Television. It came on the scene for most U.S. households in the 1950’s and it completely disrupted the entertainment industry. Big boxes with small screens brought family entertainment to a new level. Kids could watch cowboy shows and Mickey Mouse Club. Adults could watch soap operas and the nightly news. People could stay at home and be entertained.
And as the viewing offerings increased and color TV was introduced, along with smaller boxes and larger screens, consumers embraced this wonderful phenomenon of bringing the world into their homes. So many channels and so many options.
Cable TV was the next major disruption – for a monthly fee, consumers of entertainment could widen their entertainment choices – reality TV, movie and sports channels and more. The choices were amazing.
How the Entertainment Industry is Changing Today
As technology has grown, the entertainment industry continues to be transformed for consumers. While cable and dish networks continue to be popular, consumers (nearly 50%) are supplementing that with live streaming pay-for-services video providers – Netflix, Hulu, etc, according to the latest Deloitte survey.
And, more and more, they are doing so on their mobile devices, spending in excess of $2 billion monthly for live streaming video services, both at home on TV and on their mobile devices. And according to the same Deloitte survey referenced above, this use of live streaming video is predominant for Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z – a huge demographic when combined. In fact, most of the consumers today are opting to have multiple subscriptions to receive the content they want.
Engage with the Autonomous Consumers with Machine Learning
Consumers now have the choice to get and pay for only what they want in the way of entertainment, whether that be music, live shows, or TV programming. This presents a huge challenge for traditional cable and satellite companies that continue to only offer packages of TV channels that subscribers don’t want. In fact, the only reason that consumers continue to use these services is that they are often bundled with their internet services. That, too, will soon be a thing of the past, as soon as 5G Internet services become available. In fact, AT&T has already launched 5G in 12 cities.
Telecom companies will have to look into new ways of engaging their customer base and offering more flexible, personalized “package” deals. With the help of machine learning – a baseline technology enabling AI – telecoms could enable the following:
- Pitch more relevant up-sells/cross-sells based on customers’ usage patterns and preferences.
- Make personalized content/channel recommendations Netflix-style.
- Assess which package combos are most suited for different types of customers.
New-gen Security for Smart TVs Becomes a Must
Connected TVs are now residing in more and more homes. Per MarketWatch, approximately
46.0 million US households already have Smart TVs and the figure is expected to grow significantly this year. Even regular TVs can now be smartified using the stick technology, popularized by Amazon Fire TV. This year’s holiday season, twice as many Fire TV Sticks and Kids Edition Fire Tablets were sold than the previous year.
However, there are, of course, some privacy and security issues with the use of these sticks with some consumers expressing concerns over the type of data companies can obtain through this gizmo. The good news is that consumers can use different FireStick VPNs that will mask an IP address and protect user identity and information – another rising trend.
If you plan to develop a smart TV offering, make sure that customer data and security are your top priorities. At present, we are finally getting closer to a secure IoT ecosystem thanks to improved Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and wider usage of blockchain.
Voice Technology is Changing the Entertainment Experience
The use of “voice” technology will continue to rise. Consumers want to be able to say, “Play last night’s episode of ‘The Good Doctor’” and get it delivered immediately by Amazon Echo, connected to the Amazon Fire TV stick.
A recent survey by Parks Associates indicates that 17% of U.S. broadband households now own both an Internet-connected entertainment device and a smart home device. As voice interactions become more common, consumers preferences will shift towards smart home devices and streaming services that operate in tandem. Streaming services will need to compete not just on the cost and product selection, but on the variety of integrations offered with other connected services and voice assistants present in the customers’ homes.
The transformation of the entertainment industry by technology is really only in its infancy. Any enterprise that is involved in providing entertainment services to consumers has many challenges to meet, if it is to get its share of the marketplace.