Two key UK broadcasters recently changed the TV experience game: ITV (the biggest commercial broadcaster) launched the ITV Hub; and SKY announced Q, their response to Netflix and others by offering an online seamless screen-to-screen service via set top box. In my own recent travels, I have seen a few clear examples of how other industries are adapting smartly to their own digital disruption, which may point to why products are shifting to so called fluid viewing.
In Mumbai, like in many cities, there is a great Uber / taxi debate. Here, female safety is a massive concern. The response is to launch an app, which allows friends to track you and a single button emergency access to police. A smart, simple solution for a customer experience issue, but one never before offered by the incumbent taxi players.
On Australian domestic flights there is the Qantas in-flight app and the Virgin in-flight app, both offering entertainment on your own device. With in-flight Wi-Fi starting to take off with some airlines, a good flight experience will soon have nothing to do with the journey time or snack, just simply did we have a great entertainment experience gate to gate and how we measure their capabilities as a high flying ISP.
Finally, at a recent education forum, UTS (University of Technology Sydney) showed how they provide suits on campus for students to borrow to create instant professional LinkedIn profiles. At the same forum, academics posed the question whether students should be able to binge learn like they binge watch with Netflix.
As shown by these examples many industries are dramatically recreating the customer experience wrapper that is surrounding their core service.
In the world of media and entertainment, we are not immune. The discussion of customer journeys, segmentation and experience was something product and marketing managers did in food production companies, supermarket chains or banks: it was certainly nothing to do with TV. It was simple; you had the best shows, you promoted them well, and advertisers bought them and viewers watched them. No need for fancy customer journey-mapping.
With the recent flurry of video streaming services from Seven, Nine and Telstra TV along with Optus winning the EPL sports rights, I thought a bit of crystal ball gazing could highlight the future potential of the industry as we seek to adapt to our own digital disruption.
In a world of customer-centric services, what might the minimum customer expectations for TV providers be in the near future?
TV Whatever – my simple customer expectation will be that if it has been produced and released to the public, then I will expect to have access to it. As long as I can get that show and watch it how I want to, then I am also likely to pay a price to see it, making piracy a thing of the past. I will also expect to be able to access any video clip, movie or TV show that has ever been produced. I will expect to instantly find a piece of content and view it, either for free, via subscription or for some value based payment, just like I can with anything else that exists in digital format.
Delivering these consumer-centric experiences is no easy task and requires that significant hurdles be overcome in technology, licensing, commercials, and customer and advertiser centricity.
It will be an exciting time for those who take up the challenge to adapt rapidly but could be the start of the end for those that hesitate too long.
The creativity and pride in the TV industry means that if taxis, education and airlines can all meet the customer experience challenge, then TV certainly can create a fluid TV experience that we will all love!