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Synchronizing the Pay-TV Companion Screen

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

In my last post, I talked about how companion screens are changing the TV landscape. It’s easy to see how our ever-present smartphones and iPads can alter the TV viewing experience. (“I’m sorry dear, could you repeat that? I was checking my Twitter feed and responding to this IM, and I couldn’t hear you over the intro to Mad Men.”)

But what are people really doing on those companion devices? According to a white paper published last year by Yahoo! and the The Nielsen Company, nearly a quarter of them are looking up something related to what they’re watching on TV.

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Videoscape Gains Further Traction with Service Providers

Last week at IBC 2011, Cisco announced several examples of how we are implementing Cisco Videoscape™ with International Service Providers.  Cisco Videoscape is a service provider solution that lets consumers bring together content from pay TV, online, and on-demand sources to create a truly immersive TV experience on any device.

KT, Korea’s leading telecommunications service provider, will be deploying Videoscape Media Suite and shares Cisco’s Videoscape vision and strategy to evolve their network over time to deliver content across TV, PC, mobile and tablet screens.

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Pay-TV Market Study Reveals Segmentation Upside

When you think of the  broadcast video entertainment arena, it seems to have been centered upon the notion that there’s a huge undifferentiated mass-market of consumers who — by and large — all want the same thing.

Incumbent pay-TV service offerings have tended to follow this belief, by delivering a small set of standardized service packages. And for the longest time there’s been no compelling need for traditional service providers to more closely scrutinize the market segmentation variables.

Now though, we’re clearly seeing a shift in the marketplace, that reflects an acknowledgement of the growing market fragmentation. In an on-demand, personalized world  some service providers are already voicing their intent to offer more flexibility in their pay-TV service options and associated pricing.

Granted, a small subset of U.S. pay-TV subscribers have, for a number of different reasons, decided not to wait for their incumbent service provider to introduce more granular or flexible service packages. These people are among the early-adopter cord-cutters that have been equally vocal about their preference for alternative value-based offerings.

We’ve been intrigued by these recent developments, and so we commissioned a market study to learn more about the potential for increased diversity of U.S. pay-TV customer needs and wants. The following are some highlights of what we were able to uncover. Read More »

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