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The Web has created a new generation of television and video consumers, with expectations about freedom and flexibility from which there really is no retreat.
Online or “over-the-top” TV gives consumers what they want, when they want it. Indeed, the video distribution paradigm is no longer one where content is pushed to consumers; it’s one where consumers pull what they want, on demand, from wherever they are and on whatever device they may choose.
Consumers are embracing video delivered over an online connection, and the online video market continues to grow. The widespread penetration of fixed and mobile Web-enabled platforms is setting the stage for a rapid uptake of digital video services and current broadband trends are fueling their growth.
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Over-the-top services—the delivery to the TV set of video content over a broadband connection—represent a new strategic opportunity for key players in the communications, high-tech, and media & entertainment industries to gain an advantage in the ongoing battle for the hearts and wallets of consumers. Over-the-top TV brings capabilities associated with a PC to the viewing experience—choice, control and search being primary. It puts consumer choice and preferences at the center of the broadcast and communications industries’ business model.
The ability to provide direct-to-consumer relationships is being pursued by companies today because of increased cross-sector competition. Achieving excellence in engaging and interacting with consumers is now seen as a key to profitable growth by all players in the ecosystem.
Over-the-top refers to both linear and non linear video offered to the television set through an unmanaged broadband connection. Over-the-top capabilities enable companies across the communications, entertainment and retail ecosystems to go directly to consumers with their content, bypassing traditional network gatekeepers and access providers.
Over-the-top TV is the very embodiment of a disruptive technology, and much of the fierce jockeying for position one notices in the marketplace today is rooted in the need to carve out a profitable place in this new and very unfamiliar television environment. Over-the-top TV—bringing the PC to the TV, and the TV to the PC—will change how consumers access broadcast entertainment, and how content and communications companies provide it.
Elite university professors used to tell their students to look to the left and to the right because “one of you will not be here next year.” It’s an apt analogy to the state of broadcast and communications competition today. How the various players across this ecosystem respond to the disruption of over-the-top TV in the next couple of years will largely determine their ability to survive in the long term.
Based on Accenture experience delivering over-the-top TV solutions, and on research that includes our recent Global Content Study, the following keys to success should be kept in mind.
What can different types of companies throughout the broadcast and communications ecosystem do to best prepare themselves for the over-the-top future? Here are some factors and recommendations to consider:
April 8, 2010
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