The Seamless Experience of Next Generation Multiscreen Video

Today’s OTT TV solutions are driven mostly by on-demand content, but as mobile usage and online video consumption continue to surge forward, a new consideration is beginning to form an important element of next generation multiscreen video: the delivery of live linear TV.

Relevant Multiscreen Video Trends

A number of key trends point to live linear TV as a natural next step in the evolution of multiscreen video.

If we look at current viewing habits, Nielsen reports the average consumer spends 4.5 hours a day consuming live programming. Time spent on DVD/DVR playback and gaming constitutes a mere 30 minutes per day.

According to a study conducted by Flurry analytics, mobile app usage has grown 30% over a two-year time frame and in the same period, mobile subscribers consuming video on their devices has undergone a YOY difference of 22.5%.

Growing video consumption across mobile devices coupled with the high demand for Live TV is a clear and present opportunity for service providers.

In a UK survey conducted in 2012, 51% of mobile TV users reported that they want live video (linear /special events) on mobile phones. This fact was further reiterated during the Olympics when the BBC was hit with 12 million mobile view requests. In the same survey, 84% of consumers who engaged in mobile video consumption reported sustained increase in viewing post event.

Interestingly enough, if we delve further, we see that *63% of mobile consumption happens in the home, peaking at prime time hours, and an average mobile user owns 3 IP connected devices.

Given the nature of consumption service providers need to create complementary content experiences that work hand-in-hand, and across multiple devices; one that delivers live TV, in addition to VoD content.

Today’s Multiscreen Video Experience Is Not Seamless Enough

The idea of live linear TV is not a novel one. Many content providers are beginning to take steps to deliver such services, but not without their own share of challenges. Considerations regarding scalability, cost effectiveness and ROI are all crucial points.

The challenge for multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) is managing the complexities associated with an increasingly diverse ecosystem. Delivering media across a fragmented device market while maintaining a seamless TV everywhere experience is challenging.

At the very core, multiscreen video infrastructure must support multiple file formats, delivery standards (i.e. DASH, H.265, ABR, HLS) and operating systems, not to mention applying a maze of content rights and regulatory requirements to content access. Doing so requires substantial capital investment, as well as operational management for a market that is still developing.

As the market rapidly evolves, MVPDs have begun to pick up experienced partners as an alternative approach to building the service delivery infrastructure on their own.  Managed services for multiscreen video offer the ability to deliver the best of breed capabilities for multiscreen video and management, with the biggest advantages being time to market, scalability, minimal change to IT infrastructure and subsequently lower capital investment.

Seizing the Live Linear TV Opportunity

Live linear programming is a component that is largely absent from multiscreen services today. While the opportunity is clear, there are a number of regulatory and technical challenges that providers must navigate through in order to deliver a truly seamless experience.

Next generation multiscreen video should be an experience that delivers an integrated VoD and live video content experience, across multiple devices in and outside the home, with improved discovery and billing for the customer.

If one thing is clear – it is that Live TV offers huge potential for next generation multiscreen video. Content providers will now need to determine how to navigate through various complexities to deliver a truly successful service, at a time where the market is rapidly evolving. However, if done successfully, MVPD’s will capitalize upon a considerable opportunity to differentiate their service portfolio, keep pace with the market and capture growing consumer demand.

*Sources: Source: IAB, 2012; Juniper Networks 2012

Director of Marketing