I’ve previously looked at the need for a step change in current TV User Interfaces (UI) and moving away from static Electronic Program Guide (EPG)-centric interfaces in order to provide a better user experience. Existing EPGs are fairly standardised, regardless of TV make or service provider, and well suited for presenting linear broadcast content – that shouldn’t change. However, following the introduction of connected TVs, viewing habits have changed. With more content available and accessible, viewers no longer rely on linear broadcast channels. So how can a service provider deliver this diverse content to subscribers through the static EPG? In this post, I’ll explore how the required overhaul of static EPGs could be the difference between you and your competitor.
Traditionally, a service providers’ competitive edge was the amount of exclusive content it could secure and distribute to its customers. However, exclusive content is becoming less commonplace as content providers look to maximise their viewership by providing access on the widest number of platforms and services. This means that new TV services launching into the market, such as YouView in the UK, are entering a very competitive landscape. They are no longer just competing with other service providers; they are now competing with manufacturers of hybrid set-top boxes, games consoles and Smart TVs – who are offering direct access to content via applications. Therefore service providers can no longer be reliant on content alone as a unique selling point.
Don’t get me wrong – content is still important, without it there is no attraction for potential customers. In addition service providers need to look at a new unique offering that’s not focused on the amount of content offered, but one that is about providing a dynamic way of accessing and discovering content, regardless of the delivery method – whether linear broadcast, on-demand or streamed. And that starts with the TV UI.
I’ll be exploring the UI as a USP over the next couple of weeks.