume. But needless to say, Christmas is a business. And business is where 'Christmas pirates' live and operate.
There are two types of Christmas pirates: the 'businessman' and the 'dreamer'. While the first type gets down to business (especially thriving on the holiday season), sets up pirate services and makes money off those illegal services, the latter believes the Internet is Santa Claus’s world. The dreamers think that the content found on the internet does not require hard work, investment or money. They genuinely believe that sharing does not harm anyone and many of them are using pirate services even without understanding that these services are illegal.
Keeping the magic of Santa and his sleigh for our kids is important. Proving Christmas pirates wrong, and guilty, is crucial.
And here are my wishes to you all for this Christmas time and 2015:
Discover and experience new universes of content. Explore the best content, and have fun with it. Allow yourself to be surprised and amazed, enjoy the comfort of your favourite actors, stories and series. Enjoy this content with others in your living room or through digital life. Most importantly, share the happiness with your friends and loved ones and have a seriously fun 2015! François Moreau de Saint Martin
Check out our greeting video for 2015!
Photo credits: Cailinator / Foter / CC BY
Roxeteer / Foter / CC BY-ND
W4nd3rlost (InspiredinDesMoines) / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND