It’s that time of the year again! We are approaching the twilight of 2013, and find ourselves eagerly awaiting the beginning of 2014.
Numerous technological innovations helped the TV industry advance substantially this year, but there is still a long way to go for many content service providers. Last year’s special holiday post suggested movie recommendations from our team. This year we asked the leaders of Viaccess-Orca to offer their insights on what content service providers ought to look into for 2014.
François Moreau de Saint Martin, CEO, on Unified Services and TV Everywhere
In the interest of advancing unified infrastructures, I think that in 2014 we should concentrate on merging silos.
Silos prevent the content experience from being comprehensive, consistent and seamless. Let’s create a unified infrastructure to which customers will migrate. Once they experience unified recommendations, unified bookmarks, pause and resume, unified access to PVR content amongst other multiscreen, TV everywhere features, users will recognize and appreciate the difference.
Have a unified new year!
David Leporini, EVP Marketing, Products and Security, on Ultimate Content Protection
“This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” (“The Matrix”)
As far as content security is concerned, the rabbit has already started digging a new hole that will reach really deep next year. Technology barriers are breaking down and network infrastructures are becoming widely available with minimal initial investment costs. Illegal services offering live program redistribution in real time over the Internet are piggybacking on legitimate content services. They are already extending to multiscreen and focusing on improving the user experience. Here is the red pill – at no other time in history was focusing on securing content itself, beyond CAS and DRM, as critical for paid-for content service providers as it is becoming these days. Now, for those who prefer to take the blue pill - sweet dreams!
Let’s invest in 2014 in real protection solutions, which cover CAS/DRM and embedded anti-piracy services to create a holistic view keeping providers and their content as safe as possible.
Happy protected New Year!
Christine Maury Panis, EVP and General Counsel, on Anti-Piracy Measures
My wish for 2014 is that content service providers begin supplying the best equipment to fight video piracy. This calls for a complete innovative tool kit, including investigative innovations for monitoring and detecting piracy, as well as new technical and legal methods. We need to develop technical means to prevent video P2P activity and undertake legal action to stop the networks’ from pretending to provide free content while they are actually making money for themselves or organised crime. Most of the tools are already there and have already begun to capture interest. Let’s look into these features more deeply in the upcoming year.
Sefy Ariely, EVP, Americas on User Experience and Content Discovery
Through 2013, the industry seemed to accept that user interfaces (UI) had to include content discovery as a core component of navigation, rather than a merely cool new feature that subscribers would use (just like they have ALWAYS used all of the other cool features that had been offered).
Comcast introduced X2, Cox delivered Contour and even Hulu revamped its UI and put some useful recommendations in there. Sadly, we never got to see what Intel was working on, but there’s always hope for next year!!
Even with all this progress, I still think there are things left to work on, so I propose the following New Year’s resolution for content service providers (and this one’s for you, the MVPDs out there):
Let’s stop making a user experience (UX) that reflects all that is complicated and messed up in our business, and instead treat the UX as a holistic interface between the subscriber and the service. Yes, I know that the TV Everywhere service is run by one team, while the VOD library is run by another. Sure, there is a legacy guide team and an IP-based guide team and another team for sync apps. And don’t get me started on content rights!
What thoughts ring in end users minds? “Hello, it’s me, Mr. Subscriber, and I can’t understand why there is a Discovery app, a Watch app and an Everything you Wanted to Know about this Show app? And who is making up these lists of Top Teen movies, Best of the Westerns and Family Faves? Don’t you know me better by now? And, by the way, what happened to episodes two through six? Why can I see only the pilot and from Episode seven onwards? Were the others bad episodes?”
If we as professionals can barely comprehend the intricacies of our own industry, why fob them off onto unsuspecting subscribers? Puzzled, confused subscribers are bad for business. Let’s lead them quickly and seamlessly to content that they want to watch; let’s let them decide where to watch it and on which device; and let’s help them satisfy their craving to great content. Let’s engage them on their own terms and topics of interests. Let’s enable them to become immersed in the stories.
Let’s have an engaging new year!
Song: Old App Design (to the music of “Auld Lang Syne”)
Should auld interfaces be forgot
And search be changed to Find?
We’ll swipe the touch screen fully clear
Of old app designs.
No, old app designs, my dear,
Let’s innovate in time.
Engagement is the new frontier,
Say goodbye to old designs.
We’re looking forward to seeing what the TV industry has in store for 2014. Content service providers hold the key to many of the changes lying ahead.
From all of us at Viaccess-Orca, we wish you the most joyous holiday season and a very happy new year!