On the back of the success of Mediaset Premium, Mediaset’s subscription-based pay TV offering (2 million subscribers in September 2011, with 62 percent growth from September 2009), Mediaset decided in February 2011 to launch the innovative Video over Internet Premium Play service, with Accenture as end-to-end technology partner for this strategic program.
Premium Play is a pioneering Over-the-Top (OTT) TV service that complements Mediaset’s traditional linear TV offering.
The service is delivered through the Accenture Video Solution (AVS) platform that leverages a reusable set of services for all devices and seamlessly delivers convergent digital video services over broadband networks to a wide range of devices, such as set top boxes, connected TVs, Tablets, smartphones and PCs.
Premium Play’s success laid the foundation for future rollouts of new convergent devices. In May 2011, leading software and gaming platform vendor Microsoft announced plans to roll out the next generation of TV entertainment on Xbox LIVE—the online entertainment service for the Xbox 360 gaming console.
This opened the door for Mediaset to extend its range of addressable devices for the Premium Play offering, with the win-win benefit of providing Microsoft with additional quality content on its gaming console in Italy.
The opportunity was attractive given the high penetration of Xbox 360s in Italy (1.34 million consoles2) and the high propensity of Xbox LIVE subscribers to buy on-demand services.
As with Mediaset’s strategy, the use of gaming consoles has played a big part in the Latin American success of Netflix (25 percent of the content provider’s video is streamed via the Xbox 360 platform3).
Mediaset accordingly decided to extend its on-demand Over-the-Top TV offering with content delivery on the Xbox gaming platform, to further evolve its capabilities toward convergent, personalized, multidevice models, and improve customer loyalty with richer, higher-quality, “anytime and anywhere” digital services.
As with Premium Play, the application leverages the Accenture Video Solution platform.
Offering a rich mix of linear and nonlinear broadcast offerings to distinguish it from traditional time-dependent broadcasts, Accenture Video Solution gives broadcasters an interactive experience with known consumers and content personalization.
It enables service providers to launch new services quickly and cost effectively while reducing risk and setup costs. This accelerated Mediaset’s project delivery and enabled execution of a complex, innovative initiative with a greater likelihood of success.
Leveraging innovative Kinect features, Voice User Interface and Natural User Interface, the service has been designed to enable users to control video content delivery with gestures and voice commands and enjoy a personalized viewing and entertainment experience.
By speaking commands, viewers can request content, play, fast forward, pause and stop movie playback, receive recommendations or search and retrieve any TV program, series or soccer match among more than 2,000 titles available online.
Despite the challenges, Mediaset reached its Christmas 2011 target of launching the new service.
The company has strengthened its position as an innovator in the Italian and world broadcasting markets, and remains the only one in the Italian industry to offer video on demand on the gaming console platform, and one of the first eight in the world at launch date.
This has been made possible thanks to the strong partnership between Accenture and Mediaset.
The device has boosted Mediaset’s customer acquisition, continuing the company on the path of high performance by increasing its addressable market of 1.5 million devices for premium nonlinear services.
The broadcaster succeeded in introducing a new device leveraging existing Accenture Video Solution-based infrastructure, and reusing the same content already available for its Web TV offering (no re-encoding of content has been necessary) without increasing total cost of ownership.