SXSW 2011: TV Turbulence and Transformation
As touched upon in a recent Platform post, in the proposed panel topic we contributed for the upcoming South by Southwest interactive conference (or SXSWi for those in the know), we’ve jointly posed several related questions about the shifting dynamics within the traditional video entertainment sector: How will newer over-the-top solutions like Hulu and Netflix co-exist with other members of the ecosystem? Will the fragmentation we’re seeing unify?
In a recent IPTV News interview, Anthony Rose, CTO of Project Canvas, shared the following insightful point of view that offers one likely scenario for creating a platform that supports new patterns of video entertainment consumption (note the emphasis is mine…though it would be cool if you could actually speak with underlines).
“So I think that finally we’ll be seeing a massive change in VOD consumption, but on TV sets, not just on computers, and one of the key things for me is that the technology is almost slightly less interesting than some of the big picture drivers, the social factors: as today what you choose to watch is driven by what is on at the time, so it is the scheduler that is driving things, but if you switch on a next-gen TV, let’s say a Canvas box, and it is filled with favorites and recommendations as soon as you switch on your TV, you may find that the driver of usage starts switching in a rapid way.”
Consider it a SmartTV or TV Concierge of sorts. In fact, we’re already beginning to see the start of a transformative trend in the shift of consumer behavior – from watching scheduled linear TV, to increasing on-demand viewing. Here in the U.S. marketplace, the continued Netflix subscriber growth projections are perhaps a key indicator.
Also, we’re seeing an increased emphasis on attracting independent TV app developers and arming them with the open APIs and SDK tools they need to apply their creative talent. While high-profile efforts such as the recent Samsung “Free the TV Challenge” has gained lots of media attention, forward-looking pay-TV service providers are equally engaged in this evolving trend.
As an example, Verizon has launched a developer community and TV development center to actively participate in this phenomenon – thereby creating the environment where its FiOS TV offering includes all potential sources of video user experience enhancement capabilities.
Cisco has also been busy preparing for this coming transformation, including the acquisition of ExtendMedia that announced yesterday, that is already active in the exciting world of IP video content delivery.
“As the video market transitions and consumers expect multi-screen engagement, service providers are enhancing their infrastructure to manage and deliver video to any device while providing a rich user experience,” said Enrique Rodriguez, senior vice president and general manager, Cisco’s Service Provider Video Technology Group. “ExtendMedia will strengthen Cisco’s position in the delivery of IP video services by enabling service providers to provide a more interactive and personal experience and to optimize quality for consumer viewing devices.”
We’re looking forward to collaborating with our panelists, at SXSW, and sharing our perspective on how service providers can deploy a next-generation, end-to-end video architecture that delivers the best consumer experience.
If you haven’t already done so, please consider voting for this SXSW panel proposal, and also feel free to share your comments about the panel content outline. We welcome your suggestions and hope to see you in the Great State of Texas this March!