From Push to Pull: The Role of Content Discovery in Multiscreen Video & Why It Matters to MVPDs

It’s no surprise that the way in which we consume content continues to change. The rapid proliferation of devices combined with high adoption rates and an infinite amount of content at our fingertips, has resulted in a tidal wave of change in how we choose to interact with our screens.

Just a few short years ago, ‘anytime, anywhere’ was somewhat of an ideal vision, but, TV Everywhere has quickly grown from a concept to a consumer expectation in today’s multiscreen world.

Not only are the number of screens changing and innovating, the type of content being delivered is evolving. With thousands of VoD assets, online streaming services, live linear TV, and user generated content, consumers are being bombarded, making ease of discovery increasingly important.

In Nielsen’s recent cross-platform report, it was found that while the amount of viewing time has increased overall, a growing group – dubbed as ’Zero- TV” households – has grown over 2.5 times in the last two years. Other changing TV habits include:

  • Nearly half of this group (48%) has switched in favor of subscription services such as Netflix or Hulu, citing cost and lack of interest as the main drivers for switching. 18% of this group would consider pay television services in the future.
  • While 75% of Zero-TV households still own at least one TV, it is only used to watch DVDs, play games, or browse the Internet.
  • When viewing video content, more than two-thirds of Zero-TV households use non-traditional devices, such as computers, the Internet via TV, smartphones, and tablets.

While ‘Zero-TV’ households represent a smaller portion of the population, the behaviors exhibited by this group offer some great insight.

From Push to Pull

Control of the viewing experience is in the hands of the consumer. With so much choice, viewers want a personalized experience. It is no longer about pushing content out; in fact, it is about pulling viewers in. A recent Accenture report found that 64% of respondents prefer using genres as search criteria to find new video content with 43% of the group prefers finding new content by using personalized recommendations from suggestions based on past viewing preferences. Moreover, over half the participants indicated interest in recommending video to others.

Viewers crave the ability to discover content organically; personalized recommendations, social recommendations and rich, integrated viewing experiences drive them to consume more.

The Opportunity for Multiscreen Video Providers

While video consumption is highly fragmented and maintaining viewer engagement poses some challenges, service and video content providers have the opportunity to really drive interaction in new ways.

The key is to help viewers navigate choice via content-based discovery. In other words, driving custom recommendations based on past viewing habits, social interaction and new content forms – all while delivering an engaging, seamless experience.

A recent study released by Gartner suggests that multiscreen video industry players need to create holistic experiences that drive engagement across companion screens; combining the use of social networks to engage in real time discussion, delivering bonus programming and making use of incentive programs and gamification methods.

Regardless of how service and content providers choose to proceed, it is increasingly clear that service and content providers must now vie with a host of new online services, niche apps and “second screen” activities for viewing time. Driving custom content in a way that makes most sense for the consumer will be the key to driving loyalty and engagement.

Director of Marketing