QuickPlay Crystal Ball: 2013 Multiscreen Predictions

It’s a new year and the psychics are out in full force with their predictions for 2013.  Not to be left behind, we here at QuickPlay decided to join the fray, pull out our crystal ball and make a few predictions of our own about what this year will bring for the multiscreen video market:

Video service providers will go ‘back to basics’

2013 will see all video service providers evaluating their multiscreen services to refine the ‘scattergun’ approach which was applied by many looking to quickly launch a competitive product.  Video service providers will focus on finding a balance between QoS, QoE and content; maintaining customer satisfaction while ensuring value for money. The recent announcement of the partnership of Orange with Akamai proves that this is the direction the market is taking now and is particularly relevant to European providers where the economy is struggling and competition amongst operators is fierce. In our recent survey of mobile video consumption in the UK, dissatisfaction with video quality was the primary reason that consumers discontinued using mobile video services (41 per cent of those who had tried and were no longer using). Focus on improvement in search functions, video quality and user-friendliness will build customer satisfaction and attract customers from rivals and start developing a path to monetising these services to improve ARPU.

Operators will struggle with scalability in 2013

Expectations of anywhere access from subscribers and the significant increase in mobile devices and demand for access to content around the world means service providers have to sustain and build up their multiscreen services to keep up with demand and defend market share. Layering the complexity of multiscreen to already exhausted IT infrastructures is exacerbated by the fragmented “spaghetti”-like approach to piecing bits together to build their multiscreen offerings. Shrewd mobile and TV service providers will need to be strategic with how they allocate resources to scale services and be realistic about whether in-house departments and, infrastructure have the experience and capacity to tackle the issues and opportunities of delivering a top quality service across multiple devices. We continue to believe managed services will be the only viable option for building out scalable infrastructure.

Live sports will continue to be the driver behind mobile video proliferation

The allure and exciting unpredictability of live sports will continue to see competitive bidding for sports rights and define it as the main driver of demand and proliferation of multiscreen services. With 2012 being a watershed year in the maturation and advance of the multiscreen experience exhibited in glorious fashion by the 2012 London Olympics, the demand by consumers for “TV Everywhere” will continue to evolve. The increase in demand and viewing of live TV will see a rise in VoD consumption and repeat usage as demand increases for a completely integrated multiscreen offering. Making on demand content available and discoverable during and after live viewing will allow consumers a seamless TV viewing experience no matter where they are or what device they use.

New 4G/LTE services to drive video consumption

Based on results from our annual survey of mobile video and multiscreen consumption in the UK, quality of service, impacted by the bandwidth of networks, continues to be a frustration for consumers. The arrival of faster broadband services and the introduction of 4G/LTE services will see a rise in multiscreen device viewing in 2013 as quality of video delivery will be improved and increased marketing efforts from operators managing the 4G network strengthens consumer awareness. We are already seeing from Verizon that half of their data traffic is going over their LTE network. The presence of widely available LTE Networks will spike interest and adoption in mobile video services in the UK and European markets as it has in the U.S.

It’s going to be hard to beat the excitement of the multiscreen coming of age at the 2012 London Olympics but we suspect that 2013 is going to be a banner year for both service providers and consumers when it comes to “TV Everywhere”.